“Rebels Resisting Apartheid” began with the introduction of Resolution 09-05 in the Associated Student Body (ASB) Senate at Ole Miss.  This resolution called for the divestment of university funds from nine corporations that willfully supply arms to the Israeli military.  The legislation cited several authoritative declarations of the Israeli military’s violations of human rights laws, especially those enumerated in the Geneva Convention (Protocol I). 

On March 9th, 2009, two weeks after the initial introduction of the resolution to the Senate, 09-05 was defeated by a vote of 19-11, with seven senators abstaining from the vote.  The proposal to divest was the subject of a passionate debate that lasted nearly two hours.  Despite its defeat, this monumental Senate meeting marked the launch of a campus-wide divestment campaign.  Speakers at the meeting included Hampshire SJP’s Andrew Stachiw, ISM volunteer Ceylon Mooney, and Ole Miss English professor Griffith Brownlee, a former marine.  Stachiw believes a modified version of the legislation can win the support of a majority of ASB senators by the end of the semester, given the marginal concerns voiced by the opposition.

ASB Senator Dan Blazo introduced an amended version of the resolution, 09-07, to the Senate floor on March 30th, 2009.  This resolution was defended by English professor Peter Worth of Ole Miss.  This legislation failed as well, and Rebels Resisting Apartheid decided it was time for a new approach.  Petitioning and educational campaigns are well underway at the Oxford campus.  Several student groups, including the Campus Antiwar Network and the UM Constitutionalists, are working together to ensure the success of this campaign.

For more about our intentions and motivations, click here.


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