New US student campaign echoes October 7 terror and pledges to ‘bring the war home’

Palestine Action US is circulating a leaflet on American campuses rejecting ‘peaceful’ protests


A Pro-Palestinian protester barricades a door at the University of California, Los Angeles campus (Image: Getty)

A disturbing campaign among anti-Israel protesters on US campuses rejects “peaceful” protests and calls on students to “bring the war home”, echoing language used by Islamist terrorists.

Palestine Action US, which claims to be inspired by its notorious British namesake, is distributing a leaflet in American universities titled “Flood the gates” – an echo of the name given by Hamas to the October 7 massacres, “Al Aqsa Flood”.

The pamphlet, which refers to the “martyring” of “over 40,000 Palestinians” in the war, calls for “escalatory resistance to imperialism’s escalating violence” and greater militancy to “strike fear in the heart of the ruling class”.

“Escalate from… getting kettled by the police to kettling them back. Let repression breed more resistance. We will not disavow any actions taken to escalate the struggle, including militant direct actions,” the leaflet says.

The group’s UK namesake, Palestine Action, founded in 2020, has carried out acts of vandalism and criminal damage against targets related to Israel and Jews. There is no suggestion the two groups are directly connected.

The document published by Palestine Action US begins by stating that after the October 7 Hamas attack, which saw hundreds of Israeli civilians murdered, and others tortured and kidnapped, the group realised the need for greater “resistance”.

The JC understands that the leaflet is being circulated by activists on US campuses, including that of Syracuse University in New York, where anti-Israel protest camps have swelled and a series of confrontations have taken place between supporters and opponents of the Gaza war.

The Palestine Action US text demands that students “escalate” demonstrations “above all” else.

“We join in the calls to #Escalate4Gaza beyond symbolic action, because we know power won’t move unless we… pose a threat to their reproduction of capital,” it continues.

“As our comrades in Within Our Lifetime wrote, ‘Enough with de-escalation trainings; Where are the escalation trainings!’”

Hundreds of people have been arrested so far amid police crackdowns on demonstrations at universities across America.

At The University of California, Los Angeles, all classes were cancelled on Wednesday due to “distress” caused by violence that had taken place overnight.

Speaking to the JC, Rafaela Torossian, a first year student at Syracuse University, said it was a “very difficult” time to be Jewish on campus.

“On Monday morning we didn’t have any encampments, but then it started,” she said.

“They’ve since grown. The protesters had signs that called for an ‘intifada’, but they got removed by campus security.

“Signs that say ‘From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will Be Free’ are still up, though. It’s very difficult for Jewish students to see signs that say Israel must be eliminated. It’s hard enough being a student now having to work and deal with this pressure.”

Campus security officers are now “camped outside” the university’s historically Jewish fraternities and sororities 24/7 to provide protection, Torossian said.

The current level of activism on American campuses is insufficiently radical, however, Palestine Action US insists.

Its leaflet demands: “Escalate from mass rallies to mass blockades of weapons companies; from encampments to building occupations; from getting kettled by the police to kettling them back. Let repression breed more resistance. We will not disavow any actions taken to escalate the struggle, including militant direct actions.

“Our notion of ‘safety’ in the imperial core is built on centuries of corpses, and this liberal framing of ‘safetyism’ prevents us from escalating and winning, which is our duty to Palestine and us all. We keep us [all] safe by escalating. Don’t hesitate to take more risk.”

It adds that students should abandon “sacrificial arrests” – a non-violent tactic used by groups such as Extinction Rebellion to draw attention to their cause.

Instead, demonstrators should build barricades, attempt to “de-arrest” each other, and resist the police.

Palestine Action US wrote: “We must no longer be a sea of helpless subjects, begging for crumbs and crying foul at the bullying of the pigs. We must stop appealing to the respectability of monsters, to whom we owe nothing.”

At Columbia University in New York, where a university hall has been occupied by protestors, mayor Eric Adams said the demonstration had been, “led by individuals who were not affiliated with the university”.

“There is a movement to radicalise young people,” he said. “And I’m not going to wait until it is done to acknowledge the existence of it.”

Palestine Action US said students must “break down the university gates” and reject the distinction between those on campus and “outside agitators”.

They added: “The popular movement for Palestine is currently based out of the universities, but students are not the sole leaders, and non-students possess a reservoir of knowledge and experience to expand the struggle beyond the campus. We must create our own ‘popular cradle’ of resistance.”

Syracuse University and Palestine Action US were contacted for comment.

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