Against the Current No. 230, May/June 2024

The “Antisemitism” Smear Weaponized

— The ATC editors

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor encampment May 1, 2024

WHILE THE HORROR of the Israeli-United States genocidal war on Gaza continues with no letup or resolution in sight, there has been only one really hopeful development: the outpouring of pro-Palestinian activism in many U.S. communities, most especially the magnificent movement on college campuses organized in encampments demanding an immediate permanent ceasefire, and divestment from....

Universities Weaponized: The Case of Israel

— Michael Principe

Towers of Ivory and Steel:
How Israeli Universities Deny Palestinian Freedom
By Maya Wind
Verso, 2024, 278 pages, 29.95 paperback

ALL TWELVE OF Gaza’s universities now lie in ruins, destroyed within the first 100 days of Israel’s ongoing military assault. According to a United Nations report, as of April, Israel had killed thousands of students and teachers as well as 95 university professors.

These numbers are undoubtedly higher at this point. The authors of the report further stated that “it may be reasonable to ask if there is an intentional effort to comprehensively destroy the Palestinian education system, an action known a ‘scholasticide.’”....

University of Michigan President Ono & the Pepper-Spray Gang

— Alan Wald

On the morning of May 21, police violently raided a peaceful encampment at the University of Michigan.

IN A DEED worthy of the Theater of the Absurd, the University of Michigan (U-M) administration inaugurated its much-vaunted 2024-25 “Year of Democracy and Civil Engagement” program by pepper-spraying its most politically committed students in the face. This gratuitous act was part of a violent raid by Michigan state and U-M campus police orchestrated by the U-M Regents and President Santa Ono at 6am on May 21....

From ATC authors and friends

Court Rejects Kagarlitsky’s Appeal

Boris Kagarlitsky during the June 5, 2024 appeal hearing. Credit: Rabkor

“UNJUST BUT NOT unexpected”: this is how Suzi Weissman, spokesperson for the Boris Kagarlitsky International Solidarity Campaign, described the June 5 decision of a Russian court to reject Boris Kagarlitsky’s appeal against a five-year jail term for “justifying terrorism.”...

New Campus Wars, 2024: A View from Ohio State

— Harvey J. Graff

OSU President Walter “Ted” Carter, also known as “Top Gun” from his career as a naval aerial gunner.

OFTEN FORGOTTEN TODAY is that the massive anti-war protests of 1968-70 grew from foundations of more than a decade. Today’s actions began almost spontaneously with some pre-pandemic roots in Black Lives Matter and Diversity-Equity-and-Inclusion movement.

An appearance of a new anti-Gaza War and innocent Palestinian lives movement is just emerging with a “campus encampment movement” in the wake of Columbia’s violent New York City. Arrests in total have passed 3200....

Two Directions: The Campus Movement for Gaza

— Ivan Drury Zarin

Hands Off Our Students" rally and march at Wayne State University, June 4, after the police raid the administration ordered on the student encampment demanding divestment. Twelve students were arrested and the camp destroyed.

SIX MONTHS INTO Israel’s escalated and open genocide in Palestine, there were signs that the global antiwar movement was beginning to flag. Rallies and marches had filled streets in hundreds of cities in the United States and Canada every week since October, and solidarity activists in many places were carrying out an impressive and diverse array of actions just as consistently.

Direct actions blocked rail lines, highways, ports, bridges, and all sorts of roads. An early morning action even blockaded the delivery of the New York Times.,,,

G7: Suspend Ukrainian Debt Payments -- Or Not

— Eric Toussaint

Why is the G7 discussing Ukraine’s debt?

For more than a year, the leaders of the main powers allied against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine have been debating at the G7 (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States), but they have been unable to reach agreement on how to finance the war and the reconstruction of Ukraine.

It should be noted that as part of the sanctions imposed by NATO members, the Russian Federation’s financial assets in Western...

Sudan: From Revolution to War

— Muzan Alneel interviewed by Red Pepper

Sudan Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection, University of Texas

ON 15 APRIL 2023, violence erupted in Sudan’s capital Khartoum following weeks of growing tensions between the leader of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the head of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (known as Hemedti). Amidst the power struggle between the rival factions that make up the military government, hundreds of people have been killed, thousands injured and millions displaced.

Red Pepper: What is happening in Sudan today?

Muzan Alneel: There’s a war taking place in a number of Sudanese....

Abortion Rights After Dobbs: The State of the Struggle

— Johanna Brenner

It’s been two and a half years since the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturned Roe v. Wade. The dystopian landscape that many activists feared has indeed materialized with 14 states banning abortion, while seven more have severely restricted the procedure – for example, banning abortions after six weeks or 15 weeks -- in ways that would have been illegal under the Roe v. Wade decision in effect from 1973-2022....

The Student Movement for Palestine Spreading Everywhere

— Yorgos Mitralias

Oxford University encampment

AS THE STUDENT movement in solidarity with the Palestinians and denunciation of their genocide by Israel intensifies in the United States and now spreads across the planet, there are growing indications that it is succeeding in influencing the central balance of forces while it is being recognized as a major factor in international developments....

Boris Kagarlitsky, Prisoner of Conscience

THE DANIEL SINGER Foundation has designated Boris Kagarlitsky as its first recipient of the “Prisoner of Conscience Award.”

Daniel Singer (1926-2000), a Jewish-Polish journalist and writer living in France, was a committed democratic socialist, and a sharp critic....

Open Letter to the Israeli and U.S. Governments and Others Weaponizing the Issue of Rape

ALL TOO OFTEN in the fog of war, the brutality of sexual assault and rape is lost in the public eye, and bringing these abuses to light is something for which feminists have fought for decades. Complicating this issue, however, is the fact that accusations of sexual assault have also been wielded as a tool of war – and as an (often lethal) weapon of racism and colonialism....

Stand Against Genocide & Imperialism, from Palestine to Ukraine

— Ukraine Solidarity Network

Statement of the Ukraine Solidarity Network on the Second Anniversary
of Russia’s FulI-Scale Invasion of Ukraine

Two wars dominate world politics today – and the United States is involved in both, although in very different ways. Washington enables Israel’s genocidal onslaught on Gaza with weapons, funds and political support while providing direct military backing through airstrikes in Yemen, Syria and Iraq. In Ukraine, however, the U.S. opposes Russia’s also-genocidal attack on its culture and people, and has provided weapons, funds, and political backing to the Ukraine government. Washington’s double standards and hypocrisy are obvious to the millions of people around the world who have taken to the streets in solidarity with Palestine.....

Gaza: A Ghastly Window into the Crisis of Global Capitalism

— William I. Robinson & Hoai-An Nguyen

AS THE WORLD watches in horror over the mounting death toll of Palestinian civilians and Israel faces charges before the International Court of Justice for the Crime of Genocide, the carnage in Gaza gives us a ghastly window into the rapidly escalating crisis of global capitalism. Connecting the dots from the merciless Israeli destruction of Gaza to this global....

“Developing Countries” Are Trapped in a New Debt Crisis

— Eric Toussaint

World Bank graphic illustrating that 480 million people lack food security.

THE WORLD BANK report on the debts of “developing countries,” published on December 13, 2023, reveals an alarming fact: in 2022, developing countries as a whole spent a record US$443.5 billion to pay for their external public debt.(1)

The 75 low-income nations that are eligible for loans from the International Development Association (IDA), a World Bank organization that provides loans to the world’s poorest nations, paid a record US$88.9 billion to its creditors in the same year....

Degrowth: A Remarkable Renaissance

— Alan Thornett

There has been an upsurge of interest in degrowth –a long-discussed strategic alternative to climate chaos and not just from the radical left. It is experiencing a renaissance at the moment, driven by the relentless rise in global temperatures and the resulting climate chaos.

It was the theme of a three-day....

Michigan Appellate Courts Curb Death in Prison Sentences for Minors

— Efrén Paredes, Jr.

Michigan State Capitol, Lansing, Michigan.

A DECADE AFTER the U.S. Supreme Court banned mandatory life without parole (LWOP) sentences for justice-involved children under age 18 ("juvenile lifers"), Michigan appellate courts are course-correcting years of arbitrary sentencing outcomes which have been an affront to the rule of law.

LWOP sentences are often referred to as a "death in prison" or "death by incarceration" sentences because a person who receives the extreme punishment is condemned to die in prison unless her/his sentence is commuted by the Governor, which is unlikely to occur in most cases.

See all the articles by ATC authors and friends not printed in ATC.