Following Edinburgh’s win, now it’s St. Andrews’ turn
February 18, 2009
On Monday 16/02/2009, the student occupation of Edinburgh Uni’s George Square Lecture Theatre was brought to an end, following a clear victory for the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions against apartheid Israel. Please check out the students’ blog at http://edinburghunioccupation.wordpress.com/
As of today, student activists at the University of St. Andrews are now occupying one of the uni’s buildings. They will end their action when the authorities commit to aiding Gaza and taking action against companies who are complicit in the criminal actions of the Israeli state.
The students have issued the following statement:
We, the concerned students of the University of St. Andrews demand that the university condemns the illegal bombing and genocide in Gaza and Israel’s indiscriminate targeting of civilians. In particular, as an educational establishment we urge that it shows practical solidarity with the Islamic university of Gaza and other schools and colleges damaged during the bombing.
We believe that now is the time for the university to firmly and unilaterally cut all financial and commercial ties with any companies that in any way supports the apartheid state of Israel. The university has led the way in adopting a policy of ethical investment. Now is the time for students, staff and management to show that we do not lack the courage to condemn crimes against humanity, nor the generosity to help those who are in such desperate need. Specifically we demand that the university:
- Immediately suspends and pledges not to renew its contract with Eden Springs, the Israeli water company which illegally steals water from the Golan Heights. It is not enough that this contract run out this year, it must be canceled now.
- Investigates its million pound research contracts with defense companies and the ministry of defense. Centrally, that the university sets up a review seeking to find replacement funding for the research contracts with BAE systems and its extensive links to Accenture. Both have close ties with the apartheid regime of Israel.
- Sets up a scholarship program for Palestinian Students and commits to a minimum of 10 scholarships. This would send out an important symbolic message that we will not turn a blind eye to the Palestinian students who are unable to study because of the attacks on educational infrastructure and constant state of terror which prevents students from attending university.
- Organizes a collection on campus, including a broadcasting of the DEC appeal, for aid for Gaza, makes available non-monetary aid such as course books, desks etc. and also establishes links with the Islamic University of Gaza in order to find out how it might aid with reconstruction.
- Following the letter signed by fifty medical students, that Bute medical school provides medical aid for Palestine in the form of medical equipment and drugs and through supporting organizations such as medical aid for Palestine (supported by Medsin)
In all of these measure the university might link up with other Scottish and English universities who are also adopting similar policies in order to develop a common, humanitarian and equitable approach to Israeli companies and those linked to its war machine and to the Palestinian people and its ravaged educational infrastructure.
St Andrews Univeresity Student Occupation