Boycott, divestment and sanction (BDS) activists with We Divest From Israel’s Occupation (WDFIO, a project of Jewish Voice for Peace) recently performed a flashmob action in New York City’s Times Square after pension giant TIAA-CREF censored a shareholder resolution last week.
As The Electronic Intifada reported in April, Jewish Voice for Peace has actively challenged the fund, asking it to implicitly divest from corporations that do business with Israel.
In a press release today, which included lyrics to the song activists sang during the flashmob, WDFIO stated:
The flashmob was to draw attention to TIAA-CREF’s investment in corporations like Caterpillar, Elbit, Motorola, Northrup Grumman, and Veolia that profit from the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. It is part of a nationwide call for such flashmobs, which have already taken place in the Bay Area and Denver.
The flashmobs also come on the heels of TIAA-CREF’s decision to refuse to share with its own investors a shareholder proposal submitted by nearly 20 of their participants calling upon CREF to engage with corporations in its portfolio that profit from the Israeli Occupation, and to consider divesting if that engagement does not bear fruit. CREF also located its annual meeting in Charlotte, NC instead of New York City (where it has been most past years) after last year’s annual meeting was dominated by concerns over TIAA-CREF’s support for occupation.