CU students once again proved to Boulder, the state of Colorado and the nation that college students can change the world.
Scott Wisor, a doctoral candidate in the department of philosophy and senior national field organizer for the Sudan Divestment Task Force, along with members of the CU chapter of the anti-genocidal coalition, STAND, proposed to Speaker of the Colorado House Andrew Romanoff, a plan to pull Colorado public pension funds from companies that do business with Sudanese subsidiaries last October. See ArticleCQ
Last week, House Bill 1184 was introduced into the Colorado Legislature. The legislation, introduced by Romanoff as well as Colorado Senate President Pro Tem Peter Groff, and Reps. Andy Kerr(D-Lakewood) and Rob Witwer (D-Jefferson County), directs government organizations to do exactly what Wisor and the students of STAND proposed.
“The bill chiefly targets oil companies that contract with the regime in Khartoum or its subsidiaries, as well as companies that supply military equipment to Sudan,” said Romanoff in a recent newsletter. “It excludes humanitarian and social-development operations.”
The pension funds most affected are the Public Employees’ Retirement Association (PERA), whose employees include state legislators, government employees and CU professors and staff.
“We are very proud of Colorado,” said Wisor after receiving this news. “The state is showing that this is the kind of legislation we can support. I’m also proud of all the students and activists that have dedicated time to this effort.”
According to the Sudan Divestment Task Force, over 400,000 Darfurian civilians have been killed, 2.5 million are displaced and 4 million are completely dependent on humanitarian aid since February 2003.
“The international community has a stark decision to make right now, and they have overwhelmingly decided to allow the genocide in Darfur to continue,” Wisor said.
Colorado now joins six states that have passed divestment legislation. Wisor said at least 20 other states are considering divestment legislation. The UK, Ireland and Canada are also in an international fight against the Sudanese Khartoum government-sponsored genocide in Darfur.
Kerr, who spent a year of his youth living in El Obeid, Sudan, is especially elated by the progress Colorado is making on the international scene.
“As a member of PERA, this is my only opportunity to divest my PERA holdings from going to a government committing genocide on their own people,” said Kerr in an e-mail. “I have divested my private investments, but I cannot divest my PERA investments unless the state instructs them to do so. This is not a light issue. The US government has declared this to be genocide, and I feel that genocide rises to the highest level of moral imperative.”
The legislation will be scheduled for a hearing with the House Finance Committee and with a bipartisan sponsorship of 76 senators and representatives is expected to pass overwhelmingly when it comes up for a vote.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Brandon Springer at email@example.com.