Activities & Organizations News

SJP orchestrate sit-in protest prior to the Board of Regents meeting

Jose Gonzalez-Campelo/The Cougar

Students for Justice in Palestine HTX are organizing a sit-in protest Wednesday to continue calls for the University to divest from weapons manufacturing companies that supply the Israeli military with weapons.  

The board meeting is where school officials make decisions that impact students day to day lives, so it is the perfect opportunity for students to make their voices heard, ​​said SJP representative and commuter science senior Reem, who chose to withhold their last name due to fear of retaliation.  

“This is whenever they can actually make decisions, respond to our resolutions regarding divestment. So, this is a protest that we are going to push and continue pushing for divestment no matter what excuses the university makes,” Reem said. 

The sit-in protest comes after multiple protests organized by SJP throughout the school year in a continued effort to get the University to divest. In addition to that, the group has also revived their Boycott, Divest and Sanctions campaign on campus. 

The University has invested over $7 million between 2016 and 2021 in weapons manufacturers such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, General Electric and Raytheon that have been complacent in funding Israel, according to a social media post by SJP. 

Despite calls from SJP for the University to divest from weapons manufacturing companies that supply the Israeli military with weapons, Texas law prohibits them from doing so. 

State law prohibits government entities from investing or entering contracts with companies that boycott Israel and certain energy companies as well as companies that discriminate against firearm and ammunition companies.

Last week, the Student Government Association passed a resolution that called on the University to divest UH funds from companies that provide and support Israel in their war on Palestine and condemned Texas’s governor Gregg Abbott’s executive order.  

“So, everything that we’ve been doing for the last few weeks for the last semester, it has all been trying to drive the university to add it and include it to the agenda,” Reem said. “And make it something that they actually have to face and acknowledge.” 

Although the resolution is not on the agenda for the meeting on Wednesday, SJP will use any avenues available to them to make their voices heard to the board members, Reem said. 

“We refuse that, we reject their role as representatives of the student making decisions financially for the university in the best interest of students, without actually listening to any of their students,” Reem said. “So, we will find every avenue to make them see that they are not acting in our best interests. That they are actively ignoring us and that they are trying to find ways to suppress us.” 

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