|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
FEBRUARY 24, 2005
|CONTACT: American Anti-Slavery Group
Heather Decker, 617-426-8161
Students from Harvard, Tufts, Boston University Join with Anti-Slavery Group to Demand Divestment from Companies Operating in Sudan; Statehouse Vigil to Demand University Endowments, State Pension Fund Divest from Sudan
BOSTON -- February 24 -- Student activists from across the Boston area are gathering on the steps of the Massachusetts State House to demand divestment from Sudan. A candlelight vigil organized by the American Anti-Slavery Group and featuring student activists from Harvard, Tufts, Boston University, and Regis College will begin on Thursday afternoon at 5 p.m.
Students are gathering to stand in solidarity with the victims of slavery and genocide in Sudan, and to protest their university endowments and the Massachusetts State Pension Fund for investing in Sudan.
The Mass 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.
"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 Harvard divests from PetroChina, a subsidiary of the China National Petroleum Company, which recently partnered with the Sudanese regime in a $1 billion petroleum project.
"Our investments not only give implicit approval to the Sudanese government; they help maintain its financial viability, and therefore, its ability to facilitate the elimination of an entire ethnic group of non-Arab Africans," Terry said in a statement.
"While leaders fail to act to stop the genocidal regime of Omar al-Bashir, students will not sit by silently," noted Jesse Sage of the American Anti-Slavery Group. "They are committed to cutting off the regime's access to the wallets of Americans."
Thursday afternoon's vigil marks the fifth straight month of student protests on the Sudan genocide. For more information, see http://www.iAbolish.com/vigil.