University of Toronto Scarborough Students' Union (SCSU) endorses BDS!
On April 5th, the Scarborough Campus Students’ Union (SCSU) at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) joined the growing global movement to end Israeli apartheid by endorsing the 2005 call from Palestinian civil society for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel (BDS). The SCSU represents about 10,000 undergraduate students. Faculty for Palestine (F4P) applauds this historic decision, and is proud to work in solidarity with student organizations across Canada to grow the campus BDS movement and to build campus divestment campaigns.
F4P also recognizes, honours and supports the organizing work that made this happen at UTSC particularly the work of Toronto Students for Justice in Palestine (TSJP) and the many allies who have sustained this struggle on and off-campus.
SCSUs endorsement is the latest in a wave of student union BDS endorsements that is sweeping campuses across Canada and globally in the past year. In addition to active campus divestment campaigns at Carleton University (since 2010), York University and University of Toronto (since 2011), the past year has seen eight undergraduate and graduate student unions and organizations endorse BDS.
Faculty 4 Palestine congratulates all of these campaigns and endorsements including:
· University of Regina Students Union (February 2012)
· Graduate Students Association at Carleton University (March 2012)
· York University Graduate Students Association (November 2012)
· University of Toronto Graduate Students Association (December 2012)
· Concordia University Graduate Students Association (January 2013)
· University of Toronto Mississauga Students Union (February 2013)
· Trent University Central Students Association (February 2013)
· York Federation of Students (March 2013)
· Scarborough Campus Students’ Union (April 2013)
As the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) has noted,"2012 has been an exciting year for the growth of the cultural and academic boycott of Israel, a pillar of the global BDS movement”. This has included BDS activist victories from Oslo University in Norway, Wits University in South Africa, University of California in the US, National University of Students and BRICUP in the UK, and more.
As part of this global solidarity movement, the cross-campus divestment campaign in Canada was initiated after Israel’s 2008-2009 war crimes and massacre of over 1400 Palestinians in Gaza, and in response to the renewed call in 2009 for campus divestment and academic boycott by the Gaza students in the Palestinian Students Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israeli (PSCABI). Faculty and students around the world have also played a key role in building the academic boycott. In solidarity with faculty activists, student organizers advanced the historic decision made by the Senate of the University of Johannesburg (UJS) to sever their formal relationship with the Ben-Gurion University in Israel (September, 2010) in support of BDS.
Faculty 4 Palestine honours the years of struggle that prepared the ground for these BDS victories by activists in groups like Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA), Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), Students for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) and Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW).