'Finally, the spectacular, mushrooming British campus occupation form of solidarity (which includes calls for divestment) has reached US shores.
With all the recent, promising BDS developments happening across the US, the success of the Adalah-NY campaign against Lev Leviev Diamonds company, the BDS focus of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (particularly their Hang Up on Motorola campaign), one can only be hopeful that, this time around, the BDS movement in the US is becoming more institutionalized, sustainable and able to grow, like in the UK, South Africa and elsewhere.
The British student campus occupation movement is coalescing, affiliating with PSC and the anti-war movement, thereby guaranteeing sustainability and growth. Shall we expect a similar direction in the US student movement for justice in Palestine?
University of Rochester Students for a Democratic Society (UR-SDS)
University of Rochester
Rochester, NY 14627
U of R Students to Occupy Academic Building for Peace and in Solidarity with Gaza
Rochester, NY - 02/05/09-- Students from the University of Rochester and members of the local Rochester community will be occupying an academic building on campus tomorrow for peace and in solidarity with the people Gaza and in opposition to U.S. support for the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and the recent atrocities in Gaza. The action, organized by U of R Students for a Democratic Society (UR-SDS), will begin on the afternoon of Friday, February 6 and will last until the University of Rochester administration meets the demands put forward.
The demands are:
1. Divestment: We demand the University of Rochester to adopt the "UR-Peaceful Investing Initiative" which institutes a peaceful investment policy to the university's endowment which includes divestment from corporations that manufacturer weapons and profit from war. (For example, the U of R invests in General Dynamics which manufactures weapons to maintain a 41-year occupation of the Palestinian territories and wars which slaughter Palestinian civilians by the 100s)
2. Humanitarian aid: We demand that the University of Rochester commit to a day of fundraising for humanitarian aid in Gaza within the next two weeks, as part of an ongoing commitment to provide financial support for the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
3. Academic aid: We demand that the University of Rochester twin with the devastated Gaza University and provide the necessary academic aid (e.g., recycled computers, books, etc. ).
4. Scholarships: We demand that the University of Rochester grant a minimum of five scholarships to Palestinian students every year.
The recent war on Gaza has devastated Gazan society, taken hundreds of innocent lives, and has escalated the ongoing humanitarian crisis. Given the United States' central role in supporting the war in Gaza and a harsh 41-year military occupation of the Palestinian territories, the students' actions are to express solidarity with the Palestinian people and their struggle for life and peace.
The student occupation will feature a number of informational and peaceful consciousness raising events such as public talks, teach-ins, and sit-ins. The action was inspired by a wave of student occupations that occurred in 16 universities in England following the Israeli assault on Gaza.
This event is organized by the University of Rochester Students for a Democratic Society (UR-SDS), a local chapter of the national Students for a Democratic Society. UR-SDS was founded in the Fall 2008 semester and seeks to effect progressive social change on campus through educational events and direct actions.
For Regular Updates on events see: http://prometheus.scp.rochester.edu/ursds/blog'