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Call for delegates:
The Right to Education Campaign, endorsed by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) and the The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Campaign National Committee (BNC), are pleased to issue a call for participants to the first international conference in Palestine on student activism, to be held on the 27th and 28th of July 2010 at Birzeit University.
We hope that students from around the world who are engaged in Palestine solidarity activism will attend the conference. This conference will provide a much needed forum to share knowledge and experiences as well as discussing future strategies.
In addition the campaign will be arranging visits to various West Bank cities for the three days prior, and the three days following, the conference. These are open to any delegates who are attending the conference as individuals and not part of a group.
If you would like to attend please complete the application form.
We are still finalising the conference agenda and would welcome your suggestion. To make any additions the agenda please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The last few years have witnessed a significant surge in student activism directed towards holding Israel accountable for its systematic violations of international law. In particular, students have focused on violations of the fundamental right to education (Article 26 of UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which Israel is a signatory) in occupied Palestine.
After the war on Gaza, Palestine activism has been able to combine raising awareness and bringing attention to the issues with finding effective ways to advance Palestinian rights and isolate the Israeli Apartheid regime. In Europe and the US, the dramatic student occupations have combined with growing interest and support for the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and the annual Israel Apartheid Week are notable examples of what progress activism can achieve in reframing the paradigm and demonstrating the oppressive policies of Israel in occupied Palestine.
Student movements are always flexible and always changing. The ebb and flow of new ideas and the fresh approach brought by new members can always strengthen their respective movements. This conference intends to help coordinate the different movements and add to its effectiveness on an international scale. By coming together we can make new connections and learn from each other for the benefit of the campaign as a whole.
The specific goals of the conference include:
1. Building on past conferences centered on student activism including the Hampshire BDS conference in the US (Nov 2009) and the Al-Fakhoora International Student Conference in Doha (January 2010).
2. To provide a forum to discuss the various strategies of student activism and solidarity groups across the world.
3. Discuss general strategies while addressing the needs of different campuses.
4. Exchange knowledge and resources amongst the different campus organizers specifically on building effective solidarity links between students in Palestine and across the world; and initiating campus BDS campaigns with successful follow-up.
5. Discuss areas of possible coordination and cooperation between other Palestine solidarity groups working on the similar issues.
6. Establish important links between international activists and Palestinian student activists.
Two further, major, goals of the conference are:
1. To prepare an Activists’ Handbook for students particularly highlighting the BDS campaign.
2. Discuss prospective Right to Education Week and other possible joint international campaigns/days or weeks of action
Mid-June: Schedule for West Bank visits announced
30th June: Deadline to suggest a workshop or training
5th July: Publication of final conference program schedule (a draft will be made available via the website as soon as possible)
14th July: deadline to register for the conference
As this conference is funded by Right to Education Campaign at Birzeit University, with limited resources, the Campaign regrets that it cannot offer financial support to cover the cost of transport for the delegations. However, all delegates will be provided with a meal on the each night of the conference. Further, there is limited accommodation that can be offered to delegates without charge, this will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. Those delegates who wish to travel round the West Bank on the tours organised by the Campaign will be responsible for their own expenses.
This conference aims to build on the groundbreaking Al-Fakhoora International Student Conference in Doha (January, 2010) which brought together students and activists from all over the world with delegations from the gulf. In spite of the travel restrictions imposed on potential delegates from most Arab countries by the Israeli government, we hope to facilitate these important links by providing access to video conferencing if there is sufficient demand.
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