Students Boycott Banks Demanding Reparations

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Outraged over JP Morgan Chase's refusal to settle a slavery restitution case pending in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, IL, students, hip hop activists, church leadership, politicians, and reparations organizations called a boycott, called a boycott of the company's student loans -- a business worth over $9 billion -- on December 5, 2005. The campaign, entitled "One Student" is being coordinated by the Restitution Study Group, a New York non-profit headed by Deadria Farmer-Paellmann, lead plaintiff in the lawsuit. Efforts are underway to educate staudents on campuses around the United States about the boycott and the slavery reparations cause. The campaign website is located at: http://www.onestudent.us.

Outraged over JP Morgan Chase's refusal to settle a slavery restitution case pending in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, IL, students, hip hop activists, church leadership, politicians, and reparations organizations called a boycott of the company's student loans -- a business worth over $9 billion -- on December 5, 2005. The campaign, entitled "One Student" is being coordinated by the Restitution Study Group, a New York non-profit headed by Deadria Farmer-Paellmann, lead plaintiff in the lawsuit. Efforts are underway to educate staudents on campuses around the United States about the boycott and the slavery reparations cause. The campaign website is located at: http://www.onestudent.us.

In January, 2005, JP Morgan Chase released a report confirming what advocates already knew -- that extensive evidence exists linking JP Morgan Chase to the enslavement of Africans. The report showed that JP Morgan played a role in the enslavement of over 14,250 Africans. In January of 2005, the bank was forced to reveal its complicity or lose lucrative vendor contracts with the City of Chicago, IL. They reported that the enslaved Africans were used as collateral for loans from the bank.

JP Morgan Chase and its subsidiary, Bank One, are the number one student loan providers in the United States. They control over 15% of this $45 billion industry.

“These companies have amassed enormous wealth off the backs of enslaved Africans. They participated in institutionalized terrorism, genocide, rape, torture, and theft of humans. They owe us restitution, but they refuse to pay. They left us no choice but to boycott,” said Farmer-Paellmann, who launched the movement for corporate restitution for slavery in January 2000 when she exposed that Aetna Inc. wrote life insurance policies on the lives of enslaved Africans with slave owners as the beneficiaries.

In 2002, Farmer-Paellmann filed the landmark reparations case against corporations currently on appeal – Farmer-Paellmann v. Brown & Williamson, CV 05-3266 or In re African-American Slave Descendants Litig., No. MDL 1491(N.D. Ill. July 6, 2005). The lawsuit combines allegations of consumer fraud and international human rights law, and demands that a humanitarian trust fund be created to heal the injuries slave descendants suffer from today as a result of slavery – i.e. urban poverty, inadequate healthcare, and lost housing, employment, educational, and business opportunities.

Farmer-Paellmann is represented by attorneys Carl Mayer and Bruce Afran. Carl Mayer is former Professor at Hofstra Law School and former Special Counsel to New York State Attorney General, Elliott Spitzer. He is a prominent consumer advocate who played a key role in the United States Supreme Court victory for consumers in the case, Nike v. Kasky – where Nike was sued for making fraudulent statements to consumers about its role in inhumane labor practices in its overseas factories. Bruce Afran is an Adjunct Professor at Rutgers University Law School where he teaches constitutional law. He has won numerous civil rights cases in state and federal courts.

Four other tainted student loan banks are included in the boycott -- Wachovia, Bank One, Bank of America, and Fleetbank. All of them have been confronted with evidence of their role in enslaving Africans but, like JP Morgan Chase, they refuse to comply with demands to pay restitution.

Students and reparations activists around the country will be on campuses distributing flyers entitled, "Ten Reasons Why Students Should Boycott JP Morgan Chase Student Loans”. Activist Threefifths of New Haven, Connecticut is coordinating distribution of the flyers on the campus of the University of New Haven. He said, "the students are eager to learn about reparations, and shocked that banks still exist that enslaved Africans".

Divine Shabazz, a student leader at Southern Connecticut State University, said, “Our campus has 29 different preferred student loan lenders. Four are slavery banks to boycott – Chase, Bank One, Bank of America, and Wachovia. That leaves 25 better choices for our student loans.” He is enaged in active outreach to inform students around the state of Connecticut.

Another campus where students are doing outreach to their classmates on the boycott is Clark Atlanta University where all student identification cards and campus atm machines are from Wachovia Bank.

Raushana Karriem of All for Reparations and Emancipation (AFRE), is coordinating outreach at Miami Dade College in Florida, one of the largest community colleges in the United States with six campuses and over 163,000 students. Outreach efforts began on the campus on January 13, 2006, and will continue over the next few months as students complete student loan applications for Fall 2006.

Other schools involved where JP Morgan and other tainted banks provide loans and other services are in California, Louisiana, New York, New Jersey, Washington state, Washington, D.C., North Carolina, and Portland, Oregon.

Supporters of the boycott effort include: Artists & Activists United for Peace; Caucasians United for Reparations and Emancipation (CURE); Louisiana Center Against Poverty; Louisianans for Reparations; Queen Mother Dr. Delois Blakely, Community Mayor of Harlem; Charles Barron, NYC Councilman; Bill Perkins, NYC Councilman; National Black United Front; National Reparations Convention; N'COBRA Clark-Atlanta University - Atlanta, GA; National Coalition for Reparations and Economic Wealth - Los Angeles, CA; New Future Foundation; Orlando Green, NY Co-Chair of National Hip Hop Political Convention; Divine Shabazz, Southern Connecticut State University; Barry Sacharow; National N'COBRA.

Contact: 917-365-3007

Lawsuit Contact: 609-462-7979

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