Re: Article for CUNY newspapers about South Africa and divestment

by Diana Dwyre, CUNY Divestment Coalition
New York, New York, United States
Undated, Fall 1984
Publisher: CUNY Divestment Coalition
8 pages
Type: Article
Coverage in Africa: South Africa
Coverage outside Africa: United States
Language: English
The mailing includes a cover letter and article by the CUNY Divestment Coalition about involvement of City University of New York (CUNY) with banks and corporations that do business with South Africa and the Coalition’s plans to urge CUNY to divest these funds. The coalition asks CUNY newspapers to publish this article as well as future articles and announcements. The article says, through its investments, CUNY is backing the racist system of apartheid in South Africa.  The article says 4.5 million whites hold a monopoly on political and economic power in South Africa, while the Black majority of 21 million is deprived of all citizenship and human rights. At the heart of apartheid is the "homelands" policy; over 3.5 million Blacks have been forcibly removed from their homes in ''white areas," where they are not considered to be citizens, to the "homelands," where 25% of Black children die before the age of five. The article says U.S. corporations are attracted to South Africa by cheap Black labor. These companies help maintain white minority rule through loans, sales of goods to the military, technology transfer, and tax payments; Mobile and Caltex are required to supply the military with the oil South Africa lacks. U.S. automobile firms sell motor vehicles to the South African military, and General Motors has coordinated its security plans with the South African police in the event of a civil uprising. Advocating corporate withdrawal and divestment in South Africa is a crime punishable by a minimum of five years’ imprisonment and a maximum of death; despite these heavy penalties, major anti-apartheid leaders such as Black Consciousness leader Steven Biko - murdered by the police in 1977 - and Bishop Desmond Tutu have called for an end to western investment. U.S. student groups have forced divestment at 40 schools of over $175 million in stock. Also, legislative action by states and cities - notably in Massachusetts, Michigan, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia - has already resulted in the divestment of over $400 million; the New York City Employees' Retirement System just passed a measure which will lead to the divestment of nearly $665 million in city pension funds. The CUNY Divestment Coalition launched its campaign by leafletting and handing out buttons at CUNY graduations in May; this fall, the Coalition has initiated a petition and educational drive aimed at exerting pressure on the CUNY Board of Regents to divest. The article also discusses Citicorp, U.S. computer firms, IBM, Burroughs Corporation, Control Data, Honeywell, strategic military research, population control, Bantu Administration Boards, the state-owned Iron and Steel Corporation, the United Technologies Corporation, UTL Corporation, aircraft engines, helicopters, Boeing Corporation, military-related aircraft, Hunter College, President Donna Shalala, CUNY Chancellor Murphy, Chancellor Joseph S. Murphy, and the American Committee on Africa (ACOA).

Collection: Hunter College Student Clubs, Organizations and Publications Collection, Hunter College Library Archives and Special Collections