Tampa DSA Stands in Solidarity with the Hunger Strikers at USF

3.9 minute read

Since October 7th, 2023, over 32,000 innocent people in Gaza have been martyred, of which over 40% are children. Those that are still alive have now been forced into famine. Throughout this campaign of genocide, the University of South Florida has maintained its investments in corporations that profiteer off this mass suffering.

On March 18th, in response to USF complicity in this evil, 19 USF students began a hunger strike to urge the university to divest from the genocide in Gaza. 

Their demands are as follows:

1. USF president Rhea Law call for a ceasefire and for humanitarian aid to be let into Gaza.

2. The USF investment portfolio from 2013-2023 and onwards is immediately made transparent and open to the public.

3. A Student Oversight Committee is established by Fall 2024, ensuring student input in future investments.

4. USF immediately divests from Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Hewlett Packard, and Caterpillar, for their complicity in genocide.

Instead of meeting these demands, instead of disinvesting from genocide, the University of South Florida chose to retaliate against students who are fighting for humanity. Instead of recognizing its position of complicity in these horrific acts, the University chose to mischaracterize its own investments as apolitical. We echo these brave students in acknowledging that the “starting point of investments are already political when you invest in a genocide.”

Ignoring their students’ calls for divestment is a tradition for the university. In 2013, a student referendum calling for the boycott and divestment of companies that profit from the Israeli occupation of Palestine passed with popular support. However, the university declared it “null and void” and was accused of violating the first amendment rights of students. The following year, Students for Justice in Palestine responded by collecting 10,000 signatures on a divestment petition. Still, the university ignored student voices. In 2016, the student senate voted overwhelmingly in support of a divestment resolution, still no commitment to divest. After more than a decade of student organizing, USF must listen to student voices.

Join us in our condemnation of the USF Foundation and USF administration by emailing USF President Rhea Law and the Board of Trustees to demand that they divest now

Tampa DSA

Follow the hunger strikers at their Instagram account

Call Rhea Law at (813) 974-2791 and the Board of Trustees at (813) 974-6442.

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