LaunchGood
Organized by Dr. Hatem Bazian

UC Berkeley: Gaza Solidarity Encampments

$19,875

raised of 0 USD goal

214 supporters, Project Closed
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Impact: Berkeley, CA

Registered 501(c)(3)

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This campaign will collect all funds raised by May 23, 2024 at 12:00 AM EDT

Legal Support for UC Berkeley Gaza Solidarity Encampments


 

With the onset of student protests at UC Berkeley, along with many other universities across the country, we come together for a crucial cause. Our student campuses are ablaze with passion and commitment, as we stand in solidarity with the people of Gaza. However, with this commitment comes a need for support. We are not certain how the university and Board of Regents will respond in the coming days but we want to be prepared and have the needed resources to bail out and protect the students.

 

On Monday afternoon, members of the UC Berkeley Divest Coalition set up approximately 10 tents on the steps of Sproul Hall, located at the heart of the campus and the historic ground zero of the 1960s free speech movement — demanding that UC divest from the Israeli onslaught.  Their action, which commenced with a rally, is a gesture of solidarity with the pro-Palestinian demonstrations happening at Columbia University, where more than 100 students were arrested the previous Thursday. Since February, students at UC Berkeley have been actively protesting at Sather Gate.  The activists have declared their intention to maintain the "Free Palestine Camp" until the university severs its ties with asset managers such as BlackRock, which invest in companies like Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. These companies are complicit in perpetuating the violence in Gaza. According to the latest holdings report of UC Berkeley's retirement program, there is a $427 million investment in a BlackRock portfolio.  Protests at Yale and Columbia escalated when mass arrests began, but so far, UC’s administration has not initiated any arrests outside of Sproul Hall.

 

 

This courageous new generation, driven by compassion and a desire for justice, may have to face legal challenges.  UC Berkeley spokesperson Dan Mogulof said Wednesday, "The University of California at Berkeley has no plans to change its investment policies or practices."  The administration and campus police have been largely hands-off for now, but:

"We are handling and dealing with this protest in a manner that’s completely consistent with UC policy, that says we must only turn to law enforcement if there is a specific, credible threat to people’s safety," Mogulof said.  As individuals advocate for human rights, it's imperative to provide them with legal assistance. In a significant move, Columbia University president, Nemat Shafik, erroneously summoned the police, alleging violence. Subsequently, close to 100 students from Columbia and Bernard College were apprehended. Numerous students faced suspension and immediate eviction from their dormitories, given only 15 minutes to vacate.

 

 

 

We are proud to announce that we're partnering with reputable legal aid organizations on the ground, and that we will work with all civil rights and legal organizations to provide the needed support. Together, we aim to provide comprehensive legal assistance to those in need.

 

 

Our fundraising efforts will go towards bail funds and encampment support, ensuring that any who may be detained can regain their freedom and continue their advocacy work. No student should face legal hurdles for exercising their right to protest peacefully.  Every contribution, no matter how big or small, makes a difference. Your support will provide hope and resources to those on the front lines of social justice. Together, we can make a tangible impact and stand up for being on the right side of history.  

 

 



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