Trinity BDS welcomes College divestment from armaments industry

The group had petitioned College to divest from companies which sell arms or security technologies to Israel

Trinity Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction Implementation Group (Trinity BDS) has welcomed College’s divestment from arms and weapon companies.

In a press release issued yesterday evening, Trinity BDS labelled the move “a significant piece of the response to the collective demands to standing against apartheid in all its forms”.

It was reported on Thursday that the Trinity Endowment Fund had thoroughly restructured the investment portfolio of its two equity funds, and that College no longer holds investments in weapons companies Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Technologies or BAE Systems.

Trinity BDS said: “We view this as the beginning of a new phase in this battle and the next phase of our campaign. The Trinity BDS Implementation Group views this move as conducive to further action against apartheid on the academic, social and economic ends.”

“Following this positive decision, we will now focus our efforts on reflecting this attitude in other aspects of the College life on making our College fall in line with the principles of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel,” the statement concluded.

A petition started by Trinity BDS calling for College to divest from companies which sell arms or security technologies to Israel reached 446 signatures as of last week.

It was revealed last year that College held €2.5 million in investments in the armaments industry.

In a statement to Trinity News, chair of Trinity BDS Zaid Al-Barghouthi said: “I would like to welcome this news and thank everyone who worked hard to get us to this stage. We view this as a starting point to working with College administration and the Provost to ensure that anti-apartheid values are applied across College.”

“This Institution is very significant for this cause due to its historical background, the clear view of its students against apartheid and the works of academics attributed to it.”

Al-Barghouthi added: “We will keep working to make sure that Trinity College Dublin has no ties, whatsoever, to the Apartheid state of Israel. We would like our College to be on [the] forefront of the Global BDS Movement and be an example to other globally significant educational institutes.”

“[BDS] is backed by this and many other student bodies across the world due to its practical and peaceful approach to granting equal rights for people who live on the same land. We ask our College for a comprehensive and wide-sighted review of policies where some work is still needed such as their exchange programme agreements and association with Israeli Academic Institutions.”

In a 2018 referendum, 64.5% of students voted for TCDSU to support the BDS campaign, leading to the establishment of Trinity BDS.

David Wolfe

David Wolfe is a Junior Sophister student of History and Political Science. He is the current Social Media and Managing Editor of Trinity News, having previously served as News Editor, Assistant News Editor and copyeditor.