A Palestinian-born NYU professor, Amin Husain, is one of the co-founders of Decolonize This Place, the group that vandalized New York City's subways last month, The New York Post reported.
On January 31, the group organized demonstrations in different subway stations, calling for “no cops in the MTA, free transit [and] no harassment.” Several stations throughout the city were marked with anti-police graffiti such as “F–k cops, f–k MTA,” and glue was poured inside the MetroCard readers. The group also chained some emergency service doors to allow people to enter free of charge. 13 people were arrested and damages were estimated at $100,000.
Husain recently deleted most of his social media posts so exactly what role he might have played in the demonstrations is not known, The New York Post reported.
Palestinian-born, Husain is a founding member of NYC Solidarity with Palestine, which describes itself as "seeking to broaden the work being done on Palestine by opening up more expansive spaces of resistances."
He also has spoken publicly about attacking Israeli soldiers during the first Palestinian Intifada. “I was throwing rocks, Molotov cocktails, the like,” he said at a pro-Palestinian rally in Times Square in July 2016 captured on a YouTube video, The New York Post reported.
Husain has also directed and produced the documentary film On This Land that "weaves together the Palestinian landscape with a multitude of voices from the Occupied Territories in order to understand Israeli domination and look with the Palestinians at the future of their struggle," according to the film's website. At NYU, Hussain teaches activism and in some of his workshop, he uses Direct Action Front for Palestine, an anti-Israeli group, as case studies, The New York Post highlights.
While the Decolonize This Place movement calls for action on different issues, one of its main goals is "Free Palestine," calling for the boycott of Israel.
"Israel is a settler colonial project, an illegal occupation, that is slowly genociding Palestinians. Also, it trains the NYPD," the group wrote on Instagram a few weeks before the anti-police demonstrations in New York's subway.
"No matter the laws passed, the oppression, etc, we do not abandon growing the boycott, divest and sanction movement of Israel. Solidarity with Palestine is our strategic choice," the group also wrote on Instagram.