protestor | 16.03.2004 13:45 | Birmingham
Since 1967 Israel has used Caterpillar bulldozers to demolish nearly 9,000 Palestinian homes, leaving more than 50,000 people homeless. Since September 2000, Israel has razed 12,737 homes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In the past two years Caterpillar D9s demolished an entire neighbourhood in Jenin refugee camp and uprooted 200,000 Palestinian olive trees.
23-year-old American Peace Activist Rachel Corrie, was killed by a Caterpillar D9 bulldozer on March 16, 2003 as she nonviolently tried to prevent it from destroying a Palestinian home in the Gaza Strip.
Caterpillar profits from Israel's construction of the 25 foot high Security Barrier (aka The Apartheid Wall) that will confiscate approximately 40 percent of the West Bank under the guise of enhancing Israeli security. The wall separates Palestinians from their farmlands and cuts some villages off from the rest of the West Bank, rendering as many as 100,000 people completely isolated.
Protestors will remain in occupation until they have met the Director or Caterpillar Defence Industries where they will call on Caterpillar to respect human rights and international Human Rights law by terminating its supply contract with the Israeli Government.
Firstly: "Why Caterpillar?"
A lot of the reasoning is explained in the initial post on this thread. Still, Shelley thinks we are "targetting the wrong crowd". I absolutely disagree.
On it's own website Caterpillar claims:
"Caterpillar accepts the responsibilities of global citizenship. Wherever we conduct business or invest our resources around the world, we know that our commitment to financial success must also take into account social priorities."
How then does it tie in with this?:
A company statement issued on Tuesday said: "Caterpillar shares the world's concern over unrest in the Middle East and we certainly have compassion for all those affected by the political strife.
"However, more than two million Caterpillar machines and engines are at work in virtually every country and region of the world each day.
"We have neither the legal right nor the means to police individual use of that equipment.
"We believe any comments on political strife in the region are best left to our governmental leaders who have the ability to impact action and advance the peace process."
They cannot claim to be taking social priorities into account, whilst at the same time continuing to provide equipment to Israel, and then denying responsibility for what Israel does with it thereafter. The action was in support of a growing campaign for Caterpillar to live up to its own ideals, and to stop providing Israel with equipment that is used in its genocidal actions against Palestinian civilians.
Handwringing is not enough. It is time for action.
In Rachel's own words:
"Just want to write to my Mom and tell her that I'm witnessing this chronic, insidious genocide and I'm really scared, and questioning my fundamental belief in the goodness of human nature. This has to stop. I think it is a good idea for us all to drop everything and devote our lives to making this stop. I don't think it's an extremist thing to do anymore. I still really want to dance around to Pat Benatar and have boyfriends and make comics for my coworkers. But I also want this to stop. Disbelief and horror is what I feel. Disappointment. I am disappointed that this is the base reality of our world and that we, in fact, participate in it. This is not at all what I asked for when I came into this world. This is not at all what the people here asked for when they came into this world. This is not the world you and Dad wanted me to come into when you decided to have me. This is not what I meant when I looked at Capital Lake and said: "This is the wide world and I'm coming to it." I did not mean that I was coming into a world where I could live a comfortable life and possibly, with no effort at all, exist in complete unawareness of my participation in genocide"
Secondly, the lies about tunnels.
No tunnels have been found near to Dr. Sameers house. The tunnels are a smokescreen, the real purpose of the house demolitions around the area where Rachel was killed is to widen the buffer zone on the border with Israel. A phenomenal number of homes have been destroyed, the neighbourhood has been demolished and thousands of civilians have been rendered homeless.
Rachel was not protecting tunnels, she was protecting homes, families and children.
Rachel was not a "one woman blockade", there were a number of Internationals at the scene. They had been there for hours before Rachel was killed. At one stage Rachel had climbed onto the D9 and attempted to speak to the driver, to appeal to him as a human being. If they were doing something illegal, they should have been arrested, charged and put before the courts. The bulldozer driver continued despite being fully aware that the protestors were there, and they were wearing high-visibility suits that can clearly be seen in the photos. Neither do I but the story about "poor visibility"
If there is any truth in the "poor visibility" claim then Israel has no business using the machinery in civilian areas. END OF!!!!! Of course, the driver can see perfectly well what he is doing. And these actions had been going on for many weeks before Rachel's death.
Finally I applaud the actions of the IMCistas in removing some of the knee-jerk, racist, evil lies that have been disseminated by supporters of genocide on this thread.
Start your own thread. Don't constantly attempt to defile a thread that honour's a courageous, loving and humane woman with your ugly lies, propaganda and deceit.
Respect to Rachel.
Caterpillar out of Israel.
Justice for the people of Palestine!