U of M professor: ‘I hope you seek to dismantle the United States’

The professor also described Palestine as the "alternative path for Native nations" and a "righteous struggle."

“I hope that you seek to dismantle the United States,” said Melanie Yazzie, a University of Minnesota professor, pictured on the far left. (The Red Nation/YouTube)

At a recent event called “From Minnesota to Palestine,” left-wing activists and two University of Minnesota professors organized a panel discussion in which participants advocated for the destruction of the United States, Israel, and other nations around the world.

“The United States does not have a right to exist. Israel does not have a right to exist. Australia, New Zealand, all of these settler colonial projects do not have a right to exist.”

To applause from the audience, those words were spoken by panelist Justine Tiba, a member of The Red Nation, the organization that organized the panel, independent journalist Stu Smith reported. The Red Nation is a “queer- and femme-led” revolutionary socialist organization that supports “peoples who resist colonizers.”

Nick Estes, a professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota and co-founder of The Red Nation, said that hating Palestinians and Indigenous people “is the default position” of Americans.

Estes also said Minnesota’s name is a phrase that has been “bastardized by this settler state.” He went on to criticize “street names that are named after genociders” and referred to Fort Snelling as a “concentration camp.”

“Everywhere we turn in this settler colonial state we see genocide and we see the celebration of genociders,” Estes said.

“I hope that you seek to dismantle the United States,” said Melanie Yazzie, a University of Minnesota professor who teaches “Indigenous feminism,” “Marxism,” “settler colonialism,” and “queer Indigenous studies.”

“The United States, also built on stolen land like the settler nation of Israel, does not have the authority to speak in this place and on this land,” said Yazzie. “It is the Indigenous people, who belong to Indigenous nations that predate the advent of the United States and that will be here after the United States is gone, that have the authority.” Yazzie is another co-founder of The Red Nation.

She continued, saying that “land back is non-negotiable.” “Land back is going to happen. That’s going to happen in the Indigenous perspective in Turtle Island and how we understand what is also happening in Palestine.” Yazzie said that the members of The Red Nation are “all Indigenous people who come from nations who are under occupation by the United States government” and that the “occupation” of Native land in the United States is “one and the same” with Israel’s “occupation of Palestinian land.”

“So, it’s our responsibility as people who are within the United States to go as hard as possible to decolonize this place because that will reverberate all across the world, because the U.S. is the greatest predator empire that has ever existed,” Yazzie said. “The goal is to dismantle the settler project that is the United States.”

Additionally, the former chairman of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s state representative campaign, David Gilbert Pederson, joined the panel.

Praising the actions of “radicals” and “militants,” Pederson described the destruction of the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct by saying the local community rose up and “burned the pig pen to the ground.”

Pederson continued, “In the Philippines as Indigenous lands are taken over and more and more Indigenous folks are pushed into the cities, more and more Indigenous fighters are joining the armed resistance and they in turn are burning down the worst polluters, the worst military and paramilitary offenders in the community. And that is what happened, collectively, for the people of Palestine on Oct. 7.”

Oct. 7 was the day Hamas terrorists attacked Israel, slaughtering innocent women and children.

“Our job is to stand in unconditional solidarity with those resisting oppression,” Pederson said. “Our job is not to critique what resistance movements are doing around the world, it’s to stand with those resisting.”


Hayley Feland

Hayley Feland previously worked as a journalist with The Minnesota Sun, The Wisconsin Daily Star, and The College Fix. She is a Minnesota native with a passion for politics and journalism.