[After her speech as the student elected speaker at the 2023 CUNY Law commencement in which she commended her class for organizing for Palestinian liberation, Fatima has been made the target of a smear campaign by a variety of organizations who seek to use her case to repress Palestinian organizing at CUNY. As part of the ongoing solidarity campaign to defend Fatima, several prominent lawyers, scholars, and activists have come together to reproduce her powerful speech in echo her call for liberation. Click here to read the original statement put out by Within Our Lifetime and CUNY for Palestine in solidarity with Fatima, as well as the original speech.]
July 3rd 2023 – On July 3rd 2023, CUNY for Palestine and Within Our Lifetime released a video titled #WeStandWithFatima in coalition with 34 legal scholars, distinguished professors, organizers and artists, alongside CUNY students and workers in defense of CUNY Law class-elected speaker Fatima.
Fatima was subjected to a coordinated national smear campaign and accused by CUNY’s own Board of Trustees of committing ‘hate speech’ after she criticized Israeli state violence in her commencement address on May 30, 2023. The video #WeStandWithFatima speaks back to this accusation in a strong, collective voice, including powerful scholars, organizers and public figures such as Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Robin D.G. Kelley, Laura Whitehorn, Noura Erakat, Judith Butler, Corey Robin, Dave Zirin, Ijeoma Oluo and more.
Leading up to the release of the video, the CUNY community has emphasized its solidarity with Fatima and with the movement for Palestinian liberation in a series of two disruptions of meetings of the Board of Trustees on June 5th and June 20th, along with an online event focused on strategizing in response to right wing attacks. Such attacks have been increasing at CUNY in recent months and have included the closure of the Social Justice and Equity Centers (SJEC) at BMCC after their planned educational event series on Palestine,shut down after zionist backlash outrage, and the firing of artist Shellyne Rodriguez after she confronted a national anti-abortion organization while they tabled on campus.
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For more information on the campaign to defend Fatima and Palestine organizing at CUNY, visit the campaign page at wolpalestine.com/defendfatima