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More than 7,000 Signatures Delivered to National Building Museum

by Anna Baltzer, National Organizer
October 21st, 2011

Cindy Corrie speaks at a demonstration outside the National Building Museum

Recently, 7,000 individuals and 150 organizations signed this petition calling on the National Building Museum to rescind its award to Caterpillar for "innovation in construction technology." Caterpillar symbolizes not construction but rather Israel’s destruction -- of Palestinian homes, olive groves, schools, and lives.

Following an appeal from Cindy and Craig Corrie of the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice -- supported by the US Campaign, dozens of coalition member groups, and more than 5,000 people like you -- the National Building Museum decided to cancel its public award ceremony.

But the museum refused to rescind the award, prompting thousands more to sign the petition, write letters, and spread the word.

Click to watch the video of your signature being delivered.
Courtesy of Bill Simonds, JVP-DC Metro

These voices were carried to the steps of the National Building Museum on September 14, where I joined Cindy, Craig, and representatives of Jewish Voice for Peace, Code Pink, and the Washington Interfaith Alliance for Middle East Peace, to deliver the petition to a representative of the museum who promised to put the petition into the hands of Executive Director Chase Rynd.

We distributed fliers and sang songs to passersby -- including museum employees and visitors -- and Cindy Corrie gave a heartfelt speech on the devastating effects of Caterpillar machinery on the Palestinian people and their land.

Click here to watch the energetic and moving video of the protest and petition delivery!

Thank you to all who contributed to this important victory that affected Caterpillar's reputation -- an important component of the strategy of boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS). Caterpillar, a multi-billion dollar multinational corporation, was denied the public recognition and glory of an awards ceremony because thousands rallied to impose a cost on Caterpillar’s actions.

From chasing Caterpillar’s shareholder meeting out of Chicago to testifying about Caterpillar at the Russell Tribunal in London; from the growth of the "We Divest Campaign" to the Presbyterian Church's Committee on Mission Responsibility Through Investment’s recent recommendation that Caterpillar be added to the divestment list of the church’s General Assembly; together we continue to turn up the heat on Caterpillar.

I am confident that as we continue these efforts together, Caterpillar’s days of profiting from Israel’s destruction and occupation of Palestinian land are numbered. Let’s keep it up!