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The US Campaign applauds the Church of England’s divestment vote on Caterpillar

by The New World Order Resistance Thursday, Feb. 09, 2006 at 5:30 PM

Caterpillar has been singled out by the United Nations for complicity in human rights abuses in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. In the past 5 years, Caterpillar has enabled the destruction of 4,170 Palestinian homes and the uprooting of more than one million olive trees. Caterpillar is also being used to build the Annexation Wall deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice in its July 2004 Advisory Opinion.

The US Campaign appl...
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The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation applauds the Church of England’s overwhelming vote in favor of divesting its £2.2 million shares from bulldozer manufacturer Caterpillar. The vote, supported by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, sends a clear message to Caterpillar that profiting from human rights violations is not compatible with socially responsible business practice.

The General Synod of the Church of England voted yesterday evening (February 6, 2006) “to disinvest from companies profiting from the illegal occupation, such as Caterpillar Inc, until they change their policies". The Church Commissioners now need to enforce the Synod’s decision.

Caterpillar has been singled out by the United Nations for complicity in human rights abuses in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. In the past 5 years, Caterpillar has enabled the destruction of 4,170 Palestinian homes and the uprooting of more than one million olive trees. Caterpillar is also being used to build the Annexation Wall deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice in its July 2004 Advisory Opinion.

The parents of Rachel Corrie, 23-year old American peace activist who was crushed and murdered by an Israeli soldier driving a Caterpillar bulldozer, filed suit against Caterpillar in Washington District Court in March 2005 for wrongful death among other claims for relief. The case is currently pending appeal in the Ninth Circuit. Rachel Corrie’s murder will be commemorated in demonstrations nationally on March 16, 2006.

In August 2005, the US Campaign adopted the CAT Campaign as a national priority. The goal of the CAT Campaign is to pressure Caterpillar, Inc. to cease its bulldozer sales to Israel until Israel comports with International humanitarian and human rights law. The US Campaign seeks to do so by coordinating a national grassroots, institutional, and legislative strategy.

Mark Lance, Co-Chair of the US Campaign Steering Committee comments “As Israel implements an apartheid-like structure across Palestine, in blatant violation of international law and with little regard for the human rights of Palestinians, the US government continues to block meaningful international pressure. In such a situation, only the committed actions of citizens and civil society can move us toward justice. It is therefore heartening to see a major religious institution take a brave step for justice by confronting oppression with the powerful non-violent tool of divestment. This is a model to be followed by all individuals and institutions of conscience.”
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