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From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Presentation On Lesson Of UW Divestment Campaign
Saturday, February 11, 2006
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Labor Video Project
The presentation will be at New College located at
777 Valencia St. San Francisco
777 Valencia St. San Francisco
The UW Divestment Campaign of
Companies Providing Military Aid
Saturday February 11, 2006 7:30 PM
New College Theater
777 Valencia St/19th St. San Francisco
$5.00 Donation Requested
Nasser Abufarha, UW PHD candidate, T.A. member of (TAWP) and leader of the
University of Wisconsin Divest from Israel Campaign
Mark Evenson, President Elect of The Association of University of Wisconsin Professionals (TAUWP)AFT
Join labor and community activists as we learn about the growing national campaign to divest public pension funds from Israel and to divest stocks from those US companies helping the Israeli military. As a result of special legislation supported by the California state legislature, public pension funds for state workers, teachers and University of California and the California State University system are helping to fund the Israeli government by the purchase of Israeli bonds and by companies that provide support for the military in Israel. This financial and material support is used to further the apartheid wall being constructed by Israel and the discriminatory policies against Palestinians on both sides of their border.
Nasser Abhfarha and Mark Eveson have been leaders and advocates for action by the University of Wisconsin on the these issues and they will discuss their campaign (http://alawda.rso.wisc.edu), why labor has joined it and what can be done in California.
This tour is sponsored by
Labor For Palestine, Bay Area Labor Committee for Pleaceand Justice (LC4PJ)., UC Berkeley Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), Labor Action Coalition (LAC), Labor Video Project and other organizations
For more information call (415)867-0628
or email firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
It is endorsed by Francesca Rosa, SEIU535 Delegate to SF Labor Council*, Mary Ann Ring, President UC-CUE*, Carl Bryant NALC 214*, New College Center For Education & Social Action
The University of Wisconsin Divestment from Israel Campaign
Al-Awda Wisconsin, (http://alawda.rso.wisc.edu)
Contact: Mohammed Abed, (608) 332-9900, firstname.lastname@example.org
Fayyad Sbaihat, (608) 628-1943, email@example.com
Statewide Academic Union Calls for University of Wisconsin Israel Divestment
(Madison, WI- 04/27/05) - The Association of University of Wisconsin Professionals (TAUWP) has adopted a resolution that calls on the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents to divest from companies that provide the Israeli Army with weapons, equipment, and supporting systems. TAUWP is a statewide local of the American Federation of Teachers-Wisconsin representing faculty and academic staff from 25 University of Wisconsin campuses. The resolution was passed at the TAUWP delegate assembly on April 23rd by a vote of 24 to 2, with four abstentions.
Citing the precedent set by the University of Wisconsin’s elimination of investments in apartheid era South Africa, the resolution urged divestment from Boeing, Caterpillar, General Dynamics, General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Northrop-Grumman, and Raytheon ‘based on evidence of the active role these companies play in enabling Israeli forces to engage in practices that violate international law and the human rights of the Palestinian people.’ The University of Wisconsin Trust Fund’s investments in the companies specified by the resolution exceed $3.8 Million.
The resolution is part of The University of Wisconsin Divest from Israel Campaign, a project led by Al-Awda Wisconsin (The Palestine Right to Return Coalition) and Alternative Palestinian Agenda in partnership with several local social justice, student, and community organizations. The campaign gained significant momentum when the Faculty Senate of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville passed a similar resolution at it’s regular meeting on January 25th 2005. The UW-Platteville senate became the first University faculty body in the United States to adopt a resolution calling for divestment from companies providing material aid to Israel. A similar resolution was adopted by the Teaching Assistant Association and called on the Board of Regents to divest from weapon manufacturers.
TAUWP cited reports by independent international, Palestinian, and Israeli Human Rights organizations that document widespread war crimes and human rights violations committed against Palestinian civilians. It was pointed out that in many instances, these abuses are perpetrated using weapons and equipment manufactured by the companies identified in the resolution. Holdings in these companies are therefore contrary to the University of Wisconsin’s code of socially responsible investment, which requires the Board to divest from companies whose corporate practices or policies are discriminatory or cause substantial social injury.
Caterpillar Corporation - one of the companies identified in the resolution - provides the Israeli Army with the D-9 bulldozer and other equipment used to carry out widespread and systematic demolition of Palestinian civilian homes, acts which have been classified by the UN Commission on Human Rights as war crimes.
Numerous civil society institutions have recently voiced support for divestment from Israel. The Presbyterian Church (USA) has resolved to divest its portfolio from companies aiding Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands. Earlier this year, the World Council of Churches recommended that its 347 member churches and denominations follow the example of the PCUSA. Other churches such as the Anglican Church, United Methodist Church, and United Church of Christ are currently considering divesting their investment portfolios from companies with links to Israel. Several US-based labor unions, and organizations such as the National Lawyers Guild, have endorsed divestment from Israel. Last week, the Association of University Teachers, the UK’s largest lecturer’s union, voted to boycott two Israeli universities for their role in facilitating human rights violations perpetrated by the Israel government.
RESOLUTION ON UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN INVESTMENTS AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
(Adopted by The Association of University of Wisconsin Professionals, TAUWP, April 23rd, 2005)
WHEREAS, American principles, values, and traditions emphasize the right of the individual to basic freedoms without regard to ethnic origin or religious affiliation and support the protection and extension of these freedoms to all peoples around the globe, and where the systematic denial of these freedoms prompted the University of Wisconsin System to affirm its commitment to socially responsible investment by divesting its holdings in Apartheid era South Africa, in accordance with investment policy 78-1;
WHEREAS, independent human rights organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, B’Tselem, Israeli Committee against House Demolitions, and Al-Haq; the United Nations Human Rights Commission, and numerous NGOs have documented serious and widespread violations of international law and the human rights of Palestinian civilians by Israeli forces operating in the West Bank and Gaza;
WHEREAS the International Court of Justice has ruled that Israel's separation wall violates international law and the fundamental human rights of the Palestinians;
WHREAS, there is irrefutable evidence that U.S. based companies in which the University of Wisconsin is invested provide material aid to the Israeli Army in the form of weapons, equipment, and supporting systems used to perpetrate human rights abuses against Palestinian civilians, and where knowingly continuing this support implicates these companies in practices that violate international humanitarian law;
WHEREAS, In so far as the effort to divest from these companies has as its foundation a commitment to international law and the fundamental rights that belong to every human being, it lays the groundwork for a just and enduring peace and is therefore an expression of the hope for a free and secure future for every Israeli and Palestinian currently suffering under the burden of conflict.
WHEREAS, the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, 22 USC sec. 2304, provides that "no security assistance may be provided to any country the government of which engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights;"
WHEREAS, University of Wisconsin System Regent Trust and Fund Policy 78-1 provides that “In accordance with Sec. 36.29(1) Wis. Stats., all investments "made in any company, corporation, subsidiary or affiliate which practices or condones through its actions discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, creed or sex. . . ." shall be divested in as prudent but rapid a manner as possible.”
WHEREAS, University of Wisconsin System Regent Trust and Fund Policy 97-1 (Investment and Social Responsibility) provides that “the Board acknowledges the importance of maintaining an awareness of public concerns about corporate policies or practices that are discriminatory (as defined by 36.29(1) Wis. Stats.) or cause substantial social injury, and (that) it will take this factor into account.”
BE IT RESOLVED that TAUWP calls upon the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents to divest from Boeing, Caterpillar, General Dynamics, General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Northrop-Grumman, and Raytheon based on evidence of the active role these companies play in enabling Israeli Forces to engage in practices that violate international law and the human rights of the Palestinian people.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that TAUWP urges all UW System governing bodies and affiliated institutions and unions to adopt similar resolutions aimed at ensuring the implementation of UW System investment policies and by extension upholding international law and safeguarding the human rights of all peoples.
Contact: Mohammed Abed, (608) 332-9900, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nasser Abufarha, (608) 770-7007, email@example.com
University of Wisconsin Divest From Israel Campaign Pressures Regents to
Divest at Public Forum
(Madison, WI- 11/10/05) - The University of Wisconsin Divest from Israel
Campaign organized students, faculty and community members from around
the State of Wisconsin to attend the Annual Trust Fund Investment Forum
with the University’s Board of Regents. This forum provides the public
with an opportunity to air their concerns about investments in
corporations implicated in discrimination and violations of basic human
rights and international law. The room was filled to capacity as close
to a 100 people came to speak in support of Divestment from Israel and
re-investment in socially responsible companies in Wisconsin and around
the United States. Israelis, Palestinians, Americans, and people from a
diverse range of ethnic, national, and religious backgrounds came
forward to speak in favor of the campaign.
Speaker after speaker told the Regents that divestment was both a moral
imperative and sanctioned by UW’s own ethical investment policies. UW
Investment policy 78-1, states that all investments ‘made in any
company, corporation, subsidiary or affiliate which practices or
condones through its actions discrimination on the basis of race
religion, color, creed or sex. . . .’ shall be divested in as prudent
but rapid a manner as possible. Supporters of the campaign pointed out
that any corporation that does business with and/or in the State of
Israel stands in violation of investment policy 78-1 because the State
of Israel practices widespread, systematic, and institutionalized
discrimination against persons of non-Jewish descent living under its
control, irrespective of whether or not they are citizens of the state.
It was pointed out that these policies amounted to a regime of ethnic
separation without self-determination for the oppressed group, that is,
a system of apartheid similar in kind to that imposed on the black
population of South Africa prior to de-colonization.
UW investment policy 97-1 also stipulates that the Board of Regents will
seriously re-consider investments in companies implicated in practices
that ‘violate, subvert, or frustrate the enforcement of rules of
domestic or international law intended to protect individuals and/or
groups against deprivation of health, safety, basic freedoms or human
rights.’ Companies such as Boeing, Caterpillar, General Dynamics,
General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Northrop-Grumman, and Raytheon are
particularly culpable since they provide weapons and supporting systems
that allow the Israeli Army and security services to implement state
policies that cause substantial social injury to the Palestinian people,
particularly Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza. Palestinians
in these areas have suffered both human rights abuses and war crimes
that include the demolition of over 12,000 civilian homes since 1967,
wanton destruction of civilian infrastructure, institutions, and
farmland, expropriation of Palestinian land and important natural resources such as
water, the imposition of closures and curfews that prevent Palestinians
- including children and the elderly - from accessing healthcare, basic
education, jobs, and all the other services that sustain life. Although
Israel’s apartheid wall has been ruled illegal by the International
Court of Justice, it continues to be built deep into West Bank
territory, denying Palestinians access to their own communities,
institutions and services. Along with the system of segregated roads in
the West Bank, the wall is the most visible manifestation of Israel’s
apartheid policies towards the Palestinian people.
The University of Wisconsin Divest from Israel Campaign
(http://alawda.rso.wisc.edu) was founded by Al-Awda Wisconsin (The
Palestine Right to Return Coalition) and Alternative Palestinian Agenda
and is now a coalition comprised of several local and statewide student
and community based social justice organizations. The campaign gained
significant momentum when the Faculty Senate of the University of
Wisconsin-Platteville passed a resolution in favor of divestment on
January 25th 2005. The Platteville Senate is the highest academic body
in the United States to have adopted a resolution calling for divestment
from companies providing material aid to the Israeli army. The Teaching
Assistant’s Association, the nation’s oldest and largest teaching
assistant’s union also passed a resolution calling for divestment from
companies identified by the UW Divest from Israel Campaign. The
Association of University of Wisconsin Professionals (TAUWP) soon
followed suit and adopted a divestment resolution by an overwhelming
majority of 24-2. TAUWP is the largest faculty and staff union in the
University of Wisconsin System.
The University of Wisconsin Divest from Israel campaign believes that in
so far as the effort to divest has as its foundation a commitment to
international law and the fundamental rights that belong to every human
being, it lays the groundwork for a just and enduring peace and is
therefore an expression of the hope for a free and secure future for
every Israeli and Palestinian currently suffering under the burden of
conflict. The campaign called on the Regents to keep this in mind and to
immediately discharge their obligation to implement UW’s investment
policies, and in so doing, to follow the precedent set by the University
of Wisconsin’s elimination of investments in apartheid era South Africa.
The Campaign also informed the Regents that it will continue to build
institutional and public momentum until divestment is achieved and the
University’s money is re-invested in the local economy and in
sustainable, humane, and socially responsible business ventures in the
U.S. and abroad.
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Added to the calendar on Sun, Feb 5, 2006 4:21PM