University of Illinois at Chicago Student Government votes unanimously to divest from Israeli occupation
The Undergraduate Student Government Assembly of the University of Illinois at Chicago voted unanimously on Monday (February 15th, 2016) to pass a resolution urging the university to divest from corporations profiting off of the Israeli occupation and other human rights violations.
The resolution aims to end UIC’s complicity in investments within multinational corporations that actively profit and enable human rights violations, including G4S, Hewlett-Packard, Caterpillar, Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Foxconn. Within the resolution, UIC Divest also emphasized transparency, urging the university to share its investment portfolio with the public, and establish a role for students on the Board of Trustees investment committee.
UIC Divest is a student led movement on campus, made up of 24 organizations, calling on UIC to divest from all human rights violations. This vote comes after several weeks of campaigning by the UIC Divest coalition to mobilize the student body, gathering more than 800 signatures in support.
In 1987, UIC partially divested from apartheid in South Africa, in response to mass pressure from the student body. Thus, UIC has a history of divestment and a longstanding commitment to social justice. The resolution passed is indicative of UIC Divest’s commitment to pressure UIC to uphold its commitment to socially responsible investments.
“This vote comes after weeks of hard work by UIC students to raise awareness on campus. We held multiple workshops, actions, events, and tabled for days in the student center, gathering hundreds of signatures on a petition, in order to ensure that students were informed on the issue. We are ecstatic that USG did the right thing in voting unanimously to divest, withstanding pressure from opposition and outside lobbyist organizations.” said Ahmad Albanna, USG senator and UIC Divest organizer.
While tonight’s divestment vote is an important step in the divestment movement, we recognize that this is just the beginning. We are committed to working towards urging the university to divest wholly from the Israeli occupation and all forms of oppression of marginalized communities, and to uphold the demands of its students.
Groups endorsing the boycott of products made in Israel’s illegal and racist settlements include:
Students for Justice in Palestine
Jewish Voice for Peace Chicago
Students for the Advancement of Freedom, Equality & Human Rights
United Students Against Sweatshops
Black Student Union
Fearless Undocumented Alliance
Mexican Students de Aztlan
Pakistani Student Organization
Union for Puerto Rican Students
Political Science Student Union
Hindu Student Council
United Muslim Relief
Muslim Student Association
Palestine Children’s Relief Fund
Powerlifting and Body Building
Arab American Association of Engineers and Architects
Delta Epsilon Mu-Psi Fraternity
Delta Xi Phi Sorority
Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement