From “Aztlan to Palestine”: Congratulations on BDS at UC Santa Cruz

Photo from Caption reads “This is the picture at the entrance of the Palestinian Consulate in Mexico. It features Emiliano Zapata and Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni. The arabic is translated to: Long live Zappata – hero of the Mexican revolution – 1915 Long live Abd al Kader al Husseini – hero of the Palestinian revolution – 1948”

CONGRATULATIONS to the student community at the University of California, Santa Cruz for passing a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) bill through the student government yesterday (this morning?!). Congratulations to the Committee for Justice in Palestine (CJP), a multicultural group of Palestinians, Israelis, Muslims, Jews, black, brown, yellow and white, and many others. The bill was passed at just around 3am after several hours of discussion and testimonials. Given the conservatism of the campus, it was a real underdog story but so well deserved. Ultimately, I am grateful to have learned so much from the courageous compxs who drafted the bill, as well as my peers who came as individuals and representing a number of spaces, including Autonomous Students and MEChA about our obligation(s) to fight for justice in Palestine and here!

I want to share my testimonial here with you.

“My name is Maga and I am a 3rd year transfer student double-majoring in Community Studies and Feminist Studies. I am a first generation college student, and the proud daughter of Mexican migrants.

I am here today speaking in favor of Divestment from the aforementioned companies contributing to the occupation of Palestine in part because of the parallels which are obvious to me between the oppression faced by the Palestinian and that of Xican@s. For example, the 1948 ethnic cleansing of native Palestinians is quite reminiscent to me of the genocide of Native Americans on this land. Furthermore, I recently learned from my peers that Elbit Systems, the company that operates the separation wall in the West Bank is the very same company that contracts with the US Department of Homeland Security to produce certain hi tech portions of the US/Mexico wall.

My solidarity with the Palestinian people, thus, is an obvious and natural one.

That being said, I see it as my obligation to speak in favor of Divestment tonight, as a Xicana and a tuition-paying member of this public institution, the University of California, Santa Cruz.

In closing, I wan to read a quote from the 1969 Plan de Santa Barbara, MEChA’s founding document that I ask the voting body to keep in mind:

“[We pledge to] secure from the institution the commitment that it give the highest priority to the needs of the Chicano (sic) community, not because of morals or politics, but because it has an obligation as a public institution charged with serving all of society.

Thank you.”




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