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Mia Farrow on Darfur, Divestment,
and the 2008 Olympics in Beijing

March 30th, 2007 · 1 Comment · Activism, Business, Culture, Film, Foreign Policy, Human Rights, News, Peace, Politics

Darfur MapMia Farrow, in her role as a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN, seems to be taking a real leadership role in drawing attention to the genocide in Darfur and putting pressure on those who have the ability to do something about it.

Earlier this week she had a great op-ed in The Boston Globe (free registration required) about the importance of divesting from Sudan:

To my horror I recently discovered that I had inadvertently been helping to finance the genocide in Darfur. My own pension money had been in Fidelity Investments mutual funds. Fidelity has more than $1 billion invested in PetroChina Co. and Sinopec Corp. , two oil companies that have poured billions of dollars into Khartoum’s coffers … Genocide is an expensive enterprise and more than 70 percent of oil revenues have been used by the government of Sudan to purchase weapons and train the janjaweed.

… I have taught my children that with knowledge comes responsibility. Who among us would knowingly be complicit in the murder of innocent people? Just as I must take responsibility for where my savings are invested, we each share the responsibility for where our tax dollars and public funds are invested … The moral necessity of divesting from investments in Sudan is broadly recognized and growing … The Sudanese government is starting to get the message, and their embassy in Washington has responded with numerous condemnations … I urge you to join me in sending a clear message to our elected officials that we refuse to have our money used to slaughter innocent people.

She also gave a slideshow presentation to Massachusetts lawmakers urging divestment, and governor Deval Patrick says he’s on board with the idea.

And she’s not letting anyone off the hook, criticizing Stephen Spielberg and the corporate sponsors of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing for helping to burnish China’s image as China continues to bankroll the genocide in Darfur.

China supplies arms to Sudan and also has huge oil investments in the country. Rights groups say its engagement is frustrating attempts to stop the civil war and atrocities.

“Beijing is uniquely positioned to put a stop to the slaughter, yet they have so far been unabashed in their refusal to do so,” [Farrow] wrote.

“But there is now one thing that China may hold more dear than their unfettered access to Sudanese oil: their successful staging of the 2008 Summer Olympics.”

It’s easy to feel helpless about the situation in Darfur. It’s very bracing to see someone finally taking this issue by the horns and pursuing practical strategies. Keep up the good work, Ms. Farrow.

Hat tip (again!) to Norm Sloan.


One Comment so far ↓

  • Aaron

    I’m glad that somebody is doing something! I’d begun to despair of all the letters to senators and congressmen, even though they assure me that they’re anti-genocide (although their actions towards us gays say differently). And it’s great that their governor is actually listening (I forgot that Mutt Romney isn’t the governor there anymore–otherwise, it no doubt would have been a different story).

    Good for Mia. We should ALL have the Devil’s baby and live with a yucky old pedophile for 11 yrs., if it would make us that brilliant. :-)