Sunday, June 10, 2007

Darfur, Debates, and Divestment

According to the Genocide Intervention Network, the states of Iowa, Colorado, Indiana, Minnesota, Florida and Kansas have joined the ranks of other states in America which have signed legislation making it illegal to invest in companies doing business in Sudan. Seventeen other states are on the verge of signing such legislation, and Hawaii and Texas are simply awaiting their respective governors' signatures on bills which have made it through all other legislative hurdles.

To see an interactive map of divestment activities and campaigns, click here. To learn how to get more involved, click here.

Disturbingly, the recent presidential debates were sponsored by none other than Fidelity Investments. A video about this connection can now be viewed on YouTube. It is widely accepted that Fidelity has been the largest shareholder on the New York Stock Exchange of shares in PetroChina and Sinopec, two Chinese petroleum companies whose economic interests in the oil fields of Sudan has provided the Sudanese government with billions of dollars with which to fund the Darfur genocide. That said, while Fidelity has recently divested 91% of its holdings in PetroChina on the NYSE due to activist pressure and a widespread divestment campaign, it still holds millions of dollars in the same companies on the Hong Kong exchange. Shame on Fidelity for its duplicitous and underhanded actions.

While many of the presidential candidates---both Republican and Democrat---have spoken out against the genocide in Darfur and have begun divesting their own personal holdings in Fidelity, the fact that they took part in a debate sponsored by this disingenuous American company is simply beyond the pale. Whatever your party affiliation, I highly recommend that you consider contacting as many of the candidates as you can to let them know that having any dealings with Fidelity is unacceptable, especially while these same candidates decry the very genocide which Fidelity's investment strategies support.

If you wish to contact any of the candidates, the following links may be of use to you, now or in the future.

Joseph Biden -
Hillary Clinton -
Christopher Dodd -
John Edwards -
Mike Gravel -
Dennis Kucinich -
Barack Obama -
Bill Richardson -

Sam Brownback -
Jim Gilmore -
Rudy Giuliani -
Mike Huckabee -
Duncan Hunter -
John McCain -
Ron Paul -
Mitt Romney -
Tom Tancredo -
Fred Thompson -
Tommy Thompson -

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