The writing on the wall

June 4, 2010

In News

(June 3, 2010) The students at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, the alma mater of Rachel Corrie, announced that the whole student body voted overwhelmingly in favor of divestment from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation and in favor of making their campus Caterpillar-free.

What’s more remarkable is that the decision was not made by a student council and thus vulnerable to veto by just one person, as we saw in Berkeley. No, it was decided through a campus-wide vote. No one, not the promoters of the divestment policy, not its detractors, knew how the students would vote in complete privacy.

The results? The divestment vote won by a landslide 79.5%! The Caterpillar vote by an equally impressive 71.8%!

The Evergreen College Board of Trustees and Board of Governors actually hold the purse strings of the Evergreen College and the Evergreen Foundation respectively. You can imagine the pressure that will be brought upon them to ignore the student votes.

We need you to email them right and ask them to respect the voice of the students and divest!

Board of Turstees Direction Carver T. Gayton (
Foundation Vice President Lee Hoemann (

Also, go to to sign a petition in support of the students!

Immediately after the student vote, the student union passed a unanimous resolution requesting full disclosure of all corporations, including those held through mutual funds, in which The Evergreen State College Foundation and The Evergreen State College are invested and asking the Board of Trustees and the Board of Governors to make public a plan of action for divestment from companies that profit from the occupation of Palestine.

Please email Mr. Gayton and Ms. Hoemann today and ask them to divest.

Many of you followed with baited breath the struggle for divestment at the University of California at Berkeley and San Diego. We sent you this report about the inspiring students from Berkeley Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).  Well the attacks on the bill’s supporter’s, including Jewish Voice for Peace, were vicious and predictable, so we decided to respond and also document what we had learned about how the anti-divestment groups work. We think it’s important reading for those working on other campuses. 

Most important, we interviewed the UC Berkeley student supporters of divestment so you could hear them in their own words. We can’t possibly convey how incredibly inspired we were by them, but we think this ten-minute video clip will do the job for us. One thing is certain. If you want to know where today’s smart, compassionate, curious and socially engaged students of all backgrounds are gravitating to, it’s the campus divestment movement.

Congratulations Evergreen. During these very painful times when we see peacemakers being attacked on the seas outside Gaza, in B’ilin and N’ilin and Sheik Jarrah, it’s hugely inspiring to see that real change is happening with an entire new generation.

Sydney Levy
Director of Campaigns
Jewish Voice for Peace

PS: A lot of information and misinformation is going around about the Gaza flotilla. Here’s a good primer to share with friends and family: Lying About The Gaza Flotilla Disaster