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Occupation End Notes | March 17, 2005 Volume 2 Number 11

In this issue...

1.  Upcoming Days of Action:  March 19-20 – The World Says End the War!; April 13 – International Day of Action Against Caterpillar

2. US Campaign Update: Register Now! New Orleans Regional Conference

3. Special Features in Honor of Rachel Corrie: Corrie Family Files Lawsuits Against Caterpillar and State of Israel; Rep Smith (WA-9) Urges Independent Investigation; Democracy Now Host Amy Goodman Interviews Rachel Corrie’s Father and Sister; Press Coverage of Corrie’s Lawsuits; Participate in International Day of Action Against Caterpillar; New Research by War on Want – “Caterpillar: The Alternative Report”

4. New Members

5. Resources & Education: Palestine Media Watch Op-Ed Contest; New Film “Salt of the Earth”; PalestineCalendar.org; Middle East Report Online

6. Events: Conference: Wheels of Justice Tour; Stop the Wall Tour; Palestinian American Congress Annual Convention

7. Upcoming delegations to Israel and Palestine: South West United Church of Christ Association; F.O.R. Interfaith Peacebuilders; Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace

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1.  UPCOMING DAYS OF ACTION

*March 19: Fayetteville, NC
The World Says End the War!  To commemorate the second anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, the US Campaign is joining United for Peace and Justice’s call for a mass mobilization in Fayetteville, as well as more than 500 decentralized mobilizations all over the country.  We encourage you to participate in anti-war activities in your area and to educate about the linkages between the occupations of Iraq and Palestine.  For a list of activities in your area visit http://meetup.radicaldesigns.org/calendar_display.php?caltype=32

Fact-sheets highlighting the links between the occupations of Iraq and Palestine:
Occupation Kills in Iraq and In Palestine
http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=1072
Dual Occupations
http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=314
Torture in the “War on Terrorism”
http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=1052

March 19th will be a great opportunity to build up momentum to end US support for Israel’s occupation. Sign up to collect petition signatures on March 19th and after for the US Campaign’s “Weapons Watch” program to halt US arms transfers to Israel.  Visit: http://www.endtheoccupation.org/modinput4.php?modin=79

*April 13: Various locations.
The US Campaign is participating in the International Day of Action Against Caterpillar.  Join cities all over the world -- from San Francisco to Stockholm, from Mobile to Chicago -- in a day of action against Caterpillar human rights abuses.  On April 13th Caterpillar shareholders will meet in Chicago and will discuss a resolution on sales of bulldozers to Israel.  The national organizers of the Caterpillar Campaign are calling on groups to organize local demonstrations at CAT-related locations, such as board of directors' offices or CAT dealerships, to send a strong message that cooperation in human rights abuses is unacceptable.  For more information, to get ideas about action, and to sign the Declaration Against Caterpillar Human Rights Abuses visit http://www.catdestroyshomes.org

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2. US CAMPAIGN UPDATE

* Register Now!  Local Organizing for National Change, New Orleans, Louisiana, April 2-3, 2005. We’ve teamed up with New Orleans, Louisiana Palestine Solidarity (NOLAPS) to bring you a weekend of grassroots education, skills-building workshops, and regional strategizing.  For more information and to register visit http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?list=type&type=152

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3. Special Features in Honor of Rachel Corrie
On the second anniversary of the murder of Rachel Corrie, a US peace activist who was crushed to death by a Caterpillar bulldozer while defending a Palestinian family’s home from demolition, the US Campaign would like to honor her courage and conviction, and to mourn the loss of Rachel and the many other innocent civilians who have lost their lives because of the Israeli occupation.  Two years later her family is still struggling for Israel, the United States, and Caterpillar, the manufacturer of the bulldozer that crushed her body, to take responsibility and appropriate actions to investigate this tragedy.  We extend our support to the Corrie family in all of their efforts to bring Rachel’s death to justice.  In this special section you will find updates on what the Corries and others are doing to hold the US, Israel, and Caterpillar accountable to international law and human rights.     
*On March 16, 2005 Craig and Cindy Corrie filed two lawsuits – one against Caterpillar bulldozer and another against the state of Israel – for their responsibility in the death of their daughter, Rachel, who was crushed to death by a Caterpillar bulldozer driven by an Israeli soldier two years ago.  You can download a copy of the lawsuit against Caterpillar at http://www.catdestroyshomes.org/downloads/final.corriecomplaint.3.15.pdf
*On Thursday, March 17, 2005 the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Global Human Rights will review the State Department’s annual human rights report for 2004.  On Democracy Now, Representative Adam Smith (D-WA) pledged to raise the case of Rachel Corrie’s murder during this hearing and encourage the U.S. State Department to conduct an independent investigation of Rachel Corrie’s death.  In January 2005 Representative Smith hand delivered a letter from the Corrie family to Prime Mister Ariel Sharon, asking for Israel to conduct a thorough investigation of Rachel’s death.  We urge you to contact Representative Smith and thank him for his efforts to bring Rachel’s death to justice.  You can reach his office by phone at (202) 225-8901 or by fax at (202) 225-5893   
*On March 16, 2005 Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now, featured a segment on the anniversary of Rachel Corrie’s death, the lawsuits that her family has filed against Caterpillar and the state of Israel, and interviews with Rachel’s father and sister, as well as Representative Adam Smith and Jennie Green from the Center for Constitution Rights.  You can listen to the show by clicking http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/03/16/1458222
If you would like to thank Amy Goodman for her dedication to accurate and just reporting on the case of Rachel Corrie’s death and Palestinian rights visit http://www.democracynow.org/contactus.pl
*You can read more coverage of the Corrie’s lawsuits at the following links;
Reuters
http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=domesticNews&storyID=7910676
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Family of protester killed by bulldozer suing Caterpillar
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/aplocal_story.asp?category=6420&slug=WA%
20Protester%20Killed%20Lawsuit
Seattle Times
Family of activist killed by bulldozer during Palestinian protest suing Caterpillar
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2002209245_webccorrie16.html
Haaretz
Rachel Corrie’s family sues Israel, IDF
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArtVty.jhtml?sw=Corrie+Lawsuit&itemNo=552544
Aljazeera
Rachel Corrie family sues US firm
http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/8B12E703-24DE-4BBC-BB56-4AC4B8085C08.htm
BBC News
Caterpillar sued over Gaza death
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4354097.stm
*The Corrie family is not alone in working to hold Caterpillar accountable for violations of human rights.  On April 13th, 2005 groups worldwide will hold an International Day of Action Against Caterpillar.  Here’s what you can do;
     -Become a member of the Caterpillar Campaign by signing the Declaration
     Against Caterpillar Human Rights Abuses by clicking here
http://www.catdestroyshomes.org/article.php?id=242
     -Organize an Action
      Find out how to organize an action in your area by looking at our Action
      Handbook
http://www.catdestroyshomes.org/downloads/ActionHandbookv3.doc
      It will give you some ideas for action and helpful hints on how to make it
      happen.
     -List Your Event
      People want to find out what's happening in their area on April 13.  Take a  
      moment and list your action on the CATdestroysHomes.org website at
http://www.catdestroyshomes.org/article.php?id=132 so that people in your
      area can join you.
     -Find out more at www.catdestroyshome.org
*War on Want (www.waronwant.org), a UK-based NGO working to against poverty and against the effects of globalization, recently published “Caterpillar-The Alternative Report.”  This new report examines Caterpillar's idea of corporate social responsibility, its part in the destruction of thousands of Palestinian homes and the construction of the illegal separation wall.  A PDF version of this excellent report can be downloaded at http://www.waronwant.org/?lid=8247

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4. NEW MEMBERS

* The US Campaign is growing! We now have almost 200 member organizations in our coalition. The following organizations recently became members of the US Campaign’s national network of organizations working to end US support for Israel’s occupation:
     -Howard County Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation – Ellicott City, MD
     -The Middle East Peace Coalition – Northampton, MA

* To become a member of the US Campaign please visit
www.endtheoccupation.org/modinput4.php?modin=2 to sign our Call to Action and pay membership dues.  Join today!

* To view a complete list of organizational members of the US Campaign visit www.endtheoccupation.org/groups.php

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5. RESOURCES & EDUCATION

* Palestine Media Watch, a member organization of the US Campaign, announces the start of the 2nd annual Palestine Media Watch college op-ed contest.  Undergraduate and graduate students currently registered in a US college or university who have published in their school paper opinion pieces on the Palestinian struggle for freedom and self-determination are invited to submit their published op-eds.  For more information on rules and eligibility, and to enter the contest, visit http://www.pmwatch.org/pmw/contest/index.asp
* New Film: “Salt of the Earth: Palestinian Christians in the Northern West Bank,” a nine-part documentary of the lives of nine Palestinian Christians living in the northern West Bank, is now available for purchase.  “Salt of the Earth” is accompanied by a study guide that is great for Sunday school, Bible studies, and small groups.  For more information and to order visit http://www.saltfilms.net/front.html

*Solidarity Design announces the launch of a new website www.palestinecalendar.org which lists dates that are important to the Palestinian cause.  This new website provides reminders of important dates, and resources that can be used in commemorating these dates.  It also includes a “Date Alert” function that readers can subscribe to in order to be reminded of upcoming dates, and providing resources pertaining to these, such as related links, books, films, and action alerts.  Visit www.palestinecalendar.org today!

* Middle East Report Online: “Ariel Sharon and the Jordan Option” is a provocative essay by Gary Sussman exploring what could be Sharon’s underlying agenda for unilateral “withdrawal” from the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank.  Sussman asks the important questions “What if the Israeli premier has quietly held on to his once openly expressed belief that ‘Jordan is Palestine’?”  A must read!  Find this article online at http://www.merip.org/mero/interventions/sussman_interv.html

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6.  EVENTS

*Ongoing: Wheels of Justice Tour
Members of Voices in the Wilderness, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, the Middle East Children's Alliance, and affiliates of the International Solidarity Movement take to the road in a colorfully decorated full-size school bus for nonviolent education and action against war and occupation in Iraq and Palestine and for justice and universal human rights.  For more information and to view the Wheels of Justice itinerary visit http://www.justicewheels.org

*Ongoing: Stop the Wall Tour
The Stop the Wall Campaign and Tour traveled to 45 cities last summer and fall.  The Wall trailer and full scale models, together with films, Power Point presentations and lots of handouts and maps had a remarkable impact on those that saw them.  View the new spring tour schedule at http://www.localendar.com/public/stopthewall?style=M0

* April 22-24: Houston, TX
The Palestinian American Congress’s 6th Annual Convention.  The program will include workshops on media, divestment, activism, the Right of Return, screenings of several documentaries and guest speakers.  For more information contact TILLAWI@aol.com

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6. UPCOMING DELEGATIONS TO ISRAEL AND PALESTINE

*April 29-May 8: Southwest United Church of Christ Association
The Southwest Association of the United Church of Christ is developing a partnership with Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem and the International Center of Bethlehem.  As part of this partnership, two trips to Bethlehem are being planned for 2005.  The spring trip will focus on the work of the Health and Wellness Center/and Dar al Kalima School, two of the ministries of Christmas Lutheran Church.  Cost for each trip will be approximately $2000 depending on cost of airfare.  The group will be staying in the International Center Guest House in Bethlehem –except for optional side trips.  For further information or to register people for this gathering, please contact either Bonnie Van Overbeke, pastor of Memorial UCC at pastorbonnie@sbcglobal.net or by phone at 608-273-1008, or Bob Mutton at swwaucc@globaldailog.com or by phone 608-244-3350.
*May 21-June 5, 2004 *and* July 30-August 13: Fellowship of Reconciliation Interfaith Peace Builders
Interfaith Peace-Builder sends delegations to Israel and Palestine so that U.S. citizens can see the conflict with their own eyes. Participants have the opportunity to learn directly from Israeli and Palestinian nonviolent peace/human-rights activists, to spend time in Palestinian and Israeli homes, and to experience the situation of Palestinians living under military occupation.  For more information visit http://forusa.org/programs/ipb/default.html
*June 6, 2005: Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace Delegation
Faculty For Israeli-Palestinian Peace, FFIPP, is a network of faculty endeavoring to achieve just peace and end the occupation in Israel/Palestine and the region.  FFIPP conducts trips every 6 months which are organized by Israeli leftists who teach in the US and have close ties to many people in the Palestinian communities of the West Bank as well as Gaza and the Israeli left, middle and right.  For more information about the June 2005 trip visit http://www.ffipp.org/wiki/ffipp%20usa/delegations.htm
*July 17-30, 2005: Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions Summer Work Camp
For the third year in a row, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) is offering a summer work camp intended to foster learning, discussion, and friendship between Palestinians, Israelis and internationals. Our cooperation will send a clear message to the world: We refuse to be enemies; together we resist the Occupation.  For more information and to register contact lucia@icahd.org


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Occupation End Notes is the US Campaign bi-monthly newsletter designed as a tool for activists. For this newsletter to be successful, we need your participation. Use us to promote events, give feedback on recent actions, recommend resources, or just learn from other activists in the movement. If you or your organization are planning an event aimed at ending the occupation, or you have information for the Newsletter, please contact the US Campaign at outreach@endtheoccupation.org

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The US Campaign aims to change US policies that sustain Israel’s 37-year occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, and deny equal rights for all.

Donate to the US Campaign. Visit http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=84