Human rights advocates to protest Motorola shareholder meeting

April 27th, 2009

Chicago, IL -- Motorola shareholders arriving at their annual meeting in Chicago will be met with protests from human rights groups calling on Motorola to end its support for violations of international law in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem. 

The protests, organized in part by member groups of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation as part of their Hang Up On Motorola campaign, call on Motorola to end its sales of equipment to the Israeli military and Israeli settlers. Motorola, Inc., through its fully owned subsidiary Motorola Israel, Ltd., provides the Israeli military and settlements with communications equipment and surveillance systems, thus perpetuating and legitimizing Israel's 42-year occupation of Palestinian land. The company has been the target of a nationwide boycott as a result of its connections to the Israeli occupation.

The protests at the shareholder meeting, which will take place Monday, May 4, 2009 at the Rosemont Theater in Chicago, are the latest in a series of actions at Motorola offices across the country. In addition to the protests outside the meeting, concerned shareholders and representatives from the Presbyterian Church USA will be proposing human rights resolutions during the meeting itself.

The Chicago protests come in the wake of Motorola's decision to sell its Israel-based Government Electronic Division (GED), which produced bomb fuses for the Israeli military. Human Rights Watch researchers found shrapnel with Motorola serial numbers on it at the site of a bomb blast at a civilian target after "Operation Cast Lead," Israel's recent assault on the Gaza Strip. The sale of GED was hailed as a victory for boycott organizers.

The sale of Motorola's GED is only the most recent victory for Hang Up On Motorola. In February, Hampshire College divested from Motorola and five other corporations supporting Israeli military occupation.  In March, Radian Records, a NYC music production company, joined the Hang Up On Motorola boycott, certifying that they were no longer using Motorola equipment. This pressure on Motorola is part of a larger effort to promote accountability for companies that profit from Israel's military occupation. Activists, civil society organizations, and churches such as the Presbyterian and United Methodist, have joined forces to put pressure on these companies using the tools of boycott & divestment.

"The boycott of the Motorola Company must continue because Motorola Israel is a wholly owned subsidiary of Motorola, Inc.  Motorola Israel is an active participant, a stakeholder and a profiteer in the Israeli apartheid regime and in the systematic violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people. Until Motorola meets our demands, its boycott must be total," said Farouq Shafie, a member of the Ann Arbor-Boycott Israeli Goods group.

The US Campaign and its member organizations plan to continue pressuring Motorola by organizing boycott and divestment efforts in cities, campuses, and churches across the country.

The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is a national coalition of more than 280 organizations facilitating responsible U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine and responsible consumer choices to support human rights, international law, and equality for all in Israeli and Palestinians.  For more information about the US Campaign, please click here.