Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Amy Goodman, "Holding corporations accountable for apartheid crimes," Truthdig, January 12, 2010.

[This will be interesting to follow. Does "too big to fail" really mean, "above the law"? -jlt]

A landmark class action case is under way in a New York federal court, with victims of apartheid in South Africa suing corporations that they say helped the pre-1994 regime. Among the multinational corporations are IBM, Fujitsu, Ford, GM and banking giants UBS and Barclays. The lawsuit accuses the corporations of “knowing participation in and/or aiding and abetting of the crimes of apartheid; extrajudicial killing; torture; prolonged unlawful detention; and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.” Attorneys are seeking up to $400 billion in damages.

  Not one multinational company accepted the invitation to speak at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The late anti-apartheid activist Dennis Brutus, who died just weeks ago, is a listed plaintiff. Back in 2008, he told me that “for [the corporations], apartheid was a very good system, and it was a very profitable system.” As the U.S. observes the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, marks the first anniversary in office of the first African-American president and ponders the exposure of a racial gaffe spoken by Sen. Harry Reid, the issue of race is front and center, making this case timely and compelling.

Read the rest here =>
Recommend this Post

Sphere: Related Content