Time to kick #ApartheidOffCampus!
Many UK universities are deeply complicit with Israeli apartheid through:
1) Investments in companies complicit in the oppression of Palestine
2) Institutional ties with complicit Israeli universities
Join the campaign for UK universities to get #ApartheidOffCampus and pledge to be #ApartheidFree!
If you're not a student, support the #ApartheidOffCampus campaign online using the hashtags: #ApartheidOffCampus #DivestforPalestine
Scroll down for more info!
Student account with Barclays?
Help us campaign for them to divest from apartheid.
We’ve uncovered that Barclays Bank holds over £1 billion in shares, and provides over £3 billion in loans and underwriting to 9 companies whose weapons, components, and military technology have been used in Israel’s armed violence against Palestinians. By providing investment and financial services to these arms companies, Barclays facilitates the provision of weapons and technology for Israel’s militarised repression of Palestinians.
Alongside War on Want and Campaign Against Arms Trade, we’re calling on Barclays Bank to #StopBankingOnApartheid
So what can you do?
- Pass a motion at your Students’ Union committing them to not banking with Barclays until they stop funding apartheid – template motion here.
- If you have a Barclays account, use our template letter and write to your local bank manager – download here.
- Spread the word! Put up leaflets, posters and stickers around your university – download here, here and here.
- Get involved with your local PSC Branch in organising around our Barclays: Don’t Bank on Apartheid days of action – more information here.
Students Protect the Right to Boycott
The government has now tabled the ‘Economic Activity of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) bill’ (often called the ‘anti-boycott’ bill) which could dramatically restrict campaigns for social and climate justice – it aims to prevent local authorities, universities, some pension funds, and other public institutions from exercising ethical discretion when making financial decisions.
A broad coalition of nearly 70 civil society organisations made up of trade unions, charities, NGOs, faith, climate justice, human rights, and solidarity organisations are calling on MPs to reject this bill in parliament. But what can students do?
Student organisers have long used divestment as a tactic, from targeting companies complicit in South African apartheid, to the arms trade, and fossil fuel extraction. Many see this bill as the latest attempt from the government to curtail the power of the student movement as a force for justice.
We’re asking students to:
- Read and share our student briefing to find out how this bill could impact student campaigning
- Sign the petition against the bill
- Write to your local MP to oppose the bill in Parliament
- Write to your Vice Chancellor to ask them to oppose the bill
- Get your SU to pass a motion opposing the bill
‘Palestine will be free’: Student organizing in the face of repression
“The students who stood against apartheid in 1973 did so because they knew that what was happening in South Africa was a crime: they heeded the calls of the Black South African student movement for solidarity, and they acted to push the UK government and complicit companies into action. […] In the same way, students today stand with the Palestinian people against colonialism and oppression, and we know that the UK government sides with the oppressor.”
Israeli Apartheid Week 2023
In March 2023, students from at least 15 universities across the UK joined the international Israeli Apartheid Week.
We ran film screenings, public meetings and stalls, hosted workshops and ran talks. This year’s theme was ‘People Against Apartheid’, highlighting popular grassroots struggles against Israeli apartheid, and platforming the intersectionality of the movement for a free Palestine.
From the River to the Sea: Student Day of Action, Feb. 2023
On the 17th February 2023, students across the country took action on campus under the banner of ‘From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free’.
The recently elected far-right Israeli government represents the intensification of the racist system of power that is now accepted across international civil society as meeting the definition of apartheid.
Yet here in Britain, the government has threatened to bring in a law aiming to prevent public bodies like universities from divesting from companies involved in the abuse of Palestinian rights, and, last year, the then-Education Secretary threatened that universities should report students who call for Palestinian liberation “from the river to the sea” to the police (aside from being incredibly draconian, this would be near impossible to implement). The government also pressured the NUS to launch an investigation into antisemitism, using the discredited IHRA definition which conflates antisemitism with legitimate advocacy for Palestinian rights.
In this context, students ran open meetings, hosted speakers, held stalls on campus, put up posters and kickstarted Apartheid Off Campus campaigns – showing that the Palestine solidarity movement in universities is vibrant, and will not be silenced.
More information here:
Young PSC Network
The Young Palestine Solidarity Campaign Network is group of young activists organising in solidarity with Palestine.
This is a way to get involved with the work of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign if you’re not a student, or if you’ve left University. Sign up for updates, to meet likeminded people, and to get involved in our campaigns and with planning social events.
Join the Young PSC Network
Support for students dealing with repression
If you have any questions about your rights, or your Palestine Society (or other organisation) have been intimidated, repressed, censored or banned from speaking out or participating in Palestine advocacy, get in touch with the European Legal Support Centre (ELSC).
They provide support to Palestine activists across Europe, and have a huge amount of experience working with students to make sure they know their rights.
You can also make a record of an event, even if you don’t need/want to take any action, and this will be used to inform further campaigning to protect students’ right to campaign on Palestine.
Get in touch with the ELSC
Israeli Apartheid Week 2022
Student Protest for Palestine - Report!
On the day of the 16th anniversary of the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), hundreds of students took to the streets of London to demand that UK Universities end their complicity in Israeli apartheid. The noisy demonstration swept through the campuses of SOAS, Birkbeck, LSE and KCL, where student activists spoke of their inspiring campaigning work.
They reminded us that Israeli apartheid can only be maintained because of the complicity of our government and our institutions. This includes UK universities. UK Universities collectively invest over £400m in companies complicit in Israeli violations of international law.
Along with investments, UK universities maintain partnerships, programmes, and ties with complicit Israeli institutions. For example, a plethora of UK universities have ties to the Technion in Haifa, which functions as the R&D wing of the IDF, developing military technology to be deployed to oppress Palestinians.
At the demonstration, representatives from a range of campaigning organisations, working on ending UK Universities role in oppression, also spoke to support student’s demands. This included Stop the War Youth and Student, CAAT Universities Network, and the Young Greens.
While the demonstration was a unifying display of solidarity – there’s so much more we need to do. PSCs Youth and Student Committee is working hard to prepare students to campaign for divestment during the next academic year.
Watch this space…
Israel has established an apartheid regime that discriminates against Palestinians in a variety of ways. On its foundation in 1948 the new state passed laws which prevented the over 750,000 dispossessed Palestinians from returning to their homes, whilst allowing Jews from around the world to migrate to the state of Israel as citizens. To this day, Israel has prevented these refugees and their descendants from exercising the legally enshrined right to return to their homes.
The Palestinians citizens of Israel make up 20% of Israel’s population and face more than 60 laws which discriminate against them due to their Palestinian descent.
Israel operates a regime of systematic racial discrimination against all parts of the Palestinian population.
UK universities complicity
UK universities remain deeply complicit with Israel’s apartheid practises through their investment and institutional links.
Universities invest directly in companies which:
- Supply the Israeli military with arms and military technology
- Assist in the building of illegal Israeli settlements in the OPT
- Develop the infrastructure of Israel’s military occupation
UK universities also collaborate with complicit Israeli academicinstitutions, such as Technion – State of Technology. Technion is the leading research institute in Israel who develop weapons for companies such as Elbit Systems. These weapons are often tested on Palestinian civilians Gaza and then marketed as “field-tested” or “combat-tested” to the world.
These investments and collaborations exist despite the majority of UK universities holding strong ethical policies that exist to prevent complicity with human rights abuses.
Apartheid Off Campus
Students in the UK have been at the forefront of campaigning for social justice for decades, including in the anti-apartheid in South Africa movement. However, the world is not free from the crime of apartheid.
Get involved in the Palestine Society on your campus and join the campaign!