The Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC) stands in solidarity with all workers struggling for justice and supports the workers of UAW and their divestment resolution, and we call on our allies and community to do the same.
On December 4th, the UC Student-Workers Union will vote on a resolution calling for UAW 2865 to join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in support of the Palestinian people. This comes at a time when there is unprecedented support for the anti-apartheid Israel movement with academic and cultural institutions all over the world taking positions in support of BDS. It also comes at a time when the state of Israel has intensified its colonial violence against the indigenous Palestinian population, expanding its settlements, depopulating city by city, displacing people from Jerusalem to Gaza, and encouraging attacks against Palestinians by settlers and military alike. With the heightened targeting of Palestinian students and professors on university campuses, along with the imprisonment of Rasmea Odeh, an elderly Palestinian American community organizer, we are now witnessing the US government expanding its unwavering support of Israel, militarism, and repression. These acts can be seen as nothing less than an attempt to criminalize Palestinian activism, just as they have historically done to social justice movements in this country, and just as they are doing in the streets of Ferguson.
But this also comes at a time when the Palestinian people are amplifying their calls for resistance and urging the world to join them in their fight against militarism and colonialism. The workers in Palestine have called for the solidarity of workers all around the world. And people are responding. Most recently, we achieved victory with the Block the Boat campaign when rank and file workers with the International Longshoreman’s Union (ILWU) stood with us to successfully and indefinitely stop the Israeli Zim ship from docking in California or Florida. This is a testament to community-worker solidarity, and the power of workers to disrupt the system when fighting for justice. Today we have UAW 2865 joining this fight. And we call on people to join them by supporting their efforts on UC campuses across the state.
It is critical that we support UAW’s resolution because:
- It is a key effort in favor of the BDS movement.
- It is a challenge to state repression against Palestinian activism.
- Because the United States and Israel work hand-in-hand to oppress communities here and in Palestine, and the University institution is instrumental to this relationship.
- Israel trains local police. Israel trained St. Louis police department, the same police department attacking the community in Ferguson.
- Israel imports surveillance technology and weaponry to police and militarize local communities.
- Universities are used as laboratories to produce surveillance technology and weaponry that are employed on poor, Black, Brown and indigenous communities in the US.
- The University produces and reproduces structures of knowledge that reinforce and legitimize anti-Arab and anti-Muslim racism, militarism, colonialism, incarceration and policing.
The fight against normalization of racism and Zionism is a fight that we are all a part of—workers, students, activists, academics and cultural workers.
Let there be no doubt about the fact that such a powerful resolution is surely a threat to the surveillance and military apparatus. It is a threat to the attempt to keep Universities as functionaries of state violence and to force University students and laborers to participate in that violence.. And it is ever more important that we join forces to build power and challenge all attempts to silence us and crush our movements.
When workers reclaim their power and take a position on the side of justice, they are honoring the legacy of worker-community solidarity, and reminding the world that workers are part and parcel of popular movements.
We support the workers of UAW 2865 and call on community organizations to support this historic effort as we chip away at apartheid, war and militarism from Palestine to the United States. Encourage graduate students in the UC system to turn out for the vote on December 4th to vote yes for divestment from the UAW international and UC Regents as well as ending US military aid to Israel. We encourage all graduate students to individually pledge to join the academic boycott as well. More information about the UAW 2865 ballot can be found here:http://laborforpalestine.net/2014/10/28/uaw-2865-announces-december-4-bds-vote/
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