Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Divesting from Sudan

Taking a page from the anti-apartheit movement, students at Harvard, Tufts and Boston universities have joined with an anti-slavery group to demand divestment from companies operating in Sudan.

A statehouse vigil in Boston will also urge university endowments and state pension fund in Massachusetts to divest from Sudan, said a statement issued Saturday.

The Massachusetts State Pension Fund has an estimated $1.4 billion invested in companies doing business in Sudan. Despite a campus divestment campaign, Harvard University recently increased its stake in the controversial PetroChina stock.

A candlelight vigil organized by the American Anti-Slavery Group and featuring student activists from the three educational institutions will begin Thursday afternoon.

"This is a crucial opportunity to show that we are leaders for a more just world, and will not tolerate our money and name being complicit in genocide," noted Brandon Terry of Harvard's Darfur Action Group and President Emeritus of the Black Men's Forum.

Terry is leading a campaign at Harvard for seniors to withhold their class gift until the university divests from PetroChina, a subsidiary of the China National Petroleum Company, which recently partnered with the Sudanese regime in a $1 billion petroleum project.


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