Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Kin of Slain
Protester Suing Caterpillar
By ELIZABETH M. GILLESPIE
SEATTLE - The parents of a
23-year-old activist killed while trying to prevent
the demolition of a Palestinian home is
are] suing Caterpillar
Inc., the company that made the bulldozer that ran
The federal lawsuit, which lawyers said would be
filed here Tuesday, alleges that Caterpillar
violated international and state law by providing
specially designed bulldozers to Israeli Defense
Forces that it knew would be used to demolish homes
and endanger people.
Rachel Corrie, a student at The Evergreen
State College in Olympia, was standing in front of
a home in a refugee camp in Rafah, near the
Egyptian border, in March of 2003 when a bulldozer
plowed over her.
"The brutal death of my daughter should never
have happened," Corrie's mother, Cindy
Corrie, said in a statement released by the
Center for Constitutional Rights, a law firm
handling the case. "We believe Caterpillar and the
(Israeli Defense Forces) must be held accountable
for their role in the attack."
Caterpillar spokeswoman Linda Fairbanks
said the company had no comment on the lawsuit.
However, the company released a general
statement Tuesday [March 15, 2005] that
"Caterpillar shares the world's concern
over unrest in the Middle East and we certainly
have compassion for all those affected by
"However, more than 2 million Caterpillar
machines and engines are at work in virtually
every region of the world each day. We have
neither the legal right nor the means to police
individual use of that equipment."
The statement did not refer to the lawsuit.
The Corries have filed separate claims in Israel
against the state of Israel, the Israeli Defense
Ministry and the Israeli Defense Forces.
The Israeli military classified Corrie's death
as an accident.
troops seek to erase memory of Rachel
Year Later, Justice Still Not Served:
Remembering the Death of Rachel
- "Rachel's death was in fact
only the first of several Israeli attacks on
foreign citizens in the West Bank and Gaza --
Brian Avery, from New Mexico, was shot in the
face on April 5th, Tom Hurndall, a U.K. citizen,
was shot in the head on April 11th, and died on
January 13th, and James Miller, another U.K.
citizen, was shot and killed in April as well.
To date [March 2004], in only Hurndall's
case will the Israeli soldier responsible for
the attack face trial, and this because the
British government, after several months,
finally responded to the overwhelming evidence
presented by the Hurndall family."
Corrie's last letter to her