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Oslo students campaign against university contract with G4S

Since August, student activists from the Palestine Committee at the University of Oslo have been campaigning against the University’s leadership to renounce the coming renewal of the contracts it has with security company G4S. The campaign, which started out with “Boycott G4S”-stickers being placed on doors all over campus, quickly gained steam after it was picked up by the Student Parliament. With support of all political factions, the Student Parliament on September 20 made it their policy to actively work towards ousting G4S from the University campus through having the University implement ethical guidelines when purchasing goods and services, saying:

“The Student Parliament at the University of Oslo condemns companies complicit in violations of international law. These companies should not operate on the University of Oslo’s property or as a part of our organization. The security company G4S should not get a new contract or have their existing contract renewed to supply security services to the University of Oslo after February 2014.”

On October 23, student politicians brought the case of ethical guidelines for purchasing of goods and services before the University Board, using the case of G4S as a prime example of a company that would not get contracts at the University if such guidelines were in place.

As a result of the Palestine Committee’s campaign and student politicians’ work, both in the Student Parliament and the University Board, the question of ethical guidelines for the purchasing of goods and services at the University of Oslo are to be treated by the University Board in either December 2012 or February 2013. If implemented, such guidelines would ban G4S from competing for contracts with the University of Oslo. This would make the “G4S-campaign” at the University of Oslo the most effective BDS campaign in Norway to date.

G4S is a British-Danish private security company that is complicit in violations of
international law through providing services and equipment to Israeli prisons, checkpoints, the Apartheid Wall and the Israeli police. G4S have been supplying the university of Oslo with security services since 2010.

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