by Princeton Coalition for Divestment
Princeton, New Jersey, United States
June 4,1985
4 pages
Type: Statement
Coverage in Africa: South Africa
Language: English
The statement says as the Board of Trustees reported in 1978, "the racially defined and repressive policies of South Africa create a situation so compelling as to warrant special attention." The statement says for almost one hundred years proponents of ''constructive engagement" with this regime have argued that economic development propelled by American capital investment provides the most effective corrosive to the apartheid regime and the best road to its dissolution; however, history has proved these assertions to be untrue; the South African government is as heinous today as it was in 1900; while American capital investments have steadily increased over the course of this century, there has been no significant amelioration of the political and civil status of blacks in this country; far from corroding the apartheid system, American capital invested in basic industries and in the government itself has been complicitous in supporting and strengthening this abhorrent regime; as we have recently seen, only direct pressure, both economic and political, has proven successful as a means to ensure any improvement in the political and civil status of blacks; this is why a majority of South African blacks, including Bishop Tutu, have called for the withdrawal of American economic investments and political support for this system. The statement says during the spring semester, the Coalition for Divestment has sponsored a campaign designed to educate the Princeton community about South Africa, particularly about the role of American corporations and American investments in a country whose racism and violent repression we abhor; the Coalition advocates the divestiture of the University's holdings in corporations that do business in South Africa, in order that our institution may join the growing number of universities, states, municipalities, and trade unions currently demonstrating their revulsion against apartheid; such divestiture is an effective way for Princetonians both to pressure corporations to withdraw and to promote that strong economic sanctions be enacted in the United States Congress. The statement says over 3,000 students and over 260 faculty have expressed their commitment to total divestiture within a two year period; Princeton is one of the three largest university investors in South Africa. The statement says because the free and honest discussion of issues vital to the moral health of this community had been threatened, we agreed on a twelve hour blockade at Nassau Hall as a symbolic protest; what happened on Thursday shows a very serious fracture within the community and a breakdown of discussion. The statement discusses the Sullivan Principles, Princeton University President William G. Bowen, a bank lending directly to the South African government, Fruehauf, Yale University, a press conference, Dean Lowe, and Mrs. Walzer. (Note: C.P.U.C. is presumably the Council of the Princeton University Community, CPUC.) [This item is included in "The Princeton Coalition for Divestment: A Case History, April - June 1985."]
Used by permission of Thomas J. Knock. 
Collection: Thomas J. Knock papers