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Students from across the Universities of California call on regents to divest from Israeli human rights abuses


Yesterday, students, campus workers, and allies from across the University of California system were in Los Angeles to call on the UC Regents to listen to student voices and divest university funds from corporations that profit from human rights abuses against the Palestinian people. Following the UC Regents’ signing of the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investments in 2014 and clear votes in support of divestment by the University of California Student Association (UCSA), UC Graduate Student Worker Union (UAW 2865), and Student Governments on eight out of nine UC campuses, students are demanding the UC Regents ensure that the UCs reflect the values we all hold dear: freedom, justice, and equality.

The UCs are invested in the following corporations profiting from rights abuses, as documented by reputable human rights organizations:  Lockheed MartinRaytheonNorthrop GrummanBoeingCaterpillarCemexHPGeneral Electric3MPerrigo CompanyAtlas CopcoFord and Hyundai. Lockheed Martin, for example, manufactures Apache helicopters that have killed Palestinian civilians, including children, and Caterpillar supplies bulldozers to the Israeli military to demolish the homes of Palestinian families to make way for illegal Israeli settlements. Instead of investing in corporations that harm communities, universities should be investing in corporations that do business ethically.

Members representing the UCDivest campaign leading the march down UCLA campus. (Photo: Catharine Krebs)

Given the current political climate, it is critical that universities do all they can to support students and hear their concerns. Students, university workers, and allies are tired of their voices being ignored, despite widespread calls for action. The fact that eight of the nine UC campuses as well as the Graduate Student Worker Union and University of California Student Association have voted to support this campaign shows that there is overwhelming support for divestment and Palestinian rights at nearly every democratically elected decision-making body of the UC system.

The challenge now is to persuade the unelected body of UC Regents to heed the voices of the UC system and act to support human rights. Our money is our responsibility, and we are liable for the ways in which the UC invests out tuition dollars, especially if these investments impede upon the fundamental human rights of other people, including the families of Palestinian students on campus. If not us, who else will take responsibility for where our money is going and who it is hurting?

On Wednesday, March 14th, we delivered our demands directly to the UC Regents, as well as engaged in a day of education and movement building to strengthen the UC wide call for divestment. We were there, building lines of solidarity and for the future goals of our united communities.

After student pressure, the UC relented to the call for divestment from companies supporting Apartheid South Africa in the 1980s, from companies involved in human rights violations in Sudan in the 2000s, and from some of the worst corporate polluters and destroyers of the environment in the 2010s. We expect that the UC will see the call to respect Palestinian rights in the same terms as those prior calls and cease to invest in corporations whose activity is tied to the violation of human rights in Palestine and around the world. There is no other way to abide by the Principles for Responsible Investments which they signed onto, and no other way to respond to the democratic will of the student governments of the UC system.

We expect the University of California Regents to take action to demonstrate they truly support responsible investment. They have an opportunity to show they value human rights and freedom for all peoples.

Students for Justice in Palestine

Students for Justice in Palestine is a grassroots student-led organization that advocates for Palestinian freedom, justice and equality.

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8 Responses

  1. festus on March 15, 2018, 12:51 pm

    Bunch of anti-Semites no doubt. Or maybe just Putin puppets these days.

    • on March 16, 2018, 9:08 pm

      What ever they may be – their numbers are steadily growing

    • RoHa on March 16, 2018, 10:36 pm

      Very likely both.

  2. guyn on March 15, 2018, 4:50 pm

    All my respect to these students and workers.

    • JWalters on March 18, 2018, 6:52 pm

      My respect and thanks too. The student movement is crucial because most students have not yet been brainwashed, bribed, and blackmailed into the criminal network.

  3. Misterioso on March 16, 2018, 10:40 am

    The Electronic Intifada

    “AIPAC admits progressives are deserting Israel”
    By Michael F. Brown, Lobby Watch 16 March 2018


    “AIPAC sought to rally progressives to its side at its annual policy conference in Washington last week. Largely, it didn’t work.

    “The Israel lobby giant is simply on the wrong side of too many progressive concerns – and not just Palestinian rights, but free speech as well.

    “Legislation pushed last week by AIPAC has been criticized as a violation of the First Amendment.

    “The American Civil Liberties Union has acknowledged recent tweaks to the legislation that targets the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights.
    But the ACLU’s director Faiz Shakir and staff attorney Brian Hauss wrote US lawmakers on 6 March to tell them that the civil rights organization ‘continues to strongly urge you to oppose the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, S. 720.’

    “They noted that ‘the amended bill still unconstitutionally targets political boycotts for criminal penalties,’ and that if passed the ACLU would consider mounting a court challenge.
    AIPAC officials were well aware of the problematic nature of the legislation in briefing their supporters the day before their 6 March lobby day.”

    • on March 17, 2018, 10:21 am

      ACLU is no joke. Dems will have a hard time explaining support for a bill that a well respected legal org clearly states is unconstitutional.

      If the Palestinian movement had the dollars the Zionists had (or even a 10th of the amount) a full public awareness campaign could be launched detailing how the bill encroaches on peoples constitutional right to boycott – I bet public support to kill the bill would come from both the left and right voters.

      Let’s hope more MSM coverage is provided and without slant. Constitutional rights is a hot topic these days.

      • Citizen on March 18, 2018, 4:38 am

        With Trump’s pick for federal Civil Rights lead in that seat?

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