This is the fourth time that David Horowitz has coordinated hateful posters attacking SJP, though in the past these posters did not specifically target individuals on campus. Similar posters have also been seen at San Diego State University, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Berkeley over the past several days. Last month at UC Riverside, there was an attack on the offices of graduate students, all women of color, whose property and Palestine related materials were vandalized. It is clear that this is a statewide crisis insufficiently addressed by individual UCs or the statewide UC administration.
We stand in solidarity with other students, faculty, and groups at UCLA and elsewhere affected by these attacks. We will not be deterred from our work of educating the campus about Palestine and continuing to push forward our highly successful advocacy for Palestinian human rights and for the UC to divest from companies violating those rights.
Below, we outline some of the things we expect UCLA's administration to do in order to mitigate the attacks we have experienced.
Requested Administrative Actions:
1. Although the administration has created a take down procedure for hate posters in coordination with UCPD and UCLA Facilities Management, we would like to see a more comprehensive plan anticipating future posters attacking SJP, MSA, students, or faculty, including a plan for possible escalations by Horowitz. Such a plan would include take down, but also outline other administrative actions (outreach and safety services for affected students, statement to campus, community forums, etc.) to mitigate the effects of the attacks. We would also hope that such a plan would anticipate any further escalation in attacks by Horowitz.
2. We would like to see the administration make an affirmative statement supporting the legitimacy of the organization as a non-violent, human rights group that engages in education and activism just as any other organization on campus. (This has been mostly satisfied by VC Kang’s recent email to the campus.)
3. Per our conversations with administrators after this incident, we have reason to believe that the campus administration and staff (including at CAPS) that work with students do not receive any specific training on what Islamophobia and anti-Arab sentiments are, how they manifest on campus and what appropriate responses might be. This has led to UCLA staff making inappropriate comments to students seeking advice and assistance. We would like to see this lack of training remedied, in addition to training that makes staff aware of efforts to curtail advocacy for Palestinian human rights (including by conflating support for Palestinian rights with anti-Semitism).
4. We would like a commitment from the Chancellor to meet with Palestinian students to hear about their experiences on campus. Despite efforts by SJP, the Chancellor has never met with Palestinian students during his tenure at UCLA, an omission that itself suggests bias.
5. We would like to see concrete action by UCLA to respond to the guidance issued by the Department of Education earlier this year regarding the increase in anti-Muslim and anti-Arab sentiments. To our knowledge, the university has not taken any specific actions to respond to this guidance.