TIAA-CREF is a Fortune 100 financial services company and the leading provider of retirement plans to people working in academic, research, medical, and cultural institutions in the United States.
Although TIAA-CREF touts its commitment to socially responsible investing, funds invested with TIAA-CREF actively support Israeli apartheid, violations of international law, and human rights abuses. For example, it invests in Caterpillar, Northrop Grumman, Motorola Solutions, Elbit Systems, and Veolia. These companies provide Israel with the products and services it uses to demolish Palestinian homes, construct and maintain the settlements and wall in the Israeli-occupied West Bank (including East Jerusalem), and kill Palestinian civilians.
STUDENTS! The We Divest national campaign is having a national day of action. We are calling on students from across NYC to demand TIAA-CREF divest from the Israeli occupation. Make sure they get the message: TIAA-CREF can't ignore its future clients!
What’s this action about? TIAA-CREF is one of the largest retirement plan providers in the nation, and has more than $2 billion invested in corporations that profit from the Israeli occupation of Palestine. One of these corporations is Veolia Environnement, which operates segregated bus lines for Israeli settlers on Palestinian land. We are sending a clear message that TIAA-CREF must divest from Veolia!
Retirement Plan? But I’m a student. You may not have a TIAA-CREF plan now, but it’s likely that you will some day. If you are planning to have a career in academia, the medical field, or a non-profit organization, you will probably plan for your retirement with TIAA-CREF. That makes you a future client, with the power to influence TIAA-CREF’s investment practices.
NEW YORK - Fifty New Yorkers gathered in the cold in front of TIAA-CREF national headquarters to show support for a shareholder resolution asking trustees to end investments in companies that contribute to or enable serious human rights violations, including companies whose products support Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands. (Photos from the rally available here.)
CREF shareholders, including a professor of peace and conflict studies, addressed the crowd, emphasizing that it is crucial that the retirement company let shareholders have a conversation about the human rights abuses their investments are supporting. Also present was Omar Barghouti, one of the founders and leaders of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions National Committee. Barghouti's evening talk with Judith Butler at Brooklyn College this evening has been the object of much recent controversy among local city officials and in the national media.
Where: TIAA-CREF headquarters, 730 Third Ave (at 45th St.), NYC
When: Thursday February 7, 2013, 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM
What: Demand that TIAA-CREF addresses the concerns of shareholders who have submitted a resolution calling on CREF to divest from Veolia and other companies profiting from the occupation of Palestine. Allow the resolution to go forward and be on the ballot.
Why: This year’s resolution calling for divestment is the next step in the We Divest campaign. Over 100 CREF shareholders have filed a resolution calling on the pension giant to divest from companies profiting from the illegal Israeli occupation and to end their complicity in the violation of Palestinian human rights.
Join Omar Barghouti, of the BDS National Committee, and other activists, academics, and cultural workers to show your support for this campaign at TIAA-CREF’s national headquarters on the eve of the deadline for filing resolutions.
If you are a CREF shareholder and would like to join in filing the resolution, click here.
Signs and hot cocoa will be provided. Dress warmly!
New York, NY, December 13, 2012 – The New Zealand Superannuation Fund, which invests money on behalf of New Zealand’s government, announced on December 12 that it is divesting from Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev’s company Africa Israel and its construction subsidiary Danya Cebus over their construction of Israeli settlements. The announcement came amidst heightened international criticism of Israeli settlement expansion. The move also follows a 2010 decision by the Norwegian government to divest from Africa Israel, and a 2009 decision by the British government not to do business with the company. The organizations Oxfam America, CARE and UNICEF have also severed ties with Leviev.
The announcement came as Adalah-NY is petitioning the New York City anti-hunger nonprofit City Harvest to publicly disavow Leviev, and is preparing for its sixth annual anti-apartheid caroling protest outside Leviev’s Madison Avenue jewelry store this Saturday. Adalah-NY launched a campaign for the boycott of and divestment from Leviev’s companies in 2007.
Earlier today at TIAA-CREF’s annual meeting in New York City, concerned shareholders confronted trustees over the pension fund giant’s investments in companies such as Caterpillar, Northrop Grumman, Veolia, Elbit, Motorola Solutions, and Hewlett-Packard, whose products are used by the Israeli military to violate international law and the human rights of Palestinians. Simultaneously, protesters rallied in front of TIAA-CREF offices across the country to urge trustees to divest from these and other companies that profit from and enable Israel’s 45-year-old military occupation and colonization of Palestinian lands.
Inside the New York meeting, James Schamus, professor at Columbia University and a TIAA-CREF shareholder, challenged TIAA-CREF CEO Roger Ferguson, asking: “When will TIAA-CREF provide clients like me with a fund that is Israeli-occupation clean?” In response, Ferguson claimed that TIAA-CREF cannot address concerns from individual shareholders through their Social Choice fund.