Divestment for a Clean & Healthy Future

In the 1980’s the song “Nelson Mandela” by The Specials became an anthem during a time when people were calling for divestment from South Africa during the apartheid regime. Divestment worked to bring down the unjust government of South Africa. Nelson Mandela was released after 27 years in prison and in the 1990’s Mandela became the first black president of South Africa.

We are living in a critical time full of opportunity for much needed change. Corporations have our governments under their thumb, allowing them to wreak havoc all over the world with no accountability. The spill in an Arkansas neighborhood this past March is the latest of many harmful spills globally. We are outraged at the possibility of Keystone XL Pipeline being approved, which no doubt would have its share of spills. The Gulf of Mexico is still devastated from the 3-month long BP spill in 2010. Chevron has yet to pay $19 billion in damages to the Cofán and neighboring Amazon communities. Since the beginning of the fossil fuel boom, the planet has been exploited for these dirty resources. The Amazon communities that we work with, and the territories where they live, have been disrupted by extractive multinationals, leaving them unable to live traditionally. We focus our work with these communities, because they have been and continue to be victims of extractive industries. The rights of people and nature are continually violated. Yet, we continue to hold on to resources and practices that no longer serve us, which are doing more harm than good.

Bill McKibben’s 350.org is leading the fossil fuel divestment movement, getting schools, local, state and religious institutions to take their money out of fossil fuel investments and put it into solutions to climate change. You can also sign an open letter to President Obama to stop the approval and the ongoing operations of fossil fuel projects such as the Keystone XL Pipeline, Arctic drilling, fracking and so on.

We have a voice and we have the power to make a difference by becoming involved and by divesting from institutions and banks that fund harmful projects at home and around the world. Your purchasing power can create a shift. Just as the divestment movement made a difference in ending apartheid, fossil fuel divestment can make a big impact, which will move us to a sustainable and just future.

Enjoy The Specials’ song on this video… It is an inspiring call to action in honor of one of our most loved visionaries and promoter of justice, Nelson Mandela, as he recuperates in a Pretoria hospital.