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Veolia BDS Victories! Join Us for a National Call to Learn More!

by Anna Baltzer, National Organizer
November 14th, 2013


We are witnessing an extraordinary moment in history for the global flagship BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) campaign against the infamous multinational and occupation profiteer Veolia in the United States. We hope you'll join us for a national briefing on the subject!

In the wake of the groundbreaking news that Veolia sold off its segregated bus lines in Palestine/Israel following intense worldwide pressure (though it continues to profit from Israel's occupation in other ways), member groups and allies in St. Louis, Missouri achieved a watershed victory last month when Veolia withdrew from consideration for a controversial water contract following 11 months of tireless advocacy by local activists for environmental safety, open government, workers' rights, corporate accountability, and justice for Palestinians.

TC Divests Veolia
Great news! Click above to read statements on Veolia from workers, environmentalists, and others targeting Veolia, helping lead to this breakthrough.

Then, just this morning, the We Divest Campaign announced that TIAA-CREF divested its Social Choice Fund from Veolia! This represents a clear victory for the broader progressive community in exposing Veolia's true colors through active, cross-sector campaigns around the world.

Want to learn more about these Veolia breakthroughs and how you can build your own Veolia campaign? RSVP for a National Veolia Online Briefing NEXT WEDNESDAY, November 20 at 5:30pm PT / 8:30pm ET.

The National Briefing will feature:

  • Orientation on Veolia and why it's a great target
  • St. Louis activists discussing their experience building a diverse coalition and responding to campaign twists and turns along the way to victory
  • Sonoma County activists' legendary city council campaign -- what has and hasn't worked
  • Veolia expert discussing the recent bus lines and TIAA-CREF victories, and opportunities for new campaigns

We hope you'll join us!

A statement from member group St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee outlines how the the St. Louis campaign elevated Palestine to mayoral election politics, forced a press release from the mayor citing Palestine, prompted union-supported anti-Veolia fliers on every doorstep in the city, and led Global Water Intelligence to credit BDS with thwarting Veolia's ambitions for securing public sector work in the U.S. It goes on to say:

For more than three years, Veolia attempted to secure a contract with St. Louis, defying the will of the local community through aggressive lobbying, bullying, political interference, back-door deals, and outright contempt for democratic involvement.... However, public outrage overwhelmed the St. Louis Board of Aldermen [City Council equivalent] who introduced a resolution to remove funds allocated for Veolia in the city's budget -- the straw that finally broke the camel's back, prompting Veolia to withdraw.... [This] may be the first city resolution in North America targeting Veolia in response to a BDS campaign.... While we came to this issue because of Palestine, we soon learned of the many troubling aspects of Veolia's business practices including privatization of public resources, labor abuses, corruption, environmental degradation and interference in democratic processes. This is a huge win for BDS in North America and a triumph for the people of St. Louis.

Congratulations to member groups and many others in Boston, Seattle, Baltimore, St. Louis, the District of Columbia, across California (Sonoma County, Yolo County, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and statewide), and beyond that have fought Veolia and helped show investors that Veolia cannot seriously be considered socially-responsible. Activists from campaigns nationwide attended rallies last Saturday to protest Veolia's anti-labor practices, connecting the dots between Veolia's attacks on workers, the environment, democracy, public resources, and Palestinian human rights.


Want to connect the dots in your community? RSVP for a National Online Briefing discussing Veolia campaign developments and opportunities next Wednesday, November 20 at 5:30pm PT / 8:30pm ET.

Each victory adds to the next, and conservative estimates value contracts lost by Veolia following BDS campaigns alone at more than $18 billion worldwide. As Veolia continues to service illegal Israeli settlements through operation of the Jerusalem Light Rail and the Tovlan landfill, as it threatens workers from coast to coast and neglects environmental safety standards, let us redouble our efforts to hold Veolia accountable by joining cities around the world in challenging Veolia locally. Join us next Wednesday to learn more.

P.S. Click here to share the Veolia victories and briefing opportunity on Facebook instantly, and click to share on Twitter too!