Florida’s college system, working with Gov. Ron DeSantis, ordered state faculties to close down a pro-Palestinian scholar group on campuses, accusing it of backing Palestinian resistance group Hamas.
The State College System of Florida stated chapters of College students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) needed to be disbanded as a part of what it referred to as a crackdown within the Republican-led state on campus demonstrations that present “dangerous help for terrorist teams.”
“Based mostly on the Nationwide SJP’s help of terrorism, in session with Governor DeSantis, the scholar chapters should be deactivated,” the system’s Chancellor Ray Rodrigues wrote in a memo to college leaders.
DeSantis, a candidate for the Republican 2024 presidential nomination, has taken a tough line in opposition to Palestinians, suggesting Gazan civilians be denied water and utilities till Hamas releases the greater than 200 hostages throughout the Oct. 7 incursion of Israel.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida stated DeSantis’ actions had been unconstitutional.
“As a substitute of protecting college students and the Jewish group protected, the federal government is just silencing concepts it does not like,” Howard Simon, the group’s interim govt director, stated in a press release.
The Nationwide SJP didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.
“Governor DeSantis continues to disrespect American values equivalent to freedom of speech to increase his political energy,” the College of Florida SJP chapter instructed the Tampa Bay Occasions.