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BDS motion supporting NUS campaign against Eden Springs & Veolia passes.

July 20, 2012

Glasgow Caledonian Palestine Society are delighted to announce that despite some heated debate our BDS motion supporting the NUS campaign against Eden Springs & Veolia passed comfortably through the Student Parliament.

Despite already successfully getting Eden Springs removed from the University we felt getting an endorsement for the campaign launched with the NUS would help ongoing campaigning both within the NUS and BDS campaigns against Eden Springs elsewhere and likewise with Veolia. In terms of Veolia on our campus, they have no contract with the University at the moment but with them growing rapidly in the Glasgow area, we can also view this as a pre-emptive BDS motion, so should the tender for a contract, this motion can be then used to prevent them securing the contract.  It remains to be seen how this would work in practice but the university campus, we believe, is the ideal place for experimenting with diverse form s of BDS campaigning.

Here is the motion in full.

Motion Title: NUS Global Justice Campaign Eden Springs and Veolia.

3rd Meeting of Caledonian Voice Parliament 2011/12

 

Believes:

a)         NUS has had a long and proud history of standing up for human rights across the world. The conflict in Palestine/Israel has been ongoing for over 60 years, and now more than ever we need to engage with human rights activists on the ground fighting for justice.

b)        That water is a natural resource essential to life and access to water is a basic human right.

c)         That the Middle East is an arid region where water is in short supply and is thus a valuable strategic resource.

d)        That the Golan Heights are sovereign Syrian territory illegally occupied by Israel in 1967 and illegally annexed in December 1981.

e)        That Eden Springs UK is wholly owned by the Israeli company Mayanot Eden which has, amongst its sources, the Salukia spring in the Golan Heights, thereby making profit by depleting illegally occupied land of a precious natural resource.

f)          That the occupation of the Golan Heights is in direct contravention of the United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 452 (1972), 465 (1980), 471 (1980) and 497 (1981).

g)         That in 2005, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 59/33, which emphasises “the illegality of the Israeli settlement construction and other activities in the occupied Syrian Golan since 1967” and declares that “the Israeli decision of 14 December 1981 to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan is null and void … and calls upon Israel to rescind it”.

h)        Golan Heights land was captured by Israel in 1967, displacing over 100,000 of its inhabitants. Since this time Israel has not allowed the inhabitants to return to their villages, moving Israeli settlers into the region instead, which constitutes a breach of the Geneva Conventions.

i)           That Article 55 of the Hague Regulations limits the right of the occupying power to utilize the water sources of an occupied territory.

j)          That Article 27 of the Fourth Geneva Convention 1949 prohibits the occupying power from discriminating between residents of an occupied territory.

k)         The French company Veolia mainly deals in waste management and recycling, and operates in many local councils across Britain including services for universities’ and colleges’ waste management.

l)           Veolia has major investment in the Jerusalem Light Rail. This is a tram network that links dozens of Israeli illegal settlements in the West Bank to mainland Israel and has current extension plans. Therefore, in April 2010, the United Nations Human Rights Council specifically declared the Jerusalem Light Railway to be “in clear breach of international law”.

m)      Veolia also provides a bus services for the settlements, yet most Palestinians can only use the buses for two stops – after which they are no longer allowed on the bus due to their ethnicity.

n)        Veolia, through its subsidiary company, owns and operates the Tovlan landfill in the occupied Jordan Valley. The waste transferred to the landfill originates in recycling factories within Israel and in settlements in the West Bank. The company uses captured Palestinian land and natural resources for the needs of Israeli civilians on both sides of the green line.

  • o)        That major groups in Palestinian and International civil society have called for a boycott of Eden Springs and Veolia, and that the STUC and SCVO have supported this call and cancelled their contracts with the company.
Further Believes:
a)      That Israel’s policies of water distribution in the Golan Heights, and throughout lands occupied by her, discriminated between the residents on racial grounds are thus in contravention of Article 27 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

b)      That the Israeli company ‘Mayanot Eden’ acts in contravention of Article 55 of the Hague Regulations by privatising water belonging to an occupied people.

c)       That the French company ‘Veolia’ is in breach of UN International law due to its investment with Israel by using land in an occupied territory for the sole benefit of its own civilian population and, thus, the company may be complicit in Israel’s alleged violations of international law.

d)      That a consumer boycott is a peaceful and effective method of attacking a company, affecting both its profits and its reputation and encouraging it to adopt more ethical policies.

e)      That a consumer boycott is a valuable and legal method of actively defending ethical buying policies and exercising consumer rights.

f)       That consumer boycotts have in the past been effective as a means of non-violent civil protest against states that abuse human rights and disregard international law.

g)      The principal of Glasgow Caledonian University is to “comply both with the letter and the spirit of domestic and international legal requirements, pertinent to the University’s business.”

h)      To support NUS Global Justice campaign against Eden Springs and Veolia official GCUSA policy.

i)        Eden Springs and Veolia are two companies in violation of international law and their activities in land illegally occupied by Israel since 1967are hindering attempts at achieving a just and peaceful solution to Israel/Palestine issue (see above).

j)        In the principals of human rights, global justice and ethical procurement GCUSA will endeavour to ensure that GCU does not award any contract with either company.

k)      That student bodies have a responsibility to and proud history of upholding the highest standards of ethical investment on their respective campuses – From the international struggle against South African Apartheid, to the campaigns of the mid nineties to divest from corporations which utilise sweatshop practices and current NUS policy against Coors for its links to homophobic organisations.

l)        That in the case of Eden Springs; GCUSA’s longstanding policy for divestment from Eden Springs made it one of the first and now amongst the many to take this principled position.

m)    That GCU currently has no contracts with Eden Springs and Veoila but that any potential awarding of a contract to Veolia could bring the university into disrepute.

Resolves
a)      That GCU currently has no contracts with Eden Springs and Veoila but that any potential awarding of future contracts with Eden Springs or Veolia could bring the university into disrepute.

b)      To act in the spirit of the NUS Global Justice Campaign statement by;

i.            Reaffirming GCUSA’s current commitment to ensuring that GCU has no future links with Eden Springs

ii.            Affirming a similar commitment to ensuring non association between GCU and Veoila.

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From → BDS news, Boycott

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