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Rachel Corrie anniversary memorial at Caterpillar, Solihull - 16th March 2005

Indy Brum Volunteer | 15.03.2005 13:47 | Anti-militarism | Social Struggles | Birmingham


Local campaigners for Palestine intend to lay a wreath to commemorate a student activist at the offices of the company implicated in her death.

Rachel Corrie was a 23-year-old American student who went to Rafah, Palestine, with the International Solidarity Movement. She was crushed to death on 16th March 2003 as she tried to prevent the destruction of a Palestinian family home. The armoured bulldozer which killed her was manufactured by Caterpillar, an international corporation which has its
European financial heqdquarters in Solihull.

Now members of West Midlands PSC have written to Caterpillar saying that they intend to lay a wreath at their offices on the second anniversary of Rachel's death.

"Human rights campaigners have been asking Caterpillar for years to stop selling these bulldozers to Israel" said Chris Khamis, Chair of West Midlands PSC. "They claim they can't control what their products are used for, but
these are no ordinary bulldozers: they are designed for demolishing houses and ripping up olive trees and have occasionally killed people. Caterpillar are complicit in war crimes."

Eye-witnesses to Rachel's death have described it as "murder" since she was clearly visible to the driver of the bulldozer.

Sue Blackwell, one of the members who wrote to Caterpillar, said, "16th March is my birthday. I will never again be able to celebrate it without thinking of Rachel Corrie. It is our responsibility to keep her memory alive now. If we can persuade Caterpillar to stop selling these machines to Israel
then her death will not have been in vain."

West Midlands PSC has asked to meet with members of the Caterpillar management to talk about Rachel's life and death and explain their concerns about sales to Israel. They are currently awaiting a reply to their letter.

The wreath-laying will take place at approximately 11 am on Wednesday 16th March.

The protest will be followed by a month later by a national demonstration against Caterpillar on 16th April.


1. Rachel Corrie's memorial website is at:

2. PSC national office is organising a protest motorcade past Caterpillar's Solihull offices on 16th April, to be followed by a rally in Birmingham city centre (Victoria Square) at 2:30pm. This will include a
presentation of evidence and views from the particpants about the many thousands of house demolitions and destruction of olive groves, as well as many injuries and some other deaths from Caterpillar.

For more details call 0207 700 6192.

3. Contacts for West Midlands PSC:

Press Officer - Mary Brennan - 0121 472 6871

Chair - Chris Khamis - 0778 534 2124

Membership Secretary - Willem Meijs - 0121 449 1063

4. The text of the letter sent to Caterpillar is as follows:

Caterpillar Financial Services Ltd,
2405 Stratford Road,
Solihull B94 6NW
8 March 2005

Dear Sir/Madam,

RE: Anniversary of Rachel Corrie's death

Two years ago, a 23-year-old American student named Rachel Corrie was
crushed to death as she tried peacefully to prevent the destruction
of a Palestinian family home in the Rafah refugee camp, Gaza.

The bulldozer which killed her was made by your company.
Unfortunately, despite international protests by human rights groups,
your organisation continues to sell the D9 Armored Bulldozer to
Israel, whose government has continued to use it to demolish homes
and agricultural areas in the occupied territories, in contravention
of numerous UN resolutions and international law.

On behalf of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign we are therefore
writing to let you know that a small group of us intend to lay a
wreath at your offices on 16th March, the anniversary of Rachel
Corrie's death. We would like an opportunity to meet with
representatives of the management to talk to them about Rachel's life
and death and to urge Caterpillar to stop doing business with Israel
until it respects the human rights of the Palestinian people.

Yours faithfully,

S.A. Blackwell & W.J. Meijs
On behalf of Westmidlands PSC

[ ends ]

Indy Brum Volunteer


Display the following 6 comments

  1. One more — ex ISM
  2. Feeding the trolls — David
  3. You are losing — A jew
  4. rebuttal — a jewess
  5. Not all Jews are zionists! — anti Zionist Jew
  6. Not all Jews are Zionist. — G. Kasparov