McGill BDS Groups
Community-University Talks (C-Uni-T)
As a collective of students and community members committed to the pursuit of accessible education, C-Uni-T strongly endorses the McGill BDS Action Network and its support of the 2005 Palestinian Civil Society call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel until it meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with international law. Our mission is shaped by anti-colonial and critical race precepts that make it an obligation to stand up for injustice and in solidarity with those faced with colonial oppression. Justice in Palestine can only be achieved by dismantling the colonial apparatus of the State of Israel, including the three specific demands of the BDS movement that Israel (1) ends its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantles the Wall, (2) recognizes the fundamental rights of Arab Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality and (3) respects, protects and promotes the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194. Our commitment to centering the diversity of experiences and strengths of Black communities is wholly consistent with supporting the right of colonized people to liberation. We understand the decolonization of Palestine as linked to the struggles of other people and Peoples, including the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island, to self-determination. The indivisibility of justice means that we must link these struggles together. In support of the BDS Action Network, we call on McGill University specifically to meet its ethical obligation to divest from companies that benefit from the illegal occupation of Palestine.
As a radio station that has a mandate to promote social justice, and broadcast the ‘voice of the voiceless’, CKUT is proud to lend our support to the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Action Network in the movement against Israeli apartheid.
Throughout the years, we have used our airwaves to promote decolonization movements in Canada, and internationally, and this has included supporting the Palestinian freedom struggle against Israeli occupation and apartheid.
The voices of Palestinians and their allies can be heard every Thursday on CKUT from 11am-12pm on Under the Olive Tree, a Palestinian-solidarity show which has been on the air for over a decade now.
CKUT also played a pivotal role in passing a BDS resolution at the National Campus and Community Radio Association (NCRA) conference in Halifax in 2011. CKUT members brought this resolution to the table at this national association, and motivated strongly in its favour. The NCRA is now mandated to work in solidarity with Palestine, and uphold the cultural and academic boycott of Israel.
A boycott of Israeli apartheid is critical today, not only for the future of a free Palestine, but also for us to be able to continue our work at CKUT. One of our proud sister organizations is the International Middle East Media Centre (IMEMC), based in Beit Sahour in the occupied West Bank. CKUT airs “This Week in Palestine”, produced by the IMEMC, every Tuesday at 7:15am. Through this show, our listenership has a direct line to a Palestinian news source. This is critical in a media landscape such as ours which consistently skews or misrepresents anything related to Palestine. Shamefully, in October 2015, Israeli occupation forces raided the offices of the IMEMC, damaging much of their equipment. An international boycott of the state of Israel would put pressure on the country’s military to prevent future atrocities against freedom of speech such as this.
We see the need for BDS in the death of Khalid Hamad, killed by an Israeli tank shell while working as a cameraman in Gaza in 2014. Hamad is just one of dozens of Palestinian journalists killed by Israel, and it is hard to not picture CKUT journalists in the same position.
We see the need for BDS in the thousands of Palestinian musicians and artists who are unable to travel overseas because Israeli apartheid throttles their freedom of movement. CKUT’s airwaves, not to mention the cultural fabric of Montreal, would be so much stronger if they were able to tour internationally.
We see the need for BDS every time Zionists try to white-wash, pink-wash, or green-wash Israel’s colonial history. As media-makers and truth-tellers, it is incumbent on CKUT to support the voices of those trying to break through the walls of mis-information to speak truth to power.
Written endorsement coming soon.
Thaqalayn Muslim Association
Written endorsement coming soon.
McGill Against Austerity
In line with our commitment to social justice and solidarity, McGill Against Austerity endorses the work of McGill BDS. We believe divestment from companies directly profiting off of the illegal occupation of the Palestinian territory is a reasonable and acceptable recourse to protest the forceful encroachment on Palestinian land. In Quebec, like anywhere else in the world, we oppose unjust, undemocratic, and unwarranted action by the government. We denounce injustice in all its embodiments, be it in the form of reckless and misguided austerity measures, or state-supported colonialism of any kind. We support peaceful measures to protest the human rights violations taking place. We endorse McGill BDS insofar as its actions raise awareness of the ongoing anti-colonial struggle and contribute to increasing international pressure for a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Palestine.
We support the divestment of McGill funds from companies that profit off of the occupation of internationally recognized Palestinian territory, and endorse McGill BDS insofar as they remain committed to the goal of peace as well as open and respectful dialogue with all those who share the same goal, regardless of religion or nationality.
NDP McGill endorses this motion.
Official NDP policy reaffirms our “solidarity with people around the globe – particularly with the poor and the powerless, [and] those facing persecution.”
Official NDP policy also calls on members to use “all diplomatic and political means to protect human rights and help those facing persecution,” to “work closely with the world’s… progressive civil society organizations” and to work “with partners for peace in Israel and Palestine, respecting UN resolutions and international law, [while] supporting peaceful co-existence in viable, independent states with agreed-upon borders, an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian and, and an end to violence targeting civilians.”
On November 28, 2015, the NDP’s Quebec Section also reiterated its support for the creation of an independent Palestinian state at peace with Israel and expressed its opposition to all attempts to prevent the Palestinian people’s exercise of their right to self-determination.
As a campus club, we believe this motion is in line with party policy and our responsibility as progressive people to speak up for injustice and oppose it with non-violent, pragmatic solutions. We view it as one small step closer to a just, two-State solution.
Association of McGill University Support Employees (AMUSE)
The Association of McGill University Support Employees endorses the campaign for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions on McGill campus in solidarity with Palestine. As workers at McGill University, we condemn the university’s investment and compliance in violent repression and ongoing colonialism carried out by the Israeli military. McGill’s ongoing military research and collaboration with weapons-makers has developed technology used against civilians in Gaza and Occupied Palestinian Territories. Therefore, at AMUSE, we recognize the work that needs to be done in our campus workplaces to end the occupation of Palestine. Workers and organized labour in Palestine have taken a leading role in organizing international solidarity against the occupation; the BDS campaign is deeply linked to the labour movement. The members of the AMUSE-PSAC Board of Representatives proudly stand in solidarity with ongoing efforts of the McGill BDS Action Network against Israeli apartheid.
McGill Radical Law Student Community (RadLaw)
Members of McGill Radical Law Student Community (RadLaw) stand in firm support of the McGill BDS Action Network, and the broader call from Palestinian civil society for people to undertake a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (“BDS”) against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights. Given McGill’s investments in companies that profit from the occupation, as well as its ties with the Technion Institute (which designs and produces weapons systems for the Israeli Army), members of RadLaw McGill actively support the efforts on campus to boycott, and divest from occupation and colonialism in Palestine. As such, we reaffirm our support for the three primary demands of BDS: the right of return, equal rights for Palestinians living in Israel, as well as the end to the occupation and dismantling of the Wall, which rests in our belief that any outcome in the region must be grounded in justice.
McGill Black Students’ Network (BSN)
The BSN endorses the McGill BDS Action Network because we support divestment from companies profiting from the illegal occupation of the Palestinian Territories. Considering the historical colonial occupation of African countries (as well as modern day imperialist occupations) and the Caribbean, coupled with the fact that Ethiopian Jewish refugees continue to suffer abuses under the Israeli government, we urge members of the BSN to support this campaign. The situation in Palestine is a colonial condition. What is so often euphemistically referred to in the media as “the conflict” is at its core a struggle between the colonizer and the colonized in the context of a vast power imbalance between the two. We believe that justice in Palestine must mean full decolonization and a dismantling of the Zionist settler-colonial framework that has for over 67 years been erected on the dispossession of the Palestinian people and the theft of Palestinian land. We have a shared history and a shared moral responsibility to fight for the liberation of marginalized people.
The Union for Gender Empowerment (UGE)
As a collective that aims to fight oppression in all of its forms and to stand in solidarity with all oppressed peoples, the Union for Gender Empowerment endorses the McGill BDS Action Network in its opposition to Israel’s occupation and colonization of Palestine. We also feel that the struggle for the liberation of Palestine is highly pertinent to our mandate as a trans-positive feminist collective. In the past two decades or so, Israel has attempted to ingratiate itself to feminists and/or LGBTQ people around the world by framing itself as a supposed bastion of women’s rights and LGBTQ equality as opposed to neighbouring countries. However, the occupation and colonization of Palestine has resulted in the displacement and deaths of innumerable Palestinian women and/or LGBTQ people. The Israeli state cannot frame itself as the granter of rights to women and/or LGBTQ people. Palestinian women and/or LGBTQ people themselves are supporting each other and struggling against gendered oppression despite and not because of the Israeli state. As trans-positive feminists, we stand in solidarity with those in Palestine fighting gendered oppression and colonization, and for this reason we encourage students to support the McGill BDS Action Network.
Quebec Public Interest Research Group (QPIRG) McGill
McGill University has long profited from its active participation in the violence of colonization, both through research done within the university, and by virtue of being built upon unceded Kanien’kehá:ka territory. Today, the university perpetuates colonial violence in myriad ways, not only here on Turtle Island, but also through its financial investments in companies directly linked to state violence and dispossession of land in the Occupied Territories, and through formal academic ties to the Technion University, which creates and develops military technology used by the Israeli military. When McGill fosters these academic partnerships, or profits from its investments in these corporations, it participates in the normalization of the occupation, and tacitly supports the oppression of the Palestinian peoples.
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is a concrete call for action, stemming from grassroots movements within Palestinian civil society. As an organization dedicated to supporting environmental and social justice movements on- and off-campus, we strongly support ongoing efforts of organizations such as SPHR-McGill and the McGill BDS Action Network to respond to this call for solidarity. The Board of the Quebec Public Interest Research Group at McGill (QPIRG-McGill) endorses the campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions at McGill, and firmly supports the work of the McGill BDS Action Network.
ECOLE aims to support sustainable living, learning and community building, and strives to do so within a justice-based framework. We recognize the historical and ongoing oppression of communities here and across the world, and support efforts to dismantle harmful systems.
Thus, ECOLE supports the call for BDS on institutions that profit from the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory. We stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people who are denied the freedom to move in their own land, fair judicial process and the right to self-determination.
McGill Students for Feminisms
As feminists, we strive to incorporate an intersectional lens into our analysis of gendered oppression and are committed to standing in solidarity with anticolonial struggles against historical and ongoing forms of injustice. We reject the orientalist tropes that suggest Middle Eastern societies are uniquely and inherently patriarchal. Patriarchy exists in all societies, and in the context of Palestine, we believe that the occupation curtails women’s livelihood and ability to engage in feminist organizing. We believe that staying silent at the face of violence committed against Palestinian people is siding with the apartheid state of Israel. To stand in solidarity with Palestinian people is to respond to their call for BDS, and we firmly stand behind McGill BDS in their efforts to put an end to McGill’s complicity in the oppression of Palestinian people.
For three years, the members of Divest McGill have been actively calling upon McGill University to divest its holdings from the fossil fuel industry, on the grounds that this industry is directly responsible for causing environmental destruction, exacerbating climate change, and lobbying against environmental regulation. In the past, the university has divested from companies with ties to South Africa and to Burma, and from the tobacco industry. These decisions were driven by the recognition that a university should not be financially supporting corporations whose operations severely harm individuals and the environment, particularly when impacts are disproportionately large for the most vulnerable communities. We must continue to think critically about, and to openly challenge, our university’s overt and tacit support of structures that promote inequality, injustice, and oppression. Just as fossil fuel corporations profit from the destruction of the environment, so do corporations in the occupied Palestinian territories from the ongoing violations of the basic rights of Palestinians. Thus, we endorse the motion at the upcoming SSMU General Assembly for Support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, calling for SSMU to support a campaign for BDS, including through calling for McGill’s divestment from companies profiting from their operations within occupied territories in Palestine.
McGill Syrian Students’ Association
For over half a century, the Palestinian people have suffered persecution in their own homeland, and lived under intolerable conditions due to the apartheid nature of the Israeli state. Over the past years, what little land Palestinians were able to call their own and live in is slowly being stripped away from them, piece by piece, as Israel appropriates Palestinian land and builds illegal settlements, forcing Palestinians who lived on those lands to re-experience the Nakba. Whilst the diaspora and suffering of the Syrian people can in no way total to what the Palestinian people have suffered, unfortunately it has led the Syrian people to in some respect experience and understand to a certain level what Palestinians have and are still suffering through. We, the Syrian Students’ Association, believe that this motion will provide the opportunity for McGill University to take an important decision that could help ease the suffering of the Palestinian people, thus abiding by the SSMU constitution in regards to human rights and anti-oppression.
Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) McGill
McGill Students in Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) has been at the forefront of struggles for Palestinian human rights on campuses for years, and is very excited to continue this struggle by affiliating with the McGill BDS Action Network. We have always recognized that ending the occupation, securing equal rights for all Palestinian citizens of Israel, and respecting the right of return of Palestinian refugees are all crucial elements of the Palestinian struggle for liberation. BDS is making gains worldwide as an important tool in the fight against Israeli apartheid and settler colonialism, and we are proud to lend our support to it.
Cinema Politica McGill
McGill’s chapter of Cinema Politica supports the BDS McGill Action Network because we stand in solidarity with oppressed groups worldwide. As a group, Cinema Politica is committed to uplifting the voices of those who are marginalized. We recognize McGill’s complicity in supporting the illegal occupation of Palestine through its investments in companies that benefit from the occupation, and refuse to ignore this violation of human rights. We firmly endorse the call to action by the BDS McGill Action Network to put an end to this complicity.
The Midnight Kitchen Collective stands in solidarity with BDS Action Group McGill and the global BDS movement as a means to support the people of Palestine. We firmly believe in taking a stand against Israel’s illegal, colonial and imperialist occupation of Palestinian territory. Through support for the BDS movement, Palestinians move one step closer towards a life free from violent military occupation.