Monday, April 07, 2008

Letter to Editor of Daily Hampshire Gazette

I hope this letter gets published in Daily Hampshire Gazette:

A way to affect genocide

Every person I have ever met is against genocide. But when faced with one going on in our own time — be it either the Rwandan genocide in 1994 or the current assault on survival in Darfur, Sudan — many people are saddened by their inability to act meaningfully to stop hundreds of thousands of people being killed or displaced from their homes.

In the next few days, however, we have the chance to do something. Two of the members of our W. Mass. Darfur Coalition, Magda Ahmed and Mohamed Elgadi, have just headed for San Francisco to participate in the Beijing Olympics Torch Relay Protest, part of a big call to China to stop supplying arms to the government of Sudan. And you at home can take another step to help ensure your personal investments are not funding a genocide. Thanks to a recent ruling by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Fidelity shareholders now have the unique opportunity to cast a vote for genocide-free investing.

A shareholder proposal submitted by Investors Against Genocide, a Boson-based non-profit organization, asks Fidelity to institute oversight procedures to screen out investments in companies that substantially contribute to genocide. Not surprisingly, Fidelity is advising its shareholders to vote against this proposal.

This shareholder proposal won 28% and 27% of the votes for the two Fidelity mutual funds that voted on March 19. This strong initial result is a very positive indication of the depth of shareholder concern regarding making mutual funds genocide-free.

At upcoming Fidelity shareholder meetings scheduled for April 16 and May 14, 19 Fidelity mutual funds will have a proxy ballot question on genocide-free investing. Fidelity shareholders can vote their shares by returning their proxy or attending the shareholder meeting. If they have already discarded their proxy materials, or have already voted and wish to change their vote, they can do so right up until the meeting at the Fidelity website.

For details about this important vote and more information on genocide-free investing, p
lease visit – and also check out local Darfur actions at our blog at

Thanks for your help,

W. Mass. Darfur Coalition/


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