The students of the International MA Program in Peace and Development Studies of the Universitat Jaume I in CastellÃ³n, Spain and other students of the University joined together on December 11, 2003 to participate in supporting the Palestinian grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign and took part in activities organized by the Consell dâ Estudiantes of the University and the UNESCO chair of Philosophy for Peace.
During the week prior, students constructed a wall from cardboard to symbolize the Apartheid Wall, as well as contributed in composing a Manifesto against the Wall. The activities began at 12:30 with a brief historical description of the conflict followed by the reading of the Manifesto. It was first read by the rector of the University in Valencian, the local language, and then in Spanish by a representative form the Consell dâEstudiantes.
***image1***The students from the International Ma Program followed with their interpretation in 12 different languages; students translated paragraphs from the Manifesto and read them in the language of their country of origin. There are more than 30 countries represented by the students from the MA program this year and the countries represented by the languages in the manifest were, Poland, Western Sahara, USA, Austria, Mongolia, France, Haiti, the Democratic republic of Congo, Norway, Philippines, Portugal, Brazil, India, Kenya and Eritrea. Thus, the languages spoken were Arabic, English, Serbian, German, Mongol, French, Norwegian, Filipino, Portuguese, Hindi, Kiswahili and Tigrign.
Two poems were then recited, one student from Paraguay read a poem by Mario Benedetti and a second Canadian student read a self-written poem which was translated into Spanish by a student from the USA. To culminate the activities there was a short theatrical production that utilized music and dramatic interpretation to portray the conflict in the region. At the end of the show students were invited to destroy the cardboard wall, a commitment and symbol of their solidarity. In the afternoon, Professor Victor de Currea-Lugo gave a conference entitled The Wall of Apartheid in Palestine in the Aula Magna of the Faculty of Humanites of the Universitat Jaume I in CastellÃ³n, to the students of the MA that was open to the public.
MANIFESTO AGAINST THE WALL IN PALESTINE
Thursday, 11th December 2003
1. The students of the University, the Consell dâEstudiants, and the students of the MA Program in Peace and Development Studies have taken the initiative to join the international campaign against the wall that is being built since July 2002, isolating the people of Palestine, because it will increase the violent division that exists between Palestine and Israel.
2. We ask for the immediate suspension of the construction of this wall that will only increase the hatred between the two nations, the state terror of the government of Israel towards the citizens of Palestine which is answered back with the suicide terrorism of Palestinian groups against citizens of Israel.
3. We denounce that this wall means a new apartheid that goes against the dignity of the people who suffer and it becomes a new âwall of shameâ for all humanity.
4. We ask for the immediate application of the United Nations resolutions for the recognition of human rights in that area, the right for self-determination of the Palestinian people, and the end of the occupation of Palestinian territory by the Israeli army and the inhabitants of the colonies, and the return home of millions of Palestinian refugees.
5. We denounce, once more, the hypocrisy of the International Community that even uses violence in order to make sure some resolutions are obeyed, while other resolutions arenât.
6. In the University Jaume I, according to our terms of reference, we work and will continue working for the peaceful transformation of conflicts and the demolition of any type of walls and physical and social barriers that donât respect human lives, foment differences between humans and transform into genocide the claims for human rights for everyone and the right of self-determination of the people.
7. For all this we support the attempts of peaceful solutions that have failed only because of the power of the warlords, that are blinded with violent solutions and are reluctant to peaceful processes to transform the situation, with the national recognition of the Palestinian people and the democratic decisions of the affected ones with the collaboration of the international movements for peace and of the people from Israel. We ask for the withdrawal of the Israeli army from the Palestinian territory, and the end of the use of terror.
8. We want to express our pain and solidarity for the victims of the terror of the great armies and the terrorist acts carried out by small groups, added to our pain and solidarity for the absurd deaths in Iraq that we already mentioned in previous demonstrations, and for all the conflicts in the world that are forgotten because of the lack of media impact, and also for the victims of structural and cultural violence that die of alienation, misery and hunger.
9. We confirm our commitment with the promotion of international institutions, like a reformed UN, the effectiveness of International Penal Court, global organisations that control the economy to deal with problems like poverty and hunger, and global institutions that promote the meeting of cultures, civilisations, beliefs and social movements.
10. We denounce that the European Union has abstained from the UNâs resolution on 8th December where they decided to ask the International Court of The Hague to determine the legality of the wall.
11. For all this we join the international campaign, asking for:
– The end of the construction of the wall
– The destruction of the parts that are already built
– The devolution of the confiscated lands
– An indemnification for the damages that have been caused