KKR Kills and Divests 5Cs ask CMC to sever ties with Kravis and Roberts

Student groups KKR Kills and Divest 5Cs held three rallies and a vigil against Claremont McKenna College’s affiliation and admitting more than $ 100 million from administrators Henri kravis and George robertsThey called for Kravis and Roberts to be removed from the board because of their investment in fossil fuels and their support for building pipelines on native lands. The two groups of students also asked CMC to #RemoveTheirNames and #UnKKRCMC. These slogans call for the removal of the names of Kravis and Roberts from CMC buildings, as a means of separating CMC’s reputation from KKR’s investment in gas pipelines.

Divest 5Cs is a group with a social vocation “calling on Claremont Colleges to divest their endowments from fossil fuels.” Likewise, KKR Kills, a popular campaign, calls for the “Wet’suwet’en and Yaqui resist pipelines owned by CMC directors Kravis and Roberts. “

Private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Company (KKR & Co.), formerly run by co-heads and alumni of Claremont McKenna College, Kravis and Roberts, has a 65% stake in TC Energy Corporation and a stake of 20% in Sempra Energy. The Coastal GasLink (CGL Pipeline), led by TC Energy Corporation, is part of from northeastern British Columbia to Kitimat, British Columbia, cutting through the territory occupied by twenty First Nations people, including the Wet’suwet’en First Nation. The Agua Prieta gas pipeline, operated by Sempra Energy, extends from Arizona to the Mexican states of Sonora and Sinaloa, cutting through Yaqui territory.

The first Solidarity Gathering took place on October 5. The students protested against Kravis and Roberts’ perpetuation of “colonial violence and climate catastrophe»By denouncing their holdings in TC Energy and Sempra Energy. 150 students stood outside Roberts Hall, a $ 70 million community and college athletics fitness center funded by Roberts. The students unfurled banners denouncing KKR’s investments and declaring their support for the Wet’suwet’en and Yaqui.

After the first rally on Monday, October 11, Kravis (77) and Roberts (78) stepped down as co-CEOs after 45 years at the company. They will be replaced by Scott Nuttall and Joe Bae. In a Instagram post, KKR Kills announced that Kravis and Roberts resigned from KKR six days after the first rally, although they initiated their succession plan in 2017. KKR Kills also deleted comments and blocked the accounts of first-generation low-income students of color criticizing the post.

KKR Kills organized a second rally, the #AllOutForWedzinKwa Solidarity rally, October 14, nine days after the first demonstration. The students demanded that KKR request a suspension of construction of the CGL pipeline. Otherwise, KKR Kills said “if Henry Kravis and George Roberts continue to own CGL and attempt acts of genocide, then their names must be removed from the buildings,” in a statement. Instagram post. Students first met outside The Kravis center, a 162,000 square foot academic and administrative establishment made possible by a Donation of $ 75 million by Kravis. They listened to a series of speakers, then walked to Roberts Pavilion, where a small group of lawyers already occupied the upper level of Roberts Pavilion, holding a sign: “All Out for Wedzinkwa”. A student registered a video an employee of the CMC-Roberts Pavilion, who said the students were breaking campus policy.

At the end of the speeches outside Roberts Hall, the students in Roberts’ upper level descended the stairs and attempted to exit the building, only to find the Roberts Hall automatic doors locked. Roberts’ security personnel manually pushed open the doors and let the students out. CMC public security staff oversaw all gatherings, ensuring campus rules were followed.

Student activists also organized a rally on Friday, November 19, demanding that the college remove the names of Roberts and Kravis from the college buildings and monuments. According to a student, the protests will continue ”[u]until Henry Kravis and George Roberts ran out of place in this college.

After the first two gatherings, student associates of Claremont McKenna College (ASCMC), the official student government of CMC, held a conversation about divestment. A member of Divest 5Cs said that “it would be good enough for CMC to divest from fossil fuels without berating genocidal actions [of KKR]. “A member of KKR Kills stated that”[b]continuously raising the problem … This shows that [Kravis’ and Roberts’] reputation is associated with the pipeline. The Executive Vice President reminded the Committee that “[t]KKR money is different from our endowment money. Students and faculty are still at odds over whether Kravis and Roberts’ delegitimization as administrators is productive.

Kravis and Roberts’ donations to the CMC and 5C programs support many first-generation and low-income students. Kravis donated $ 25 million to Kravis Opportunity Fund, which covers tuition, internship assistance, health insurance, travel, advice and guidance, career events, and seed funds that fund $ 1,000 in living supplies per semester. Additionally, Roberts donated $ 25 million to data science as part of the Twinning initiative between the Roberts Foundation and IT. The Roberts CS Match funds new science programs, collaborations with Harvey Mudd College, and the Student Imperative scholarship fund. Beyond Claremont, Kravis founded the Henry Kravis Leadership Institute, which sponsors leadership training and awards the Henry Kravis Leadership Award to outstanding leadership in nonprofit organizations. Roberts founded REDF, which promotes vocational training and job development.

At 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 27 at Parents’ Lot adjacent to Roberts Hall, KKR Kills hosted a “vigil in solidarity with Loma de Bácum and for the freedom of Fidencio Aldama. “Loma de Bácum, a Yaqui community located in Sonoma, launched a political and legal battle against the Agua Prieta pipeline, which lasted armed uprisings by pro-pipeline authorities, one of which resulted in death. Aldama is a political prisoner Yaqui who was convicted of the murder, which many Yaqui attribute to his involvement in the Traditional Guard, a group opposed to the pipeline. In a Instagram post, KKR Kills recognized Aldama as a “STRONG and outspoken Yaqui water and land advocate who has stood up to the Sonoran pipeline from the start.”

October 27 marked Aldama’s fifth year fifteen years and six months prison sentence. 80 students attended the vigil. After the vigil, KKR Kills released a Instagram statement clarifying their moral intentions: “We oppose Kravis and Roberts’ colonial and violent control over natural resources, and do not believe that they should be able to commit these genocidal acts. We believe that this problem goes beyond two individuals, that it fits into a larger scheme of capitalism, colonialism and imperialism. The dismantling of these systems of repression begins by exposing their genocidal acts and organizing the dismantling of their power at the CMC.

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