The US Palestinian Community Network (USPCN) salutes the efforts of Students for Justice in Palestine at UC Berkeley. The tireless efforts and determination of the students at Berkeley, culminating in the 16-4 vote by the Student Senate to divest from two companies providing support for the Zionist occupation of Palestine, are an inspiration to us all. The veto of Bill 118A by ASUC”s President does not detract from the fact that these students have succeeded in organizing and executing a brilliant campaign that will serve as an inspiration and a model for present and future divestment campaigns throughout North America. The fact that the bill, and the campaign for divestment at Berkeley, remains alive, retaining a wide majority of student senators in support of divestment, is a further testament to this remarkable accomplishment. More importantly, what the Berkeley students have been able to achieve constitutes a significant victory for the struggle for the liberation of Palestine and the dismantlement of apartheid Zionist structures.
The students at Berkeley have built on years of work in the student movement, including major recent successes at Hampshire College and the University of Michigan – Dearborn, and a legacy of struggle at Berkeley itself. The response of the student movement at Berkeley to the call of the Palestinian people – including the Palestinian community in the United States – to boycott, divest and sanction Israel and to shatter the impunity of Zionist war criminals and their corporate sponsors, is strong, powerful and necessary. It should be repeated across the country. The students at Berkeley faced down the full assault of the Zionist movement in the United States, determined to silence their call for justice, and emerged with a voice heard around the world, supported by dozens of student groups on the Berkeley campus representing diverse communities and constituencies.
The US Palestinian Community Network calls upon Palestinian students and all members of our community to make our voices heard in support of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigns. As the struggle in Berkeley continues, we will be there, marching with the students who launched this initiative, and our people will be present and visible as this struggle is replicated on campuses, in churches, labor unions, and every institution, as a major development in solidarity with our cause, undoing the Zionist narrative, isolating the occupier and expressing support for the liberation of the land and people of Palestine.