<body>

Monday, April 23, 2007

BEING THE CHANGE I WANT TO SEE


BEING THE CHANGE I WANT TO SEE

>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>>:>:>:>:>:>:>

WHAT WORTH IS OUR LIFE IF OUR HUMANESS IS NOT SHINING

THROUGH ALL THE MIRE?

In 2004, I came across one PBS Frontline episode that will continue to affect me for the rest of my life. It was titled “Ghosts of Rwanda”. I educated myself through books and the internet about the genocide that happened without my total awareness. Although the story at the time was the O.J. Simpson trial, I do remember reporting of the genocide in a far away country – Rwanda. I remember Prudence Bushnell being asked how many “acts of genocide” does it take to make a genocide.

I am now a full-time activist for human rights, specifically about genocide. I am involved in the grassroots effort to end the 21st Century genocide in Darfur. However the genocide started just before we went to war against weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

During April 23 – 30, 2007, “Global Days for Darfur”, worldwide Darfur events are taking place. There are 307 events in the USA alone. Additionally, there are events worldwide in 30 countries, including South Korea, where U.N. Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon is from. In Newport, we have “Darfur Walk & Gathering”, Saturday, April 28, 3:00 p.m. The Walk starts at Touro Park. Newport is the only event city in Rhode Island. The biggest event, “The Die-In March and Divestment Rally” in New England will be at the Boston Commons, Sunday, April 29, at 1:00 p.m.. Sign-ups for all events can be made at www.savedarfur.org/globaldays

The Massachusetts Save Darfur Coalition is leading the nation in the campaign to divest from Fidelity. www.fidelityoutofsudan.com is a wealth of informative sources to learn the power we have as an average U.S. citizen of a free society to act and make a difference. Unknowingly many of us are helping Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir fund his government-sponsored genocide.

The government of Sudan continues the genocide on its people in Darfur, drawing on its oil revenue to provide arms, helicopters and otherwise fund the genocide, rather than fund economic development for the poor people of Sudan. Despite the mass atrocities in Darfur, Fidelity, through its mutual funds, not only has been a major investor in oil companies operating in Sudan, but it has been significantly increasing its holdings. As of February, Fidelity's global holdings of PetroChina topped $1.3 billion. It is the largest holder of PetroChina (PTR) on the NYSE.

Consider joining other citizens who are finding ways to empower themselves through simply asking their 401K plan administrator to address Sudan oil investments, in order to make an impact upon ending genocide. Check your portfolio and ensure you are not investing in companies in Sudan's oil industry. Consider divesting from PetroChina and Sinopec and mutual funds that hold these stocks. Tell Fidelity to stop investing our money in companies that in reality help to fund the genocide in Darfur. Sign the petition “Fidelity Out of Sudan”.

What would you want the world to do IF This Was YOU as the victim of genocide and irresponsible investment companies?

You will be joining thousands of Darfur activists from around the world if you step up to make a difference in an effort to make a better world.

“We ARE the WORLD”

We have Brothers and Sisters all around the planet Earth.

Do we really think what we say and do doesn’t affect others?

Do you think that when you think about the Virginia Tech human disaster?

Bullying, on any level, personal or by nations, including ours, DOES make a difference and does make an impact. We pay for this lesson, yet to learn.

The above is my Letter to the Editor submitted to The Newport Daily News, April 23, 2007.

>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCveelEJYp8

“Last Night I Had The Strangest the Dream”

When I was teaching music in schools the first few years of my 30 year career, I taught the children this song. I got into trouble because of it. The message was found to be offensive. I taught in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, where the Navy base had many children in our public schools at that time. I was told not to ever use it again.

This song has been recorded in 76 languages, this has become one of the most enduring and treasured peace songs.Possibly the very best anti-war song ever...a strong argument presented sweetly and with reason. This song was written in 1950 by Ed McCurdy and has been recorded by many artists over the years including The Weavers, John Denver, Simon and Garfunkel, Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Johnny Cash and Garth Brooks. This is derkman’s rendition.

>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>

Below is my email sent to those who have sign-up at www.savedarfur.org/globaldays for a GLOBAL DAYS FOR DARFUR event in Newport, Rhode Island to occur on April 28, 2007:

Dear Person of Conscience,

This is a reminder that you have signed up to attend the Walk & Gathering in Newport, next Saturday. Please come, but please also ask your friends, family and co-workers to consider being one of thousands worldwide to join in this call to the world to Stand Up & Stand Out against genocide:

*April 28, Saturday, 3:00 p.m. meeting at Touro Park, 135 Pelham Street, Newport, Walk & Gathering for Darfur, we will begin our walk, with posters (some will be provided) and wear a blue hats, if possible, (Blue to signal we need UN Peacekeepers on the ground in Darfur) and end our walk at Washington Square in downtown Newport. Hopefully we will have Newport-tourist-weather and we will be seen by many. You are asked to bring hour glasses, small clocks, time pieces of any kind - to signify "Time is Running Out" for Darfur and for the world to take action to help stop this madness. I ask you not to litter and leave paper, posters and hour glasses, etc. I don't want to have to stay after and pick it up. : )

Another Newport event during this week of "Global Days for Darfur" is tomorrow night:

*April 23, Monday, 7:00 p.m. at Channing Unitarian Church, 135 Pelham Street, Newport, we are showing two films, a small portion of "Heroes of the Spirit" and all of "Darfur Diaries - Message from Home". Also, the book "Darfur Diaries - Stories of Survival" will be on sale for $17.07. And six of the books are signed by Jen Marlowe, one of the authors. There will be a petition to sign to urge Fidelity to know that we are serious about their divesting from companies in Sudan that help fund the genocide in Darfur. A free-will offering will be taken.

For information about Divestment and the investment company, Fidelity, go to

www.fidelityoutofsudan.com

And click here to go to a video about divesting from Sudan, including Fidelity, and the great work of the Save Darfur Massachusetts committed "people of conscience".
http://www.myfoxboston.com/myfox/pages/News/Detail?contentId=2214009&version=1&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=VSTY&pageId=3.1.1

It took 12 years for the world to end the holocaust. We are now at the beginning of our 5th year of the Darfur genocide. Are we going to wait 8 more years and turn our attention away from this human disaster, living a life of complicit involvement in genocide? Or are we going to STEP UP AND DO WHAT WE CAN DO TO STOP THIS MADNESS?

Thank you for being a part of the grassroots ground swell during this week of Planet Earth's People Uniting Against Genocide, Specifically in Darfur, Sudan.

Darfur activists are planning a total of 332 events in 246 cities in the United States, alone!
Concerned citizens are uniting in more than 30 countries around the globe to demand peace and protection now for the people of Darfur.

You are joining thousands of Darfur activists from around the world.


To End Genocide We Need More People Of Conscience to Step Up!

It Will Take You and Me to End Genocide.

Think of what you would want the world to do IF this was you as the victim of genocide
and irresponsible investment companies.

In an effort to make a better world for you, me and all the children in the world,

Sandra Hammel

A quote from the Amazing Grace movie:

"When you make the world better in one way, it becomes better in all ways."

Let's Make Genocide History!

:>:>:>:>:>:>:>IMPORTANT!! Please take the time to read >:>:>:>:>:>:>

SavingView full size|Save to AOL Pictures|Download

Why citizens and investors should take action against Fidelity

in the effort to Stop the Genocide on the Darfuris

Taken from www.fidelityoutofsudan.com

  • Sudan and its government-sponsored Janjaweed militia have committed pervasive violations of human rights in Darfur, Sudan, since early 2003, earning the designation of the first genocide of the 21st century.
  • The atrocities taking place in Darfur, Sudan, have been identified as genocide by unanimous declaration of Congress in July 2004, by two Secretaries of State, and by the President of the United States.
  • The genocide in Darfur has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands and the displacement of millions of Darfurians, and is continuing to claim victims.
  • There is a well-established link between the oil industry in Sudan and the revenue of the Government of Sudan which overwhelmingly goes to increased arms and funding of the genocide in Darfur.
  • Fidelity, through its mutual funds, not only has been a major investor in two of the largest oil companies operating in Sudan, PetroChina (through its parent CNPC) and Sinopec (aka China Petroleum), but it has been significantly increasing its holdings in these tainted companies.
  • Fidelity is the largest holder of PetroChina on the New York Stock Exchange. Counting Fidelity's holdings around the world, Fidelity owns 5% of the outstanding shares of PetroChina, worth $1.3 billion, as of their February 14, 2007 SEC filing.
  • PetroChina's closely related parent, CNPC, is Sudan's largest partner in the oil industry there. We hold PetroChina accountable, just as we would CNPC, since the "separation between these two companies is largely cosmetic" and they "should not be rewarded" for creating distinctions on paper to obscure their connections to the genocide.
  • US law prohibits American companies from doing business in Sudan, yet Americans are legally able to invest in foreign companies operating in Sudan. Over the last two years, many large investors, including US colleges and states pension funds, have made the responsible decision to divest from PetroChina and Sinopec.
  • This is not the first time people have raised concerns about the impact of Fidelity's investments. In the years before the genocide in Darfur, Fidelity stubbornly held on to its investments in Talisman Energy, while genocide and large scale slavery spurred public protests and 2 million people were killed in South Sudan, even though other major investors and financial institutions divested.
  • Fidelity has been unresponsive to the concerns detailed in our formal inquiries and requests, made clear in a series of five letters since the end of September 2006, delivered to 51 Fidelity executive management, trustees, board members, and fund managers.
  • Fidelity's sole response has been a form letter thanking us for our interest, saying that everything they do is legal, and emphasizing that their only concern is their fiduciary responsibility.
  • Millions of Americans are customers of Fidelity and have money entrusted to them. We can and should expect better from a trusted advisor. Who wants to support a company which insists on investing in companies which help fund genocide?
  • Looking back, who would support the idea of investing in firms that sought to make a profit by selling Zyklon-B gas to the Nazis or machetes for the genocide in Rwanda? Looking forward, who wants their personal savings and pension funds invested in companies that help fund the genocide in Darfur?

Who is Fidelity

  • Fidelity is FMR Corp., Fidelity Management and Research, Fidelity Investments, Fidelity mutual funds, Fidelity brokerage services, Fidelity 401K services, Fidelity payroll services, Fidelity NetBenefits, Fidelity International Limited.

________________________

Please, be aware that I am scheduling Darfur lobbying appointments with Senator Jack Reed, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Representative Patrick Kennedy. I am waiting for dates from their respective Rhode Island schedulers. The appointments will be here in Rhode Island. It would be wonderful to have some of you join in this very important effort. The dates that I am being given are for the most part the last week of May or first week of June. Confirmation is yet to be announced.

>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>

I have removed all of my mutual funds that were with Fidelity.

Please accept this blog posting as me…

Being the Change I Want to See.

I hope you will consider following my example,

if you should see merit in it.

>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comments:

At May 8, 2007 at 6:37:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Campaign to Get Fidelity Out of Darfur! Wed, May 9th, 4:30-5:30pm. Smithfield, RI Fidelity Office

Please join us & other concerned Rhode Islanders as we urge Fidelity to stop investing in genocide in Darfur. We will be submitting 5,685 Fidelity Out of Sudan petitions to representatives at Fidelity & we will also be handing out informative Divestment flyers to Fidelity employees as they leave work.

Directions to Fidelity HQ in Smithfield, RI Office (500 Salem St):
Entrance is directly across the street from Bryant University. Exit 8A or 8B from route 295. Take the 8 exit toward Bryant University to 7N. Turn right at the stop light onto Salem St (if you turn left you will be entering Bryant University).

We will meet in the complex at this building: Drive in from route 7 onto Salem St of the Headquarters complex, follow it until the last building and you can't go any further...there is a circular drive at the end. There we will assess where to divide ourselves up and distribute the flyers.

Hope to see you there! -Rhode Island STAND

Poster Text:
Fidelity Out of Sudan! 400,000 Voices for 400,000 Lives

Who Is Investing In Genocide?
 400,000 people are already dead and millions more are at risk
 Fidelity, through its mutual funds, is a major and growing
investor in oil companies that fund the genocide in Darfur
 Sudan’s oil revenue provides arms and funding for the genocide, rather
than development for the poor people of Sudan
 Many families invest their savings with Fidelity but are unaware of
Fidelity’s connection to the Darfur genocide

What You Can Do
Each of us can object to Fidelity investing America’s savings in genocide
 Sign the petition at www.FidelityOutofSudan.com
 Ask your friends and family to join the campaign
 Tell Fidelity to stop investing in genocide and that even if you aren’t
investing now you’ll remember this when you do
 Make sure your investments don’t support genocide
 Talk with employers about removing PetroChina, Sinopec, and Fidelity
from their 401k plan
 Join the Facebook group: Fidelity Out Of Sudan

In memory of the 400,000 who have died in Darfur our campaign aims for 400,000 people to object to Fidelity and other institutions investing in companies that help fund the genocide. Join the dozens of colleges, universities, states, cities, and many public figures who have used targeted divestment from Sudan as a tool to help save Darfur.

Sign the petition and get details at www.FidelityOutOfSudan.com

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home