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05/10/2024

What the protests at US universities indicate

What the protests at US universities indicate

Seeing thousands of students protesting on the campus of the University of California in Berkeley, located in the city of Berkeley, California, reminded us of the buildings we studied in forty years ago. California already harbored the most progressive segments of American society. It was a region that always stood up whenever the US created turmoil with imperialist intentions. We had seen the best example of this during the Vietnam War days in the 1960s and 1970s. The protest fire that emerged from the Berkeley campus had set ablaze campuses across the Western states, spreading eastward. The students killed in the police attack at Kent State University in Ohio further fueled these protests. In addition to the tremendous resistance of the Vietnamese people, the protests of American youth led to the first international defeat in US history.

When trust in the future is shaken

Although the American youth have been lulled by LGBT and globalization advertisements for the past twenty years, they are now rising again in support of the Palestinian cause. This is influenced by both the massacres committed by Israel against the Palestinian people and the poverty, homelessness, and lack of confidence in the future created by the pro-Israeli ruling classes in the US. Despite the Biden administration claiming a miracle in the economy, young people attending university face great difficulties in paying university fees and finding a decent job after graduation. Thousands of young people losing faith in the future. It is no longer possible for them to be lulled in the wealthiest country in the world, where billions of dollars are transferred to the war economy every day.

If the Jewish capital can fire university presidents!

The attacks on universities by these millionaire Jewish businessmen, who represent Israel in American society, have played a significant role in these student protests, especially after the Gaza attacks. Since universities at the center of the most brutal practice of capitalism stand with the so-called “donations” of these billionaire Jewish businessmen, they face significant interventions in both university administration and student education. After Pennsylvania University, Stanford, and Harvard, the recent attack by these Jewish billionaires on the elected president of Columbia University was the last straw. Even the smallest criticism against Israel is labeled as “antisemitism” and subjected to attacks, leading to a gradual erosion of the freedom of speech, one of the most important articles of the US Constitution, as each day.

If universities become corporations!

There are approximately 5000 institutions of higher education in the United States. Some of these are schools established and supported by the government. However, the main source of higher education are non-profit schools being managed in a corporate style. In fact, all the well-known and most important universities fall into this category. These universities are schools where the government provides tax exemptions and donates land. A board of directors in a corporate style manages them. Donations to these schools provide tax exemptions to donors. But at the same time, it allows these donors to intervene in the operation and curriculum of universities.

We saw the clearest example of this at Harvard University last month. Bill Ackman, is a Jewish fundamentalist financier who donated millions of dollars to this famous university. He was able to cause the dismissal of a black female professor elected as rector at Harvard for the first time in centuries. We have seen the same situation at the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia recently.

These schools are actually corporations. They manage their future by investing their income in profitable companies on the stock market. However, most of the donors are Jewish billionaires. Besides, certain industries, especially those based on war, are profitable investments. Thus, they have been investing their capital in these companies for years. These are among the most profitable companies in the world, earning high profits from war efforts, such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and Exxon. At the same time, these companies are the ones with the deepest ties to Israel. Therefore, it is very meaningful for university students supporting Palestine to constantly use slogans such as “divestment”.

For example, the total assets of Harvard University are currently around $51 billion. 36% of this comes from donations, and the rest comes from school fees and profits. Therefore, students obliged to pay these fees protest against the investment of this $51 billion in the military and arms industry. So, university events are not just about supporting Palestine and protesting for Gaza.

Biden lost thousands of young people’s votes for Israel

American university youth are taking a stand, just like in the Vietnam War days, to take control of their destiny due to the militarism of the Biden administration and the instability it has created around the world. In the presidential elections in November, many say that the youth will largely be against Biden and not go to the polls. Because the conservative and racist rhetoric of Trump and within the Republican Party is a major obstacle to this very important voting potential shifting directly to Trump.

In conclusion, American university youth will lift the “appeasement” veil placed on them. It will spread its criticisms of the US’s support for not only in Ukraine but especially regarding Israel’s massacre against Palestine to all American university campuses. In the coming days, it will not be surprising to see much more coordinated and effective protests from East Coast to West Coast universities.

The impact on November 5, 2024, the US presidential elections

Of course, these protest movements led by universities, which are the most dynamic and conscious segment of society, must also reflect on other segments of society that are already uncomfortable. Although the Biden administration claims that the economy is improving, millions of American citizens see that they have not received much from this improvement. And in the upcoming election atmosphere, this protest movement will also spread to these segments of society.

Although universities will soon go on summer vacation, when the new semester starts in mid-August, we will see the continuation of these protests on university campuses with even higher tension. And this environment will have enough impact to determine the results of the Presidential elections on November 5th. Although this young segment seems to be ideologically in the “left” camp, due to the Biden administration’s support for Israel, they will largely stay away from Biden. They may even boycott the elections, which can be seen as support for Trump.

Latif Bolat

He was born in Mersin-Türkiye. Studied at the Ankara State Conservatory, Gazi University Music Department and Ankara University-School of Political Sciences. Did his graduate degree at San Francisco State University in International Business and Marketing. Worked as a Theater Music Director and newspaper reporter, as well as a computer engineer. Finally, he decided to stay as a music scholar. He traveled for his concert and lectures in 40 countries including the USA, India, UK, Italy, Iran, Spain, Brazil, Argentina, Sweden, Greece, and many other locations. He produced 5 Turkish Mystic Sufi music CDs and a Turkish Mystic Sufi poetry Anthology in English, titled “Quarreling with God”, published in Oregon, USA. www.LatifBolat.com Lbolat@aol.com

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