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Divestment

US State, Local Governments Bankroll Israeli Genocide In Gaza

State and local governments in the US are investing large amounts in Israel bonds, effectively helping to fund Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza. The Financial Times (FT) reports that Israel Bonds, the official underwriter for the debt, has sold more than $3 billion of bonds since the war began on 7 October, three times the previous annual average. Local governments in the US, including Florida, Indiana, and Ohio, have been significant buyers. FT reports that Florida’s Palm Beach County holds $700 million of its $4.6 billion overall portfolio in Israel bonds. “I’m ecstatic that we have these bonds in our portfolio,” Joseph Abruzzo, the overseer of the county’s investments, told FT.

Palm Beach Residents Sue County Over Its Israel Investments

In the first legal action of its kind, a group of Palm Beach residents are suing the Florida county over its massive investment in Israeli bonds. Palm Beach has invested $700 million in the bonds, 22 times more than any other county in the United States. On May 15, dozens of local organizers and human rights advocates gathered outside the county’s courthouse for a press conference announcing the move. David Piña, the attorney who filed the lawsuit, told the crowd that Comptroller and Clerk of the Circuit Court Joseph Abruzzo had put 15% of the county’s investments in Israeli bonds. “[Abruzzo] has has not only failed us morally, he’s also violated two state statutes in the process,” Piña explained.

The Student Movement That Forced Ireland’s Trinity College To Divest

Right after Dublin native Ben turned 16, he spent his summer vacations working at event companies that organized concerts and comedy shows. Little did he know that three years later, that experience would help him organize — with nearly a hundred of his peers — a major protest of Trinity College Dublin’s ties with Israel. After five nights in tents on the grassy patch in front of the highly-visited Book of Kells Museum, Trinity acceded to the protesters’ demands and went down in history as one of the first universities to agree to divest from Israeli companies. “I always wanted to partake in effecting change, and this was an opportunity,” the philosophy and politics student said five days after the encampment ended.

Carrying On Kent State’s Legacy Of Antiwar Organizing

If you grew up in Ohio, one of the first things that comes to mind when you hear “Kent State” is the saying “Kent Read, Kent Write, Kent State.” If you grew up outside of Ohio, the first thing you think of when hearing “Kent State” is the shootings on May 4, 1970. And if you were present for the protest on May 4, 2024, you heard, “Kent Read, Kent Write, Kent stop funding genocide.” As graduate students (one local, the other out of state), we grew up with different perceptions of Kent State. What united us is the decision to pursue our graduate studies at Kent State due to its long history of activism and the School of Peace and Conflict Studies — founded as a “living memorial” to the students who died on May 4, 1970.

Divest Now! A Revolutionary Demand

Why have student encampments for Palestine ignited such an uproar of brutal repression, vicious police attacks, mass arrests, overwhelming condemnation in the corporate media and a new level of reactionary legislation in Congress? The demand to divest, raised at almost every encampment, exposes the insidious inroads of the military-industrial complex into the heart of almost all higher education institutions in the U.S. today. This demand to “divest” has revolutionary implications. Divestment is not just a threat to university boards, administrators and their alumni funders. It is a threat to the established capitalist order.

Students Demanding Divestment: You’re On The Right Side Of History

This reunion comes at an auspicious time, with college campuses erupting all over the country in solidarity with the Palestinian people. Once again, 55 years later, Stanford students are rising up for peace and justice. They have established a "People's University" encampment and they are demanding that Stanford: (1) explicitly condemn Israel’s genocide and apartheid; (2) call for an immediate ceasefire, and for Israel and Egypt to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza; and (3) immediately divest from the consumer brands identified by the Palestinian BDS National Committee and all firms in Stanford’s investment portfolio that are complicit in Israeli war crimes, apartheid and genocide.

Johns Hopkins Justice Collective Update On Negotiations With University

Baltimore, MD - Over the past few days, the University has sent emails to the JHU student body and faculty attempting to paint the encampment as unwilling to enter negotiations. This framing by the University is incredibly dishonest: an hours long, closed-door meeting is not the only way to negotiate. Since the beginning of the encampment, we have repeatedly asked that the University send us negotiation offers by email, which they have consistently refused to do. To say we refuse to negotiate until Tuesday is plainly untrue. Our request to begin via email is for a variety of reasons.

Johns Hopkins Encampment Calls On University To Divest, Demilitarize

The protestors who are encamped at the Johns Hopkins University shared their formal proposal on Friday with the university, requesting that the school divest “from all companies with ties to the state of Israel,” demilitarize “by severing its financial relationships with the U.S. Department of Defense,” and disclose “all financial relationships with the state of Israel.” The proposal, which the protestors said was submitted to the university’s Public Interest Investment Advisory Committee (PIIAC), calls on Hopkins to hear the request “immediately” because of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza caused by Israel’s war with Hamas.

Humboldt Faculty Condemn Police Violence Against Students

As faculty at Cal Poly Humboldt, we deplore the use of physical violence by university, local, and regional police officers and sheriffs and the deployment of other extreme tactics such as helicopters, to surveil students, escalate tensions, and criminalize free speech exercised by students calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. We also find unacceptable the attempt to shut down student voices by shutting down campus. We call on all CPH administrators to reflect on the real harm that this crackdown on free speech inflicts and the message it sends to current and future students, their parents, faculty, and staff, and our communities within and beyond Humboldt.

We’re Occupying Emory University To Demand Divestment From Israel

In Gaza and the West Bank, over 34,000 Palestinians have been murdered since the siege began on October 7, 2023. For over 75 years, the Palestinian people have been subjected to the illegal Zionist settler colonialism and white supremacy funded by Western Powers. The violence of the Israeli regime goes beyond denying Palestinian livelihood, making it its mission to sever Palestinians from their communities, land, and history. Halfway across the world, in the heart of Atlanta, a battle rages against the encroachment of Cop City, a sprawling police training facility slated to be erected in the Weelaunee Forest.

Rutgers Profits From Boeing Airstrikes Launched On Gaza

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, must divest its endowment fund from companies and organizations that profit from, engage in, or contribute to the government of Israel’s human rights violations. An excellent example of this is that Rutgers profits off of Boeing airstrikes launched at Palestinians. Boeing is the 3rd largest military company. Likewise, it is part of Rutgers’ $100 million investment1 in the PGIM-Quantitative Solutions (US) fund2. Boeing—and by EXTENSION, Rutgers—relies on Palestinian suffering to raise its profits.

New York City Pensions Are Sued For Shedding Fossil Fuels

Monica Weiss attended her first fossil-fuel divestment protest on a frigid February day in 2015. She joined college students, financial experts, faith leaders, and then-New York City Public Advocate Letitia James in front of the New York Stock Exchange to demand that the city’s five public pension funds factor the financial risks of climate change into their investment decisions. Over the course of her two-decade career teaching first and third grade in New York City public schools, Weiss infused nature and sustainability into her lessons. Now newly retired, Weiss had taken a look at her own pension fund — and didn’t like what she saw.

Palestine Solidarity Wins At UC Davis

University campuses have become a major battlefield for the Palestine solidarity movement in the U.S. Students and faculty who support Palestinian liberation have been subjected to doxxing, university discipline, arrest, firings and more. School administrators, even if they are not anti-Zionist, have been removed simply for not being strong enough in backing Israel. But solidarity groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine have persevered and have scored some victories. “From McDonald’s to Sabra to Chevron, none of our student fees that fund ASUCD (Associated Students, University of California, Davis) operations will be used to financially support 30+ companies that are complicit in Zionist violence,” the University of California Davis SJP chapter said on Instagram.

Campus Divestment Activists Eye Fossil Fuel Profits On Stolen Land

Samantha Gonsalves-Wetherell, a senior at the University of Arizona, has spent years urging university officials to take climate change seriously. As a leader of UArizona Divest, she and her classmates have been pushing the university toward three goals: to divest from fossil fuels by 2029; commit to no further investments in fossil fuels; and to implement socially responsible investing goals.  “It’s hard to both combat the climate crisis and also fund it,” said Gonsalves-Wetherell. She has met with university officials to ask them what stocks the university has invested in and how much revenue oil and gas investments bring in. 

Facing The Storm: An Interview With Mazaska Talks

I recently sat down with Rachel Heaton and Matt Remle as part of the Facing the Storm series focused on the Indigenous response to the climate crisis. The first question I asked Matt, Wakinyan Waanatan (his Lakota name), Hunkpapa Lakota was how he came to the direct action of divesting money from financial institutions to stop their funneling of funds into fossil fuel projects. Specifically, as a way to combat against the companies many abuses against our Indigenous nations, our Mother Earth, and the detrimental loss they cause of our finite resources in the current climate crisis. Matt said for him it actually began before the Dakota Access Pipeline and on a smaller scale during the early fight against the Keystone XL pipeline.
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