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Day of Action: March 16, 2006

Commemorate the third year since Rachel Corrie's murder
March 16th, 2006

Protest Israel’s continuing military intransigence; demand corporate accountability from CAT; and demand that the US end its support ofIsrael until and when Israel comports with international and human rights law

Press Release. US Campaign and allies demand accountability for Rachel's murder: US grassroots organizations ask for accountability on third-year anniversary of American humanitarian’s death by Israeli military personnel using American company’s product.

On March 16, 2003, an Israeli soldier used a Caterpillar bulldozer to crush to death 23-year old American activist Rachel Corrie. Rachel was protesting the demolition of a home belonging to Samir Nasrallah, a Palestinian physician, in Rafah. Despite her bright orange vest and the fact that she stood 20 meters in front of the bulldozer—the Israeli soldier contended that he did not see her.

Rachel’s parents called on the U.S. State Department to conduct an investigation into the details of Rachel’s murder. On March 25, 2003, U.S. Representative Brian Baird presented Resolution 111 which called on the U.S. government to “undertake a full, fair, and expeditious investigation into Rachel’s death.” Despite her parents’ call for an investigation and Baird’s resolution—no U.S. investigation was ever conducted.


Instead, the Israeli Army conducted its own investigation and absolved the soldier driving the CAT bulldozer as well as the Israeli Army of any responsibility for Rachel’s death. Far from finding the Army guilty of murder, the Investigation concluded that Rachel and the entire International Solidarity Movement was guilty of “irresponsible, illegal, and dangerous behavior.”

Three years later, the U.S. government has done nothing to investigate the murder of one of its own citizens. Three years later, CAT D-9 and D-10 bulldozers are still used to demolish Palestinian homes, uproot olive trees, raze agricultural lands, build the Annexation Wall, and murder Palestinian civilians. Three years later, the story of Rachel Corrie is still censored. Three years later, a national movement exists to hold CAT accountable for its negligent sale of bulldozers to Israel whom it knows uses the bulldozers in contravention of International law.

On March 16, 2006, the third year anniversary of Rachel Corrie’s murder, organize an action to protest Israel’s continuing military intransigence; to demand corporate accountability from CAT; and to demand that the US end its support ofIsrael until and when it comports with international humanitarian and human rights law.

What you can do:

Demand Corporate Accountability from CAT: Organize a demonstration at the nearest CAT headquarters: Caterpillar, Inc. CEO James Owens has received repeated notice of the deplorable ways that the Israeli Army has used CAT bulldozers to violate Palestinian human rights. In response to such notice, Owens has written that Caterpillar has “neither the legal right nor the ability to monitor and police individual use of that equipment.” In a Caterpillar statement on the Middle East, they said “we believe any comments on political comments on the political conflict in the region are best left to our governmental leaders who the ability to impact action and advance the peace process.”

Although Caterpillar asserts that it has no responsibility for the use of its bulldozers abroad, the United Nations has begun to develop standards for corporations in the form of U.N. Norms on the Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with Regard to Human Rights. That document states that companies should not ‘engage in or benefit from" violations of international human rights or humanitarian law and that companies "shall further seek to ensure that thegoods and services they provide will not be used to abuse human rights."

Demand corporate accountability from CAT by organizing a protest at a CAT dealership. To find the nearest CAT dealership to you, click here.

To launch your own CAT Campaign, click here, and contact the US Campaign's National Grassroots Organizer at organizing@endtheoccupation.org.

Demand that Rachel’s Words be heard: The play "My Name is Rachel Corrie" scheduled to open in New York on March 22nd has been "postponed" indefinitely.” In the New York Times article on February 28, James C. Nicola, the artistic director of the New York Theatre Workshop (NYTW) which was hosting the play, said he decided to postpone the show after polling local Jewish religious and community leaders as to their feelings about the work.  In the Guardian, the play's director Alan Rickman denounced the decision as "censorship", stating "Rachel Corrie lived in nobody's pocket but her own. Whether one is sympathetic with her or not, her voice is like a clarion in the fog and should be heard." Rachel's mother Cindy has wondered, "Why are people so afraid of Rachel's words?"

On March 16th, you can make sure that Rachel’s words can be heard by joining activists worldwide who, over a 24-hour period starting or ending on March 16, will be reading Rachel's e-mails and journal entries. You can find some of her journal entries by clicking here. You can do this in a café, in a theater, or even on the street over a loud speaker. For more information on how you can make Rachel’s words heard at the NYTW, contact rachels_words@yahoo.com.

Launch a Divestment Campaign: Rachel Corrie’s murder is one incident in the systematic devastation wrought by the Israeli Army against Palestinians. From the Israeli government’s refusal to implement U.N. Resolution 194 affording Palestinian refugees their right to return; to the mass incarceration of young Palestinian men; to the confiscation of Palestinian land without trial or compensation;and the ban on family unification between Palestinian families living within and without Israel—Israel has demonstrated its disregard for international humanitarian and human rights law. To pressure Israel to comply with international law and human rights, launch a divestment campaign on your campus, in your organization, at your bank, in your trade union, or in your city council. For more information and guidance on launching and sustaining a divestment campaign, contact organizing@endtheoccupation.org