A Bill in Support of UMass Divestment from Companies that Profit from or Provide Material Support to War Crimes and / or Human Rights Violations
Authored By: Rima Mahmoud (Graduate Student), Mousa Musa (Undergraduate Student), Robert Birmingham (Undergraduate Student), Stasha Lampert (Undergraduate Student), Corinne Jager (Undergraduate Student), Daniel Finn (Undergraduate Student), Vonds Dubuisson (Undergraduate Student), Nathan Kelty (Undergraduate Student)
Sponsored By: Joey Nguyen, Speaker of Undergraduate Student Senate
Endorsed By: Travis Henderson (Undergraduate Student Government President), Joey Nguyen (Speaker of Undergraduate Student Senate), Alexis Marvel (UMass Boston Student Trustee for Academic Year 2012 – 13), UMass Boston Students for Justice in Palestine, UMass Boston Pakistani Students' Association, UMass Boston Haitian American Society, UMass Boston Muslim Students' Association, UMass Boston Student Union, UMass Boston Socialist Alternative, UMass Boston Women’s Center, UMass Boston Asian Students' Center, UMass Boston Turkish Students’ Center
Attachment: Faculty Endorsements
WHEREAS the Mission Statement of the University of Massachusetts Boston expresses an explicit commitment to “serving the public good of our city, our commonwealth, our nation, and our world”;1 and WHEREAS the “University of Massachusetts was one of the first American public universities to divest from companies doing business with the South African apartheid regime”,2 and, in 2007, as a result of a student-led initiative, the university’s investment fund, UMass Foundation, Inc. upheld the university’s values by divesting “from companies on the divestment list maintained by the Sudan Divestment Task Force (SDTF) and to make no new investments in companies on that list”;3 and WHEREAS former UMass President Jack Wilson confirmed that the decision to divest from Sudan “is consistent with the University’s traditions and values”;4 and WHEREAS the Minutemen Equity Fund, as part of the UMass Foundation, Inc. is currently invested in Boeing Company; and
WHEREAS Boeing manufactures and sells weaponry and air crafts, such as the Hellfire Missile and AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, which have been used by the Israeli forces during Operation Cast Lead,5 a twenty-two day military onslaught in which the Israeli forces' actions, according to Amnesty International, “constituted direct
1 “University of Massachusetts Boston: Mission & Values” http://www.umb.edu/the_university/mission_values/ 2 University of Massachusetts International Relations: Global Reach, Global Impact” http://media.umassp.edu/massedu/UMass_International%20Relations.pdf 3 “UMass Foundation Moves Forward on Sudan Divestment” http://www.massachusetts.edu/news/news.cfm?mode=detail&news_id=210 4 “UMass Foundation Moves Forward on Sudan Divestment” http://www.massachusetts.edu/news/news.cfm?mode=detail&news_id=210
attacks on civilian objects, a serious violation of international humanitarian law and a war crime”,6 leading to the deaths of over 1,300 Palestinians, of which the majority were civilians and 412 were children;7 and WHEREAS Boeing’s historical8 willingness to support military campaigns and its support of Cast Lead in particular has inflicted great damage on civilians in terms of human life, essential infrastructure (hospitals, schools, electricity factories, etc.), and the economy;9 and BE IT RESOLVED that, to uphold our University’s values and continue a tradition of ethical opposition to war crimes and / or human rights violations, the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) demands that the UMass Foundation, Inc. divest its funds from Boeing Company and other entities that perpetuate and profit from war crimes and / or human rights violations.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Undergraduate Student Government will recommend the establishment of a Responsible Investment Committee to monitor future investments to continue upholding our students’ and our University’s conscientious refusal to financially support entities that engage in war crimes and / or human rights violations.
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE15/015/2009/en/8f299083-9a74-4853-860f-0563725e633a/mde150152009en.pdf 8 According to the Human Rights Watch, “The first large-scale Israeli military use of Hellfire missiles was in the May 1996 "Grapes of Wrath" Operation in southern Lebanon during which many civilian structures were targeted and some 154 Lebanese civilians were killed, and another 351 civilians were injured.(25) The AGM-114A/B/C/F/K is produced by Boeing Corporation (formerly Rockwell International) and Lockheed Martin (formerly Martin Marietta).” Source: “No Additional U.S. Air-to-Ground Missiles to Israel”, Human Rights Watch, http://www.hrw.org/news/2000/05/22/no-additional-us-air-ground-missiles-israel 9 According to the Human Rights Watch, “Since 1996, IDF fighter-bombers have targeted and heavily damaged Lebanese electrical stations three times, at enormous cost to the Lebanese government and civilian population. According to the Lebanese Minster of Electricity and Water Resources, the June 1999 attack cost U.S.$50 million to repair; the February 2000 attack is estimated to have caused twice as much damage; and the May 5 damage may cost the Lebanese utility another $50 million to fix.” Source: http://www.hrw.org/news/2000/05/22/no-additional-us-air-ground-missiles-israel; "Israel hits Lebanese power stations, Hezbollah positions," Deutsche Presse-Agentur, February 8, 2000; and Nayla Razzouk, " Israeli strikes plunge Lebanon in darkness," Agence France-Presse, May 5, 2000.
Associate Professor Department of Political Science
28. Srikanth, Rajini Professor Department of English
29. Spiegler, Peter Assistant Professor Department of Economics
30. Stuelke, Patricia Lecturer Department of Women’s Studies
31. Tamdgidi, Mohammad Associate Professor Department of Sociology
32. Taylor, Clark Professor (ret.) College of Public and Community Service
33. Zabel, Gary Senior Lecturer Department of Philosophy
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