To Dr. Alan Wildeman, President & Vice-Chancellor, University of Windsor
I am writing to tell you how dismayed I am by your attempt to have the student union on your campus suppress the results of a student referendum in which a substantial majority voted to support the international campaign of boycott, divestment, and sanctions that seeks, through peaceful means, to induce the state of Israel to comply with international law and end its oppression of the Palestinians.
I believe that the position you have taken violates the principle of academic freedom–which I regard as being not just a privilege to which tenured academics lay claim, but a foundational principle of the university, and something to be protected for all members of the university community. Of course, a commitment to academic freedom implies at the same time a commitment to civil, humane, and rational discourse, whose goal might be described, in the simplest terms, as one of determining truths (to the best of our abilities) and disseminating them. Continue reading
By Tyler Levitan, Mondoweiss March 13, 2014
In a historic victory for the BDS movement in Canada, the University of Windsor undergraduate students voted in a campus-wide referendum to endorse the BDS movement, and to push for university divestment from companies that are complicit in Israel’s systematic violations of international law. The University of Windsor Palestinian Solidarity Group (PSG) carefully followed the protocols in place for this referendum, having had their question vetted and approved by the University of Windsor Student Alliance (UWSA) lawyer, and having met with the university’s president, Alan Wildeman, in advance of the referendum. Over 10% (which is quorum) of voters cast their vote, with 798 out of 1393 votes in favour of divestment.
Why, then, has there been so much pressure from the university’s administration to prevent a ratification of the results? President Wildeman wrote a letter to students following the BDS victory indicating that several complaints about the process of the referendum required an investigation from the administration into its validity. Wildeman has also attended a recent UWSA meeting with the goal of preventing the UWSA from performing its duties by ratifying the referendum results. The undergraduate referendum does not fall within the purview of the administration. The UWSA has autonomous mechanisms in its by-laws that deal with appeals. There have been other “controversial” UWSA referendums that have not seen any interference from the administration. So why are they interfering with this one? Continue reading
Palestinian Solidarity Group BDS Referendum Statement
The University of Windsor Palestinian Solidarity Group (PSG) would like to clear up the misinformation that’s been spread by the media in regards to the BDS referendum which was recently passed, as well as respond to the recent statements by President Alan Wildeman.
Many have falsely claimed the referendum was on a “boycott of Israel” or of companies which “support or are from Israel.” Various other inaccuracies in the coverage show how easy it is to get away with complete fabrications when it comes to Palestinian human rights activism.
Almost nowhere in the media coverage has the actual referendum question been presented. In actuality, the referendum question asks the UWSA to participate in BDS by simply divesting from “companies that support or profit from Israeli war crimes, occupation and oppression,” which is following the BDS approach of the United Church of Canada, CUPE Ontario, and the many other student unions who have passed BDS. Continue reading
Dear Professor Klein,
I write on behalf of the Seriously Free Speech Committee-Vancouver (SFSC) to support your work in defense of Palestinian human and political rights. We are cheered to see that you have won every challenge from the ultra-zionists so far, and congratulate you on having been so well supported and well defended.
Electronic Intifada, Sept 27, 2013
A Zionist group based in California has renewed its vicious campaign against a mathematics professor at the California State University at Northridge (CSUN), claiming that he is violating the law by using university resources to express his personal and political views.
The professor, David Klein, an outspoken and unapologetic supporter of the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, has told The Electronic Intifada that the renewed “harassment” has been disruptive.
But Klein says he is heartened by the broad and solid support he has received for his exercise of his free speech rights.
Posted in Media
Canadian Students’ Coalition for Palestine
SFSC has signed on to the following statement. Other organizations are invited to sign on to this statement. To sign on, email canadianSCP@gmail.com or use the online form.
April 14, 2013
To: The University of Manitoba Students’ Union Council
Local 103 of the Canadian Federation of Students, 101 University Centre, Winnipeg, MB
We are writing to express our grave concern about the UMSU’s decision to revoke the student club status of the University of Manitoba’s branch of Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA), and further to ban SAIA from operating in “UMSU spaces.” By denying students at UManitoba the right to initiate and operate SAIA, you are denying them the right to engage in criticism of the State of Israel, and this decision is a flagrant violation of students’ Fundamental Freedoms of Expression and of Association as enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms under sections 2(b) and 2(d). Continue reading
For immediate release, Saturday, April 13, 2013
U of M Students’ Union urged to support human rights and freedom of speech
WINNIPEG—The Winnipeg Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (WCAIA) is appalled by the University of Manitoba Students’ Union’s April 11 decision to end Students Against Israeli Apartheid’s student group status and ban it from operating in students’ union space.
The motion passed by UMSU Council equates criticism of the Israeli government to discrimination and harassment, and takes extraordinary measures against a student group, although it appears no evidence was presented to substantiate the accusations.
“We are shocked that UMSU would ban Students Against Israeli Apartheid without any evidence or basis for the accusations brought forward in the motion,” said Liz Carlyle, spokesperson for the Winnipeg Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid. “It is clear that the architects of the motion aimed to silence opposition to the Israeli government’s Apartheid policies.”
Tristin Hopper, National Post
In what B’nai Brith called a “precedent setting move,” the University of Manitoba Students Union voted Thursday to strip the group Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) of official club status.
The motion bars SAIA from receiving student union funding or using activity space in student-union controlled buildings.
The motion was adopted despite an opinion by the student union’s lawyer, who argued that it could leave the union open to litigation.
Posted in Media
Tagged ￼ ￼UMSU, campus, UMSU
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Toronto, April 12, 2013 — B’nai Brith Canada extends its congratulations to the students at University of Manitoba that spearheaded last night’s University of Manitoba Students Union (UMSU) resolution that stripped Students Against Israel Apartheid (SAIA) of its status as a student group and banned Israel Apartheid Week (IAW) from UMSU property.
Posted in Media
Tagged campus, iaw, UMSU