|Ireland Palestine Solidarity seeks Caterpillar ban|
Press Release: Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign
March 30th, 2005
Your support is urgently needed, today, please circulate .
In a few hours time party leaders on Limerick City Council will consider a motion put forward by the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign and supported by the family of the murdered American human rights observer Rachel Corrie, to declare Limerick City the worlds first Caterpillar Free Zone. The motion calls on the City Council to ban the use of all Caterpillar plant and machinery on Council worksites from January 1st 2006, and calls on all traders in Limerick City to implement a voluntary ban on the sale of Caterpillar merchandise.
The Caterpillar company supplies the Israeli military with militarized D-9 bulldozers which it uses to destroy Palestinian homes, farmland and infrastructure in the occupied West Bank , Gaza and East Jerusalem.
On March 16th 2003, Rachel Corrie, a 23 year-old American human rights observer was run over and killed by a Caterpillar bulldozer as she stood in clear view of the Israeli driver. She was attempting non-violently to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian pharmacist's home in Rafah, Gaza.
No public investigation has been carried out to-date and nobody has been charged in relation to Rachel's death. The Corrie family have campaigned for the U.S. government to undertake a full, fair and expeditious investigation into her death, but so far without success.
Caterpillar bulldozers are used by the Israeli army in contravention of international human rights laws. (The Fourth Geneva Convention, the
International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.) They are frequently and systematically used to destroy civilian infrastructure including homes, water and sewage pipes, electrical and telephone services, roads, schools, hospitals, airports, glasshouses, olive groves and farmland in the West Bank and Gaza.
Numerous Human Rights and Palestinian Solidarity groups from all over the world have demanded that Caterpillar stop selling bulldozers to the Israeli army.
Caterpillar has so far ignored all calls to cease these sales to Israel. Amnesty International has called on Caterpillar to take measures to
guarantee that its bulldozers are not used to commit human rights violations.
On April 13th Caterpillar shareholders meet in Chicago and will discuss a resolution on the sale of bulldozers to Israel. As long as it continues to
profit from sales to Israel, Caterpillar will do so. However, if shareholders sense that the continuation of this trade damages the company's image and sales internationally, the policy would have to be reconsidered.
Limerick City has the opportunity to be the first city in the world to declare itself a Caterpillar Free Zone thereby sending a resounding message to Caterpillar shareholders. This Limerick initiative, if adopted by the City Council, will be applauded internationally and many other cities will replicate this stance, endorsing the supremacy of human rights over corporate opportunism.
The Corrie family have written a letter asking the City Councillors to unanimously support a motion calling for the creation of the world's first
Caterpillar Free Zone.
We ask Limerick City Council to pass a motion banning the use of all Caterpillar plant and machinery on Council worksites from January 1st 2006, and calling on all traders in Limerick City to implement a voluntary ban on the sale of Caterpillar merchandise. Please write now to the Mayor and other Councillors asking them to support this motion.
email@example.com (The Mayor)
Seán Clinton, Coordinator,
Limerick Branch Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign www.ipsc.ie