[Imc-chicago] Caterpillar: Most controversial proxy vote, TODAY
Jewish Voice for Peace
cecilie at jewishvoiceforpeace.org
Wed Apr 13 04:00:36 PDT 2005
Stop Cat/Chicago www.stopcat.org <http://www.stopcat.org/>
Jewish Voice for Peace www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org
<http://www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org/> , www.catdestroyshomes.org
PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Full press kit available online at:
Contacts: Matt Gaines, (312) 804-2822, Liat Weingart, (415) 846-3581
Religious, human rights groups and investors challenge Caterpillar at
Chicago annual shareholder meeting
Protests in over 30 cities call for an end to sale of home-destroying
bulldozers to the Israeli military
April 13, 2005 - Following Ariel Sharon's visit with President Bush in
Crawford, Texas, religious, human rights groups and investors will call
on Caterpillar to stop selling home-crushing bulldozers to the Israeli
military. For the second year in a row, Jewish Voice for Peace has
teamed up with Christian allies to introduce a shareholder resolution in
Caterpillar calling for an investigation into whether the sale of such
bulldozers violates CAT's corporate responsibility policy.
Currently, CAT is facing charges of war crimes in a lawsuit filed by the
parents of a young American woman who was killed by a Caterpillar
bulldozer while trying to protect a Palestinian home. In addition, a
global surge in negative coverage about the company's participation and
cooperation in Israel's razing of civilian homes has put the Caterpillar
brand name at risk. Caterpillar has also come under fire from the
international human rights community, in which there is near-universal
condemnation of the company's policy of supplying weaponized bulldozers
to Israel's military. Caterpillar is also facing threats of divestment
from major religious denominations, including the Presbyterian Church
USA and the World Council of Churches, which represents some half a
billion Christians, who have issued statements supporting selective
divestment from companies that profit from Israel's occupation, of which
CAT is the most well known.
Liat Weingart, Co-Director of Jewish Voice for Peace, said, "Caterpillar
's sale of weaponized bulldozers to the Israeli military is tantamount
to selling a gun to a person you know is planning to kill someone.
Though Caterpillar is not actually behind the wheel, they are providing
the machinery as well as training and support for the Israeli military
to harm civilians."
Matt Gaines of the Stop Cat Coalition said, "Caterpillar is so
image-conscious that it actually sued Disney to block a children's movie
featuring evil Caterpillar bulldozers. The threat to the CAT brand
caused by news footage of real life bulldozers crushing family homes
makes the damage caused by movie bulldozers look like child's play. CAT
should just get out of the business of destroying homes."
Cecilie Surasky, Communications Director for Jewish Voice for Peace,
said, "We are not calling on Caterpillar to stop selling to Israel. We
are calling on CAT to stop selling a particular type of bulldozer that
is used consistently to violate human rights to the Israeli military.
Sales of home-crushing bulldozers are undermining the efforts of the
international community to create peace in the region."
Since 1967, Caterpillar bulldozers have destroyed over 12,000 civilian
homes in the Palestinian Occupied Territories, leaving over 50,000 men,
women and children homeless. Even though Israel recently ended its
policy of punitive home demolitions, the vast majority (over 85%)
continue under a policy of administrative home demolitions, meaning
homes are typically destroyed due to permit violations .
Jewish Voice for Peace has launched a campaign website
(www.catdestroyshomes.org <http://www.catdestroyshomes.org/> ) which
features news, high resolution photographs, action alerts, and
Cecilie Surasky | Communications Director | Jewish Voice for Peace
1611 Telegraph Ave., Suite 500; Oakland, California 94612
ph: 510 465 1777 x4 | fx: 510 465 1616 | cell: 510 410 4202
cecilie at jewishvoiceforpeace.org | www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org
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