College Gaza Encampments: Scale, Tactics, Reaction, Prospects

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

We’ve been here before. As I wrote back in 2012:

Beginning last spring, Occupy started and spread in the ancient cities surrounding the Mediterranean basin: Tunis, Cairo, Athens, Madrid, Rome, among many others; Alexandria, Manama, Barcelona…. I’m sure I wasn’t the only observer who, watching the Occupations move steadily westward, asked: Will Occupations scale?

After all, Morocco, Egypt, Greece, and Spain are all small-ish [Mediterranean] countries; small in population, area, and GNP, and peripheral at that. And one might also argue that “the square” assumes a different position in the European imagination than “the square” does here, where the agora, if there is one, is “the mall.” Further, the United States is a multi-lingual and multi-national empire of continental scope. And the architects of the Federal system tried to ensure that there would be multiple centers of power in the United States. Would the Cairo + Madrid occupation paradigm scale to the United States?

And yes, amazingly, wonderfully, awesomely, the Occupation paradigm did scale. My own small and small-c conservative state, Maine, has not one, not two, but three Occupations in Portland, Augusta, and Bangor (each of quite different character). When Occupy San Diego, on their way to Occupy Congress, got thrown off the Greyhound in Amarillo, TX, Occupy Amarillo came to their aid. UC Riverside researchers surveyed 482 incorporated towns and cities in California and found that 143 – nearly 30 percent – had Occupy sites on Facebook between December 1 and December 8.”. Rhizomic growth. Occupy didn’t spread because of celebrity endorsements, or online petitions from career “progressives,” or corporate marketing programs, or billionaire funding. There were no focus groups. There was no polling. Occupy encampments spread despite — or because of — “clearing” operations organized by city mayors (who used oddly similar tactics and timing). Occupy participation spread despite — or because of — ongoing police assaults, especially by the NYPD “white shirts” of New York Mayor For Life Michael Bloomberg, and the thuggish OPD of Oakland Democrat Mayor Jean Quan. And Occupy ideas and tactics spread despite a relentless propaganda campaign in our famously free press comparing Occupiers to disease-bearing vermin and filth, with a rhetoric and an intensity worthy of Der Stürmer. (Cleverly, OWS had pre-empted this tactic by using some of its donated money to hire a cleaning truck.) Happily, “We are the 99%” stuck as a slogan, and in just a few months Occupy had changed the discourse to put “income inequality” (translation: class warfare) on the table; something that career “progressives” and their D allies in Washington have, oddly, or not, been unable to do in thirty years. Let’s not forget or downplay these tremendous achievements! I am so grateful to the Occupations and the Occupiers, all of them, for giving me more hope than I’ve had in years.

(I’m using the word “encampments” in the headline, as opposed to the more generic “protests”, because the pre-Occupy occupiers in Europe called themselves campers, because that’s the word used by the participants themselves, and because “encampment” suggests seizing and controlling space, a key feature of Occupy.)

It all seems so familiar. In a good way. Sadly, I don’t have time to do a detailed comparative study between the events of 2011-2012 and those of today. We can, however, get a sense of scale (smaller today), the tactics (slightly more advanced), and the reaction (by which I mean “that which reactionaries do”; instantly vicious, from university administrations egged on by electeds). I’ll look at those three aspects of today’s encampments, and then speculate on the movement’s prospects.


Quantitively, here is a handy map from Palestine is Everywhere. 91 encampments globally:

(I only show North America.) Here a second map from Students for Gaza; 106 schools globally:

(Again, only North America; this map counts “demands” as well as “encampments,” so the figures may differ.)

These are probably undercounts, since volunteer projects like this are hard to source and maintain. I’d be very surprised, however, if the count was an order of magnitude low. In any case, that’s the scale; impressive, newsworthy, but nowhere near Occupy.

Qualitatively, here is a sampler of impressions I picked up on my travels (there will be a second set of impressions devoted to tactics and reaction later). In no particular order:

Columbia: “Columbia Pro-Palestinian Protesters Haven’t Dispersed—Despite Suspension Threats” [Forbes]. “The university—which has been dealing with the encampment since April 17—gave students the [2:00pm] deadline by distributing leaflets warning students who don’t leave could face “probation, access restriction, suspension for a term or more and expulsion,” according to multiple reports. The encampment was not dismantled by the deadline, though.”

Yale. Rebuilding:

MIT. Multicolored, various tents:

I’m including the tents because of tweets like this, which were all over my feed for awhile:

I mean, come on. Maybe Amazon had a sale on green.

Berkeley. More tents:

UCLA: “Fights break out between pro-Israel, pro-Palestine protesters at UCLA” [The Hill]. “A small number of counterprotesters attempted to breach barriers erected by the university to separate the two protest groups in the early morning, the Bruin reported. Pro-Palestine protesters later breached the same barriers, resulting in small skirmishes…. The protests remained largely peaceful on Sunday, on both sides, the Bruin reported. No arrests were reported from the skirmishes.”

Northwestern. More organization:

New Orleans. The only non-campus encampment I have seen:

All active and evolving, but… small. To be fair, exponential growth is possible; let’s wait and see. On the other hand, the encampment movement may simply be self-limiting; as a student movement, it’s vulnerable to events on the academic calendar, and has a narrow class base as well.


Controlling the space of the encampment means providing amenities for “campers” and visitors, and defending the space against assaults by the authorities. (I’m leaving surveillance out because nobody seems to be talking about it. No discussion of drones or Stingray or anything like that.) I think original tactics are a sign of a healthy movement, and so I will mark the ones I have not seen before “new.”

First, amenities. These will seem very familiar from Occupy.

1) Community kitchen:

2) Library:

3) Drumming (granted, not all would consider this an amenity):

4) Jail support forms:

Second, defense:

1) Barricades (new). This is so great; the generation that was trained to build barricades in school against “active shooters” applies their lesson in a different context:

2) Linked Arms:

3) Marching (new):

4) ADA compliance (a special case of barricades; new):

5) Kettling police (new):

All of this — especially kettling the police — strikes me as marginally more forceful than Occupy proper (though perhaps my memory needs refreshing). This is all tough stuff, particularly in the face of our brutal and stupid police forces.


Here I’m going to skip over the snipers, the hasbarist trolls, the agent provocateurs, the private investigators, the bulldozers, the various exercises in bad faith by administrators, to focus on the changing roles of professors and administrators in the modern university. (After all, presumably people like McConnnell are muscling the administrators, and not, say, the AAUP, because that’s where the power lies.)

First, let’s look at the case of Caroline Fohlin, assaulted by cops at Emory. Here is a long thread:

And a second case, Steve Tamari, assaulted by cops at Washington University in St. Louis:

Now, there’s only one reason those cops were there: The administrators called them in. And there’s only one reason neither administration is up in arms protecting its professors: The administrators believe that what the cops did was right. Obviously, that has profound implications for university governance. From Splice Today:

Maybe “I’m a professor” registers a certain privilege, but it’s a real privilege attributed to faculty by administrators. As you arrive and every semester after, they tell you, “This is your place; you perform the most important function here; and you run it too, because we have faculty governance.” The ultimate authority on most campuses, no doubt, is the board of trustees. But the day-by-day academic decisions have to come from or through the faculty Senate. As a prof, you have the run of the place: your key card gets you into every building. You’re welcome anywhere, really.

So you’ve been told, maybe for decades. You feel entirely at home on the campus; it’s your place. You know everyone, seemingly. You’ve taught dozens or hundreds of the students milling around.

When they say you’re “trespassing,” that seems incomprehensible. And when the administration calls the cops on you and the cops violently restrain and arrest you, you’re liable to see your understanding of your institutional role dissolving instantly. It’s hard to grasp how Emory and any other institution that has been arresting faculty can recover from these events. One thing’s for sure: it will be a long road.

In the usual end-of-year (May) and at the beginning-of-the-year (September) faculty meetings, administrators including the president will come before the faculty with various updates. How does next year’s class look? How’s the budget going? In this case, the people in the audience will have been subjected directly to violent arrest and restraint on expression by those very administrators. I don’t think Emory can have a faculty meeting successfully for the next couple of years. That would be a problem at a university. Emory—along with schools such as Vanderbilt and Rice, often thought of as “Southern Ivies”—will be in crisis for the foreseeable future.

It has long been unclear to me what value highly paid university administrators add. Presumably, having professors assaulted and arrested is one such. If so, we may need to revert to a more… medieval structure; the university as an institution is, after all, a millenium old. Perhaps we should simply unbundle the entire mishegoss and have students band together to hire professors of their choice, as they did in the 1100s. Kidding. I suppose.


From a long article in the Colorado Sun about the Auraria Campus encampment in downtown Denver, where Angela Davis spoke:

“I want to emphasize what this means for history,” Davis told a crowd of more than 200 while visiting campus after speaking at Colorado College on Friday. “As you imagine this period being narrated 10 years, 20 years, 50 years from now, you will be the historical actors who made it possible for a breakthrough in the struggle against Zionism, the struggle to free Palestine. “I cannot tell you how you make me feel,” Davis said, “because after having struggled for decades and decades, I realize that this is what we’ve been struggling for and I stand here not as an individual but to bear witness for all of those who have been involved in this struggle to generate solidarity with Palestine, justice for Palestine, freedom for Palestine. And if Palestine can be free, then the entire world can be free.”

I applaud these encampments, and the courage and dedication of the students. It’s pleasant to see people trying to do the right thing in the face of reactionaries trying to punish them for it. I think that the encampments and Occupations of 2011-2012 had highly beneficial effects on the body politic that continue to be felt, and the same will be true for 2024’s. It is not clear to me that today’s encampments have sufficient strength to achieve the goal that Davis set for them; they are certainly not of Occupy’s scale, let alone the Civil Rights movement (which also took decades of solid planning); here is a conservative’s cynical or realistic view. But–

But I am extremely dubious about free-floating words like “freedom” and “justice”, even “solidarity.” For example, of the analytical frameworks that could be applied to Gaza, (anti-)imperialism and (anti-)colonialism seem to me to be the least simple-minded and most supple (imperialism, being finance-driven, appeals to me). Very well. Now let us suppose we applied the neo-colonial frame to a woman in the sacrifice zone of East Palestine, OH, whose home was rendered valueless and whose water was poisoned because Norfolk Southern’s capital accumulation-driven adoption of Precision Scheduled Railroad caused an enormous derailment followed by a chemical fire. Maybe throw in some Sachler-damaged family members from the oxycontin epidemic. Isn’t it fair to regard East Palestine as “colonized”, just near to us, and not far away? And is there not some way that thinkers like Davis can bring “solidarity” to the two situations? Would that not, indeed, be pragmatically useful?

Appendix: Helpful Hint

“Stop Using Your Face or Thumb to Unlock Your Phone” [GIzmodo]. “‘The general consensus has been that there is more Fifth Amendment protection for passwords than there is for biometrics,’ Andrew Crocker, the Surveillance Litigation Director at the EFF, told Gizmodo in a phone interview. ‘The 5th Amendment is centered on whether you have to use the contents of your mind when you’re being asked to do something by the police and turning over your password telling them your password is pretty obviously revealing what’s in your mind.’…. The law is still in flux, so there’s no hard and fast rule for protecting your phone from searches. Still, if you know you will be interacting with police, your best bet is to turn off biometrics before you head out, according to Crocker.” • Convenience isn’t everything….

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


    1. alfred venison

      YES ! Thank you Mr Strether. I was very depressed last night, today I feel better. -a.v.

  1. MIkrw0

    I am a Washington University in St. Louis alumni and still have many ties into the school. Compared to what I was told by people on the ground is totally misrepresented in the video in this post. It captures part of what went on and lacks context.

    I fully support the University’s actions and position.

    1. Bugs

      Can you please elaborate on this comment and your assertion below about Jill Stein? Thanks in advance.

    2. Chris

      Sounds like you should reassess your priorities. These people are heroes and the crackdown is reactionary.

    1. mikerw0

      I am a WashU alum and spoke to people who were there in real time. She was trespassing and asked repeatedly to leave. She chose not to and should bear the consequences.

      1. redleg

        Time for a friendly reminder that conservatives and reactionaries do not have to be Republicans.

      2. WG

        Trespassing charge is a hard one to stick. Most campuses, even privately owned, are open to the public.

      3. Emma

        Got it. You’re with the cops and admins brutalizing peaceful anti-genocide protesters. I hope your family and friends will come to recognize the quality of person that you are and treat you accordingly.

  2. Rip Van Winkle

    To borrow part of a Henry Ford quote, if these students understood compound interest and debt then there would a (real) revolution by morning.

  3. JustTheFacts

    Administrators are parasites and provide very little value. Eliminating them would be a net positive. They’ve been pushing professors to produce more papers (which does not mean more ideas), getting more grants (which does not mean original research), and other initiatives to reduce meritocracy (such as “diversity”). Professors (chosen by actual merit) provide expertise and innovation. Without them, the value of Universities disappears, but not, unfortunately, the credential.

    I wonder whether we have yet reached the level of AI where we could dispense with administrators entirely, and if so whether we will, or whether they will dispense with the professors first.

    1. outside observer

      Doubly insulting is that the salaries of administrators are guaranteed while the salaries of professors often depend in part on securing grants. Half the grant then goes to ‘overhead’.

      1. redleg

        Where’s David Graeber when you need him?
        At least he discusses this in some detail in Bullshit Jobs.

    1. David in Friday Harbor

      This is important. Stiglitz is Establishment.

      Stiglitz is also correct that normal human empathy is lacking in the psychopathic leadership of the United States, who are all-in on this genocide and biblical-scale murder of innocents.

      I am inspired by this occupation movement and ashamed of those who are attempting to suppress the outpouring of normal human empathy that has been shamefully absent from our political mis-leadership for four decades.

      1. CA

        I am inspired by this occupation movement and ashamed of those who are attempting to suppress the outpouring of normal human empathy…

        [ Please know that I too am so inspired by the occupiers. Thank you for this moving comment. ]

    1. Chris Cosmos

      I loved the article. This situation has been developing for many years across several dimensions. They’ve become credentialing rackets. If universities won’t pay professors what they’re worth then you can be sure your education will suffer. You can be sure online universities will be the norm in ten years. Yes, we should become a community of students who will hire professors as consultants–maybe create their own classes. But for that we need to work on deeper metaphysical issues like–what do we mean by “education”, the transmittal of knowledge, and the building of character. We have to redefine our culture as something more than a way of making money.

  4. Trisha

    Students at University of Oregon from Students for Justice in Palestine, Jewish Voices for Peace, Working Committee of Grads for Palestine, and Young Democratic Socialists of America occupied the Knight Library Lawn at the University of Oregon campus today to demand the university do its part in ending the ongoing genocide of Palestinians, including divestment and cutting all academic ties with the apartheid Zionist universities.

  5. David Todtman

    Student are often at the forefront of social change. Their consciousness is often more advanced than the rest of society.

    However, students have little material power with which to move the ruling class. What must occur for that to happen
    is working class involvement. The workers can shut down arms manufacturing and/or transport and there is nothing the bosses could do.

    For example, if dockworkers and airport workers refuse to load war materials, Israel’s armory will empty. This is class war. There is no way around that. It is a struggle with students and workers against the imperial ruling class. If the workers enter the stage of history in some numbers, the siege of Palestine will end. This is where the next phase of the movement must go.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > What must occur for that to happen is working class involvement

      This is what I was trying, very gently, to say in my final paragraph. So, 100% correct, IMNSHO. Exactly as in 1968 (fizzled out), Occupy (fizzled out), Floyd (fizzled out). Always the problem with “youth”-led movements, and especially the problem with any movement with identity politics at its heart (identity politics being the only “progressive” politics permitted; just another form of liberalism with different cultural markers).

      More pointedly, when Davis says “[I]f Palestine can be free, then the entire world can be free” I flat out disagree. That’s the same as saying “If apartheid ends in South Africa, then the entire world can be free.” Of course, ending apartheid was good; and freeing Palestine would be good. But for the Imperial heartland, such matters are peripheral, geographically and materially.

      1. Es s Ce Tera

        I’m not sure I would describe Occupy as fizzled out, more like destroyed. I can point to the various reasons it fell apart, chief among them being that Facebook suddenly pulled the rug out with introduction of an algorithm which limited the reach of posts. Until that moment, FB was the primary means of organizing, of getting people to show up anywhere. Meanwhile, various FB groups were simultaneously hacked (and remain so). AND, it was around the same time that police forces started moving in, when the camps needed more bodies to support. Quite the coincidence.

        There was also always a bit of challenge with money because how does a movement open a bank account? But very many of the Occupies early on had small groups appear out of nowhere demanding to know where the money is, how it’s being spent, who has the bank account, giving the impression the powers-that-be had chosen this as a way to sow dissent, money seems to be an excellent tool for dividing, creating mistrust and suspicion.

        But Occupy also had its own weaknesses – for example, the message of tolerance for divergent viewpoints wound up with many camps having white supremacist contingents. We saw an early version of Proud Boys forming with a contingent of men who would block ANY and EVERY proposal put forth by women. And many camps had structured their general assemblies to require 90%+ agreement for any resolution to pass, which in retrospect proved an impossibly high target to reach, leading to frustration around chronic inaction about anything at all.

        But I still think it was Facebook that killed Occupy.

        1. Yves Smith

          No, it was the coordinated paramilitary 17 city crackdown that took place a mere 2 months after Occupy began. The whole Occupy approach, of consensus and and careful rules for participation (like “stack”) depended on in person gatherings. It was denying Occupy places to gather that killed it. I was involved in Occupy and Facebook was not important. None of the three groups I was involved in (peripherally, the main NYC encampment, Occupy the SEC, Occupy Alternative Banking) used them. I don’t believe Occupy Sandy did either.

          1. Bsn

            Your first sentence is spot on. Since this protest has quite recently bloomed, my guess is that within about 2 weeks, there will be another “coordinated paramilitary crackdown” across all of the dots on Lambert’s map.
            The big difference is that Occupy had many reasons to exist and was difficult to define clearly. This movement is quite focussed – stop Israel (and the USA) from killing thousands of Palestinians. Very well defined and defendable. It’s now expanding a bit into a resistance of the paramilitary police and the college admin. Soon it will be the feds leading the police – a much more dangerous master. When the feds take control, it will escalate and may morph into even more reasons to resist.

            1. Es s Ce Tera

              Agree 100%, this movement has a very strong and clear moral and ethical imperative which Occupy did not have, an imperative which should also resonate with, well, every major religion on the planet. If wanton murder of the defenseless is not wrong, the world’s major religions should just go off and die somewhere and take the UN and ICJ/ICC with them. I expect this to expand well beyond schools and into every facet of society.

          2. Es s Ce Tera

            I was involved mainly with Toronto and to a lesser extent others. It’s true, the in-person aspect will always be priority for police precisely because they cannot intercept, disrupt and divide face-to-face communications. Hence why they’re always trying so hard to disperse.

      2. Samuel Conner

        > “[I]f Palestine can be free, then the entire world can be free” I flat out disagree.

        Perhaps this is an aspirational pronouncement, intended to give hope while eliding notice of the massive struggle that would be required to achieve the larger hoped-for end.

        Me thinks, from my perch in the other end of the age distribution, and adopting a framing inspired by Howard Zinn, that the rulers are running out of jobs to give to the people they would like to recruit into the guard class, and the candidates for recruitment are noticing their own diminished prospects.

        Perhaps one could say that the contradictions continue to sharpen.

        I really need to get my potatoes into the ground.

    2. AzHolt

      This is it exactly about needing solidarity among different groups and most definitely to include the working class. Otherwise the protesters get isolated which is exactly what we see TPTB doing levying charges of antisemitism and sending in their uniformed goons, etc. In fact that seems to be one of the best examples of bipartisanship!

  6. ciroc

    I don’t think occupying a few campuses will change the minds of the psychopaths involved in politics, but at least it will let future generations know that Americans did not completely succumb to the fascists and that there were some who were on the right side of history.

    1. Bsn

      Rosa Parks didn’t think much of what she was doing would matter. She was just tired from a day’s work and wanted to sit right away instead of going to the “back of the bus”.

      1. MFB

        My history is shaky, but wasn’t Rosa Parks an anti-segregation activist loosely tied to the Communist Party?

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          WikiPedia says Parks attended CP meetings with her husband, but was not a member. This is natural, since the Communists were very strong on Civil Rights from the 30s onward (something liberal Democrats have carefully erased). See the Wikipedia entry on the Scottsboro boys.

  7. Vicky Cookies

    As someone who hates the “as someone who…” introduction, I was around the new UW-Milwaukee encampment all day today. We had barricades; Lambert’s suggestions about biometrics were shared with all by the security team; we had local Palestinian businesses bring us food. While we shouldn’t overestimate the preparedness of young radicals, and the advance in knowledge and tactical improvements does seem to accumulate somewhat organically, the organizers deserve credit. The police threatened to arrest us all at 6pm, but then, according to rumor, had jurisdictional arguments, and left. A few obvious undercovers, and token observers were all that remained when I left for the night an hour ago.

    A movement in Mississippi subscribes to the ‘Jackson-Kush Plan’, whereby, as an attempt to reclaim democratic control of the place where they live, there are three main goals: 1. To organize a large part of the local community as a voting base. 2. To selectively elect representatives of that community to legislate on behalf of it. 3. To gain control of “anchor institutions”, which are those which are not susceptible to capital flight, such as municipal governments, and state universities. This is an expression of that plan in action, however intentionally.

    While that is a local or regional view, strategically, the reason that focus is being chosen is that federal structures are inaccessible, and totally unaccountable. I’m sure readers are aware of the fact that the majority of Americans support a ceasefire, and a growing contingent supports ending aid to the zionist state, whereas within congress this view is seen as fringe enough to get one censured.

    I’ll be back there in the morning, so long as it isn’t savaged during the night; please do what you can to help ensure that eyes are on encampments like UWM and UW-Madison (which also started today); this will make it harder for us to be brutalized for doing what we can to draw attention to, and oppose a genocide.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Lambert’s suggestions about biometrics were shared with all by the security team;

      [lambert blushes modestly]

      Thanks for the report; please keep us posted.

  8. Zephyrum

    To “turn off biometrics” on an iPhone, hold down the side button and a volume button for 3 seconds, until it vibrates and the emergency call screen appears. Then cancel. The phone will go to its Lock Screen, and a passcode will be required to proceed. Best to do this in advance, but while reaching for your phone you could contrive to do it er, accidentally.

    1. 4paul

      Good tip!

      A friend changed his password to GetAWarrant, he said “when the police ask for my password I can say Get A Warrant and they can’t charge me with anything!”

      LOL, but, also, where we are….

      Security and Convenience are diametrically opposed, if you have a little convenience you have no security, if you have a little security it is inconvenient.

  9. hk

    I wondered about the screed by Netanyahu as I read about Caroline being assaulted by cops at Emory (I’ve known Caroline for a long time professionally, although never knew her that well). I always thought she or her husband is Jewish (although I never knew for sure…). I do know that a lot of protesters are Jewish. Netanyahu screamed about Jewish students and professors being threatened with violence by “antisemitic thugs”…which is, I suppose, true, just not the way he is insinuating.

  10. Dean

    There’s another angle here too. The donor class is calling in its chits with the university. While I’m sure a handful of donors are giving out of the goodness of their hearts, I believe most give to gain access to decision makers and influence outcomes to their liking.

    The threat of withholding future donations (to the school) is understood by the administration.

    “Hi Mr. Donor. I’m the university president calling about naming the new building after you. How are you today?”

    “Hi. My assistant did say you’d be calling me. You mean putting my name on the new biomedical wing for the medical school? Yeah I want to wait and see how this silly encampment thing is resolved first. The optics don’t look good right now and my legacy can’t be associated with this nonsense.”

    “I see. Let me get the NYPD commissioner on the phone and see what I can do.”

    “Thanks. Much appreciated. I’ll have my assistant turn on the 6pm news and watch it for me…I hope to see some progress soon!”

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > The donor class is calling in its chits with the university

      That’s true. And you can bet that the administration is taking future revenues into account when it decides which students to send down and which not.

  11. Anon IU

    Today (April 30) is Day 6 of the encampment at Indiana University Bloomington.

    It was on Day 1 (April 25) that IU President Pamela Whitten first called in the Indiana State Police who were in full riot gear with snipers on the roof overlooking the encampment (the ISP chief has confirmed this in an interview). The encampment was set up around 11 am on April 25. By 4 pm, the ISP moved in to demolish it. The encampment had barely been established. But in spite of two separate ISP crackdowns, it remains and continues to get stronger.

    1. Anon IU

      I want to commend IU professors who support the encampment. There are many. Some have been arrested and banned for one year from IU property for participating in the protests.

      When ISP riot squads violently attacked protesters on Dunn Meadow, the site of the encampment, several professors positioned themselves directly in front of the police. One said she did so to “protect my students”. She was body slammed by ISP before being arrested.

      Yesterday, a large group of faculty, students and community members gathered in front of the IU administration building to protest. The professor who was body slammed and arrested spoke to the crowd from a sidewalk across the street because she is no longer allowed on IU property.

  12. wol

    I visited Polk Place (where the demonstration is centered) on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus yesterday and suggested reading comments on this site. The students I talked to were accommodating and knowledgable. I contributed a couple of vegetarian pizzas from a recommended business to the cause.

  13. Will

    From early this year, an interview with Vincent Bevins about his new book If We Burn: The Mass Protest Decade and the Missing Revolution. It’s basically about the vulnerability of “leaderless” movements to being co-opted or frustrated because of that lack of structure. Based on 4 years of interviews with organizers of recent mass movements around the world as well as extensive reading of the academic literature, I think it’s very timely, to say the least.

    Link to listen or read the transcript:

    The podcast focuses on technology, so the interview dwells on social media as part of mass media and imposition of narratives.

    If the name Bevins sounds familiar, it may be because he’s also the author of The Jakarta Method, a modern history of the US government’s role in anti-communist mass killings around the world.

  14. stefan

    ” In 1990, Pomona had 1,487 students, 180 tenured and tenure-track professors, and 56 administrators — deans, associate deans, assistant deans and the like, not counting clerical staff, cleaners and so on. As of 2022, the most recent year for which I have data, the number of students had increased 17 percent, to 1,740, while the number of professors had fallen to 175. The number of administrators had increased to 310, an average of 7.93 new administrators per year. Even for a college as rich as Pomona, this insatiable demand for administrators will eventually cause a budget squeeze. Happily, there is a simple solution…”

    1. hk

      One peculiar paradox is that becoming an administrator offers a tempting and “easier” career pathway for unsuccessful academics. If you don’t get tenure, you can try and get another teaching job where you teach an absurd number of classes/students for pittance and go nowhere, career wise, or try and becoming an administrator, where you are still in quasi academia and earn fairly good money: most academic admins are people who wanted to be in academia, but didn’t get tenure, not people who wanted to be admins

      This begs an interesting question: why didn’t these people get tenure? Is it because they are bad academics? On the whole, probably, but with a very big variance: tenure politics is very catty. Especially in soc sciences, publication process has gotten insanely long and complicated (a lot of proverbial “reviewer 2’s” who raise unreasonable issues ). This, incidentally, make for even more politics in the tenure process: are your publications “impactful” enough? Are they sufficiently far long in the process to get credit? Etc. The end result is that you have more candidates for admin jobs and fewer people who are teaching or researching.

  15. Jake

    That one protest definitely has a variety of tents. But I have seen pictures of a lot of other genocide protest encampments that are mostly the green and grey tents. Those tents are definitely coming from some Soros type, although almost certainly not Soros himself. There is a never ending supply of those tents at the meth camps all over Austin. They have been handing them out all over town since August 2019 when the corrupt city council overturned the camping ban. There has to be some radical organization out there that gets those tents by the thousands.

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