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International student demonstration achieves divestment.

London / PNN - Cardiff Students against War is ending its takeover of the Large Shandon lecture theatre, Cardiff University Main Building as part of its "occupying against occupation" project.The students are now leaving and marching around campus to declare what they have achieved. It is a victory in Britain. We are making our continued presence known to the university community. Banners and megaphones, BOOKS not BOMBS!," say student organizers.Following the open letter to Vice Chancellor David Grant, the "BOOKS not BOMBS" demonstration outside the Student Union and the subsequent occupation of the Large Shandon, Cardiff University has divested all shares from BAe Systems and the aerospace arm of General Electric. They have instructed their external fund managers to avoid future investments in the arms trade, and have promised to raise the issue of an ethical investment policy at the next Council Meeting on 18 May of this year. They are also willing to discuss the provision of surplus computers and resources to institutions in Gaza.The victory comes after three days of occupation which has been inundated with messages of support from all over the country, as well as further afield. This has included university staff, students and societies, local Plaid Cymru politicians and groups, activist groups such as CND Cymu, No Borders South Wales and South Wales Anarchists, and has had extensive press coverage, from the local papers and student publications to Indymedia and the BBC. "We are extremely proud to have received a message of solidarity from Noam Chomsky," said students."We see this as the beginning, not the end. The occupation has attracted considerable interest and support from the Cardiff University community, and has succeeded in raising awareness of the effects of the arms trade and the horrific situation in Gaza. Cardiff Students against War will continue to campaign on these issues, and to make sure that the university doesn't go back on its promises," the student activists report.But it is not over yet, they say. "The campaign will continue because we believe that Cardiff University should be doing more for Gaza, such as facilitating scholarships to Gazan students and boycotting Israeli products in protest at the treatment of Palestinians by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank."

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Publication:Palestine News Network (West Bank, Palestine)
Date:Feb 28, 2009
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