Elfbar Ideology, Pt. IV: The Encampment at the End of History

This week, President Biden signed a bipartisan military aid bill that would send $26bn to Israel. The day after, the Coalition for Mutual Liberation claimed a portion of our campus’ Arts Quad as a pro-Palestinian liberated zone, in solidarity with other encampments at universities across the nation. Will it matter?

Many students, if Sidechat is any indication, appear skeptical. CML’s demands include more than just the administration’s submission to the referendum results. They additionally call for the partial return of Indigenous lands and the replacement of campus police with first responders trained in de-escalation. We might question whether these demands isolate some ceasefire advocates from the movement. 

We must think about what it means for CML, or this national movement, to succeed. Does it end with a ceasefire? Does it end with divestment? No, these are band-aid solutions to a complete systemic failure that dominates all of our lives. I hear Zionists say, “If you claim to be against genocide, then why focus exclusively on Israel?” Here lies the proof that CML is not merely an anti-Zionist campaign — it is truly interested in mutual liberation, on a universal scale. The reality is that Indigenous people, including the Gayogo̱hó:nǫʼ Nation — whose people live less than an hour away from our campus — continue to live in abject conditions because of their treatment by our government and our university. We took their lands, starved them and now say, “That was centuries ago, we can’t do anything about it now.” What is stopping us?

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