UVDSA Steering Committee

May 3, 2024

Dear Comrades,

As you have by no doubt by now heard, state police in riot gear cleared a Palestine solidarity encampment from the Dartmouth Green on the night of May 1st, arresting around 100 students, workers, and community supporters. Dartmouth and the state’s strategy of deploying unilateral violence on peaceful protesters not only reveals the brutal logic of capitalism, but also serves to strengthen the ties between organized labor and the Palestine solidarity movement. Upper Valley DSA is proud of our members’ courageous display of solidarity on Wednesday, as well as their leadership and stewardship in several of the participating unions and community organizations.

May Day 2024 was a massive victory for everyone in the Upper Valley that stands against exploitation. Wednesday’s action united the burgeoning Upper Valley labor movement with student and community Palestinian solidarity organizations. As communists, we understand that capitalism is responsible for both the zionist project and the oppression of workers. The tie between labor and international solidarity is not an abstract concept for us. Dartmouth College is a central node of capital in the Upper Valley. As one of the area's largest employers, with a rich history of workplace abuse and union busting, it is the enemy of organized labor. As an institution that invests heavily in the military industrial complex, and that profits from performing research for the same, Dartmouth is the enemy of the Palestinian liberation movement. 

Workers and those standing with Palestinians operate against the same enemy. By working together, the leverage of both camps grows beyond the sum of the coalition's parts. UVDSA organizers helped organize the "Labor for Liberation'' rally to illustrate that solidarity with Palestine is not only morally correct, it is in the interest of the working class of the Upper Valley. The coordination of GOLD's strike, SWCD's refusal to cross GOLD’s picket line, and the encampment illustrate the potential power of coordinated and disciplined organization to make demands of capital, beyond narrow economic demands. 

Dartmouth’s response to our community’s actions on May 1st demonstrates the necessity of unity and the risks that such unity poses to zionism and organized capital. GOLD and SWCD organizers were arrested alongside student campers and community activists. Today, the leadership of both unions released a joint statement calling for all charges to be dropped against the campers, among other demands. A Palestine Solidarity caucus is holding well-attended political education readings on the picket. The GOLD picket is sustained by UVDSA’s strike kitchen, hosted by a fraternity to which many student activists belong. On May 2nd, over twenty comrades worked in the strike kitchen, many of whom were community supporters affiliated with Upper Valley For Palestine. The act of singing and chanting together for hours as we watched our friends and comrades being dragged away brought us together. We anticipate the bond will grow stronger in the coming days as students and workers continue to dialogue within that space. 

We hope that the full potential of this moment will be realized. We hope to see the combined leverage of a disruptive encampment and a general strike at Dartmouth bring the institution to its knees. We in UVDSA call for Dartmouth to disclose and divest, for a fair GOLD contract, and for President Beilock to resign. 

It was recently made known that UAW 4811, the union of academic workers in the UC system, have announced a strike authorization vote in response to unfair labor practices related to the crackdown of the encampments at UCLA. We call on comrades across the country to organize within their unions to follow suit. Talk to your union siblings, educate them on the ties between our struggles, on what’s at stake. We call on campus unions around the world to join the student campers in disrupting their institutions. By combining the labor and Palestinian solidarity movements, we can grind the war machine to a halt. To free ourselves, we must free Palestine. 

In solidarity, 

Upper Valley DSA Steering Committee

Please donate to GOLD’s hardship fund here and to the strike kitchen fund here. You can help fund undergrad activism by Venmoing @sunrisedartmouth