WESTWOOD—University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) student body government on Tuesday night unanimously voted to divest $72.6 million dollars worth of University of California bonds and investments in the Republic of Turkey for their crimes in and the continued denial of the Armenian Genocide.
The resolution titled “A Resolution to Divest from the Republic of Turkey to End the Perpetuation of the Armenian Genocide” passed with a vote of 12-0-0 around 10:00 pm at Kerckhoff Hall in UCLA.
The resolution is part of a larger initiative (#DivestTurkey) spearheaded by the Armenian Youth Federation Western United States (AYF)– a grassroots community organization dedicated to justice– calling on institutions to divest from the Republic of Turkey.
AYF Central Executive Board member Gev Iskajyan stated, “the #DivestTurkey initiative began in order to connect and provide resources for university students and activists on campuses across America to divest all holdings in the Republic of Turkey’s government until reparations for the Armenian genocide are met and until genocide is no longer a profitable venture. The Armenian Students’ Association at UCLA was the first organization to accept this call for divestment from the community and successfully presented this resolution.”
The resolution passed with overwhelming support from the UCLA’s general student body and official UCLA student organizations.
“Tonight demonstrates the Armenian community is not alone in its fight for justice and reparations for genocide,” explained Razmig Sarkissian, an AYF member and UCLA alumnus.
Student organization co-sponsors included Armenian Dance Group, Alpha Epsilon Omega, Alpha Gamma Alpha, Armenians for Health Advancement, Hidden Road Initiative, and Samahang Pilipino. Student organization endorsers included Bengali Students Association, Indus, Jewish Voice for Peace, Native Roots, Samahang Pilipino, Sikh Student Association, and Students for Justice in Palestine.
The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region issued a statement praising the UCLA student body vote.
“The tide is turning,” remarked ANCA-WR Chairman Nora Hovsepian, after learning of the vote. “Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide is collapsing. This vote at UCLA is just the latest example of the free fall of Turkey’s Genocide denial campaign. Like the demise of the tobacco lobby’s effort to deny the tie between cigarettes and cancer, Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide is falling apart in front of our own eyes,” Hovsepian added.
The ANCA-WR praised all those champions of human rights, including the outstanding efforts of the AYF, the UCLA Armenian Students Association and their allies for working successfully to adopt the UCLA resolution, entitled “A Resolution to Divest from the Republic of Turkey to End the Perpetuation of the Armenian Genocide.”
“[#DivestTurkey] is about reaffirming student agency because students were not consulted in the decision to invest in the Turkish government,” said Mikael Matossian president of the Armenian Students’ Association at UCLA. “This is a proactive step in the ethical direction, of an Armenian student-led coalition calling on our student government to take a stand against funding genocidal regimes,” continued Matossian.
“The AYF plans to expand the #DivestTurkey initiative, working with several colleges and universities in order to introduce similar resolutions in the coming weeks and months,” confirmed Iskajyan. Campus organizations and interested individuals can contact Divestment@AYFwest.org.
Fantastic move. Get out the cookie cutter and do this at every institution of hyer learning. Bravo!!!!
No longer should we accept the simple act of holding a placard and chanting for justice on the deaf streets of Los Angeles as action for justice. Until the fascist regime which governs Turkey gets hit financially it will never recognize that it truly needs to atone for its actions. Money makes the world go round and its about time we take the struggle for justice to that realm. Let’s support our students around the country to make this happen.
Congrats my Armenian friends, you succeeded in your first step to wage a war against Turkey. Btw, you should support the ruling party in Turkey, because the AKP has already given away 1/3 of Turkey to Kurdish separatists.
Bravo God bless you and your family!
well done boys, a beautiful check mate, this is how your hurt the turks the most
Sadly, I can’t do much except not eating dried apricots in US which are almost entirely imported from Turkey. Wish we could at least come up with a list of companies which have considerable investments in Turkey Azerbaijan and make them our main targets. How about launching a boycott BP gas stations campaign?
Btw, does any one know where can I get Armenian dried apricots in Chicago?!
You checked online? They are dried anyway. They can shipped to you. My mom went to Armstrong Gardens and bought me an Apricot tree From Armenia and kept the label on their out of pride. I wanted Armenian Apricots!! I understand where you’re coming from.
Armenians need to go after all the unis instead of wasting time in other areas such as giving $ to presidential candidates–presidents will never recognize the genocide
Hooray for UCLA students!!! Go Bruins!!! Hopefully this is the beginning of a trend. Justice for Armenian Genocide victims now!!!!
Brilliant simply brilliant! Which university or institution is next just let us know and we’ll give you the support you need.
this is one way of tackling the issues of manipulation and deceit.
Good on you all for coming up with something constructive as long as the issues are not put away in the hard basket and forgotten about.
Working in Higher Education and wondering why in the world a tax funded university who’s in a system that bleeding and begging for money is investing in Turkey to begin with!! Tactical move as I think every Californian should be concerned. In exchange the Armenian cause can come to the forefront even more so. Very proud of the efforts placed here especially since it was done with allies/group support. The more support we have, the stronger our arm in crushing the Turkish denial campaign. Kudos and Let us know what we can do to help in the next strategical move.