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What Do the Campus Protests and the Attacks on Them Portend?

Police arresting students at the University of Texas at Austin. Creative Commons

April 30, 2024 (EIRNS)—How does the Global South respond to video footage circulating on social media of police arresting dozens of students and teachers participating in political demonstrations that are sometimes large, often boisterous, but so far almost entirely non-violent? What nation will not snicker at a lecture coming from the United States about free expression and democracy? How can demands for international observance of a “rules-based order” be squared with the outrageous violations of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution through the actions of political leaders—from the White House, to Congress, to state executives and legislators, to a leading presidential candidate—who demand that protests be shut down, on the basis of the views expressed?

In these protests, and the responses to them, are seen, contrastingly and simultaneously, the apparently hopeless condition of the ruling class, and the hopeful attitudes of the predominantly young people standing up to prevent the slaughter of people on the other side of the planet.

The International Court of Justice has announced, in an order of notable brevity, that it will not impose the provisional measures demanded by Nicaragua against Germany regarding its military supplies to Israel. Meanwhile, members of the U.S. Congress are working on legislation to sanction officials of the International Criminal Court if that body issues arrest warrants against Israeli officials. (These legislators didn’t object when the ICC issued a warrant for the arrest of Russian President Putin!)

In Israel itself, leading loonies Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich are demanding that Netanyahu nix any negotiations with Hamas that could end the fighting. Netanyahu must “finally give the command ‘Rafah now’,” insists Smotrich.

On the other side, the overwhelming support in the Hawaiian legislature for demanding an immediate ceasefire gives reason for optimism that pressure from within the United States is growing. Pressure is coming from attorneys and civil society groups for the U.S. to end its supply of weapons to Israel, even as hedge fund billionaires pressure campuses to shut down protests.

And the ongoing collaboration between Russia and China, in the context of the expanding BRICS process and the ongoing world shift in economic and strategic paradigm, represents for the world a factor of stability and a path toward achieving a lasting peace in Southwest Asia, used for over a century by the British as a ready-made conflict zone. Both countries have hosted leaders from Fatah and Hamas working on Palestinian unity. And China is taking specific actions to increase person-to-person interactions across the Taiwan Strait.

The failure of another regional U.S. bank points to the underlying tension that is the primary source of the major conflicts threatening world security and development: The trans-Atlantic financial system is done, gone, kaput! Without a fundamental reorganization, of both economies and political relations, the only path forward for the Anglo-American “elite” is global warfare.

For the way forward, join the live discussion with Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Wednesday, May 1, at 11 a.m. U.S. Eastern time.