At least 27 Gazans, including six women and nine children, have been killed since Monday in a series of unprovoked Israeli airstrikes in Rafah. This latest attack brings the death toll in Gaza to over 34,535 since October 7. Among the bombs that Israel is accused of dropping on civilians are GPS-guided GBU-39s, American munitions that were supplied to Israel by Washington and developed right here at home, only an hour’s drive away at the U.C.-affiliated Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (L.L.N.L.).

Established in 1952 to conduct research on the hydrogen bomb, L.L.N.L. has worked for the past seven decades to innovate and proliferate the U.S.’s nuclear weapons arsenal. In a previous collaboration with the Air Force, L.L.N.L. also developed the dense inert metal explosive (D.I.M.E.), a tungsten-based bomb that Israel is believed to have used in 2009 and 2014. The lab is currently managed by Lawrence Livermore National Security LLC, a partnership between the University of California and several private weapons companies. Although the lab expanded after the Cold War to include research in medicine, biology, renewable energy, and other academic fields, 84% of its $2.36 billion federal budget is still dedicated to nuclear weapons. L.L.N.L. funds weapons-related research grants for U.C. professors and regularly sends representatives to on-campus career fairs to recruit U.C. students for internships and paid work opportunities, including in its weapons program.

It is morally reprehensible that an institution of higher learning should be in any way involved in the design or development of weapons of mass destruction. U.C.’s continued relationship with L.L.N.L. signals a complete and utter disregard for the astonishing loss of life occurring in Palestine and around the world as a result of the U.S. weapons-industrial complex. Students call upon the U.C. Regents to immediately sever all ties with Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos and implement policies to prohibit future collaboration with weapons research programs. The U.C. is one of the greatest reservoirs of knowledge in the world. We should be using that knowledge to stop genocide, not enable it.

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