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Shareholders seek to prevent Fidelity Investments from indirectly contributing to genocide

fidelity-investmentsI tend to ignore voting on issues where I receive proxy materials in the mail for my 401k retirement accounts. However, Fidelity Investments has a proposal pending to prohibit fund managers from investing in companies contributing to genocide, or crimes against humanity. Obviously, I am not in favor of contributing to genocide in Sudan, or any place else.

This is valiant attempt by some shareholders to influence a huge corporation’s policies. This is not a theoretical proposal, you see Fidelity was one of the largest holders of PetroChina, which through its parent company, the China National Petroleum Company, is providing funding that the Sudanese government uses to conduct its genocide in Darfur.

darfurgenocide

The trustees say “Fidelity seeks to achieve the best investment results for the Fund consistent with the stated investment policies of the Fund” and “investments are lawful under the laws of the United States”. In the tangled web of huge conglomerate speak, Fidelity is saying it’s ok, because they are not directly investing in the parent company of PetroChina, which contributes to genocide, since that is against US laws. I disagree, the parent companies actions also reflect on its children. Why else would it be called the parent company?

So, I am voting in favor of this proposal, despite the Board of Trustees recommendation to vote against it. If you happen to receive similar proxy materials in the mail from Fidelity, I urge you to open it and read Proposal 3.

The deadline for this vote is July 15,2009.

For more information check out Investors Against Genocide at http://www.genocidefreefidelity.net/

Beth Robinson
Beth Robinson
Tennessee native. Computer Systems Analyst - 30+ year career in computer industry. B.S. Computer Science, 1983 TTU. M.A. Instructional Technology, 1999 APSU. She is a member of the Friends of Dunbar Cave,  Tennessee Tree Steward,  The Climate Project, Audubon,  Sierra Club, World Wildlife Fund, League of Conservation Voters, an active member of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Clarksville (UUFC), UU Service Committee, and UUFC Social Action chairperson / Green Sanctuary chairperson / Youth group advisor.
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1 COMMENT

  1. Subject: Fidelity Proxy Vote
    Date: Thu, 25 Jun 2009 21:52:00 -0400

    Dear Beth,

    Thank you so much for your article on the proposed Fidelity Shareholders proposal. I too was confused when first receiving my proxy vote. Then as I read it, I was horrified at what it seemed to imply. I went to the web and researched, and yours was one of the most direct articles (http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/2009/06/24/shareholders-seek-to-prevent-fidelity-investments-from-indirectly-contributing-to-genocide/) that explained very clearly to me what I most feared.

    I have proudly submitted my two proxy votes FOR the Shareholder proposal, and am spreading the word through Twitter & Facebook, as well as alerted my co-workers who are investors as well.

    Thank you!
    Sincerely,
    AJ

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