Campus Socialists at U. South Florida End Anti-Israel Hunger Strike

2024-04-08 16:30:44

Maybe next they could try holding their breath until their demands are met.

Socialist USF students end hunger strike that demanded divestment from Israel

This April, students at the University of South Florida ended an anti-Israel hunger strike, but are continuing to present their demands to the university’s leadership, reported Tampa Bay Times.

The group of 18 pro-Palestine students, which included individuals belonging to Students for Socialism, convened to protest at a USF Board of Trustees meeting, with one student laying out the group’s demands as: “We want [university leadership] to call for a ceasefire, publicize the investment portfolio and establish a student oversight committee,” according to WUSF.

The students demanded that the school divest from its alleged investments in companies with connections to Israel such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin, with a protestor stating during the public comment period: “It is pathetic on your part that we have to resort to these means of a hunger strike to get our demands finally met. But if that’s what it takes for you to listen to your students once and for all, and stop profiting from the genocide, then so be it. I and 17 others will go without food starting today until you divest.”

The hunger-striking students additionally demanded that USF President Rhea Law refer to the ongoing Israeli counteroffensive in Gaza as a “genocide.”

The Chair of the Board of Trustees, Will Weatherford, spoke to the students before the beginning of the board meeting, saying: “USF investments are guided by our mission or fiduciary responsibilities in the state and federal law. Therefore, the university’s investments are managed based on performance to produce benefits for the entire university regardless of political viewpoints or disagreements,” and added that, in accordance with state law, USF cannot “make decisions about vendors or investments based on political viewpoints or opinions,” related Tampa Bay Times.

Weatherford also said that USF doesn’t “actually invest directly in the stocks that have been portrayed.”.

The protestors rejected Weatherford’s words, and one student replied: “This is a matter of human lives. There are no more functioning hospitals in North Gaza. You are complicit through your investments, and the aforementioned corporations have been raking in billions of dollars by selling these weapons, which means you are profiting from these atrocities.”

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Campus Socialists at U. South Florida End Anti-Israel Hunger Strike


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