Palestine Labor Abolition Affinity groups Commentary

Documenting and amplifying 5C organizing

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Palestine

March 9, 2024

50+ Students demand divestment at to Pomona Board of Trustees meeting

“We don’t care how long it takes or how hard you claim it might be…your job is to figure out how to move the money.”

Undercurrents staff

On Mar. 7, around 50 students delegated to the Pomona Board of Trustees outside of their meeting in Frank dining hall, demanding the college divest from companies that support Israeli genocide by April. 

Addressed to President Gabi Starr, Chairman Samuel Glick and all of Pomona College’s 33 Trustees, students repeated their demands for divestment as stated by the ASPC referendum and promised escalation until demands were met. 

One campus security officer and two private security officers installed metal gates in front of the courtyard and patrolled the entrances. Frank is not the first building that administrators have securitized since the resurgence of pro-Palestine activism on campus, as they have instituted similar measures at Alexander Hall.

Protestors were able to enter the courtyard, but not the building. They delegated to the windows of the Frank Blue Room.

“As sitting members of the Board of Trustees, you have spent 133 days [since students first delivered their demands to Jeff Roth] in disgraceful silence and inaction that actively enables the genocide of Palestinian people,” a delegation speaker said to the assembled trustees through a window.

Speakers also announced that 431 alumni had signed a recent Pomona alumni pledge to withhold donations until divestment. The recent pledge, launched in late February, gained over 260+ pledges within 72 hours of its creation. 

In response to prior delegations, Pomona College COO and Treasurer Jeff Roth had given students a “FAQs on Divestment and Disclosure” page stating the college’s inability to disclose from divestment due to making the college’s investments non-competitive. 

“We don’t care how long it takes or how hard you claim it might be–Christina Wire, Jerey Parks, Peter Sasaki, Johny Ek Aban, Jen Wilcox Thomas, Dave Nunez, Wei Hopeman, Jim Valone, Stephen Loeb, Matthew Estes, your job is to figure out how to move the money,” a delegation speaker said. 

Multiple private security guards confronted students approaching the dining hall, blocking the entrances. Five Campus Safety officers and Director of Campus Safety Mike Hallinan, a former LA County Sheriff who has received training from the FBI according to his TCCS profile page, also arrived and began filming students with camera phones.  

Hallinan and several officers also followed students through campus as they left the action. In 2022, a TSL interview mentions student vandalizers protected by Campus Safety’s “no-chase” policy. Up to 30 minutes after students left Frank, Officer Bates and Hallinan followed various groups of students into the Pomona farm. 

Read more

Palestine

Pitzer discloses $1.6M in defense and aerospace investments, a month after telling SJP it will not divest

Palestine

Incoming ASPC President: Pomona Board of Trustees want to “buy our silence and complicity in genocide through donations”

Palestine

Pomona admin met with Claremont Police Chief days before Alexander Hall sit-in to plan intervention, emails show

Thanks for reading Undercurrents

Undercurrents reports on labor, Palestine liberation, prison abolition and other community organizing at and around the Claremont Colleges.

Issue 1 / Spring 2023

Setting the Standard

How Pomona workers won a historic $25 minimum wage; a new union in Claremont; Tony Hoang on organizing

Read issue 1