Peoples Organization for Progress, NJ Civil Rights Organizations, Expresses Support for Student Protests Across the US


PO BOX 22505

NEWARK, NJ 07101

973 801-0001


APRIL 30, 2024



The People’s Organization For Progress (POP) expressed support today for protests taking place on college and university campuses across the nation calling for an end to Israel’s war in Gaza and for their schools to divest from companies doing business with that country. 

“The People’s Organization For Progress (POP)

supports the students and faculty members who are protesting at Princeton, Rutgers, Columbia and all other schools across the nation demanding an end to the genocidal war in Gaza,” Lawrence Hamm, chairman and founder, People’s Organization For Progress stated.

Hamm is also a U.S. Senate Candidate who is running in the New Jersey Democratic Primary Election which will be held on June 4th. POP is a 42 year-old grassroots organization that works for racial, social, economic justice and peace. 

“We support all of the students demands including an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Israel’s genocidal war in Gaza, and divestment of their colleges and universities from companies that profit from or engage in Israel’s ongoing military campaign, occupation, and apartheid policies, practices, and institutions,” Hamm said. 

“POP condemns repressive measures that have been used by university administrations to interfere with, impede, or suppress students free speech rights and their right to protest on this issue,” he said. 

“We especially disapprove of the police being brought on campuses to break up peaceful student protests. The police have brutalized and hurt students and violated their constitutional rights,” he said. 

“Rather than having students beaten up by the police, college presidents and administrators should engage the protestors. They should have serious negotiations with the students to meet their demands,” he said. 

“Furthermore, during these protests there have been students and faculty that have been arrested, fired, dismissed, and banned. POP demands total amnesty for all protestors,” he said. 

“We call for all those that are jailed to be released, all charges to be dropped, and all bans to be lifted. We demand all faculty that have been fired and students that have been suspended or dismissed to be reinstated,” he said. 

Hamm who is an alumnus of Princeton University, class of 78, spoke at a student rally on that campus last week. He discussed the movement for divestment from apartheid South Africa when he was a student there. 

“Our campaign began in my freshman year. We had protests, educational forums, and other activities for several years. Then by 1978 in my senior year we decided to intensify our activity,” he said. 

“On February 1st that year we began daily protests which lasted sixty-six days. This culminated in more than 200 students, including myself, taking over Nassau Hall. Afterwards the university divested from several companies doing business with South Africa,” Hamm said. 

“During our entire campaign the police were never called. No one was arrested, fired or expelled from school. All of us graduated. It seems that there is less tolerance for free speech, freedom of assembly and protest today than there was forty-six years ago,” he said. 

“I commend the courage and commitment of the students who are protesting today and taking a stand against war, oppression and genocide. I commend them for supporting the self-determination and liberation of the Palestinian people,” he said. 

“In time history will show that they were right to protest, just as it has shown that those who protested against the wars in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan were also right to do so,” he said.