April 24, 2000
TO ALL FRIENDS OF SUDAN:
From Passover reflections on human bondage and liberation, from Easter contemplation of the power of Resurrection, and from the human heart’s irresistible desire to free others from suffering and the threat of destruction, let us all take into the coming weeks a resolve to work with renewed commitment to the cause of the peoples of Sudan.
Let us carry our thoughts, and prayers, and moral convictions into the arena of human resolve and action. For there are no prayers or desires that will end the suffering and destruction in Sudan without an answering human determination to make of ourselves an irresistible force for a just peace in this brutally torn land.
We must convince the ruling regime in Khartoum, through an orchestration of massive economic forces, that there is no path but peace. We must turn the tables on the National Islamic Front, convincing them through the economic and financial distress of their partners in the Greater Nile oil project, that without peace there will be no convenient economic alliance with the likes of Talisman Energy of Canada, or China National Petroleum Corp, and its expedient funding creation “PetroChina.”
And we must also send a powerful message to all those who would finance in more covert fashion the Greater Nile project, now transparently the engine that sustains Sudan’s civil war. BP Amoco, whose massive investment in PetroChina enabled its New York Stock Exchange listing, must be forced to back away from an investment that has ended up funding China National Petroleum Corp, a 40% partner in Sudan’s Greater Nile project.
What to do now? And in the weeks to come? Many answers, many ways of translating prayer and moral desires into action.
 Continue to work for divestment from Talisman Energy. There are many large, public institutional shareholders in the US and Canada: the City of New York still has 186,000 shares, despite hearings in New York last October that made abundantly clear the reality of Talisman’s presence in Sudan; the State of New York has 353,000 shares in its common retirement fund; the State of Wisconsin has 180,000 shares. In Canada, the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan has 4 million shares; the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System has 3 million shares. And there are many, many others who need to be targeted for divestment (a partial list is attached at the end of this communication*).
 Boycott BP Amoco retail service stations—refuse to allow them to continue “business as usual” while providing massive capital to China National Petroleum Corp. Resolve to bring two more people into the boycott campaign every week—and get them to make a similar commitment. Distribute flyers at BP Amoco stations explaining why you are boycotting their stations, and what they should be telling BP Amoco management. A truly successful boycott would bring unsustainable financial pain to the corporation, and end their funding of Sudan’s oil project through the PetroChina commitment. This would have enormous, cascading effects that would in turn translate into massive pressure on the Chinese to force the NIF to the peace table in good faith.
And work for divestment from shareholdings in this oil industry behemoth. Their shares are everywhere: any public or private institutional shareholding that has oil or gas stocks will have BP Amoco. Find out if your city or state or pension plan has BP Amoco stock, and start pressuring them to divest. This works in perfect concert with the retail boycott effort.
 So far only one American institutional shareholder of PetroChina has been identified publicly: Liberty Financial Companies of Boston. Let them know what you think of their investment in PetroChina—let them know that their $56 million dollar investment in PetroChina is really an investment in an oil project that sustains the agony of Sudan. And let them know that Liberty Financial and their subsidiary Liberty Mutual and all their products—insurance and financial—will be marked by infamy so long as they continue to invest in PetroChina. They can be emailed at: email@example.com.
 Do no business with Goldman Sachs, the arrogant Wall Street investment bankers who brought the PetroChina deal to the New York Stock Exchange. They’re the ones who originally wanted to bring China National Petroleum Corp. directly to the New York Stock Exchange, caring nothing about CNPC’s dominant role in the oil-driven destruction of Sudan. Finally, persuaded that Sudan’s catastrophe was too politically visible, they didn’t pull out of the deal—they merely restructured it and renamed it: “PetroChina.”
Goldman Sachs’ business ethics got a well-deserved and severe drubbing from the Japanese Finance Minister last week. Their many mutual funds deserve just as severe a drubbing from American investors: don’t invest in them, and let Goldman Sachs management know that you won’t be doing so. You can email them through their web site: www.goldmansachs.com.
 Let your Congressional representation and the President know you are outraged that American capital markets—the New York Stock Exchange—has become a means of funding on the ongoing destruction of Sudan. A complete web listing of Congressional names, addresses, phone and fax numbers, and email addresses is available at: http://congress.nw.dc.us/nyt/congdir.html
President Clinton, in his entire administration, has never uttered the name “Sudan” in a foreign policy address of significance, even though Sudan is unquestionably the greatest humanitarian crisis of this administration. If the gruesome statistical averages of the past 17 years are any guide, 800,000 human beings—overwhelmingly civilians in the south—will have perished during the Clinton administration. And yet he says nothing.
This is a disgrace to our nation, and we must all work to change this the political landscape that allows for such cruel indifference.
If we are sufficiently committed to these tasks, if we use the opportunities at hand, we can make of all those corporations complicit in Sudan’s agony a powerful means of communication with the Khartoum regime. The message will come from corporate management, from the Chinese government in Beijing, and from elected officials in Washington. And the message to the National Islamic Front will be the same:
“Make peace, or watch your economic allies face financial destruction at the hands of those will not abide your continued genocidal ambitions against the people of the south. Make peace, or watch future investment in your oil project wither away. Make peace, or watch your Chinese diplomatic protection disappear, as China finds that its Sudan connection is costing it tens of billions of dollars in the American capital markets. Make peace, or it is you will become the victims of oil development in Sudan.”
Eric Reeves [April 24, 2000]
Smith College firstname.lastname@example.org
Northampton, MA 01063 413-585-3326
*TALISMAN ENERGY SHAREHOLDING: some examples
City of New York: 186,000 shares
State of New York (common retirement system): 353,000 shares
State of Wisconsin: 180,000
Ontario Teachers Pension Plan: 4 million shares
Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System: 3 million shares
American Funds: two mutual funds with 1.4 million shares, including the well-known Growth Fund of America
IG Investors: 1.4 million shares
Invesco Funds Group: 1.15 million shares
State Research and Management (Boston, MA): 440,000 shares
Morgan Guaranty Trust: 297,000 shares
Fidelity Management and Research: 236,000 shares
Vanguard Specialized: 155,000 shares
Prudential Insurance: 111,000 shares
[all shareholdings are as of the most recent SEC required filings I have available—ER]