Butler SJP and MSA statement shows wide support for campus encampments

The following statement was written jointly by Butler University Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Muslim Student Association, who then circulated it for additional endorsements before its release. The Indianapolis Liberation Center and our member-organizations ANSWER Indiana and PSL Indianapolis are proud to sign in solidarity and inspired by these and other students and young people leading the struggle.


May 02, 2024

Butler University Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Muslim Student Association (MSA) statement of solidarity with college campus encampments

Dear Butler University and Indiana community,

We, the undersigned organizations, write this letter as a collective of organizations, communities, and individuals that are fiercely determined to support activism and advocacy in all forms. We write this letter as supporters of justice and liberation. We write this letter in solidarity with our siblings on the frontlines of every resistance struggle.

On April 17, 2024, student activists at Columbia University began an encampment to call for the university to divest from Israel’s brutal genocide and apartheid of the Palestinian people. Over the course of the past week, we have witnessed our fellow student activists mobilize their respective campuses in similar ways. From coast to coast, student-led encampments have sprouted across the country, with Indiana University Bloomington and Purdue University beginning encampments on April 25, 2024 in the state of Indiana, and Indiana University – Indianapolis beginning an encampment on April 26, 2024.

These students have been faced with relentless and violent attacks and arrests from police and state troopers, with university administrators threatening to call the National Guard on protesting students as well. Students have been tear-gassed, beaten, and arrested by police officers and state troopers.

Jewish students who are allies to the Palestinian cause have spent and celebrated Passover in the midst of these encampments. These students have put their lives on the line in support of Palestine to call for an end to genocide, and they have been met with police brutality and violence. Politicians and university administrators have made bold claims about the antisemitic nature of these protests. We firmly hold that it is not antisemitic to protest the genocide of the Palestinian people. The gross and false conflation between Zionism and antisemitism is harmful and endangers our Jewish siblings.

The lives of all marginalized students are at stake when the militarized police state is called in to threaten protesters; it is our racially and religiously marginalized siblings that bear the brunt of police brutality. The freedom and most basic rights of student protesters have been blatantly violated. University presidents and administrators have grossly refused to uphold the right to protest and free speech of these student activists. History has proven to us that this behavior is nothing new, as universities are no stranger to suppressing student voices and protests.

We raise a question to all university administrations across the country: is funding genocide the impression you want to mark on your academic and professional legacy?

As student activists, we recognize and commend the immense perseverance and strength that is needed to successfully lead and organize a movement such as this one. We stand in full solidarity with our fellow students on the frontlines of their college campuses. In the face of retaliatory action against peaceful organizing—retaliatory action that has shown us the true colonial and militarized faces of our universities and police states—these students have persevered and continued to mobilize for Palestine.

Current news coverage is heavily focused on the encampments and other student demonstrations. Highlighting the work of student activists is important in mobilizing our communities. However, much of this coverage has unfortunately distracted from news coverage surrounding Israel’s ongoing attack and onslaught on Palestine, particularly in Gaza. Nearly 400 bodies were found in a mass grave in hospitals in southern Gaza. Horrifyingly, many of these bodies were stripped, beaten, or handcuffed, and there is evidence of field executions occurring as well.

The role of student activists only becomes more important as the plight of the Palestinian people continues. There are no universities left standing in Gaza, so we must use our student voices to amplify the Palestinian liberation narrative.

The sole purpose of today’s student organizing and encampments is to call for a divestment from the genocide of the Palestinian people. The activists hosting demonstrations and encampments do so only in support of Palestine, and we believe it is imperative that we do not lose sight of this. The work of all activists and organizers is ultimately to support Palestine and call for the dissolution of the genocidal Israeli regime. As the death toll continues to rise past 34,000 Palestinians killed, it is critical that we continue to mobilize and organize with all of our strength.

Students for Justice in Palestine and Muslim Student Association, in addition to all signed organizations, stand in solidarity with our siblings facing any and all forms of oppression. We are committed to the Palestinian liberation struggle, despite any obstacles that may stand in our way. We hold that all of our struggles for liberation are deeply interconnected, and we are united in our battle against systems of colonial oppression.

Together, we resist and fight back against the colonial narrative.

Until Liberation,

Butler University’s Students for Justice in Palestine and Muslim Student Association

In solidarity

Butler University Organizations

Advocates for Autism
Black Christian Fellowship
Black Student Union
Bulldogs for Universal Design
Butler LGBTQIA+ Alliance
Department of Peace and Conflict Studies
Department of Political Science
Diversity Program Council
Gender Equity Movement
Hub for Black Affairs and Community Engagement
International Club
Latinx Student Union
Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Steering Committee
South Asian Student Association
Students of Color Allied in Healthcare
Survivor’s Alliance

Indianapolis Community Organizations

ANSWER Coalition – Indiana
Circle City Mutual Aid
Democratic Socialists of DePauw
Indianapolis Liberation Center
Students for Socialism – IUI
Jewish Voice for Peace – Indiana
Middle Eastern Student Association – IUI
Party for Socialism and Liberation – Indianapolis

*Note: There is a list of faculty supporters at Butler University and other nearby colleges. For updates on signatures, visit Butler SJP.