UToronto and York students launch BDS campaign - Macleans.ca

UToronto and York students launch BDS campaign

Demand universities divest from companies “involved in violations of Palestinian human rights”

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On Monday March 7, the first day of Israeli Apartheid Week in Toronto, Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) at the University of Toronto announced the official launch of its joint Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions [BDS] campaign with SAIA at York University.

Making brief reference to a similar campaign going on at Carleton University, SAIA U of T announced the new campaign, demanding that the university divest from four companies, claiming that “current investments in these four companies suggests it is complacent in war crimes.”

BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman, Hewlett Packard and Lockheed Martin were identified as contributors to “violations of international law by the Israeli state,” and named as the target of the York/U of T campaign.

According to SAIA’s research, the University of Toronto holds $1,746,000 and $1,157,000 worth of shares in BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman respectively. (Figures for Hewlett Packard and Lockheed Martin were unknown.)

Students are demanding that the universities divest from the four companies and refrain from investing in other companies that are “involved in violations of international law.”

The petition demands are posted below.

We, the undersigned, demand that:

(1) The University of Toronto and York University divest from and refuse to reinvest in BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman, Hewlett Packard and Lockheed Martin;

(2) The University of Toronto and York University refrain from investing in all companies involved in violations of international law. With respect to Palestine, this entails following the guidelines put forth by Students for Justice in Palestine in the historic divestment by Hampshire College:

The University of Toronto and York University should refrain from investing in companies that:

a) Provide products or services that contribute to the maintenance of the Israeli military occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as well as the Syrian Golan Heights;

b) Provide products or services that contribute to the maintenance and expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories;

c) Establish facilities or operations in Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories;

d) Provide products or services that contribute to the maintenance and construction of the Wall;

e) Provide products or services that contribute to violent acts that target either Israeli or Palestinian civilians.