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Ana Y. Ramos-Zayas and Mérida M. Rúa

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781479805198

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479805198.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 27 June 2022

Puerto Rico, Palestine, and the Politics of Resistance and Surveillance at the University of Illinois Chicago Circle

Puerto Rico, Palestine, and the Politics of Resistance and Surveillance at the University of Illinois Chicago Circle

Chapter:
(p.197) 15 Puerto Rico, Palestine, and the Politics of Resistance and Surveillance at the University of Illinois Chicago Circle
Source:
Critical Dialogues in Latinx Studies
Author(s):

Sara Awartani

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479805198.003.0016

This chapter uncovers a little-known story of Puerto Rican and Arab American coalition building at the University of Illinois Chicago Circle (UICC) to begin considering the ways Chicago Puerto Ricans sharpened their political identities in conversation with the struggle for Palestinian liberation. It demonstrates how Puerto Rican solidarities with Palestine emerged not only as global visions of liberation, but also through grounded modes of identification—in this case, in response to the policing and surveillance of UICC’s 1978 Israeli Independence Day protest. I argue that it was precisely Puerto Rican and Arab American student activists’ concerns about surveillance and political repression that facilitated coalition building in Chicago. By locating the Israeli Independence Day celebration within a broader history of surveillance and counterintelligence, these Puerto Rican students mobilized the protests to articulate their own relationship to an aggressive, imperialist state. It was partly through the struggle for Palestinian self-determination that Chicago Puerto Ricans learned to think and operate within a “Third World” revolutionary political condition.

Keywords:   Puerto Rico, Palestine, student activism, political repression, Chicago

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