We mourn the Palestinian and Israeli lives lost due to the ongoing occupation and war. We are also saddened by the response, or lack thereof, of both the Adams’ administration and the UFT. Chancellor Banks’s statement last Tuesday solely centering the needs of Israeli families, and UFT President Mulgrew’s dismissal of Queens Borough Rep Amy Arundell for speaking in support of Palestine are but two examples of the erasure of our Palestinian students, staff, and families. Unfortunately, we are not surprised given this administration’s demonization of asylum-seekers, and the UFT’s lack of democracy.
As educators, often without support and at risk of reprimand, we strive to nurture healing-centered classrooms steeped in love and critical pedagogy. It is particularly important in moments like these that we recommit to teaching and working for the dignity of all peoples. As such, we call on educators to educate themselves and their communities about the history of the conflict. Websites such as TeachPalestine.org and RethinkingSchools.org have a wealth of resources. We call on our union to reinstate Amy Arundell to her former position and encourage UFT members to sign the petition calling for her reinstatement. We also call on our union to listen to Palestinian trade unionists and heed their calls to action.
MORE is co-sponsoring an event this Friday (October 20th) at Bryant Park alongside a coalition of partner organizations including Jewish Voice for Peace, NYC DSA, If Not Now, the Crown Heights Tenants Union, the Adalah Justice Project, and Desis Up and Moving. We will be demanding Congress call for an immediate cease-fire, full access to Gaza from humanitarian aid organizations, and no U.S. military aid for war crimes. We condemn and mourn all attacks on civilians. A ceasefire is how we can prevent the further loss of life and genocide in Gaza. Register for the rally here.
We at MORE believe strongly in the power of social justice unionism to create a more just and loving world – a world in which everyone lives with freedom, dignity, material security, and democratic rights.