Last Thursday the Cornell Student Assembly voted 15-8-1 to table indefinitely the anti-Israel Divestment Resolution brought by Students for Justice in Palestine and some other groups.

The video of the shouting by students — and one very aggressive non-student — reflected the frustration of the pro-divestment students.

One anti-Israel Cornell professor even claimed they were denied democratic process, a claim echoed by pro-divestment students in the student newspaper and elsewhere.

To the contrary, the democratic process worked. They just lost the vote.

The type of procedural voting that takes place in almost every legislature in the country to prevent legislative time being taken up with items that have insufficient support.

When a divestment resolution was tabled at U. Michigan, the pro-divestment students took over the student government offices and staged a sit-in until the student council agreed to a full debate and vote. That debate ended with the same result by almost precisely the same margin, but only after the campus was ripped apart with threats and harassment.

Will Cornell go the same way of U. Michigan with the losing side taking direct action after losing a vote?

Looks that way. A Cornell student forwarded to be the flyer below which is being circulated. While the flyer raises a number of issues, clearly the impetus was the Israel divestment vote. It looks like an attempt to hook other unrelated causes into the anti-Israel divestment cause through a solidarity movement — a pretty classic tactic:

Cornell SA Protest Flyer 4-17-2014

(Added 4-17-2014, 9:45 a.m.)  I think it’s equally likely that the protesters will try to intimidate the Assembly into untabling the Resolution.  Based on the timing of the protest being in the lobby a half hour before the Assembly meets, Assembly members will have to walk the gauntlet just to enter the room if the group marches over to where the Assembly meets.  This would be consistent with U. Michigan, where the Resolution was untabled, leading to an all night debate, with the result being rejection of the Resolution on the merits.


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