DSU STATEMENT: On Students Right to Protest and the Israel – Palestine Conflict

With the rise of recent student encampments in post-secondary schools all over the world and in our local communities, such as UBC and VIU, we stand in support of students’ rights to boycott, peaceful protest, and students’ right to advocate for change on their campuses, without fear of persecution, prosecution, or threats of disciplinary action or impacts in accessing their education.

We have faith that our members will exercise their freedom of expression in ways that empower change for the better. As a students’ union, we were founded with the purpose of amplifying student voices and advocating for students’ right to fair treatment. Students in BC and around the world deserve to have their voices heard, and as new generations of students take up the mantle to advocate for human rights, we are here to support our members.

As per the DSU’s statement In Support of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, we oppose anti-semitism, islamophobia, and all forms of racism. We oppose, and will always oppose, hateful and bigoted behaviour towards individuals, students, or staff regardless of sexuality, gender expression, race, religion, and nationality. We stand with Jewish, Indigenous, Palestinian, and all Middle Eastern people whose lives have been impacted.

We at the Douglas Students’ Union (DSU) acknowledge and condemn the ongoing violence Palestinians are experiencing in Gaza by the state of Israel. Today marks over 250 days of genocide, with over 37,000 deaths and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. We mourn the lives of women, men, and children who were lost. We grieve for those who have lost their families, their schools, their homes, and their safety. We condemn the violence perpetrated by Hamas on October 7 while standing in solidarity with the Indigenous Palestinians, whose land has been forcefully occupied by the colonial state of Israel for over 75 years.

Post-secondary institutions should be held responsible for their actions, whether it be for the mistreatment of student protestors in encampments or for the funding of genocide in Gaza. We call for a ceasefire, the release of all hostages, and an end to the apartheid state.

Liberation for one is liberation for all.

— The Douglas Students’ Union