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ACTION ALERT: Defend Free Speech & Divestment at Univ. of Toledo!

by Anna Baltzer, National Organizer
February 22nd, 2015

What a month itís been! Just this past week, the student governments of two of the countryís most prestigious universities -- Stanford and Northwestern -- voted to divest from companies involved in the Israeli occupation and abuses of Palestinian human rights. Two weeks ago, the University of California (UC) Student Association became the first multi-campus student association to endorse divestment in a landmark, landslide victory. Just 10 days prior, UC Davis became the seventh UC campus government (out of ten) to vote in favor of divestment. Last December, UAW 2865, the UC student workers union, became the first major U.S. labor union to endorse divestment, while more than half the voting membership pledged to support the academic boycott of Israel. And on, and on...


But at the University of Toledo (UT) in Ohio, students were barred from attending a meeting to debate divestment, and at the meeting, the student government was barred from voting on it! WILL YOU SIGN THIS PETITION IN SUPPORT OF THE RIGHT TO DEBATE AND VOTE ON DIVESTMENT AT UT?

Hereís what happened: On the same night that Stanford celebrated a hard-earned victory last Tuesday, students at UT presented their divestment resolution to the Student Government for debate and vote. But the student body was not allowed to attend, and the Student Government allowed only Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Hillel representatives to speak -- effectively redefining a pluralistic issue along religious lines. Testifiers for and against divestment were forced to sit in separate rooms and prevented from hearing one anotherís arguments. This was done in the name of preventing violence, painting divestment and the predominantly Muslim and Arab UT bases behind it as somehow violent. In fact, divestment opponents even cited the recent Chapel Hill shootings of three Muslim students as an example of why divestment should be rejected!  Amidst the emotional, but peaceful debate, the UT student governmentís Judicial Council suddenly convened a meeting of its own and ruled the resolution "unconstitutional" on grounds that it was "discriminatory" and "one-sided," so no vote could even be taken. The Jewish Federation of Toledo boasted about "working diligently with Hillel and the University administration to defeat the motion."

[[First_Name]], students at #UTDivest need your support! Please sign and share this petition calling for transparency, democracy, and the right to vote on divestment!

Campus Divest 2015

We are truly reaching a turning point, with more than two dozen campus boycott and divestment victories nationwide and seemingly more campaigns launching with every passing week! 

As the incredible power and momentum of these student-led campaigns gets stronger, so will the desperation and nasty tactics of those wishing to defend Israel's aggression. We must all be ready to rally to support these brave students when the time comes, and now is one of those times. 

Please sign and share this petition defending divestment and UT Students for Justice in Palestine today!

Congratulations to the many incredible SJP chapters -- and their critical allies -- across the country, whose leadership have brought the campus-based movement to the extraordinary place it is today.

P.S. To keep up with the UT campaign and future action opportunities, make sure to follow #UTDivest on Facebook and @UTSJP on Twitter!