Students at Trinity College Dublin have overwhelmingly voted to support the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign, with the referendum result announced to cheers and chants.
Asked whether Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) should “accept a long-term policy on Palestine and in support of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)”, 64.5 per cent of students voted in favour (1,287 students of a total of 2,050).
The referendum reportedly saw the highest turnout in recent years. As BDS is a “long-term policy”, it required that 60 per cent or above of the students balloted voted in its favour. The referendum was held after students gathered the necessary 500 signatures to put the vote to the student body.
According to The University Times, the long-term policy mandates the union to support the movement and “comply with the principles of BDS in all union shops, trade, business and other union operations”, as well as to lobby the college and the government to adopt a BDS policy.
“The long-term policy would also see the introduction of a boycott, divestment and sanction implementation group within the union,” the paper added.
The incoming TCDSU President Shane De Rís and President-elect of the Graduate Students’ Union (GSU) Oisín Vince Coulter had both urged students to vote in favour of BDS.
“It isn’t uncommon for students and students unions to campaign for the rights of oppressed people at home and around the globe,” De Rís said.
If we can help make a difference by boycotting, divesting, and sanctioning those organisations complicit the oppression of the Palestinian people, then I think it worthwhile to do so.
Vince Coulter added: “We need to show solidarity again with the struggle of the Palestinian people for peace, justice and human rights.”