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ACTION ALERT: Tell the IRC: No Award for BlackRock CEO


August 9, 2018
CODEPINK

Every 10 minutes a child in Yemen dies from war-related hunger and disease -- a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions. Meanwhile, US weapons companies, and the financial firms like BlackRock that invest in them, make billions of dollars from this war. So why is the International Rescue Committee, a group that works to save the lives of suffering Yemeni children, giving their annual humanitarian award to Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock and a man who profits from that very same war?

https://www.codepink.org/irc

ACTION ALERT: Tell the International Rescue Committee:
No Award for BlackRock CEO

CODEPINK

(August 8, 2018) -- You're not going to believe this, but it's true. Every 10 minutes a child in Yemen dies from war-related hunger and disease -- a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions. Meanwhile, US weapons companies, and the financial firms like BlackRock that invest in them, make billions of dollars from this war.

And now for the kicker . . . A group that works to save the lives of these suffering Yemeni children, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), is giving their annual humanitarian award to the CEO of BlackRock, Larry Fink, a man who profits from that very same war.

Won't you join us in asking the International Rescue Committee to find a better honoree than a man whose company has invested over $23 billion in the weapons manufacturers Boeing, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon?

On Thursday, the US-backed Saudi coalition struck again in Yemen. This time, they dropped bombs on a Yemeni hospital and killed at least 26 people in the port city of Hodeidah, the main entry point for food in a country teetering on the brink of famine and another cholera outbreak.

Meanwhile, BlackRock and its CEO, Larry Fink, are making a killing on the killing in Yemen. Despite his role in this death and destruction, the International Rescue Committee is giving Fink a humanitarian award. You can't be a humanitarian while profiting from famine and war.

Today, two-thirds of the Yemeni population is at risk of starvation, with a million people gripped by a deadly cholera outbreak. While Larry Fink enjoys his morning cereal, the companies he funds are selling machine guns, automatic rifles and guided missiles to those waging this gruesome war. Ignoring the suffering -- and capitalizing on it -- is not a profile in humanitarian courage.

Join us in sending IRC a message.

THE LETTER
TO: International Rescue Committee


We want to thank the International Rescue Committee (IRC) for its ongoing work to support migrants and refugees in conflict regions across the world. It is through the work of the International Rescue Committee that refugees are able to gain a foothold in their host countries. Today, we are our sharing our concern over this year's John C. Whitehead Humanitarian Award Honoree Laurence D. Fink, CEO of BlackRock.

Larry Fink has stated that he would hold companies accountable for being responsible corporate citizens. His comments made waves in the business world. However, under his watch, BlackRock maintains significant stakes in weapons companies around the world.

The products made by weapons manufacturers create refugees and internally displaced persons. They do not promote a just and compassionate world, which is why we are calling on BlackRock to divest its assets from weapons and warfare.

Because Larry Fink continues to profit from war, weapons, and violence, we are asking you to reconsider honoring him with a humanitarian award. As you know, the two leading contributors to the current global refugee crisis are climate change and war. Rewarding Mr. Fink's profits from weapons and violence while you seek to assist the people impacted by these wars undermines the valuable work that IRC is doing around the world.

The military-industrial complex dominates US spending and spreads death and destruction at home and abroad. Investing in weapons of war means that we are making a killing on killing -- hardly the humanitarian way to run a business.

In 2016, the US dedicated over $700 billion of our tax dollars toward the Pentagon, which amounts to 64% of federal discretionary spending; and half of the Pentagon's spending goes directly to weapons manufacturers such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics.

This money is being used to engage the US in seven active conflicts around the world, to give military support to the disastrous Saudi-led war on Yemen, and to support Israeli suppression of Palestinian human rights. As you have documented in your country file for Yemen, it is the world's worst humanitarian crisis. US weapons manufacturers have sold more than $650 million worth of arms to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to support their war in Yemen.

This includes small arms, precision-guided bombs, and so-called "dumb bomb" conversion kits. BlackRock and Mr. Fink own billions in shares of the companies who are arming Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which means he is actively profiting from the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.

The massive profits these companies rake in are made on the backs of civilians in poor countries such as Yemen, who are paying the ultimate price of war. General Dynamics is a prime example of a company profiting from those who are suffering.

The military contractor has taken a government contract to provide "social services" to migrant children held at US detention camps. In the past, General Dynamics has provided weapons to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Iraq, and Turkey, and directly benefited from the US invasion on Iraq. IRC has condemned the actions at the border, and the separation of families. We are urging you to reconsider honoring Mr. Fink, as he profits from those displacements and gross human rights violations.

Honoring Mr. Fink with a humanitarian award directly contradicts the mission and vision of the International Rescue Committee. His company's insistence on propping up weapons manufacturers undermines any possibility of diplomacy between countries and prevents the proper compassionate care of refugees and internally displaced persons.

We strongly urge you to reconsider your award to Laurence D. Fink.
Sincerely . . .

ACTION: Tell the IRC that Larry Fink does not deserve a "Humanitarian" Award. Because at the very moment Fink collects his award from the IRC, he'll be raking in millions as a war profiteer.

Working toward a humanitarian and weapon-free world,
Ann, Ariel, Brie, Eric, Jodie, Kirsten, Mark, Medea, Nancy, Natasha, Paki, Rita, Sarah, Sophia and Tighe

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