The Israeli colonization project is causing untold suffering to the Palestinian people. Families are losing their land and livelihoods as the military and illegal settlers swoop in; adults and children alike beaten, jailed or even killed simply for trying to resist dispossession; and Palestinian society becomes fragmented as their territory gets divided into enclaves separated by checkpoints and illegal colonies, while millions of Palestinians continue to live abroad in refugee camps, unable to return to their homeland.
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign was started by Palestinian civil society groups as a means to put pressure on both state and private actors who play a hand in the colonization process. Inspired by the successful boycott campaign that helped put an end to South African apartheid in the 1980s, it seeks to expose those companies and other institutions that enable Israel’s military and make them turn their back on this vicious operation.
Israel currently benefits from an unfair power balance over Palestine, due to its multi-billion dollar support coming from the US government, its alliance with NATO and partnership with multiple transnational corporations. As a result, fair dialogue is impossible and Israel continues to invade and occupy Palestine in spite of all international condemnations.
The Revolutionary Student Movement (RSM) opposes all imperialist and colonial forces, and it is our responsibility to show solidarity with national liberation movements across the world. Full liberation can only be achieved when the Palestinian people are able to wage resistance strong enough to put an end to the Zionist settler-colonial project. In the spirit of internationalism, we aim to end the support that the capitalist, settler-colonial, imperialist Canadian state gives to Israel. We do this in an effort to remove as many barriers as we can for the just struggle for national liberation that the Palestinian people wage.
The call for BDS is supported by hundreds of schools, unions, artists and other groups across the world, resulting in a growing withdrawal of financial, academic and cultural support for Israel. The Israeli state is pouring billions to oppose BDS worldwide, even calling for the criminalization of BDS proponents, and thus proving it is an effective measure. The Canadian government and parliament formally support the Zionist oppression of the Palestinian people, adopting an outrageous resolution in 2016 to condemn any and all attempts by Canadian groups or individuals to promote the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, which it describes as promoting the “demonization and delegitimization” of Israel.
This is why the RSM UOttawa is bringing forward a motion to the upcoming General Assembly to make the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) endorse the BDS campaign. We have joined forces with the Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) and Independent Jewish Voices (Ottawa/Carleton University) to mobilize as much support as we can for BDS to be adopted at UOttawa.
The General Assembly will take place Tuesday, March 13 at 6:30PM in the Alumni Auditorium, UCU building.
Let’s bring BDS to UOttawa and show our solidarity with the struggle for national liberation of the Palestinian people!
From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!
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