Check out these articles about our UMN Divest campaign!
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March 22, 2016
“One resolution asked our University to invest responsibly and therefore divest from companies that profit from human rights violations in Palestine. The Minnesota Daily stated that the resolution was “calling for the University to divest from companies involved with certain Israeli interactions with Palestine.”
The wording here is extremely troubling, as using the phrase “certain Israeli interactions with Palestine” downplays the severity of human rights violations and creates a rather one-sided journalistic piece. This piece screams yellow journalism by unethically ignoring facts and understating the severity of U.N.-recognized human rights violations.”
The Electronic Intifada Podcast
March 16, 2016
“Students say that Kaler took claims from Israel advocates at their word instead of doing a minimum of research into what the BDS campaign actually represents. SJP stated they are disappointed — but not surprised — by Kaler’s statement. “President Kaler fails to distinguish between the actual goals of our campaign and the false accusations that have been attributed to the larger BDS movement,” SJP remarks.”
March 15, 2016
“In exposing the cynicism of authorities and galvanizing grassroots student activism, #UMNDivest has already accomplished some of the key goals of a BDS campaign. Like all divestment campaigns, it’s also forced a public discussion that Israel and its supporters are desperate to stifle. “Our goal was to educate people,” Rashid noted in describing the campaign’s accomplishments. “People went home thinking about Palestine, and that’s why we’re doing this.”
Fight Back News
March 15, 2016
“The group remains resolved to continue the struggle for BDS on campus. Student body President Joelle Stangler also decried striking the resolutions off the agenda and the interference of the president suggesting that, “we need to seriously consider whether we can ask our peers to support the institution,” since President Kaler began “intervening with student discussions.”
SJP’s Rula Rashid concluded her speech saying, “we will not be silenced.” Javaris Bradford of the BSU echoed this resolve to continue to struggle when he challenged the audience, stating that, “if you’re not uncomfortable, you’re not helping.”
Palestine in America
March 10, 2016
“Student government exists to be representative of the larger student body. As students at the University of Minnesota, we had every right to bring forth a resolution and discuss it in student government with fellow students. Unfortunately, the student government did not agree. They found a resolution concerning our complicity in human rights violations of people halfway across the world uncomfortable and not worthy of their time. This action was disrespectful to our tradition of student engagement. It silenced marginalized voices,” the statement read.
March 9, 2016
“Rula Rashid, the president for Students for Justice in Palestine, said MSA’s removal of the resolutions was unfair to the students the group is supposed to represent. She said a college student government refusing to discuss an issue that is important to many students denies students proper voice. “This is a place for students to be able to voice their concerns. If we strike down two resolutions, two identities, two groups of people, who do students go to in the future?” Rashid said during the meeting.”
Palestine in America
March 8, 2016
“I think it is frustrating that the timing of these two resolutions has created such a binary atmosphere. It’s really polarized the situation and made it seem more negative to support human rights. But we believe in our resolution and our allies’ support. We are focusing on our resolution. It clearly speaks for itself, we ask only that our university divest from two American companies and promise not to invest in one British company and one Israeli company because all four of them are profiting off human rights violations in Palestine. This would keep our tradition of supporting human rights alive and well, after our divestment from South Africa in 1985 and Sudan in 2007,” UMN Divest organizer Sara Halimah said to Palestine in America.”
March 7, 2016
“This resolution is not here to condemn a country, to target a people, or to determine a political solution to the Palestine/Israel conflict. This resolution is simply asking our University to work towards financial neutrality and to refuse to be complicit in violations of international law.
Our University has previously divested from South Africa and Sudan for their role in violations of international law. We as students see it as a responsibility to hold our University accountable to the standard that it has set for itself in standing against human rights violations. We ask that our University work to adhere to our Social Responsibility Investments clause. We also seek more transparency in our public institution’s financial activities.”
March 3, 2016
“On February 15th, Students for Justice in Palestine at the University of Minnesota (SJPUMN) launched their UMN Divest campaign #UMNDivest. They created an attractive graphic for their campaign, note the olive branch (above). I then found the following graphic on the Academic Engagement Network(AEN) Facebook page crudely mimicking the UMNDivest graphic with the inclusion of a swastika in place of the olive branch.
AEN was established by Mark Yudof, former president of both the University of California and the University of Minnesota, to enlist pro-Israel faculty to ‘catalyze campuses’ against BDS on U.S. colleges and universities. AEN is not responsible for creating the swastika graphic, but points to Students Supporting Israel at the University of Minnesota (SSI) in a Facebook statement.”
March 3, 2016
“The accusation that removing the University of Minnesota’s investments from four companies that profit from violent oppression would be anti-Semitic completely misses the mark. Instead, many Jews do not feel their Jewish values are being represented by the Israeli government in regards to Palestinians.”
Palestine in America
February 24, 2016
“According to the press release, the resolution is targeting four corporations—Caterpillar, Elbit Systems, Group 4 Securicor (G4S), and Raytheon. These companies are complicit in various human rights abuses against Palestinians. So, the coalition of students and faculty want the University of Minnesota Students Association to pass the resolution that urges the University of Minnesota’s administration to remove, or divest the school’s financial investments in the aforementioned companies.
“It is very connected to our campus in that we are actually invested in companies that profit off of the occupation and abuse of the Palestinian people’s rights. So we do feel very strongly that this is important to change on our campus. At the UMN, we have a history of divesting from situations of human rights violations, such as with South Africa and Sudan. We wish to continue that tradition with this as well,” UMN Divest and SJP member Sara Halimah told Palestine in America.”
February 18, 2016
“‘Students, rightfully so, are very tired of the slow processes that have happened for years, months,’ said Vice Provost of Student Affairs Danita Brown Young at a meeting between administrators and student leaders. Considering that student activism is rarely so straightforward and low-risk, we urge the University to react to SJP’s call for divestment as a show that it is responsive to student concerns.”