Summer - Summer 2012 saw the release of the Campus Climate Reports and the passage of State Assembly Resolution HR35, both of which falsely claimed that criticism of Israel's policies was anti-semitic and called for limits on the speech rights of individuals at the UC who speak out for Palestinian freedom. In response, SJPs across the state worked tirelessly to educate the campus and build momentum to oppose these recommendations. The UC Student Association responded by passing a bill denouncing HR-35, and SJPs backed their stance with with over 1,200 student signatures across the state. Thanks to these efforts many more members of the UC understand that criticizing a state's policies is not an expression of bigotry, and many students and allies have joined the effort to support Palestinian freedom.
Fall Quarter - We hosted an event focused on free speech for SJP chapters early in the year (video). However, in November, Israel launched an assault on the Gaza Strip named Operation Pillar of Cloud, which claimed over 150 Palestinian lives. We protested these attacks and focused on educating students on campus about the attacks and building solidarity with other groups on campus that joined these protests. We also hosted an event with spoken word performer Remi Kanazi and BDS-LA member Garrick Ruiz that focused on educating students about these attacks and the broader question of how we can be in solidarity with Palestine. At the end of Fall Quarter, we learned that the UCLA Academic Senate had been asked to review the Campus Climate Reports which proposed censorship of groups like SJP. We wrote letters to the Academic Senate briefing them on the dangers posed by these rules and the conditions facing student activists at UCLA, and thanks in part to these efforts, these reports were dropped.
Winter Quarter - We held an event with Dalit Baum focused on queer solidarity with Palestine and hosted Iyad Burnat, one of the main figures in the film 5 Broken Cameras. Later in the quarter we hosted an extremely successful Palestine Awareness Week, featuring speakers ranging from Nada Elia to Saree Makdisi (check out videos from all these events here). We also built a mock apartheid wall to display on campus (video).
Spring Quarter - We were proud to support the Ethical Investments Bill, which ultimately did not pass, but was aimed at pushing UCLA to only invest in companies that were not tied to major environmental pollution, abuses of worker rights, and human rights abuses. Across the state, students launched 8 bills calling for divestment from companies profiting from Israel's occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip. 5 of those bills reached majority votes, and 3 became permanent victories: UC San Diego, UC Irvine, and UC Berkeley (read more here). We are proud of these other chapters and look forward to one day joining them in passing divestment. Lastly, we commemorated Nakba day with tabling and a film screening of "Chronicles of a Refugee."
Op-Eds: Here are some of the op-eds we published last year:
UCLA solidarity can help Palestinians attain equal rights
Palestine Awareness Week Promotes Recognition
Dialogue on Israel-Palestine should account for power imbalances
SJP at UCLA Protests Latest Israeli Assault on Gaza
Israel-Palestine Violence Calls for Justice
Resolution defending free speech should be lauded
Israel's Abuse of Women: A Response to "Israel Empowers Women"
Growth of the SJP mailing list since 2011: