Palestinian students push BDS in universities and cities

Latest news , Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, 8 March 2009

IAW events for the past several days in the West Bank focused on strengthening the internal BDS movement and promoting Palestinian products. Considerable progress was made from March 4 í‚– 5 in moving the boycott forward in Palestinian universities. Students are not only working to institutionalize a boycott of Israeli goods inside the university, but also bringing the BDS call into their local shops and communities.

Events took place in Nablus, Tulkarm, Jericho, Qalqilya, and Ramallah colleges and universities, as well as in the Jenin camp. At an-Najah in Nablus, a talk and discussion was held entitled, “The global BDS campaign: Comparing the South African and Palestinian experience.” Student activists are also busy preparing a workshop for the coming week, and will host a speaker from Stop the Wall who will hold a session on the Wall and the BDS movement.

At al-Khadouri college in Tulkarm, activities were scheduled on Wednesday and Thursday. On Wednesday, a representative of the BNC gave a talk to students entitled, “BDS as a weapon against the Occupation and the importance of the youth movement.” Actions moved outside the schools the next day, when students went into Tulkarm shops to discuss with shopkeepers the importance of the boycott and supporting Palestinian products.

At al-Quds University in Qalqilya, students and faculty issued a signed commitment to BDS on the campus. In Jericho, six young women from al-Quds University dressed in traditional costume, promoted BDS around the campus while the student council voted to cut any ties with Israeli academics and implement the boycott of Israeli goods at the cafeteria.

In the past few days, IAW events also began at Birzeit, where the student council renewed its commitment to the internal boycott. Students are also preparing a showcase of Palestinian replacements to well-known Israeli products. This includes alternatives to the Israeli Tapazina brand of juices, Palestinian cosmetics from the Dead Sea as alternatives to Israeli brands, and West Bank dairy and meat products.

Outside of the universities, in the Jenin refugee camp, Kay La Nasa (Lest We Forget) womení‚”s association organized a talk by three former Palestinian political prisoners. The three addressed the youth of camp and spoke about the importance of the BDS campaign.

IAW events are scheduled to continue into the next week, with students preparing final exhibits, actions, and continuing community outreach and organizing.

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