UR-SDS Occupies University of Rochester in Solidarity with People of Gaza
Students from the University of Rochester and members of the local Rochester community will be occupying the atrium of Goergen Hall on the River Campus of the University of Rochester (275 Hutchinson Road) today for peace and in solidarity with the people Gaza and in opposition to U.S. support for the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and the recent atrocities in Gaza. The action, organized by U of R Students for a Democratic Society (UR-SDS), will begin on the afternoon of Friday, February 6 and will last until the University of Rochester administration meets the demands.
The student occupation will feature a number of informational and peaceful consciousness raising events such as public talks, teach-ins, and sit-ins. The action was inspired by a wave of student occupations that occurred in 16 universities in England (1, 2) following the Israeli assault on Gaza.
1. Divestment: We demand the University of Rochester to adopt the "UR-Peaceful Investing Initiative" which institutes a peaceful investment policy to the university's endowment which includes divestment from corporations that manufacturer weapons and profit from war. (For example, the U of R invests in General Dynamics which manufactures weapons to maintain a 41-year occupation of the Palestinian territories and wars which slaughter Palestinian civilians by the 100s)
2. Humanitarian aid: We demand that the University of Rochester commit to a day of fundraising for humanitarian aid in Gaza within the next two weeks, as part of an ongoing commitment to provide financial support for the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
3. Academic aid: We demand that the University of Rochester twin with the devastated Gaza University and provide the necessary academic aid (e.g., recycled computers, books, etc.).
4. Scholarships: We demand that the University of Rochester grant a minimum of five scholarships to Palestinian students every year.
Additional Information: UR-SDS occupation blog | Friends of Peace: UR-SDS announcement and needs | UR SDS web page | UR SDS Letter to UR Administration | From the UR Campus Times: The U.S. assault on Palestinian peace and democracy