Person

Johannah King-Slutzky

Nationality:

American

Known for:

Anti-Israel Student Activism

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Johannah King-Slutzky is a left-of-center political activist known as a spokesperson for anti-Israel student protesters at Columbia University during occupation-style demonstrations in 2024. While talking to reporters, she claimed that the situation of the protesters, who had occupied a building on campus, called for “basic humanitarian aid”and implied they were being starved. 1

King-Slutzky has written that she “worked as a political strategist for leftist and progressive causes and remain[s] active in the higher education labor movement.” 2

King-Slutzky was previously digital director of The Arena She also worked for BerlinRosen (also styled Berlin Rosen), a for-profit public-relations and campaign-communications consulting firm headquartered in New York City that works for Democratic campaigns, progressive nonprofit organizations, and labor unions. 3

According to Fox News, prior to joining The Arena, King-Slutzky had stated that “terrorism is the dream of politics” on her personal blog, which has been made private since May 2024. King-Slutzky described herself as a “full-service digital comms expert for progressive and leftist causes” on her LinkedIn page, which has been removed. 4

Education

As of early 2024, Johannah King-Slutzky was listed as a Ph.D. student at Columbia University. On her biography page, she lists romanticism, Marxism, environmental humanities, and ecocriticism as among her “research interests.” 5

King-Slutzky has stated that her “dissertation is on fantasies of limitless energy in the transatlantic Romantic imagination from 1760-1860.” She also stated that she aims to “write a prehistory of metabolic rift, Marx’s term for the disruption of energy circuits caused by industrialization under capitalism.” She also added that she was “particularly interested in theories of the imagination and poetry as interpreted through a Marxian lens.” 6

Anti-Israel Activism

The protests at Columbia University began in mid-April 2024, when demonstrators began setting up protest encampments on the main university grounds. According to The Guardian, the student protesters claimed they would occupy the campus lawn until Columbia University “divests from companies with ties to Israel.” The demands from the students align with Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (better known by its acronym BDS), an international campaign to delegitimize the State of Israel as the expression of the Jewish people’s right to national self-determination by isolating the country economically through consumer boycotts, business and government withdrawal of investment, and legal sanctions. 7 8 9

According to the BBC, as of early May 2024, around 140 colleges across 45 states joined the protest, leading to approximately 2,500 people being arrested nationwide. 10

After students broke into Hamilton Hall early on April 30, 2024, they hung a flag calling for “intifada” on the building. 11 12 King-Slutzky was a spokesperson for the protesters during a press conference with reporters regarding the occupation of Hamilton Hall. 13

When asked why Columbia University should “be obligated to provide food to people who’ve taken over a building,” King-Slutzky replied by stating the university should feel “obligated to provide food to students who pay for a meal plan here.” 14

She also stated, after being asked about a request for food and water to be brought to the protesters, that “it’s ultimately a question of what kind of community and obligation Columbia feels it has to its students.” 15

King-Slutzky proceeded to ask if the university wants “students to die of dehydration and starvation or get severely ill even if they disagree with you?” She then claimed that the student protesters’ situation called for “basic humanitarian aid,” rhetorically asking “could people please have a glass of water?” 16 17

One reporter noted that the students put themselves in the situation. King-Slutzky replied by claiming she was not asking for anything to be brought to the building, but was asking for the University “to not violently stop us from bringing in basic humanitarian aid.” 18

When asked if the school administration had been stopping supplies being delivered to the protesters, King-Slutzky stated the protesters were looking for commitment from the university that it would not attempt to stop any supplies being brought in, although she conceded that she did not know if there were any attempts made to stop any supplies. 19

Affiliated Organizations

Johannah King-Slutzky has written that she “worked as a political strategist for leftist and progressive causes and remain active in the higher education labor movement.” 20

According to the Post Millenial, King-Slutzky attended an event where the head of the United Auto Workers, a labor union historically comprised of American automobile manufacturing employees but that also includes unionized casino and higher-education workers, was speaking. 21 22

King-Slutzky was part of a graduate students’ strike in 2021. She spoke to Democracy Now!, a left-of-center media organization, regarding the graduate-student workers’ strike, stating that “we really see ourselves as part of a broader labor movement,” adding that she felt the graduate-student workers were “lambs being raised for the slaughter.” 23

King-Slutzky also worked for BerlinRosen (also styled Berlin Rosen), a for-profit public-relations and campaign-communications consulting firm headquartered in New York City that works for Democratic campaigns, left-wing nonprofit organizations, and labor unions, with a focus on New York. 24

King-Slutzky was previously digital director of The Arena. The Arena is a left-of-center advocacy organization that supports Democratic candidates and activists. The organization primarily focuses on state legislative races. The organization claims that it helped Democratic Party campaigns win majorities in the U.S. House of Representatives and New York State Senate in 2018, and helped President Joe Biden win election in 2020. 25 26 27

Controversial Statements

According to Fox News, prior to joining The Arena, King-Slutzky had stated that “terrorism is the dream of politics” on her personal blog, which was made private in May 2024. King-Slutzky added that terrorism is “compelling” because, she claimed, it asserts itself “as real,” which is “compelling” as it “halts criticism” and “fulfills the dream of the political.” 28 29

According to Fox News, King-Slutzky described herself as a “full-service digital comms expert for progressive and leftist causes” on her LinkedIn page, which was later removed. 30

References

  1. Emmons, Libby. “Columbia PhD student accuses school administrators of wanting ‘students to die of dehydration and starvation’ in occupied campus building.” Thepostmillennial.Com. April 30, 2024. Accessed May 20, 2024. https://thepostmillennial.com/columbia-phd-student-accuses-school-administrators-of-wanting-students-to-die-of-dehydration-and-starvation-in-occupied-campus-building.
  2. “Johannah King-Slutzky.” Columbia University. Accessed May 20, 2024. https://english.columbia.edu/content/johannah-king-slutzky.
  3. Arena. “Welcome the new members of Team Arena.” Arena. March 9, 2020. Accessed May 20, 2024. https://arena.run/blog/welcome-the-new-members-of-team-arena.
  4. Grossman, Hannah. “’West Point’ for Democratic operatives hired director who called terrorism the ‘dream of politics’.” Fox News. May 16, 2024. Accessed May 20, 2024. https://www.foxnews.com/media/west-point-democratic-operatives-hired-director-called-terrorism-dream-politics.
  5. “Johannah King-Slutzky.” Columbia University. Accessed May 20, 2024. https://english.columbia.edu/content/johannah-king-slutzky.
  6. “Johannah King-Slutzky.” Columbia University. Accessed May 20, 2024. https://english.columbia.edu/content/johannah-king-slutzky.
  7. Looker, Rachel. “Columbia University cancels main graduation amid protests.” BBC News. May 6, 2024. Accessed May 20, 2024. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-68965723.
  8. Aratani, Lauren. “Israel, Gaza and divestment: why are Columbia students protesting?.” The Guardian. April 22, 2024. Accessed May 20, 2024. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2024/apr/22/columbia-university-student-protests-israel-gaza.
  9. “Calling out BDS anti-Semitism.” Canadian Jewish News. August 26, 2015. Accessed May 20, 2024. https://thecjn.ca/perspectives/opinions/calling-bds-anti-semitism/.
  10. Looker, Rachel. “Columbia University cancels main graduation amid protests.” BBC News. May 6, 2024. Accessed May 20, 2024. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-68965723.
  11. Garger, Kenneth. “Violent pro-terror rioters shouting ‘Intifada!’ smash their way into Columbia University academic building in latest campus chaos.” April 30, 2024. Accessed May 20, 2024. https://nypost.com/2024/04/30/us-news/columbia-university-protesters-take-over-hamilton-hall/.
  12. “Definition of INTIFADA.” Merriam-Webster. May 3, 2024. Accessed May 20, 2024. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intifada.
  13. Emmons, Libby. “Columbia PhD student accuses school administrators of wanting ‘students to die of dehydration and starvation’ in occupied campus building.” Thepostmillennial.Com. April 30, 2024. Accessed May 20, 2024. https://thepostmillennial.com/columbia-phd-student-accuses-school-administrators-of-wanting-students-to-die-of-dehydration-and-starvation-in-occupied-campus-building.
  14.  Emmons, Libby. “Columbia PhD student accuses school administrators of wanting ‘students to die of dehydration and starvation’ in occupied campus building.” Thepostmillennial.Com. April 30, 2024. Accessed May 20, 2024. https://thepostmillennial.com/columbia-phd-student-accuses-school-administrators-of-wanting-students-to-die-of-dehydration-and-starvation-in-occupied-campus-building.
  15. Emmons, Libby. “Columbia PhD student accuses school administrators of wanting ‘students to die of dehydration and starvation’ in occupied campus building.” Thepostmillennial.Com. April 30, 2024. Accessed May 20, 2024. https://thepostmillennial.com/columbia-phd-student-accuses-school-administrators-of-wanting-students-to-die-of-dehydration-and-starvation-in-occupied-campus-building.
  16. [1] Emmons, Libby. “Columbia PhD student accuses school administrators of wanting ‘students to die of dehydration and starvation’ in occupied campus building.” Thepostmillennial.Com. April 30, 2024. Accessed May 20, 2024. https://thepostmillennial.com/columbia-phd-student-accuses-school-administrators-of-wanting-students-to-die-of-dehydration-and-starvation-in-occupied-campus-building.
  17. Wolfe, Deborah. “Humanitarian aid: what you need to know.” World Vision Canada . August 30, 2021. Accessed May 20, 2024. https://www.worldvision.ca/stories/disaster-relief/humanitarian-aid-and-assistance.
  18. Emmons, Libby. “Columbia PhD student accuses school administrators of wanting ‘students to die of dehydration and starvation’ in occupied campus building.” Thepostmillennial.Com. April 30, 2024. Accessed May 20, 2024. https://thepostmillennial.com/columbia-phd-student-accuses-school-administrators-of-wanting-students-to-die-of-dehydration-and-starvation-in-occupied-campus-building.
  19. Emmons, Libby. “Columbia PhD student accuses school administrators of wanting ‘students to die of dehydration and starvation’ in occupied campus building.” Thepostmillennial.Com. April 30, 2024. Accessed May 20, 2024. https://thepostmillennial.com/columbia-phd-student-accuses-school-administrators-of-wanting-students-to-die-of-dehydration-and-starvation-in-occupied-campus-building.
  20. “Johannah King-Slutzky.” Columbia University. Accessed May 20, 2024. https://english.columbia.edu/content/johannah-king-slutzky.
  21. Emmons, Libby. “Columbia PhD student accuses school administrators of wanting ‘students to die of dehydration and starvation’ in occupied campus building.” Thepostmillennial.Com. April 30, 2024. Accessed May 20, 2024. https://thepostmillennial.com/columbia-phd-student-accuses-school-administrators-of-wanting-students-to-die-of-dehydration-and-starvation-in-occupied-campus-building.
  22. Snavely, Brent. “UAW membership tops 400,000 for first time since ’08.” March 31, 2015. Accessed May 20, 2024. https://eu.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2015/03/31/uaw-membership-tops-first-time-since/70753012/.
  23. [1] Emmons, Libby. “Columbia PhD student accuses school administrators of wanting ‘students to die of dehydration and starvation’ in occupied campus building.” Thepostmillennial.Com. April 30, 2024. Accessed May 20, 2024. https://thepostmillennial.com/columbia-phd-student-accuses-school-administrators-of-wanting-students-to-die-of-dehydration-and-starvation-in-occupied-campus-building.
  24. Arena. “Welcome the new members of Team Arena.” Arena. March 9, 2020. Accessed May 20, 2024. https://arena.run/blog/welcome-the-new-members-of-team-arena.
  25. Arena. “Welcome the new members of Team Arena.” Arena. March 9, 2020. Accessed May 20, 2024. https://arena.run/blog/welcome-the-new-members-of-team-arena.
  26. Arena. “About.” Arena. November 3, 2023. Accessed May 20, 2024. https://arena.run/mission.
  27. Arena. “Impact.” Arena. November 3, 2023. Accessed May 20, 2024. https://arena.run/impact.
  28. Grossman, Hannah. “’West Point’ for Democratic operatives hired director who called terrorism the ‘dream of politics’.” Fox News. May 16, 2024. Accessed May 20, 2024. https://www.foxnews.com/media/west-point-democratic-operatives-hired-director-called-terrorism-dream-politics.
  29.  “King-Slutzky Blog (Private).” Wordpress. Accessed May 20, 2024. https://demosthenes310.wordpress.com/category/thats-capital/.
  30. Grossman, Hannah. “’West Point’ for Democratic operatives hired director who called terrorism the ‘dream of politics’.” Fox News. May 16, 2024. Accessed May 20, 2024. https://www.foxnews.com/media/west-point-democratic-operatives-hired-director-called-terrorism-dream-politics.
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