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For Immediate Release: June 6th, 2008

Support Mounts for Corporate Accountability Resolution at Caterpillar Shareholder Meeting

(Chicago, IL)- For the fifth consecutive year, James Owens, CEO of Caterpillar and his board of directors, will be greeted by protesters at their annual shareholder meeting to protest the sales of bulldozers that are used to commit human rights violations.

In addition, a wide reaching, diverse coalition of social justice and human rights organizations will press for answers and educate shareholders on the importance of supporting the Foreign Military Sales resolution slated for a vote at next week's meeting.

The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, Jewish Voice for Peace, Stop CAT will be joined by religious organizations both inside the shareholder's meeting and outside to voice a collective call for Caterpillar to be serious about complying with basic US law and international norms and standards.

"Caterpillar shareholders must vote for transparency. We must hold Caterpillar accountable for its actions," states Matt Gaines, member of Chicago-based, Stop CAT.

The end use of Caterpillar products and merchandise sold to Israel has been fitted for dual use in military operations. Caterpillar equipment and bulldozers are used as military weapons by Israel. They are destructive weapons specially fitted with armaments such as machine guns, grenade launchers and much more.

These destructive machines have unlawfully demolished thousands of homes, killed innocent civilians, including U.S. citizen Rachel Corrie, built illegal settlements, uprooted thousand-year old olive trees, torn up roads, and devastated basic infrastructure in many Palestinian villages. These operations constitute a violation of international law.

However, despite years of repeated corporate engagement by investors and organizations such as Jewish Voices for Peace and Stop CAT, as well as a host of religious organizations such as Sisters of Loretto and Sisters of Mercy, Caterpillar continues to profit from the illegal occupation of Palestinian land and territory.

To that end representatives from organization and religious leaders speaking on behalf of the shareholder resolution will be present at a press conference on the same day as the shareholder meeting next Wednesday, June 11.

The protest begins at 12 noon followed by the press conference and shareholders meeting. All actions are taking place in front of the meeting downtown at the Northern Trust Building 50 LaSalle Street.

Scheduled Speakers include:

Don Wagner, Author and professor at North Park University, Chicago

Matt Gaines, Stop CAT (Chicago based, human rights group

Suha Dabbouseh, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation

Representative. from Arab American Action Network

Mary Ann McGivern-representative of the Sisters of Loretto, co-filers of the shareholder resolution and Executive Director of Project COPE.

Jesse Bacon, Member, Jewish Voice for Peace (Chicago affiliate)

Some of the featured press conference speakers are attending the annual shareholder meeting to speak in support of the for, co-filed by Jewish Voice for Peace, Sisters of Loretto, Sisters of Mercy and others religious and social justice organizations.

Mary Ann McGivern asserts, "The resolution makes a generally mild request for accountability, requesting that the Board of Directors report on Caterpillar's foreign sales of weapons-related equipment and products including the destination of set products.

The cries for accountability are growing each day. Practicing and engaging in tactics of shareholder activism are but one way to ensure corporation due what they claim to and what they should do, stressed, Jesse Bacon, activist and member, Jewish Voice for Peace.

"Caterpillar's role in destroying Palestine homes must be stopped, said Matt Gaines, Organizer, Chicago-based Stop CAT .We will sustain or efforts in applying non-violent, tactics on Caterpillar until they adhere to there own stated corporate standards", Gaines adds.

All corporations have an obligation to uphold US and adhere to international law and norms.

Shareholder activism is one way to educate stakeholders to pressure their company to serve as good corporate citizens, added Suha Dabbouseh, National Organizer, for the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

Sydney Levy, Director of Campaigns, Jewish Voice for Peace, adds, "Caterpillar shareholders must vote for transparency. We must hold Caterpillar accountable for its actions."

Speakers are available at the rally and press conference. For fact sheets, copy of the resolution and other materials, click here.


www.endtheoccupation.org The US Campaign to End the Israeli occupation is a coalition of over 250 organizations that aims to change those US policies that both sustain Israel's occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem and deny equal rights for all.

www.jvp.org Jewish Voices for Peace Jewish Voice for Peace is the country's largest grassroots Jewish peace group dedicated to achieving a lasting peace that recognizes the aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians for security and self-determination. We work to promote a foreign policy based on peace, democracy, human rights and respect for international law. Contact us for background information on the silent majority of American Jews who support an end to Israel's occupation of Palestinian territory.