Campus Campout Ends: Occidental College to Vote on Divestment


Occidental College’s Camp-In Concludes, Divestment Vote on the Horizon

Protest Encampment at Occidental College

After a nine-day campus camp-in, Occidental College has agreed to hold a vote on divesting from Israel.

Student Solidarity for Justice

The encampment began with around 15 tents and quickly grew to over 100, organized by Occidental’s Students for Justice in Palestine. SJP members demanded the college divest from companies that support Israel’s military occupation of Palestinian territory.

Peaceful Protests Amid External Antagonism: The protests were largely peaceful, but faced occasional hostility from individuals approaching the encampment. One incident involved a retired LAPD officer allegedly displaying a firearm at demonstrators on May 19.

Agreement Reached, Camp-In Ends

This agreement follows a similar deal reached between UC Riverside and protest groups, marking the second victory for student activists in Southern California. Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox announced the agreement online, stating the encampment would conclude by midnight on the day of the announcement.

Divestment Vote on the Radar

The Occidental College Board of Trustees has set a deadline of June 6 for the divestment vote, according to the Los Angeles Times. This vote comes as part of a larger trend of pro-Palestinian demonstrations on college campuses nationwide, sparked by the Israel-Hamas conflict in October 2023.

Nationwide Movement for Palestine

USC and UCLA in the Crosshairs: Amidst the escalating protests, USC canceled its main commencement in favor of a celebration at the Coliseum. Meanwhile, UCLA has yet to announce any changes to its upcoming commencement ceremony, which begins on June 16.

A Call for Change

The protests at Occidental College and other universities highlight growing student support for the Palestinian cause. The upcoming divestment vote represents a significant step towards institutional accountability and a potential shift in public opinion on the issue of Israeli-Palestinian conflict.