RMIT—stop funding apartheid!

RMIT University has signed a new deal with Israel’s largest weapons manufacturer, Elbit Systems. In response, students have initiated the “RMIT Stop Funding Apartheid” campaign to demand that the university cuts all ties with weapons manufacturers.

Elbit Systems provides around 85 percent of the drones Israel uses for the surveillance of and attacks against Palestinians. Elbit also produces surveillance towers used for Israel’s border control system.

The two-year research deal, signed in June, is the latest in a string that the university has made with some of the vilest companies in the world.

The university’s Sir Lawrence Wackett Defence and Aerospace Centre boasts that RMIT was awarded “Academic Institute of the Year 2021” in the Australian Defence Industry Awards. Its website names as partners companies such as BAE Systems, Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin work closely with the Israeli state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems to produce and market the naval Protector drones used to enforce the siege of Gaza. RMIT and BAE Systems were awarded more than $330,000 in joint funding by the minister for defence industry last year.

RMIT Students for Palestine, a coalition of campus activists, is organising a speakout against the research deal with Elbit Systems and against the university’s links with other companies complicit in the oppression of Palestinians.

The speakout will be held on Thursday 11 August at 1pm on Bowen Street.

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