Wednesday, April 13, 2005 -- Day of Action Against CaterpillarStop Caterpillar from selling home-crushing bulldozers to Israel
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On April 13, join groups all over the world in opposing Caterpillar sales of home-crushing bulldozers to Israel. That day, Caterpillar shareholders will meet in Chicago and will discuss a resolution on sales of bulldozers to Israel. We're calling on groups to organize local demonstrations at CAT-related locations, such as board of directors' offices or CAT dealerships, to send a strong message that cooperation in human rights abuses is unacceptable. (Click to download a 165k pdf file listing Caterpillar's dealerships and directors' offices in the U.S.)
Over 50,000 Palestinians have been made homeless by Caterpillar bulldozers. CAT supplies equipment used by the Israeli military to destroy Palestinian homes, infrastructure, orchards, greenhouses, agricultural land filled with crops and sometimes lives, including American peace activist Rachel Corrie and Palestinian Suha Sweidan, who was nine months pregnant when she was killed in the middle of the night in a home demolition. While US taxpayers foot the bill, CAT profits from the wholesale destruction of Palestinian homes and livelihoods.
Taking what Human Rights Watch calls a "head in the sand" approach, Caterpillar officials have repeated the same line over and over again, that Caterpillar has "neither the legal right nor the ability to monitor and police individual use" of its equipment. Last year, instead of looking into the wanton destruction that their company's policies cause, the Caterpillar Board of Directors successfully urged the defeat of a shareholder resolution investigating whether Caterpillar is adhering to its own corporate code of conduct regarding sales to Israel. Caterpillar not only has the ability to monitor the use of its equipment, but after calls from human rights organizations, members of the office of the UN Commissioner on Human Rights, several religious and social justice organizations, and the victims themselves, CAT has the responsibility to investigate the ethics of selling bulldozers as weapons and profiting from human rights abuses.
Join us on April 13 in opposing CAT's harmful policies.
HERE'S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
* Organize an Action
Join other groups all over the world on April 13 to organize a demonstration at a Caterpillar-related location in your area, such as a CAT dealership or board member's office. Soon, we'll post locations of CAT dealerships on CATdestroysHomes.org, and we'll provide you with resources to help you make it happen. Email email@example.com if you'd like to organize an action in your area.
* Contact Congress
Contact your Congressional representative, tell her/him to ask for an investigation of US purchase of CAT equipment for Israel in the General Accounting Office. CAT equipment is sold to Israel under the US Foreign Military Sales Program. It's illegal for US-purchased equipment to be used to violate human rights. Make appointments with your representatives on the week of April 13, and tell her/him to investigate. To get in contact with a person in your area who can help you coordinate a visit to your rep, go to http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?list=type&type=89 and click on your state.
GROUPS INVOLVED IN THE CAMPAIGN:
Groups all over the world have gotten involved in demanding that Caterpillar stop selling home-crushing bulldozers to Israel. Below is a partial list of those groups -- not all of them are involved in the Day of Action, but all of them have contributed to the campaign.
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
American Friends Service Committee
Bradley Peace Network
Christian Peacemaker Teams
Churches for Middle East Peace
Committee for Justice in Palestine, Ohio State University
Human Rights Watch
International Solidarity Movement
Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions
Jewish Voice for Peace
National Lawyers Guild
Not In My Name
Palestine Solidarity Group
Palestine Solidarity Movement
Peoria Area Peace Network
Presbyterian Church USA
Sisters of Loretto
Sisters of Mercy
St. Francis of Philadelphia
Students for Justice in Palestine
Students for Social Justice
SUSTAIN (Stop US Tax Funded Aid to Israel Now)
UN Special Rapporteur on Food Rights, Jean Ziegler
US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation