AMENDED Resolution in Support of CUNY Gaza Solidarity Encampment for May 23 DA

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AMENDED Resolution in Support of CUNY Gaza Solidarity Encampment for May 23 DA

Whereas CUNY students and workers have demonstrated principled and courageous solidarity with the Palestinian national liberation struggle, including through the establishment of the CUNY Gaza Solidarity Encampment at the City College of New York (CCNY) campus, demanding that the CUNY administration take action to end CUNY’s complicity in the US-backed genocide in Gaza, which has killed over 40,000 Palestinians, including 6000 students- and has destroyed every university in Gaza;

Whereas on April 30, 2024, CCNY president Vincent Boudreau, with the backing of CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, authorized a raid by the NYPD and its notoriously violent Strategic Response Group (SRG) on the CUNY Gaza Solidarity Encampment, resulting in nearly 200 arrests, including 29 felony charges, against CUNY students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members as well as numerous injuries to protesters including chemical burns, broken bones, concussions, broken teeth and more;

Whereas the PSC stands firmly for the right of its members and all CUNY students and workers to freely express their views;

Whereas students and workers around the world have called on universities to disclose, divest, and boycott (following calls by the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions), and CUNY’s student-led protest movement demands that CUNY management divest from companies complicit in the Israeli genocide, 

Whereas as of Fiscal Year 2021, CUNY spent over $8.5 million USD on 13 contracts with companies that aid in and profit from the occupation and genocide, including Dell, IBM, HP, Lenovo, Cisco, and BMC Software;

Whereas CUNY is also invested in companies that provide weapons to Israeli forces committing genocide, including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and RTX. RTX, formerly known as Raytheon, supplies missiles and bombs to Israel, and enjoyed a share price increase of ten per cent following the beginning of Israel’s assault on Gaza in October 2023;

Whereas CUNY, along with many other universities, divested from Apartheid South Africa in 1984, and boycott and divestment are powerful and non-violent tools of resistance that have been used to challenge racism, colonialism and apartheid for over a century;

Whereas the student movement has demanded an academic boycott of Israel, pointing out that Israeli academic institutions are complicit in the occupation and colonization of Palestine and the state’s violence against Palestinians by providing material and political support to the Israeli military; and discriminating against Palestinian students and repressing solidarity with Palestinian liberation;

Whereas the PSC has previously taken stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people and in support of academic freedom; has joined other unions calling for a ceasefire; recently condemned the repression of student protests at Columbia University and the repression of protesters at CCNY; and called for CUNY to urge the District Attorney to drop charges against CUNY students and employees arrested on April 30, 2024;

Resolved, that the PSC calls on Chancellor Matos Rodriguez and President Boudreau to acknowledge and respond to the CUNY Gaza Solidarity Encampment’s Five Demands; to acknowledge and respond to their own complicity in violence against protesters, many of whom are Muslim, Jewish, immigrants, and/or students of color; refrain from further violence and repression; decline to participate in all prosecutions of participants in the CUNY Gaza Solidarity Encampment and related protest actions; and advocate for withdrawing all charges against all those arrested. 

Resolved, that the PSC endorses the student movement demand that the CUNY administration commit to full financial transparency regarding the university’s institutional investments and immediately divest from all Israeli companies, including weapons, tech and surveillance, and construction companies as well as ban all academic trips to Israel, encompassing Birthright, Fulbright, and Perspectives trips, and cancel all forms of cooperation with Israeli academic institutions, including events, activities, agreements, and research collaborations.

Resolved, that the PSC must respond immediately and assertively to any current or future retaliation that our students, faculty, or staff face for pro-Palestine organizing or speech, and must allocate additional resources to train and support PSC staff, union leaders, rank and file, and grievance counselors to ensure that such responses are effective.

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