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University of Minnesota student referendum demanding divestment from apartheid Israel passes

By Ty Lind

Minneapolis, MN – On March 29, the Divest UMN Coalition at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities mobilized more than 50 students to celebrate a historic victory in the movement for divestment in apartheid Israel by the university.

The ballot question put forward by Students for Justice in Palestine at UMN stating, “Shall the University of Minnesota sever ties with companies complicit in war crimes and human rights violations, war-profiting companies that recruit students on campus, and study abroad programs in Israel?” passed with 75% of votes.

Divest UMN Coalition at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities consists of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), Students for a Democratic Society, Young Democratic Socialists of America, and Students for Climate Justice.

During the voting period, some students who signed for the question to be on the ballot came up as unregistered to vote, despite meeting the criteria. This prevented some students from voting. Zionist propaganda truck ads appeared around campus and posters were passed around telling lies like “Hamas beheads babies” and “Hamas rapes women” urging people to vote no on the referendum. The win shows the support of students for the UMN divesting from Israel.

Another ballot referendum passed in 2018 calling for the board of regents to divest from apartheid Israel. This past ballot question faced similar opposition from Zionist forces, showing that the student body earnestly and strongly demands divestment of their tuition dollars from genocide.

The SJP co-president stated, “This is not the end of the road for our fight for Palestine. We will continue fighting until we receive total divestment and complete liberation for the Palestinian people.”

Divest UMN will bring this referendum victory to the board of regents and demand they listen to the voices of the students.

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