Dear Students at the University of California, Davis:
The Davis Unit of UAW 2865 would like to extend our congratulations and joy to Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and the undergraduate ASUCD senators who voted Thursday night to support UC Davis’ divestment from war profiteering companies in Palestine. Davis joins six other UC campuses in this landmark ruling, which demands that the administration divest from companies including Raytheon, G4s, Veolia and Caterpillar. These corporations reap lucrative benefits by directly contributing to war crimes in Palestine; as such, UC investment in them directly contradicts the University’s stated commitments to upholding human rights nationally and internationally.
We, as graduate students, are immensely proud to have had the opportunity to stand in solidarity with you. We write to encourage you to remember, despite what the opposition may claim, that you have done the right thing. As teachers, we acknowledge that while confronting opinions that challenge your own can be painful, it is an important part of the educational experience of higher learning. We suggest, with humility, that the harm suffered by those being confronted with opinions that challenge their own pales in comparison to the harm suffered by those living a life under occupation. Thank you for standing up against the latter. We acknowledge that it is not with bitterness that you seek divestment but with hope, a hope that a better and more just future exists. SJP’s bravery in speaking out for this hope, despite a history of political suppression of Palestinian solidarity work, is inspiring.
We also write to affirm that you are not alone in this victory. Remember that hundreds of students, from dozens of different national, cultural and religious backgrounds, stood up for Palestine the night of the resolution. Remember also that last December, 82 percent of voting Davis graduate students voted to support divestment. You are not alone. Together, we fight for justice in Palestine and for a more ethical university.
The fight for justice in Palestine continues, but even amid ongoing struggles, let us properly celebrate the victory that has been won. After months and years of hard work and self-motivated grassroots community organizing, you have created the space for Palestine here on campus. We, the Davis Unit of the UC Student Worker Union UAW 2865, thank you for doing so and heartily support your divestment resolution.
In solidarity and warmth,
The Officers of the Davis Unit of UAW 2865 and the Undersigned:
Hannah Kagan-Moore, Davis Representative to the Bylaws Committee
Evan Sandlin, Political Science Department, Union Liason
Graphic by Jennifer Wu