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by Stop CAT Coalition
Sunday, Apr. 10, 2005 at 5:18 AM
Human rights groups to demand investigation of Israeli war crimes at Caterpillar's Annual Meeting in Chicago on April 13 - Simultaneous protests scheduled for dozens of cities around the world.
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Drawing Caterpillar Out Of Its Corporate Cocoon: Company Should Examine Its Role in Mideast Violence
CHICAGO - On Wednesday, April 13th, Caterpillar Corporation shareholders will vote on a groundbreaking resolution calling on CAT to investigate whether its sale of bulldozers to Israel violates its own Worldwide Code of Business Conduct. For the second year in a row, the human rights project Jewish Voice for Peace has joined the Sisters of Loretto and the Mercy Investment Group in introducing the shareholder resolution. Groups that include Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, International Solidarity Movement, Palestine Solidarity Group, U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, United for Peace & Justice and the Presbyterian Church/USA are supporting the effort, with local support being provided by the Stop CAT Coalition, based in Chicago.
Advocates of the resolution will hold a press conference outside of the Northern Trust Building - the location of CAT’s shareholder meeting -at 12:30 on Wednesday, April 13th, at 50 S. LaSalle St. in Chicago. Both proponents and opponents of the resolution will speak at the meeting, scheduled for 1:30 PM at the Northern Trust Building. On the same day, groups in dozens of cities across the world - including Chicago, Washington, DC, Dallas, Memphis, New York City, Stockholm, and Boston - will hold demonstrations at Caterpillar dealerships and the offices of board members. Chicago’s protest is scheduled for noon to 3PM outside of the shareholder meeting.
Last month, the parents of Rachel Corrie, a young human rights volunteer who was killed two years ago by a Caterpillar bulldozer while trying to protect a Palestinian home, sued Caterpillar and the Israeli government. The suit charges that CAT knowingly sold machines used to violate human rights. The company is also confronting a global surge in bad press about Caterpillar's role in the razing of Palestinian homes that have left thousands homeless in recent years. Human rights activists argue that, while Israel recently ended its policy of home demolitions related to acts of violence, the vast majority of demolitions continue under a policy of administrative home demolitions, meaning homes are typically destroyed because of minor permit violations. It is virtually impossible for Palestinians to obtain legal permits from the Israeli government to build or improve housing in the Occupied Territories.
The Stop CAT campaign has appealed for worldwide solidarity actions against Caterpillar on this date. For a directory of CAT facilities please visit: http://www.catdestroyshomes.org/downloads/CatDirectory.pdf
For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 773-489-3505
Human Rights Watch: "Caterpillar Should Suspend Bulldozer Sales"
Democracy Now!: Family of Rachel Corrie Sues Israeli Government and Caterpillar Inc. Two Years After She Was Crushed by Military Bulldozer
BBC News: US bulldozer firm in Mideast Row
Caterpillar: The Alternative Report by War on Want [PDF format, 715K]
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