CFA Solidarity with Encampments and Against Police Repression 

Original online here.

CFA Solidarity with Encampments and Against Police Repression 

May 4th, 2024,               

Dear CFA Board of Directors,

We the undersigned California Faculty Association (CFA) members, stand in solidarity with Gaza and with students who are demonstrating in line with Justice for Palestine at various campuses around the USA, including in the California State University system. Our Spring CFA Assembly recently adopted a Resolution in Support of Palestinians and  their allies in the CSUs defending the right to protest, free speech, and academic freedom among other things. We are appalled at the brutality unleashed by campus administrations, police, and pro-Israeli counter protesters upon students, faculty and community who are exercising their right to protest on campuses across the nation against the injustices they see in Palestine by participating in the Popular University for Gaza with the establishment of campus encampments. We would like our union to take prompt action to defend our safety, academic freedom, free speech, and the right to peacefully assemble on campus.

The recent brutality on the UCLA campus by pro-Israeli counter protesters and police on their student-led encampment resulted in the UAW 4811 Executive Board, which represents the largest union of academic workers of the UC system representing 48,000 TAs, postdocs and researchers, filing emergency ULP (Unfair Labor Practice) charges against the UC as the police intervention was a violation of the health, safety and academic freedom protections and other rights guaranteed in their labor contract. The UAW 4811 also issued a strike authorization vote next week to protest UC’s abdication of its responsibility to protect students and workers.

On April 29 at Cal Poly Humboldt, police ordered more than 100 demonstrators to leave under threat of violence. In the early morning of April 30, police detained and arrested protestors, alleging so-called crimes of unlawful assembly, vandalism, conspiracy, and assault of police officers. Students now face defending themselves from criminal charges and university disciplinary actions. Faculty who supported their students were also arrested and now face legal actions. Our fellow faculty member, Assistant Professor Rouhollah Aghasaleh, vowed to reject his bond and went on a hunger strike until all Humboldt student and faculty protestors were released. He now faces suspension and disciplinary action by the university. Our understanding is that now all arrested protestors have now been released. Calling the police on our students must stop! 

The criminalization of these protesters and the closure of Humboldt campus was unnecessary, excessive, and quite brutal. Not only is it an attack on our campus community, but it is an attack on academic freedom and free speech for those campus protestors who desire to speak out against the genocide in Gaza, the Zionist occupation of Palestine, and the inhumanity of the Israeli war machine in maintaining apartheid that is funded by this nation’s tax dollars that has killed close to 35,000 people so far.

We think CFA should join the UAW 4811 in their courage to stand up to police and academic repression in filing ULP charges and calling for a strike authorization vote against the repression and in solidarity with the student and faculty mobilization for Palestine. We won at our last contract stronger health and safety language to protect faculty from police intervention, and our union has vowed to defend academic freedom and civil liberties. Now is the time to act!

CFA has for years argued for Anti-Racism, Social Justice transformation of the CSU, including to “Defund and Remove Armed & Militarized Policing from Campus.” And here we are, with militarized police descending on our community. Let’s do something now for our students, for our faculty, for our union, and for our campuses. 


PAM Caucus of the CFA

SFSU Faculty for Justice in Palestine  

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