Content warning: This article contains mentions of violence regarding the Israel-Hamas War and police violence.

On Oct. 25th, 2023, newspapers parodying The Daily Northwestern were found across campus, calling out the University and press for their complicity in the genocide of Palestinians in Gaza. Following outcry from parties not affiliated with the University to press charges against the students behind the parody, the Northwestern University Police Department (NUPD) launched an investigation to identify those responsible. Now, Student Publishing Company (SPC), the parent company of The Daily Northwestern, is pressing Class A misdemeanor charges – a crime classification that includes battery and aggravated assault – against two Black Northwestern students. If convicted, the students could face jail time and/or a substantial fine as well as a permanent mark on their criminal record.

This situation is yet another instance of a widespread effort to silence pro-Palestinian voices, disproportionately impacting people of color. Across the country, students at universities that pride themselves in protecting First Amendment rights are being punished  for exercising their rights while hundreds are killed daily in occupied Palestine by our tax dollars.

Along with the gross overcharge, the approach NUPD took in contacting these students was nothing short of a spectacle, causing them undue emotional distress. On Nov. 10th. NUPD officers traveled well out of their usual jurisdiction to one student’s Chicago apartment, leaving a note under their door after only attempting to call them once that same day. On Nov. 15th, multiple officers stopped the second student at their classroom door, fully uniformed in bulletproof vests and sporting body cameras.

We are watching the targeting of Black students at this University continue without accountability. This is a symptom of the very over-policing Black students organized against last year after the University announced it would use private security to remove them from campus buildings at night; like from 2020 to 2022, when Northwestern University Community Not Cops’s (NUCNC) protests to invest in Black students were met with riot police, pepper spray and arrests. In 1968, the B100 took over the Bursar’s office to protest discriminatory practices by the University. We reiterate their unmet demands for the University to divest from policing and invest in community instead.

We will not fall for the University’s efforts to fearmonger. As members of the Northwestern community – an environment that has proven time and time again its hostility to its students – we have a duty to protect each other and refuse to be silenced.

We call on staffers of The Daily to side with its fellow students, rather than outside interests, and urge SPC to drop the charges.

We ask all members of the community to contact Northwestern administration, telling them to urge SPC to drop the charges and demanding they do more to protect Palestinian and pro-Palestinian voices.

Michael Schill, President, [email protected], (847) 491-7456

Kathleen Hagerty, Provost, [email protected], (847) 491-5117

Emily Babb, Associate VP for Civil Rights & Title IX Compliance, [email protected], (847) 491-3355

Susan Davis, Vice President of Student Affairs, [email protected], (847) 491-5360

We ask community members to show support by adding their name to our petition, demanding the charges are dropped.

We stand with our fellow students in spite of efforts to silence them. And we will continue the fight to ensure all voices are heard on our campus.

Until liberation,

Northwestern University Student Liberation Union

Students for Justice in Palestine Northwestern University

Jewish Wildcats for Ceasefire

Middle Eastern North African Medical Student Association


Muslim-cultural Students Association

Middle Eastern North African Student Association

Asian Pacific American Coalition

Korean American Student Association

Students for Justice in Palestine Urbana-Champaign

NU Educators for Justice in Palestine

ColorStack at Northwestern

Harakat Dabke Team

Alianza – the Latinx Student Alliance

Northwestern College Feminists


Let This Radicalize You Student Reading Group

Dale Duro Latin Dance Co.

Ballet Folklórico Northwestern

Out in STEM (oSTEM) NU

Northwestern Muslim Mental Health Initiative (MMHI)

For Members Only (FMO)

Northwestern Chapter of National Society of Black Engineers

Pakistani Students Association

African Student Association

Northwestern’s Physicians For Human Rights, Undergraduate Chapter

National Alzheimer’s Buddies Northwestern Chapter

SNMA at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Health Equity Group at Feinberg School of Medicine

Students Organizing for Labor Rights (SOLR)

Black Mentorship Program

Soul4Real A Cappella

The Impact Movement at Northwestern University

The Jasmine Collective

Northwestern University Community for Human Rights

Northwestern Community Ensemble

Fossil Free Northwestern

Minority Association of Premedical Students (MAPS)

Black Health and Wellness Collaborative

The Subcontinent Project

Ambedkar Du Bois Society

Rainbow Alliance


Northwestern Thrift Store

Elevating Deaf Voices (EDV)

Students for Justice in Palestine Columbia College Chicago

Alithia Zamantakis, Research Faculty, Feinberg School of Medicine

Zach Wood-Doughty, Faculty, Computer Science

Feinberg Muslim Student Association

Shirin Vossoughi, Faculty, School of Education & Social Policy

Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)

William R. Leonard, Faculty, Global Health Studies & Anthropology

Charlayne Mitchell, Faculty, Global Health Studies

Shalini Shankar, Faculty, Asian American Studies & Anthropology

Michael Rakowitz, Faculty, Department of Art Theory and Practice

Thomas Gaubatz, Faculty, Department of Asian Languages and Cultures

Mary Pattillo, Sociology and Black Studies

Kihana Miraya Ross, Black Studies

Kennetta Hammond Perry, Black Studies

Jalin Jackson, Black Studies

Marquis Bey, Black Studies

Justin L. Mann, English and Black Studies

Logan Phillips, Black Studies

Moya Bailey, Communication Studies

Lauren M. Jackson, English and Black Studies

Brannon Ingram, Religious Studies

Miguel Giron, History

Wendy Pearlman, Political Science

Brown Sugar A Cappella

Northwestern University Muslim Alumni (NUMA)

Northwestern University Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (NU-SACNAS) Graduate Student Chapter

Ruslana Lichtzier, Art History & MENA & Critical Theory

Chinese Students Association

National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA)

Matriculate @ NU

MENA Graduate Students

Miriam J. Petty, RTVF and Black Studies

NU Kaibigan (Philippine Students Association)

Mounica Sreesai, Anthropology

Josh Honn, Librarian Faculty, University Libraries

Elham Hoominfar, Faculty, Global Health Studies Program

Beatriz O. Reyes, Faculty, Global Health Studies Program

George Abraham, MENA Studies and Creative Writing

Allison Gibeily, English & MENA Studies

Youssef Boucetta, Comparative Literary Studies

Jackson Krause, Anthropology

Megha Summer Pappachen, Political Science

Chaplain Tahera Ahmad, CIC Northwestern University

Salma Mostafa, Sociology

Editor’s note: This letter's content may not align with the views of every registered member in each of the mentioned organizations. Furthermore, the opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of North by Northwestern staffers.

If you wish to publicly respond to this opinion piece, you can send a Letter to the Editor to [email protected]