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A Bill in Support of UMass Divestment from Companies that Profit from or Provide Material Support to War Crimes and / or Human Rights Violations

A Bill in Support of UMass Divestment from Companies that Profit from or Provide Material Support to War Crimes and / or Human Rights Violations

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Published by corinne_jager001
University of Massachusetts Boston, MA, April 18th, 2012 - The UMass Boston Undergraduate Student Government unanimously passed a bill demanding that the UMass Foundation, the university’s investment fund, divest from Boeing and other companies profiting from war crimes and/or human rights violations.
University of Massachusetts Boston, MA, April 18th, 2012 - The UMass Boston Undergraduate Student Government unanimously passed a bill demanding that the UMass Foundation, the university’s investment fund, divest from Boeing and other companies profiting from war crimes and/or human rights violations.

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04/28/2012

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 A Bill in Support of UMass Divestment from Companies that Profit from or ProvideMaterial 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), JoeyNguyen (Speaker of Undergraduate Student Senate), Alexis Marvel (UMassBoston Student Trustee for Academic Year 2012
13)
,
UMass BostonStudents for Justice in Palestine, UMass Boston Pakistani Students'Association, UMass Boston Haitian American Society, UMass Boston MuslimStudents' 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
andWHEREAS
the “University of Massachusetts was one of the first American public universities to divest fromcompanies 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
andWHEREAS the Minutemen Equity Fund, as part of the UMass Foundation, Inc. is currently invested in BoeingCompany; andWHEREAS Boeing manufactures and sells weaponry and air crafts, such as the Hellfire Missile and AH-64 Apacheattack helicopters,
 
which have been used by the Israeli forces during Operation Cast Lead,
5
a twenty-two daymilitary 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.pd
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
5
 
According to Amnesty International the AGM-114 Hellfire missile, which is usually launched from Apache helicopters, was used during Operation Cast Leadand, in one reported occasion, killed three paramedics and a child. The Hellfire missile is produced by Hellfire Systems of Orlando, a LockheedMartin/Boeing joint venture. Furthermore, according to Boeing Company, the company manufactures and sells to Israel Apache helicopters, such as the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter
. For information on the Hellfire missiles, “Israel –
 
OPT: Fueling Conflict: Foreign Arms Supplies to Israel/Gaza”, Amnesty
International http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE15/012/2009/en/5be86fc2-994e-4eeb-a6e8-3ddf68c28b31/mde150122009en.html#sdendnote36sym. For documentation of the AH-
64 Apache attack helicopter’s use in Operation Cast Lead: “The
Israeli Arsenal Deployed Against Gaza in Operation Cast Lead
 Journal of Palestine Studies
Vol. 38, No. 3 (Spring 2009), pp. 175-191
 
For information on Boeing’s Apache sales to Israel, “Boeing in Israel” <http://en.boeing.co.il/ViewContent.do?id=49082>
 
attacks on civilian objects, a serious violation of international humanitarian law and a war crime”
,
6
leading to thedeaths of over 1,300 Palestinians, of which the majority were civilians and 412 were children;
7
and
 
WHEREAS Boeing’s historical
8
willingness to support military campaigns and its support of Cast Lead in particularhas inflicted great damage on civilians in terms of human life, essential infrastructure (hospitals, schools, electricityfactories, 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 UMassFoundation, Inc. divest its funds from Boeing Company and other entities that perpetuate and profit from warcrimes 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 ourUniversity’s conscientious refusal to financially support entities
that engage in war crimes and / or human rightsviolations.
6
 
Israel/Gaza
 
Operation ‘Cast Lead’: 22 Days of Death and Destruction”, Amnesty International
 http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE15/015/2009/en/8f299083-9a74-4853-860f-0563725e633a/mde150152009en.pdf 
7
 
Israel/Gaza
 
Operation ‘Cast Lead’: 22 Days of Death and Destruction”, Amnesty International
 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 insouthern Lebanon during which many civilian structures were targeted and some 154 Lebanese civilians were killed, and another 351 civilians wereinjured.(25) The AGM-114A/B/C/F/K is produced by Boeing Corporation (formerly Rockwell International) and Lockheed Martin (formerly MartinMarietta).
” 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 1999attack 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 hitsLebanese power stations, Hezbollah positions," Deutsche Presse-Agentur, February 8, 2000; and Nayla Razzouk, " Israeli strikes plunge Lebanon indarkness," Agence France-Presse, May 5, 2000.

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