NAACP-Supported Sudan Divestment Bill to Come Before Full House as Early as this monday, 7/30
Bill would Support Divestment by States and Companies from Corporations that Help Fund Genocide in Darfur
According to recent estimates, at least 400,000 people have died in Darfur since the genocide began in February of 2003. It is impossible to know what the final number will be, however, as the genocide is still taking place today. What is known is that there are approximately 3.5 million men, women and children in the western Darfur region of Sudan trying to survive the Sudanese government-sponsored campaign of violence and forced starvation. These innocent victims are essentially on life support, their continued existence dependent on U.S. and international humanitarian aid and the presence of African Union peacekeepers. Despite the best efforts of the under-funded and under-manned African Union peacekeeping force, attacks have increased in recent months, leading to tens of thousands of new arrivals at refugee camps in Darfur and across the border in Chad.
To begin to address this problem, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA), working with Congressman Barney Frank (MA) and others has introduced H.R. 180 the Darfur Accountability and Divestment Act of 2007. This legislation will be considered by the full US House of Representatives as early as Monday, July 30. Under this legislation companies, states or persons with direct investments in Sudan would be required to disclose these investment activities to the federal government. This list of companies would then be regularly updated and published in a forum available to the general public. These investments provide financial support to the Government of Sudan, which uses the monies earned to fund military operation. Through identifying the connections between investments in Sudan and the crisis in Darfur, companies and persons will be encouraged to divest from Sudan.
Divestment is a proven tool in struggles against inhumane governments: Americans’ divestment was a major contributor to bringing down the racist apartheid regime in South Africa in the 1980’s, when people, municipalities (including the federal government) and corporations pulled billions of dollars out of that country rather than make money off of a government that supported slavery.
- The United States must use all available means, diplomatic and financial, to ensure that the crisis in Darfur comes to an end.
- The United States must recognize the role that financial investments play in the crisis in Darfur and must encourage divestment.
- The scale of the atrocity in Darfur can be compared to any genocide in global history. Every conscionable citizen of any country has an obligation to ensure that it comes to an immediate end.
THE ACTION WE NEED YOU TO TAKE:
Contact your Representative and Urge him / her to support Sudan divestment legislation, H.R. 180, when it comes to the House floor . To contact your Representative you may:
- Make a Phone Call:
Call your Representative in Washington by dialing the Capitol Switchboard and asking to be transferred to his / her office. The switchboard phone number is (202) 224-3121
- Send a Fax
If you would like to send a fax, call your Representative’s office (through the Capitol switchboard) and ask for his or her fax number (you can use either the attached sample letter or the message box, below).
- Send an E-Mail
To send an e-mail to your Representative, go to www.house.gov, and click on “Write Your Representative” (on the left hand side, just under “find your Representative). This will help you identify who your congressman is and how to contact him/her.
Unfortunately, not all Members of Congress have e-mail addresses.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION TO THIS IMPORTANT MATTER!!!
If you have any questions, call Hilary Shelton at the Washington Bureau at (202) 463-2940.