Campus Occupations Spread to U.S. as Support for Palestine Grows

24 February 2009

This past week a group of 80 students occupied the student center of New York University with a list of demands all geared towards greater democracy, transparency, and equality on their campus. Among their demands was full disclosure of NYU’s investment portfolio and divestment from companies that profit off of war. There was also a more general call for a statement in solidarity with Palestine. This comes the same month that the first American college, Hampshire College in Massachusetts, agreed to divest from Israel. Hampshire College was also the first school in the United States to divest from South Africa during the Apartheid regime. It is hoped that these actions will spread throughout the United States as communities and universities are held accountable for their investments.

These occupations come after a wave of more than 2 dozen university occupations in Britain, Canada, and elsewhere in Europe which were aimed at ending the war and siege on Gaza and in some cases a call for divestment from Israel, using the same tactic that aided in bringing down the Apartheid regime in South Africa 15 years ago.