The University of California, Los Angeles was the site of a tense and divisive vote on Sunday as two divestment resolutions were proposed by the UC Student Association. Both resolutions were passed, including one which called for a divestment from the United Statess.
The UC Student Association board represents the 233,000 students at the UC system's 10 campuses.
The first resolution voted on by the UC Student Association Board called for some American companies to divest their interests from Israel. This caused an uproar from the pro-Israel students on campus. The second called for a divestment from Turkish, Mexican, Russian, Indonesian, Brazilian, Sri Lankan, Egyptian, and American government bonds.
These measures cited the numerous human rights violations allegedly conducted by the U.S. These violations include drone strikes, a justice system that has an inherent racial bias, and others.
Titled “The Resolution Toward Socially Responsible Investment at the University of California” passed with an overwhelming majority vote of 11-1-3 by the student-backed board, and stated the numerous issues they wished to addressed, according to The College Fix.
“The government of the U.S.A. is engaged in drone strikes that have killed over 2,400 people in Pakistan and Yemen, many of them civilians,” the resolution said. “The government oversees, by far, the highest rate of imprisonment in the world, and racial and ethnic minorities are disproportionately targeted by law enforcement agencies, particularly for drug-related offences.”
The resolution went on to describe the country’s issue with immigration as well as the U.S.’s support of violent regimes, saying, “400,000 undocumented immigrants are held in detention centers every year, and millions have been deported since the current administration took office, and the government is directly supporting the propping up numerous dictatorships around the world with weapon sales and foreign aid.”
The proposal for the universities to divest from the government bonds of numerous countries including the United States also passed. The proposal stated, “This resolution aims neither to condemn entire countries, peoples, or communities nor to determine political solutions, but is solely aimed at ending our university’s support of governments that directly engage in and enable human rights violations.”
Although each of these resolutions were passed, they were met with protest and backlash.
“I’m not afraid of passing the resolution,” one speaker said. “I’m afraid of us leaving here and walking in different directions.”