We, Students for Justice in Palestine, as well as countless individuals from across the California Community College system, have banded together from all walks of life. We are a diverse coalition that consist of all people of every color, nationality, religion, etc. Despite these differences, what brings us together is our common human identity. That’s why we are greatly concerned about the human rights abuses in Palestine, and the thought that our college system could be complicit in such gross violations is unbearable.
For almost half a century, the Palestinian territories have been brutally occupied, which eventually resulted in the subjugation of millions of people, constructed on racial superiority and an illegal colonial network. The occupation, as documented by numerous human rights groups and multinational entities, results in some of the most horrid conditions. Conditions such as, but not limited to: water deprivation, segregation, racially-based legal systems, systematic home demolitions, and the restrictions against the freedom of movement, have resulted in one of the worst cases of systematic oppression gone largely unchecked. This system of abuse, as documented by many reputable organizations, including the United Nations, directly parallels the former South African system of Apartheid. This unjust system of human rights abuses has created an urgency amongst students throughout the community college system to take action in order to hold the Board of Governors accountable for any investments that profit from these abuses.
As a result, we, the students of the California Community College system, call upon the Student Senate for California Community Colleges (SSCCC) to stand in solidarity with other California and National Universities by passing a resolution to divest from companies that profit from human rights abuses in Palestine. It is imperative that the college system examine it’s financial holdings to be certain that students aren’t paying their tuition dollars that in turn, is invested into certain companies that directly profit from the abuses in Palestine. Companies such as RE/MAX directly profit from the selling of segregated housing, and these housing units are illegal under international law. Others, such as Veolia, also profit from segregated systems such as roads and bus-lines. Lastly, companies such as Caterpillar Inc. profit from the systematic and discriminatory bulldozing of Palestinian homes, rendering thousands homeless.
As students of the community college system, we have an obligation to stand for justice and make a difference. The issues of the world are our issues, for we are the future leaders of the free world and retain a common human element that’s unlimited. Divestment from companies that profit from human rights abuses is nothing new. It is directly modeled after divestment from companies that profited from apartheid in South Africa, where Blacks fell victim to a system of colonialism, segregation, and White supremacy. Back then, millions of students in the State and across the Nation stood up and deplored investments in companies that profited from such a system. Now, students are rallying once again to ensure that our colleges are not invested into companies that are once again profiting from human rights abuses. We urge that the SSCCC, that has the privilege of representing all 112 of California’s community colleges, to stand on the right side of history by urging divestment from companies that profit from human rights abuses in Palestine—in which our tuition dollars is invested, and to send a message that human rights abuses are unacceptable no matter where they may be.