May 21, 2019

UCLA Says NSJP Complied With Request to Remove School’s Name From Logo

UCLA has told the Journal in an email that they believe that National Students for Justice in Palestine (NSJP) has complied with their request in their cease-and-desist letter to remove the UCLA name from the logo of their upcoming event.

On Oct. 31, UCLA sent the letter to NSJP demanding that they cease using the UCLA Bruin Bear in the logo of their conference, scheduled for Nov. 16-18, which depicts the bear playing with a Palestinian kite. Palestine Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union argued on behalf of NSJP that the bear is simply a depiction of a California grizzly bear rather than the UCLA Bruin.

““The bear on the poster was neither modeled after nor inspired by any existing bear image and our search revealed no logo, emblem, or image of the Bruin Bear that the bear on the poster resembles,” Palestine Legal and the ACLU wrote in a letter to UCLA. “There is no credible claim that the bear on the poster risks confusion with the Bruin Bear. The University of California can have no trademark on bears as a general matter, particularly one with a long history of affiliation with the state of California.”

However, they noted that NSJP has agreed to modify the logo to remove the name UCLA from the logo.

Here is a before-and-after comparison of the logos:

The UCLA name is also gone from the logo on NSJP’s website.

Ricardo Vazquez, UCLA’s associate director of media relations, told the Journal in an email, “NSJP has complied with our request to remove the UCLA name from their conference logo and have committed to include ‘at’ or will otherwise clearly indicate the reference to UCLA as the place in which the event is being held.”

Vazquez did not respond to the Journal’s request for comment if the university was fine with the bear remaining the same on the logo

Palestine Legal and the ACLU also accused UCLA of engaging in “viewpoint discrimination” in their cease-and-desist letter by describing the Palestinian kite on the logo as “an intention to endorse violence against Israel.”

“Your emphasis on how ‘some’ might perceive symbols of Palestinian freedom indicates that the real reason for the University’s 4 unconstitutional censorship of SJP is the group’s support for Palestinian rights,” Palestine Legal and the ACLU’s letter states. “Your sensationalist mischaracterization of SJP’s viewpoint is further evidence of viewpoint discrimination.”

NSJP said in a Nov. 7 statement that kites are seen as a “symbol of freedom” to Palestinians; Palestinians in Gaza have been flying incendiary kites across the border, decimating fields belonging to Israeli farmers.

Judea Pearl, chancellor professor of computer science at UCLA, National Academy of Sciences member and Daniel Pearl Foundation president, said in an email to the Journal, “If UCLA needed a legal reason to move the NSJP conference away from its campus, every sophomore law student could have given it dozens, if not hundreds such reasons, starting with the racist character of SJP, their record of intimidation and disruption, and ending with the terrorism connections of their speakers.”

“The creative UCLA team however managed to find only one objection, a UCLA-marked logo, and our campus will soon become a recruiting center for Hamas, to the triumphant sound of chuckling SJP’s lawyers,” Pearl added.