Caterpillar Dropped from MSCI Index and TIAA-CREF Socially Responsible Funds!
We are so excited to announce that as of this week, Caterpillar was removed from the MSCI (Morgan Stanley Capital International) World Socially Responsible Index, a list used by Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) funds to discern acceptable companies for investment.
Then, before we knew it, financial retirement fund giant TIAA-CREF followed suit and divested its Social Choice Funds from Caterpillar! Caterpillar shares in the funds were valued at more than $72 million when last posted.
For ten years, the US Campaign has challenged Caterpillar Corporation's practices of providing Israel with weaponized bulldozers used for demolishing Palestinian homes, razing Palestinian olive groves, building Israel's Apartheid Wall, and killing and maiming unarmed civilians. Caterpillar exemplifies U.S. corporate complicity in the commission of Israeli war crimes and violations of Palestinian rights.
This is arguably the largest -- though certainly not the first -- victory to date the Stop Caterpillar Campaign and in the "We Divest" Campaign to compel TIAA-CREF to divest from the Israeli occupation.
And it's just the beginning. As evidenced by TIAA-CREF's swift action, the MSCI index shift can quickly alter affect portfolios all over the SRI world, and beyond.
Click above to read about TIAA-CREF's divestment from Caterpillar.
For months, the US Campaign has been working overtime alongside member groups like Jewish Voice for Peace, St Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee, Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice, and Codepink supporting Methodist and Presbyterian organizers on divestment by their churches from Motorola, Hewlett Packard, and, of course, Caterpillar.
Now we are in the final stretch. Next week, I will travel to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to testify at the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), where commissioners will consider divestment from these companies as well as a boycott of settlement products and naming and condemning Israeli apartheid.
Victories do not happen on their own. They are hard-earned, usually after years of work. Organizations like the US Campaign working for corporate accountability cannot persist or succeed without support from people like you.
There is much work ahead of us, which only begins in Pittsburgh. TIAA-CREF still invests other funds in Caterpillar and many other companies supporting the occupation. Member groups on campuses, in churches, and elsewhere around the country are requesting and receiving our assistance in starting and implementing campaigns that challenge Caterpillar and other U.S. institutions complicit in Israel's occupation and ongoing human rights abuses.
As with the Methodists, the US Campaign will support church organizers for divestment at the Presbyterian GA in Pittsburgh.
Please help us celebrate this sweet victory and give generously today to help the US Campaign continue working for many more like it.