Elham Asaad Buaras
The National Union of Student’s Black Students conference endorsed the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel at their national conference at the University of Warwick last month.
The annual gathering passed Motion 402: Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions by an overwhelming majority.
Motion 402 condemns Israel’s “multitude of human rights and international law violations”, describing Israeli expansion on Palestinian land as “a settler-colonial project, predicated on the ethnic cleansing and expulsion of its indigenous people.”
The motion also slams “systemic” racism in Israeli state policy, including “anti-Arab, anti-African and anti-migrant discrimination.”
Noting “numerous BDS successes on campus this past year” despite “repression used against BDS campaigners both in the UK and abroad”, Motion 402 declares support for “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaigns initiated by students” and mentions G4S, Veolia and Eden Springs by name.
The motion commits the Black Students campaign to lobbying “institutions to adopt academic boycott of Israeli universities”, disseminating “resources and materials on how to run successful BDS campaigns”, and supporting “the annual Israeli Apartheid Week initiative”.
The Black Students conference awarded ‘Student of the Year’ to the acclaim Malaka Mohammed, a Palestinian from Gaza recognised for defying the blockade to study at Sheffield University, and then going on to win a full time sabbatical role in her student union with a record number of votes.
Conference also gave an award for international peace and justice to King’s College London for their campaign work for Palestine including right to education and BDS.