Just a few weeks back, we made an official statement in support of USAC’s resolution calling on UCLA to divest from companies and products that support the Prison Industrial Complex. Our rationale: we have a right to have our tuition and fees responsibly spent and investing in the mass incarceration and slave labor of mostly people of color is an irresponsible and immoral use of our money. The result: the resolution passed 10-0-2 with no statement of opposition. The matter we have in front of us has proven time and time again to be "controversial" and has seen extensive challenge in opposition.
As an organization, as a student body, as a community of citizens, we have to ask ourselves: why? Why can passing a resolution to divest from an unjust, systematic structure of racism (mass incarceration) pass with no opposition, yet this resolution will likely take hours upon hours of public comment and debate and likely end in "controversy." Why? What we have here before us is not all that different. Both resolutions are calling for UCLA, as an institution, to invest OUR money responsibly; to not use our tuition and fees to support a system of exploitation, oppression, systematic violence, and suffering.
As elected members of this council, how could you vote to support a system that is clearly, according to the vast majority of world opinion and international law, oppressing and destroying an indigenous community? You voted, rather overwhelmingly, to end UCLA’s involvement in a similar system of suffering, unfair laws and enforcement, and racism. It seems that the continuity and consistency of this council’s vote is being directly challenged. We urge you to BE CONSISTENT and stand with the dozens of projects and clubs here on campus that are pushing for UCLA to be more responsible and moral in the face of an unjust, tyrannical system of oppression.