Thursday, May 23, 2024

Protests: How they bring down the settler-colonies

The pro-Palestinian protests in US universities we should pay attention to though I admit given how it’s being downplayed in media could make you ignore it. 

These are some very young remarkable souls, across the length and breadth of an enormous country, who are opening themselves to police beatings, jails and a future without jobs or degrees for which their entire life could be spent repaying the education loan. 

Yet Western media portray these spontaneous protests as some kind of sinister, planned operation of a mafia. Wall Street Journal has headlines: “Rules for Campus Radicals” receiving help from “left-wing groups”; New York Times is busy discrediting them all the time; and no less than the US president is publicly supporting the violent police crackdown. 

The favourite abuse is to term the protestors “anti-semite” though come to think of it, nobody is more “semite” than the Palestinians of whom over a million are undergoing an ethnic cleansing. 

These young protestors even don’t know what “Semite” actually signifies. They are not anti-Semitic but against the Zionist murderous agenda which is fuelled and armed to the teeth by the US administration. They could see that self-defence and genocide are two mutually exclusive terms and can’t be used to justify the other. 

Not one university president has stood up for these students; not one university president has called for an immediate ceasefire; not one university president has condemned the ongoing genocide; not one university president has called for divestment from Israel; and yes, not one Hollywood movie has been made to depict the horrors of Gaza—it’s back to silent era. 

If these students were radicals, they wouldn’t have been sending petitions after petitions to their universities since November, calling for divestment from Israel. They set up encampments because nobody paid heed to their growing voice of disapproval. 

These young souls are protesting against something cruel and evil; it’s not as if some personal loss is happening to them. As it is, the Empire has given them nothing: No property, no job to support a family no freedom from mortgage or debt. When you’ve got nothing, you’ve nothing to lose. 

They are up against a system which sees them alarming yet are indifferent to the horrific crimes being inflicted on hapless people for eight months in a row now. Those who couldn’t care less if hospitals, schools, universities, compounds are buried or if mass graves are being unearthed are upset that the manicured lawns of their premier institutions have temporary tents over them. 

There have been some eight occasions, such as in Srebrenica and with Rohingyas which the US termed as genocide and which pale in comparison to Gaza. All the markers of a genocide — endless killings, mass expulsions, displacements, starvations, executions, razing of cultural and religious institutions, dehumanisation of over a million people etc, etc—are happening with the Palestinians. Yet every time the world takes up the matter in the United Nations, the United States stands in opposition to it. 

So protesting a genocide is worse than committing one — abuser in plain view is now an aggrieved party. Yet the repression is only inflaming protests. Songs such as “Hind’s Hall” by mainstream rapper Macklemore is turning protests into a cool, chic thing. Media could turn off its lights yet the ground is rumbling on its beat. As the summer picks up, protests would have a life of its own. These young men and women are going for it. 

Such Sparks Bring Down Empires

Such are sparks which bring down empires. History bears witness to such moments. All settler-colonies are gone after their savagery reaches a limit. 

In Kenya’s war of liberation, the British killed nearly 100,000 Kenyans in the 1960s. 

Tens of thousands lost their lives in Angola and Mozambique against the Portuguese colonists for two decades between 50s and 70s before liberation beckoned. 

Yet the US, along with apartheid South Africa regime, went on a killing mission between 1975 and 1992 killing a million and half people in Angola and Mozambique. Tens of millions were turned into refugees – with nowhere to go. 

Not that the South Africa’s apartheid regime let go easily. Nearly 15,000 black Africans were killed in late 1980s and early 1990s before the end eventually came. 

These protests signify that the militarism and imperialism of the Hegemon, against the Global South, is in its last gasp. Enough of loot of lesser nations by world’s rich ones, it’s time for equality and dignity. May it come to a pass. 

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