UBC community gathers to demand UBC divest from companies complicit in Palestinian human rights violations

Banging buckets and holding signs that read “Free Palestine” and “No More Blood Money UBC,” community members gathered in front of the UBC Musqueam post on February 15 to call on UBC to divest from companies complicit in violating the rights of Palestinians.

The event was organized by the UBC Social Justice Centre, Graduate Students 4 Palestine, Migrant Students United at UBC, UBC Divest and Solidarity for Palestinian-Human Rights to coincide with the Board of Governors BoG Finance Committee meeting. UBC Okanagan community members also held a concurrent protest.

The UBC community has continued to rally in solidarity with Palestine with over 1000 community members signing an open letter calling for UBC to condemn Israeli state violence in October and similar protests taking place on campus on October 26 and November 10.

One speaker said student groups have been sending emails, writing letters and showing up to BoG meetings but "[UBC] refuse[s] to acknowledge our presence [and] refuse[s] to acknowledge our demands.”

“[We are] rallying in solidarity, to march and remind UBC that we won't back down and we stand together because students united will never be defeated.”

In a statement to The Ubyssey, UBC Director of University Affairs Media Director Matthew Ramsey wrote BoG received a hardcopy of the letter on December 5, but “was unable to respond as that letter was not signed and contained no email or physical return address.”

Isa S. You

The crowd then marched to the top floor Walter Koerner Library to read their letter in front of President Benoit-Antoine Bacon’s office.

A speaker read out their letter, addressed to Bacon, and re-stated their demands, calling for UBC to release a statement condemning the Israeli genocide of Palestinians, to apologize for it’s silence and inaction, to admit complicity in Israel’s crimes against humanity, for Bacon to detail steps he will take to work with BoG to begin the divestment process, to have the issue of Palestine put on the next BoG agenda and for Bacon to respond to all communications from UBC community members regarding this issue.

“The least you can do is respond to our letters,” said a speaker.

Isa S. You
Isa S. You