The Graduate Workers of Columbia-UAW organizing committee stands in solidarity with students and protestors in India and Hong Kong. We believe the defence of academic freedom, the freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly and association, and the responsibility to protect the safety of our students are universal causes common to all. In particular, we condemn the use of disproportionate force and brutality by police and paramilitary forces against students on university campuses. We are appalled by the unauthorised entry, extensive deployment of tear gas and violent reprisal against students in India peacefully protesting the unconstitutional Citizenship Amendment Act, in Jamia Millia Islamia University and Aligarh Muslim University on December 15, 2019. We witnessed similar intimidation tactics and brutality by police forces unlawfully occupying campuses in the Chinese University of Hong Kong, City University of Hong Kong, Polytechnic University of Hong Kong and the University of Hong Kong on 11th and 12th November, 2019. We further condemn the police crackdowns on peaceful protest marches organised by the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union in New Delhi on November 18, 2019. The army and state police have no place on university campuses, and we strongly denounce the use of brute force against students exercising their democratic right to protest.
At the close of this year, we are humbled by the resilience of our friends and comrades leading protests in Hong Kong, Kashmir, India, Iran, Lebanon, and Chile. We stand in solidarity with our fellow students under siege, and with protestors defending freedom and human dignity against increasing state authoritarianism all across the world. We salute those fighting to change pernicious economic and political systems that celebrate “growth” and “progress” protecting the privileged few at the immiseration of the many. We denounce the commodification of education and support our comrades fighting for affordable education in the classroom and on the streets, even as we continue our struggle to be treated fairly as student-workers here at Columbia.