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The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education Graduate Students’ Association affiliated to the R2E Campaign in February 2009 and then passed a motion to twin with Birzeit University Student Council in March 2009. They held their first event on the right to education and academic freedom on March 30th. Speakers included representatives from OISE, the R2E Campaign Canada Coalition, University of Toronto, Students Against Israeli Apartheid, and Faculty for Palestine. Below is the text of the motion passed to twin with BZU student council here.
Right to Education Motion for Twinning OISE GSA with Birzeit University Student Council
Whereas the OISE GSA joined the Right to Education Campaign at the February 2009 council meeting;
Whereas, Birzeit University, near Ramallah in the West Bank, is particularly subject to arbitrary interference and obstruction from the IDF, and has been closed down by Israeli military order 15 times in its history; and that all the Palestinian universities and the majority of schools, including kindergartens, were closed down by military order between the years 1987-1992, denying a whole generation their right to education.
Whereas the Birzeit Student Council, in virtue of both their hardships and their democratic practices, represents an ideal organization for OISE to foster links with to inaugurate a broad right to education campaign.
BIRT the OISE GSA, as part of the Right to Education Campaign, twin with Birzeit University Student Council as a public show of solidarity and support with Palestinian students and teachers who are struggling to live, work and study under occupation.
BIRT OISE GSA committ to increasing awareness and mutual understanding between the respective student bodies and to provide support to students at Birzeit in their struggle to gain a university education by encouraging dialogue and other forms of interaction between students, including but not limited to:
a. Fostering the exchange of both students and staff between the two respective insititutions and a commitment by the GSA to offer support and seek funding for any such program.
b. A commitment of support should either university have its capacity to educate its students and to advance learning within its society marginalized or threatened by political and/or military policy.