California Republican Assembly Members Urge UC to Divest from Sudan

A group of students called the UC Sudan Divestment Taskforce contacted the office of California Assemblyman Tim Leslie in an effort to get legislative support from Assemblyman Leslie, who happens to be the Vice-Chairman of the Assembly Higher Education Committee. Not only did the assemblyman write a letter in support of their effort, but he also got the majority of the Assembly Republican Caucus to sign onto the letter as well.

These students were pleasantly surprised that Republicans would be so supportive of their efforts. We let them know that California Assembly Republicans have been trying to get the state to divest from Sudan for years only to have many of their efforts thwarted by Democrats, because it wasn’t their idea.

Leslie’s office sent out the following press release this afternoon.

ASSEMBLY REPUBLICAN’S ASK UC TO DIVEST FROM SUDAN

(SACRAMENTO) – Assembly Republicans, led by Assemblyman Tim Leslie (R-Tahoe City) are encouraging the UC Regents to adopt an investment policy which includes a policy of substantive divestment from Sudan. The UC Board of Regents will be meeting tomorrow (Thursday, January 19th) to decide whether or not to adopt such a policy.

“What is taking place in Darfur, Sudan is nothing short of government sponsored genocide!” declared Leslie, who serves as Vice-Chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee, “By divesting from the Sudan, we are sending a clear message that California will not tolerate the cruel practices of this oppressive government.

This is not a new position for California legislative Republicans. Assemblyman Ray Haynes (R-Murrieta) has for years advocated for divestment from the Sudan. “It is simply the right thing to do”, he exclaims, “Genocide and religious tyranny cannot be ignored, let alone condoned.”

In a letter signed by 14 Republican Assembly members, they point out to the UC Regents that over 400,000 Darfurians have been murdered, over 2.5 million have been displaced, and nearly 70% of Darfur’s villages have been razed. Their letter goes on to state, “The government’s systematic policies of rape and denial of humanitarian aid serve as gruesomely effective adjunct tools in this genocidal campaign.”

Back in November 2005 the UC’s Committee on Investments voted unanimously to recommend that the Full Board of Regents adopt an investment policy which would include substantive divestment from the Sudan. Assembly Republicans are confident that the UC Regents full board will follow suit.

Leslie Added, “California’s movement on this issue is paramount to raising broader awareness to the atrocities occurring in this country. It is imperative that the UC take the appropriate action and vote for divestment.”

Craig DeLuz

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www.craigdeluz.com