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Documentary: UMdivest

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Watch this inspirational film by Beatriz Lozano documenting how Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (SAFE) activists at University of Michigan refused to let go, and with the support of hundreds of allies from dozens of student organizations across their campus galvanized student support and “changed the game” during their week-long sit-in, and proposal of a resolution to the U-M Central Student Government urging their university to divest from socially irresponsible companies complicit in violations of Palestinian human rights. The event captivated activists across the nation which will result, ultimately, in a victory for Palestine and activism on campus. Some truly moving footage.

I knew a storm was coming, I knew the emotion would change into action that would change the face of activism on this campus for years to come.



Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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11 Responses

  1. HarryLaw on May 8, 2014, 3:50 pm

    Persistence is the key, many thanks to those wonderful students who staged the sit in and forced an apology from the student President. When I see actions like this I am reminded of the keynote speaker in the litigating Palestine event at Hastings College, Jules Lobel gave a wonderful and witty speech here I’m sure you remember that Annie, his theme was even though you may lose a case, don’t give up, the logic and truth of your argument prevails over a greater number of people than you can imagine. For those who have not seen the speech, I highly recommend it.

    • annie on May 8, 2014, 5:08 pm

      yes yes yes! of course i remember. i was just talking to civil rights attorney liz jackson about that very speech last week! thank you for the brilliant reminder harry. i may have even commented about that speech once before here but now i have the link.

  2. Kay24 on May 8, 2014, 4:46 pm

    With hasbara trained and thriving in campuses, these students had an uphill battle to climb. It is heartening to see them go on undeterred by the opposition. An opposition that must have support and direction from far more powerful entities, who are terrified that sanctions and boycotts will take firm root in the US, and will desperately try to stop it. Good luck to all students who have decided to fight for powerless Palestinian people, they are showing other Americans the way.

  3. annie on May 8, 2014, 11:33 pm

  4. Daniel Rich on May 9, 2014, 5:00 am

    Thanks , Annie!

    • annie on May 9, 2014, 11:32 am

      daniel, the energy in the room and on social media last night over this resolution at UCD was just wonderful and overwhelming and unifying. i think students are going to try getting this on the ballot. the overwhelming support (in the room) was for divestment. the arguments on the other side, some of them were so lame is was almost incredulous. there are no words to describe the contrast in the ‘sides’. and it remains the overwhelming argument of the pro israel team was hurt feelings and how much the resolution divided the campus. but isn’t that the nature of politics and elections. we wouldn’t have elections in democracies, certainly not presidential elections, if this argument held water. people are allowed to vote in national elections at 18. at some point you have to buckle up and get over how “hurtful” it is to have an opposition! i mean, so what? how fragile are these students who claim they are personally hurt? it’s such a lame argument. as if any losing side isn’t going to feel less or more socially alienated. why should anyone privilege pro oppressor supporting feelings over those representing the oppressed?

      it’s crazy logic, and that’s all they’ve got. i just read, someone posted on one of these threads, UCLA is getting pledges students running for senate won’t take free trips to israel or lobby supported trips to aipac or something.

  5. Zach S on May 9, 2014, 9:11 am

    Was this included in the documentary?

    • annie on May 9, 2014, 11:22 am

      Was this included in the documentary?

      too busy to watch it? you crack me up. and this guy claims he was prevented from attending class for a week because of harassment! did the dog eat his homework too? and where’s the evidence anyone claimed “blacks must vote to divest?”

      divestment is non violent action. if he’s claiming the movement is not peaceful, support for the occupation (which is what investment in occupation amounts to) is definitely not peaceful.

      • Zach S on May 9, 2014, 11:51 am

        Annie: it’s called a hypothetical question. Obviously that clip was not included in the documentary because the creators weren’t interested in telling the whole truth, especially about the death threats, anti-Semitism, and harassment dished out by the pro-divestment students.

        This student, among many others was threatened by your allies, and your response is to call him a liar. I’m curious why you think anyone should believe you over him and the pro-divestment students. He has no agenda, whereas you obviously do.

      • annie on May 9, 2014, 5:52 pm

        especially about the death threats, anti-Semitism, and harassment dished out by the pro-divestment students.

        This student, among many others was threatened by your allies,

        zach, this is the same kind of hogwash that was claimed at UCSC by the lying islamophobe Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, which was investigated by the WH civil rights office. they found no foundations for these claims. none. if this guy couldn’t attend classes for a week i am sure the school would have investigated this.

        meanwhile the purpose of this documentary was to tell these students stories. if stand with us wants to produce a video with all the testimonies of pro occupation kids saying how unsafe they feel, or whatever whining claims they have, let them do so,no one is stopping them.

        and as for telling the “whole truth”, where’s the little video produced by “Legal Insurrection”, the group that produced your video telling the “whole truth”? rather hypocritical of you don’t you think?

      • tree on May 9, 2014, 6:57 pm

        you crack me up. and this guy claims he was prevented from attending class for a week because of harassment!

        He claimed that he missed classes for a week because of emails. How can an email prevent you from attending class? Seriously? He couldn’t attend class but he could show up to speak against the divestment proposal? That makes no sense. Why didn’t he produce the emails or file a complaint about the emails? All he did was make an unsubstantiated claim. It appears that the anti-divestment people can’t make an argument on the merits so they have to stoop to making unsubstantiated claims about harassment. Zach is in the same boat. He’s got no argument, just unsubstantiated claims.

        And from this clip we have no idea what his agenda is, other than to make claims that do not speak directly to the issue at hand. That kind of comment clearly shows he does have an agenda. And it appears to be the same as yours, Zach.

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