Staff Editorial: University should take a stand on Darfur
While we are paying more money for our classes, the University of Houston is indirectly supporting the Sudanese government and benefiting from the Darfur genocide. With the University’s monetary investments in the China Petroleum and Chemical Corp., a company involved with the Sudanese government in its extraction of oil in Sudan, UH is contributing to the ever-increasing Sudanese death toll.
According to documents obtained by the Coalition for Responsible Investment-UH, University has substantial amounts of money invested in stocks associated with this problematic company
In accordance with the Sudan Divestment Task Force, a Genocide Intervention Network project, we as UH students should seriously consider starting a petition to exert pressure on the University to divest all monetary investments and business interests used to fund genocide in Sudan.
Thus far, more than 50 universities have pursued policies divesting from Sudan. By pressuring UH to divest from Sudan, the Sudanese government will have one less substantial corporate investment.
When South African apartheid was strengthened by U.S. investment in the 1980’s, campuses nationwide mobilized divestment campaigns against South Africa to protest American businesses profiting from repressive South African institutions.
The campaigns proved successful and helped generate a victory in 1986 when the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act was passed. Bills therein banned U.S. investment in South Africa – from military sales to bank loans with the exemption of black-owned business ventures.
If divestment campaigns were successful 21 years ago, there shouldn’t be any reason why mobilization wouldn’t work today. The U.S. anti-apartheid movement proved successful because of the mobilization of campuses, legislators and activists. If we really want to voice our opposition to the inhumane actions of the Sudanese government, then we ought to pressure the University to divest from Sudan and instead promote investment in companies that do not exploit conflict for profit.
For a list of companies invested in Sudan, visit www.sudandivestment.org. It is only a matter of filling out paperwork to start a petition to get started with a divestment campaign.
If so many other universities have done it, why haven’t we?