On Divestment, Supporting SAIA and “Seduction by Naive Activists”

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In the days both surrounding and immediately after the Carleton University Students Association (CUSA) council meeting on February 17th, where a divestment motion was to be debated, there was a plethora of articles both at Carleton and in the local press urging students not to support such a motion and to evade “ seduction by naive activists.” In addition, SAIA (Students Against Israeli Apartheid) was described as a “fringe group” or as “violent radicals”. We the InSol Womyn of Colour collective at Carleton University, one of the over twenty groups on the Carleton campus who support this motion, would like to contest this description of SAIA but above all to speak to why we support divestment at Carleton University. In addition, we would also like to tell those who describe the non SAIA supporters of the divestment motion as “misguided students,” that we would really appreciate not being spoken for.

InSol: Womyn of Colour collective is a united front of multi-ethnic women existing at many ends of the spectrum of colonial difference. We proudly identify as a dynamic fusion of critical, radical, anti-colonial, anti-racist, feminist women who stand in solidarity with the transnational struggle against ALL forms of oppression.

We support the divestment motion for the following reasons which are stated below in no particular order. Firstly, because we do not want our tuition money being used to support war profiteers, whose sinister “technologies” are used for harm around the world. In addition, we are in solidarity with all those who suffer under Israeli Apartheid (and yes we do believe it is Apartheid), be they Palestinian or Israeli Citizens. Furthermore, we believe that whether you are a Canadian, Palestinian or Israeli, your life has equal value, and thus, attention to the plight of Palestinians who live under Israeli occupation should not go unrecognized and discounted because Israel is supposedly the only democracy in the Middle East.

Around the world there is wide support for divestment and this is also illustrated more locally by the over two thousand students who sent letters to their CUSA “representatives” in support of the SAIA divestment motion. Could these students be described as “misguided”, supporters of a “fringe” group and “fringe” issue? We think not. Rather, they should be seen as informed, knowledgeable and outraged supporters of human rights who do not want their tuition fees supporting war profiteers and apartheid.

 

InSol Womyn of Colour Collective,

Ottawa

 

 

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