Native History Under Attack: Students Fight Back Against Bans That Crush Ethnic Studies From Israel to Arizona
Continued from previous page
The SJP conference’s title and theme, “From Local Roots to Nationwide Branches: Bridging Student Movements,” is intended as a strengthening affirmation rather than a wish list--because bridging student movements has been well under way. A prominent example occurred last March, in Phoenix, AZ, when Gabriel and Mexican-American Studies allies attended the 2012 national conference of the largest association of Latino/a youth groups known as MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán). The MEChA delegates voted, in a landslide decision made public in a joint statement with SJP, to endorse the Palestinian-led global movement of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) on Israel until the state complies with codes of international law and justice for Palestinians.
Two opposing narratives are battling the future of our fellow youth, our communities and grandchildren. One is described by Biggers in his book, which quotes Linda Green, director of the Center for Latin American Studies at the UofA, who said: “I feel as though I’m living in the future of the United States. Where legalized criminality and attendant impunity have become the accepted and acceptable norm."
On the other hand is the possible future we see when we look around us and study our history and that of our Palestinian counterparts overseas, and when we behold the many other youth and community movements stand beside and among us. Then we say proudly, insistently, “ In Lak Ech”—or Tú eres mi otro yo—You are my other self.”
The authors are members of UNIDOS and UA Students for Justice in Palestine.