Announcing the 2009 Campus Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Conference at Hampshire College
Endorsed by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel
What & Where: From November 20th through the 22nd, students, faculty, and staff from around the country who are engaged in Palestine solidarity activism will converge for a conference on campus Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS). This conference has three key goals:
- To co-educate and share resources amongst campus organizers on the process of initiating BDS campaigns on campuses
- To strategize tactics to address the needs of different campuses in carrying out BDS campaigns
- To bring together Palestine-solidarity campus groups under a larger network in order to strive towards a coordinated national BDS campaign.
Why: In July of 2005, “a clear majority of Palestinian civil society called upon international civil society organizations and people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel, similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era, until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with international law.” In addition, BDS is a non-violent means of protest and action that campuses in the United States can directly engage in to effectively stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people. A similar strategy was adopted in the struggle to end apartheid in South Africa in the 1970’s and 1980’s, and campus groups played a large role in helping spark and maintain that successful movement.
As campus members in the United States, we are directly complicit in perpetuating the injustices committed against the Palestinian people – our schools’ money is invested in companies that directly profit from Israel’s militarism, annexation of Palestinian land, and apartheid practices. After sixty-years of displacement, over forty-years of occupation, a two-year old siege, and in light of the recent invasion of Gaza and the continuing expansion of settlements in the West Bank, we must act now to cultivate the BDS movement in the United States. As members of academic communities, we can engage BDS as a means of applying economic and public pressure on Israel to abide by international law and we can change the discourse around Palestine/Israel in this country.
How to Participate: Attend the National Campus BDS conference at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA along with other members of your campus group. You will have the opportunity to organize workshops and panels, engage in discussions led by peers, listen to panels and lectures by influential members of the movement, develop skills, share resources, explore strategies, build networks, and more. Workshops at this conference will have a particular focus on: education and campus outreach, movement building strategies, and utilizing publicity and media for BDS. We encourage both Palestine-solidarity and allied groups to attend and contribute to this important conference through general participation, the building of a larger organizing network, and the facilitation of workshops.
Prominent public figures and outspoken supporters of the BDS movement will be attending the conference as keynote speakers and panelists, including representatives of the BNC and PACBI.
Date & Time: Friday, November 20th at 6 PM through Sunday, November 22nd, at 9 PM.
Hosted by Hampshire College Students for Justice in Palestine and allied groups, and endorsed by various Palestine Solidarity organizations.
Please check their website for updates, lodging & food information, financial aid, and registration details.