Students for Justice in Palestine at UCLA
Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) is a diverse group of students and community members at UCLA, organized on democratic principles to promote justice, human rights, liberation, and self-determination for the Palestinian people. As an advocacy group, SJP believes that key principles grounded in international law, human rights, and basic standards of justice, dictate concrete steps that will be fundamental to a fair and lasting resolution to the oppression of the Palestinian people. One of the core ways we achieve our goals is through educational programing to help spread understanding and co-organizing with like-minded organizations that work across a wide range of struggles and issues to emphasize solidarity and the interrelatedness of global movements.
Statement of Opposition to UC Profit from War
For years, the University of California has invested in companies that profit from war, exploitation of natural resources, and destruction of communities both at home and abroad. Students and workers produce the vast majority of the economic value of the UC, yet they have no influence over how their money is used. Money from investments is either spent on funding the war industry or is concentrated in the hands of the Regents and Administrators. Even the proposed tuition hikes would likely be used to invest more money into the war industry, feeding a vicious cycle of human suffering. In response, we are calling for the UC to withdraw all of its investments from these ethically indefensible corporations. The goal of divesting in this way is to hold these institutions accountable for their participation in perpetuating war and oppression. Through divestment, we can cut off the arms of the imperialist war machine.
Historically, this strategy has been adopted to fight South African apartheid, the Darfur genocide in Sudan, ethnic cleansing in Palestine, as well as other oppressive regimes. In the cases of South Africa and Sudan, UC regents have capitulated to pressure from students and community groups and voted to divest. In November 2014, the Undergraduate Student Association Council (USAC) passed a divestment resolution proposed by UCLA Students for Justice in Palestine. In the following academic year, USAC changed the bylaw pertaining to resolutions making it so that bylaws are only in effect for one academic year. Therefore, the divestment resolution passed in 2014 was no longer in effect and it was not renewed by the new council.
Through the University of California Retirement Plan (UCRP)—the UC’s main investment vehicle--the UC has some of its largest holdings in the deplorable investment management firm BlackRock, which is also the largest investor in weapons manufacturing in the United States. UCRP also has its own holdings in companies like Lockheed Martin, the largest defense contractor in the world, the top supplier of the US military, and a pivotal provider for the Israeli military. BlackRock wields unparalleled influence in the fossil fuel industry and continues to profit from fossil fuel-based energy, despite widespread calls for divestment. Additionally, the UC invests in enterprises whose actions fly in the face of its principles while simultaneously declaring its commitment to sustainability and diversity. Partially funded by UC investment, the US military is one of the largest polluters in the world, surpassing 140 independent countries in emissions. Finally, the bombs, bulldozers, bullets, and planes produced by the business partners of the UC go to states that use them to kill, maim, and drive out black and brown people across the world, many of whom are friends and relatives of UC students.
We call on students to unite in showing their opposition to the University’s despicable profiting from death. Spread this statement and sign this petition to cut the UC’s links to US imperialism, big finance, and Zionist occupation. Don’t allow them to hide behind a mask of inclusiveness and diversity!
Sign the Petition Here.