Pro-Palestinian Student Group Shared Docs Explaining How to Assault Police

by Robert Schmad


“Popular University 4 Gaza” is a Telegram channel with over 8,000 subscribers and is run by members of NSJP, Palestinian Youth Movement and Writers Against the War on Gaza, according to a post on X, formerly Twitter. The channel’s admins distributed a document called the “De-Arrest Primer” on April 26 that provides tactics for resisting arrest, sometimes through violent means.

One tactic for obstructing arrests laid out in the document requires “pulling/pushing an officer off an arrestee and/or breaking their grip.” The document warns readers that the tactic can be “risky as it requires physical contact with an officer which could lead to assault on an officer charges.”

DCNF-logoFreeing protesters from arrest can often be “well worth the risks,” as being arrested “can have drastic negative life altering affects [sic.], especially for targeted populations like people who aren’t white, Muslims, LGBTQ people and certain radicals,” the document argues.

Protesters are also taught to “hug” an arrestee from behind to pull them away from law enforcement, wrestle with police officers, open patrol car doors to free detained suspects and surround officers to demand they let arrested protesters go free.

“There’s plenty of excellent reasons to break the spell of self-policing and risk charges in order to fight back, especially when that antagonism can spread and shape the general disposition of a given movement for the better or even explode a situation into a deeper more affective rupture,” the document reads.

The post received more than 3,500 views and over 100 reactions on the Telegram channel.

“Who keeps us safe? We keep us safe! Learn these tactics to protect your comrades,” the text accompanying a link to the guide reads. It is unclear who authored the document.

NSJP is a pro-Palestinian organization that seeks “to elevate the student movement for Palestinian liberation to a higher level of political engagement,” according to its website. American and Israeli victims of the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks in Israel are currently suing NSJP, alleging that the group has been working on behalf of Hamas by organizing protests in the wake of the attacks.

“Popular University for Gaza” is the name of a nationwide “coordinated pressure campaign” run by NSJP intended to force universities to divest from Israel, according to the organization’s website. NSJP student groups at dozens of universities have signed on to NSJP’s “popular university” campaign, and protesters at campuses across the United Stateshave dubbed their encampments the “Popular University for Gaza.”

NSJP supports over 350 pro-Palestinian student groups in North America and has provided consulting services to student organizers ahead of protests. The group also encouraged members of its sizable social media following to attend pro-Palestinian demonstrations.

A Telegram channel purportedly serving students at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, called “UIUC Encampment” also posted a link to the de-arrest guide, encouraging its audience to read it. The protesters held lessons on April 28 regarding “de-arrest” tactics, according to the channel.

The UIUC channel’s administrators shared day-to-day schedules for the university’s encampment, which included things like Islamic prayers, a “Covid safe” teach-in and film screenings. The protesters named their encampment the Popular University for Gaza, matching the name of NSJP’s Telegram channel and advocacy campaign.

More documents encouraging violence were shared by admins of the Popular University 4 Gaza Telegram channel.

“Flood the Gates: Escalate,” one of the documents, encourages protesters to “learn tactics to protect yourself and your comrades,” recommending “barricades, de-arrest, strategic formations and community defense” in order to resist police.

“We recognize that building an infrastructure of militancy for the larger struggle against imperialism and the establishment of a new world is the only effective route we can take,” it reads. The document explicitly rejects non-violent protesting, stating that “we are not naïve enough to think the revolution will come through ‘peaceful’ means or spontaneous uprisings without organized militancy.”

“We will not disavow any actions taken to escalate the struggle, including militant direct actions,” it says.

The document was published by Palestine Action US, the American branch of a United Kingdom-based anti-Israel group.

Another document, titled a “Do-It-Yourself Occupation Guide,” provides protesters with practical information on how to establish and defend on-campus occupations.

“We can no longer simply protest to demonstrate our rage; decades of activism have come to the point of an impasse,” the guide reads. “Instead, we must insist on the struggle for the satisfaction of immediate needs and desires.”

The guide recommends using bolt cutters, crowbars or angle grinders to break into buildings, providing specific techniques on using those tools to enter locked areas. The guide also provides readers with methods to barricade building entrances by jamming push bar doors, using cable locks, nailing doors shut and boarding up windows.

The document provides instructions on how to build corrugated metal banners, which function as six-foot-wide shields protesters can use to ward off police officers or others attempting to dislodge them from the building they are occupying.

The guide also condones vandalism, stating that “a group may decide it is better to destroy or vandalize a space than to return it to its usual role in good condition” and “the role of vandalism may be different in each situation, but it should not be disowned outright.”

The guide recommends that prospective occupiers lock down legal support, medics and a “propaganda team.” The propaganda team should prepare an initial press release before the occupation begins and handle media relations as it goes on, according to the document.

It is unclear who authored the document.

Pro-Palestinian encampments have cropped up at colleges and universities across the United States, with notable demonstrations occurring at Columbia University, Emory University and George Washington University

On May 1, the University of California, Los Angeles’ Students for Justice in Palestine chapter made a post to social media saying “we need bodies” to prepare for a confrontation with police, noting that activity was “high risk.” Protesters clashedwith police at UCLA during the early hours on May 2 as law enforcement made their way through dismantling the campus’ sprawling pro-Palestinian encampment, and 200 people were arrested, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Police arrested 42 masked individuals in a UCLA parking garage on May 6 for conspiring to commit a crime, and two were charged with obstructing a peace officer, according to a Los Angeles Police Department press release. The group had metal pipes, padlocks, super glue, bolt cutters and copies of the “De-Arrest Primer” and “The Do-It-Yourself Occupation Guide.”

Demonstrators at the University of Wisconsin- Madison were reportedly handing out printed copies of the de-arrest document before police dismantled their encampment on May 1, according to the MacIver Institute. Police arrested 34 people and eight officers were injured, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

The campus SJP chapter encouraged people through social media to defend the encampment as police moved in to clear it.

NSJP is a fiscally sponsored project of WESPAC, a liberal charitable foundation that has provided considerable support to pro-Palestinian activists since Oct. 7.

Fiscal sponsorship is an arrangement that allows an established nonprofit like WESPAC to process tax-deductible donations for allied groups without those groups themselves needing to register with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), according to the American Bar Association. NSJP, being a fiscally sponsored project of WESPAC, is not a distinct legal entity but rather part of WESPAC.

WESPAC, NSJP, the Palestinian Youth Movement, Writers Against the War in Gaza and Palestine Action did not respond to the DCNF’s requests for comment.

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Robert Schemed is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Protest” by Becker1999 CC2.0



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