Notes from Palestine organizing 11.22

Just wanted to send a quick update before the Thanksgiving holiday (in the US), which, of course, is a twisted concept under the framework of settler-colonization. On this note:


  • Nov 25 (Saturday 1pm ET): “Science under Occupation” hybrid teach-in/forum hosted by SftP Montreal, joined by Palestinian medical trainees in Cuba.
  • Nov 27: No Tech for Apartheid’s online panel.
  • Nov 29–Dec 5 is “Read Palestine Week.” SftP magazine has joined with >300 publications on a solidarity statement. Please see the list of all articles on Palestine we published in the past. We encourage everyone to read, discuss among you, and help advertise them (hashtags #ReadPalestine, #LirelaPalestine and #اقرأ_فلسطين)


  • We are collecting and updating testimonials from scientists in occupied Palestine, and working toward providing material support.
  • We are building a coalition with Just Mathematics Collective and Particle for Palestine (please sign-on their respective statements) to expand our current organizing activities.
  • More letters to sign from the “Responsible AI Community”
  • A survey of cultural institutions and their political stance. *We are trying to expand on this by focusing on academic institutions and labor unions* Please sign up to join our organizing teams.

For those who get some time off from work, it’s a great opportunity to bring your whole family to your local protests!

Notes from Palestine Organizing 11.14

It’s been 38 days of genocide, with no end in sight. Millions of people marching, agitating, and calling for a ceasefire are signs for hope, but class war is a protracted war, and there is much more to be done.

  • Join our organizing teams by filling out this form:
  •  All SftPers should follow PACBI and join the academic and cultural boycott of Israel both as individuals and as members of your institution (see USACBI) or unions (see Labor 4 Palestine). Please get in touch with us if you’re unsure how to push your institution/union to take a firm stance against genocide.
  • SftP Montreal–Canada will be hosting a forum on November 25 (and see flyer attached) to discuss science and healthcare in Palestine and Cuba. We will be joined by Palestinian medical students from Cuba’s Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM). Please attend and show solidarity.
  • SftP magazine will be soliciting articles and onboarding editors for a new Science & Palestine issue. Please read our statement and pitch your article ideas.
Here are other sign-on letters, campaigns, and organizing events from our coalition partners:
  • American Medical Association (AMA), a well-known reactionary political entity, unsurprisingly voted against a ceasefire. If you work in healthcare—espeically in light of Israel Occupation Forces attacking hospitals as its military objective—please sign see this open letter.
  • UAW Region 9A’s call for ceasefire.
  • Just Mathematics Collective (JMC) has joined USACBI. If you work in mathematics, consider joining JMC’s campaign.
  • Breakthrough Science Society India is circulating a sign-on letter. They are also organizing an “International Convention Against War and Destructive Use of Science” of which SftP will play a part. Please reach out if you’d like to help with this.
Other resources:

Notes from Palestine Organizing 11.3

It’s been 27 days since the slow genocide perpetrated by Zionists accelerated into a full-on massacre. The contradictions inherent to this unjust system in which we live are brought to the fore for many to see. The responses to the atrocities of those in power vis-a-vis those of ordinary people in the streets are but only one salient example. SftP has not only made a clear stance but also begun mobilizing. While we’re still in the early phase of coordinating, below we’d like to share a few resources, calls to action, and related events in the coming days:

Here are also some other items initiated by our partner orgs. Please consider responding/attending in solidarity:

  • Heathcare Workers for Palestine petition and event. For more on healthcare in Palestine, it’s also worth checking out the health blog from Jewish Voice for Peace
  • People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty sign-on in solidarity with Gaza
  • No Tech for Apartheid and Tech Workers Coalition’s joint media campaign
  • Rank-and-file UAW members sign-on letter to UAW International to issue a statement in support of Palestine. This is of our particular interest for STEM labor agitation.
  • Letter to HHMI (parent company of the journal eLife) regarding its recent Zionist-enabled firing of its chief editor
  • teach-in about the complicity of science in genocide organized by a few planetary scientists in our network
  • Comprehensive analysis of current events from Palestinian perspectives (by the publication Electronic Intifada).

Elsewhere in SftP:

  • Climate change teach-in on Nov 11 in NYC+live stream
  • “Science under Occupation” teach-in on November 25 in Montreal+live stream (detail and link TBD)

Lastly, please consult this calendar, be in the streets, be with the mass, and protest.

Twin Cities – Shut down Line 3


SftP – Twin Cities

Come join us at the headwaters of Misi-ziibi at 10am on Tue 7/20 for ceremony and 11am for a press conference about the severe drought.

Come listen to speakers while witnessing the drought, the resistance, and the river that connects so many of us.

This Nibi/water is removed from the water table by Enbridge and placed in upland areas with little known evidence as to how or if the water will return to its/her original source. This impacts water for drinking, fishing, canoeing, and growing Manoomin (wild rice).

Rights of Manoomin was passed in 2018 by the White Earth Nation and 1855 Treaty Authority to protect this relative. The destruction from dewatering has the potential to be devastating for all of us who share this connection with Misi-ziibi.

This event is Co-hosted by Rights of Mississippi River, RISE Coalition, MN350, Science for the People-Twin Cities, Vote Climate, and Health Professionals for a Healthy Climate

WHAT: 10 States Sharing One Misi-ziibi: Dewatering, Deforestation, and Destruction at Headwaters

WHEN: Tuesday, July 20 at 11:00 a.m

WHERE: Headwaters inside Itasca State Park, Mary Gibbs Visitor Center location

WHO: Rights of Mississippi River, RISE Coalition, Science for the People – Twin Cities, Vote Climate, MN350, Health Professionals for a Healthy Climate

Resource Radicals Reading Group

Between January and April 2021, Science for the People co-organized a reading group along with DSA Ecosocialists and The Dig podcast of Thea Riofranco’s “Resource Radicals: From Petro-Nationalism to Post-Extractivism in Ecuador,” a thoughtful and generous analysis of the history and politics of ongoing dynamic debates within the diverse Ecuadorian lefts. If you would like to organize future reading groups with Science for the People, please contact us at sftp.revitalization[at]gmail.

Below we have done our best to summarize some of the take-aways of the reading group experience in three sections:
1. Guiding/Discussion questions
2. Reading group reflections
3. Supplemental reading and materials



Marcha Plurinacional por el Agua y la Vida

Session 1: Introduction + Chapter 1 (From Neoliberalismo to Extractivismo)

  • How did anti-extractivism emerge as a political demand to organize around under a Left government in power?
  • What are the central tensions between the left in power and the left on the streets? Do these tensions still play out in current day Americas (both North and South)? If yes, how so?
  • What is the “extractive model” and what are its trappings for an ascendent Leftist movement? What have been its concrete achievements? What were the alternative means proposed for similar objectives by the anti-extractivist left?
  • Was resource nationalism a definitive break from neoliberalism? Discuss your arguments (for/against) within the context of global capital.

Session 2: Chapter 2 (Extractivismo as Grand Narrative of Resistance)

  • How does extractivismo as an organizing principle differ from the mainstream environmental movement in the Global North? Are there any similar principles in the Global North? If not, how can organizers/activists raise such a consciousness?
  • Discuss the technocratic framing of a neoliberal state as “weak” and “inefficient” as compared to a socialist “regulatory” state – how does this framing compare with the conception of an anti-capitalist state? How does this framing compare with actually existing socialist states such as Cuba and the USSR?
  • What functions did bureaucrats like Maria Belen serve in the Correa administration? How did their roles influence the tensions between the anti-extractivist activists and the Correa govt?
  • How does the dichotomy of anti-extractivism vs resource nationalism play out in terms of anti-imperialist politics?

Session 3: Chapter 3 (Consulta Previa)

  • Where did Ecuador’s 2008 Constitution originate from and how did it shape the coming battles between anti-extractive activists and the government
  • What lessons can be learned from Ecuadorean activists practicing constituent politics and how can they be applied to local environmental fights in the Global North, especially the US and/or Canada?
  • In Abel Arpi’s formulation of state ownership of non-renewable resources and anti-extractivism, is there room for developmentalism? Discuss Arpi’s proposal as a path towards wielding state power for socialist goals.
  • Are there parallels to the use of 1040 Decree by government bureaucrats, such as in the Mirador project, to the use of information by US governments when justifying extractive operations?

Session 4: Chapter 4 (The Demos in Dispute)

  • How did the question around the Quimsacocha gold mine bring up the question of who “the people” are? How did the idea of “the people” differ in the communities compared to that held by state functionaries?
  • What role did plurinationality, as incorporated in the 2008 constitution, play in shaping the exercise of constituent power by UNAGUA members?
  • What risks underlie the use of democratic exercises as resistance? 
  • In a socialist state, can a national interest ever be fully aligned with local interests?

Session 5: Chapter 5 (Governing the Future)

  • Does the dichotomy of Left-in-Power vs the Left-in-Resistance serve a useful lens to view future socialist politics? Discuss why or why not. 
  • How can questions of national sovereignty be resolved in a plurinational state? 
  • Within radical resource nationalism, is there room for internationalist solidarity? 
  • Given the short window of time to enact meaningful changes to combat the climate crisis, which is planetary in nature, how can the Left-in-Power vs the Left-in-Resistance dialectic be resolved?

Session 6: Chapter 6 (Conclusion)

  • Does the dichotomy of Left-in-Power vs the Left-in-Resistance serve a useful lens to view future socialist politics? Discuss why or why not. 
  • How can questions of national sovereignty be resolved in a plurinational state? 
  • Within radical resource nationalism, is there room for internationalist solidarity? 
  • Given the short window of time to enact meaningful changes to combat the climate crisis, which is planetary in nature, how can the Left-in-Power vs the Left-in-Resistance dialectic be resolved?


  • Quote – Coming Soon
  • Quote – Coming Soon
  • Quote – Coming Soon



Read a news commentary about the successful first action (Spanish only).

The Spanish labor union CGT (Confederación General del Trabajo) organizes a strike of University and Research staff for the next 21st of October 2020. This is the first time that this sector is calling for industrial action at the national level, and will hopefully establish the first of many fights aiming at winning decent working conditions for all members of staff and the end of neoliberalization of education and research—we fight towards university and science for the people. We build on internationalism to strengthen our position; the recent wildcat strikes of the University of California, and the strikes all over higher education in the UK by the UCU union are important references to follow. The current health crisis, due to COVID-19, shows that the working class cannot wait in order to organize the struggle. The many climate crisis that are to come must find a strong labor movement. Let us unite. Let us fight.

Why are University and Research sectors striking?

Over the past years, employees at universities and research centers have seen how working conditions deteriorate. The current COVID crisis made the situation even worse; employers are rapidly worsening labor conditions, intensifying job insecurity including safety measures.

Our inability to act strongly during the lockdown and after has allowed the Government, along with management teams at universities and research centers, to rule against workers. For example, staff were not involved in drafting plans for returning to work, negotiations on ongoing conflicts were suspended and causal contracts not renewed. This came in a moment in which institutions need more staff, and in better working conditions, in order to guarantee health and safety—let alone high quality of education and research.

This is not a time to be patient, as we are told from above, but a time to fight against the marketization of education and research. Time to fight for our working conditions.

Serious conflicts in these sectors remain as relevant today as ever: illegal and casual contracts, not a single upgrade in job stability demands, outsourcing, absurd staff hierarchies, increasingly higher fees for students, and evaluation criteria for staff still promotes levels of competitiveness that are harmful for both staff and education/research.

We need to stop the neoliberalization of higher education and research. We demand a model for the benefit of the working class. We fight for:

  • Funding 100% public and managed by staff.
  • Free education. Reduce student fees by 100%.
  • No staff hierarchies. Equal pay for equal work.
  • End casualization.
  • Work-life balance.
  • End outsourcing.
  • Change evaluation criteria to promote cooperation over competition.
  • Prioritize health and safety concerning COVID-19.

These are some of the most urgent demands, but there are plenty reasons for organizing the struggle. Let all members of staff unite and fight. Let’s start. Many voices; one fight.

We call all members of staff of universities and research centers for strike action on the 21st of October.


The Science We Have + The Science We Need: Internationalism in the Pandemic

On Thursday, May 21st, we will be co-hosting a webinar on internationalism in the pandemic with our compañerxs from Ciencia para el Pueblo. Far from a secondary issue, internationalism is the reason Science for the People was born. Back then, scientists organized against the use of their labor for oppressive ends during the Vietnam War.

Today, Covid19 is magnifiying structural violences and inequalities across borders. It is urgent that we reflect on radical science history, international struggle, and avenues for solidarity. “The Science We Have + The Science We Need: Internationalism in the Pandemic” aims to do just that.



The webinar will be covering the following three issues:

(1) The Science We Have: an analysis of the dominant structures, institutions, and paradigms that contribute to austerity and the misuse of science for oppressive ends, and how the resulting power dynamics limit a humane and transformative response to the ongoing crisis in the context of Covid19.

(2) The Science We Need: rooted in the specificities of regional contexts, possible avenues towards the transformation of “science as a whole” in the interests of justice and human need. How might have a transformed terrain of science rooted in justice have responded to a pandemic like Covid19?

(3) On-the-Ground Organizing: How do we transition from the science we have to the one we need? What can we learn from historic and ongoing struggles in the sciences and across borders? What is the role of knowledge production, application, and distribution in this process? Prior to and during Covid19, what on-the-ground political activities were and are taking place across local and regional contexts?

Thursday, May 21st 2020
11 a.m. EDT 

The webinar will be livestreamed on: Zoom, Youtube, and Facebook


  • NNIMMO BASSEY is the director of the Nigeria-based ecological think-tank, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) and member steering committee of Oilwatch International. He was a co-recipient of the 2010 Right Livelihood Award also known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize.” His books include To Cook a Continent – Destructive Extraction and the Climate Crisis in Africa and Oil Politics – Echoes of Ecological War.
  • DR. LUIS ALBERTO MONTERO CABRERA is a professor in the Department of Chemistry, chairing the branch of Natural Sciences at the Academy of Sciences of Cuba. He also chairs the Scientific Council of the University of Havana.
  • SHANTY ACOSTA SINENCIO is an independent biologist and chemist from the Faculty of Science at UNAM, Mexico, and a member of Ciencia para el Pueblo- Mexico.
  • ZHUN XU is an assistant professor at the Department of Economics at Howard University, having previously taught at Renmin University in Beijing. His research areas include Political Economy (health, food and development in general), Chinese Economy, and Economic History.  He is the author of From Commune to Capitalism: How China’s Peasants Lost Collective Farming and Gained Urban Poverty.
  • DR. SIGRID SCHMALZER is a professor of History at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with a Ph.D. in Modern Chinese History and Science Studies from UC San Diego. She is a co-founder of the revitalized Science for the People and the co-editor of Science for the People: Documents from America’s Movement of Radical Scientists.
  • SAMAN SEPEHRI is an analytical chemist at Northwestern University and a long-time activist of Iranian descent. He has written on Middle East politics, the internal dynamic of Iran, and questions of world energy and the geopolitics of oil. He is currently a member of Chicago DSA.
  • LAURA PEÑARANDA (Moderator) is a Colombian labor organizer with Trade Unions for Energy Democracy (TUED). She is a member of the International Committee of DSA, Science for the People, and Colombia Humana.



How Borders Work: Colombian, Mexican + Mediterranean Frontiers


This event brings together writers and activists from the Colombia-Panama, US-Mexico and Mediterranean borders. Between them, they have decades of experience documenting and opposing the global reach of border militarization. Our speakers will discuss the role of borders as instruments of race and class warfare in the service of capital, the place of migrants in the contemporary landscape of labor, and strategies for political organizing against border regimes on either side of the Atlantic.

Friday, January 24th 6-8pm
Location: Columbia University, Room #963 Schermerhorn Extension

Co-sponsored by: Science for the People NYC, Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine, Potere al Popolo, Punto Rojo Magazine, Architecture Lobby NYC, and the Colombian Studies Group


Edgar Frank is a farmworker organizer in Washington State. He participated in the formation of the first independent farmworker union in WA State since 1986 and today works with Familias Unidas por la Justicia and unions on food sovereignty, participatory democracy models, and just transition demands.

Justin Akers Chacón is a professor of U.S. History and Chicano Studies in San Diego, California and is the author, with Mike Davis, of No One is Illegal.

Francesco Piobbichi is an Italian activist of Mediterranean Hope who organizes both on the Italian border island of Lampedusa, and in the “bracciante” camps of the Italian South, where criminalized migrants are employed as agricultural day laborers. His collections of writing and drawing aim to keep a record of border struggles in the Mediterranean migrant passage and the militant tradition of migrant organizing in Italian agro-industry.

Carlos Villalón is Chilean award-winning photojournalist based in Colombia whose work has been published in National Geographic, The New York Times, and The Guardian, among other outlets. One of his current long-term projects covers the dynamics at the Darién Gap, a jungle region at the border between Colombia and Panama where each year hundreds of migrants from Africa, Southeast Asia and the Americas pass on their way to North America.

Chloe Haralambous (moderator) works with the Greek island collective, Lesvos Solidarity, and the Mediterranean migrant rescue organization, Sea-Watch. She is a PhD candidate at Columbia University.

For questions/media:
Laura Penaranda: societyisland at