Are you looking to organize Chicago Divests on your campus? A great place to get started is with staging an internal teach-in. This is a great way to get everyone involved up to speed and well-versed on the important details of this campaign. Check out our new “teach-in resources” page for great websites and documents that you can assign as research for teach-in participants. Happy studying!
Dozens of supporters joined Chicago Divests at TIAA-CREF’s Chicago office in our largest vigil to date. TIAA-CREF clients, academics, activists, and concerned citizens joined us to respond to the Israel court system’s ruling on the death of Rachel Corrie. In 2003, 23 year old peace activist Rachel Corrie was crushed to death by a militarized Caterpillar bulldozer. Rachel was trying to prevent Palestinian homes from systematic demolition, a practice carried out by the Israeli military as collective punishment and for ethnic cleansing. On August 28th, the Israeli court system issued a verdict that absolved the Israeli Military of responsibility for Rachel’s death, despite a negligent investigation and strong evidence contradicting the verdict.
Today, activists participated in a global call to action initiated by the Rachel Corrie foundation. Rachel died trying to secure basic human rights for Palestinians. Caterpillar Inc. facilitates the death and displacement of thousands of Palestinians through supplying the Israeli army with its military-grade D9 bulldozers. All this week, activists around the world have honored Rachel Corrie’s memory by demanding Caterpillar stop it’s corporate involvement with the Israeli occupation of Palestine. In Chicago, we asked TIAA-CREF to divest more than $1 billion from Caterpillar. TIAA-CREF owes much of its success to its reputation as a socially responsible financial firm. This past June, TIAA-CREF divested $73 million in Caterpillar from it’s Social Choice accounts. In doing so, TIAA-CREF acknowledged that investing in Caterpillar adversely affects human rights, including the rights of Palestinians. Today, we told TIAA-CREF to fully divest from Caterpillar. TIAA-CREF cannot continue to invest in good conscience in a corporation responsible for the death and displacement of thousands. Though the justice system in Israel failed Rachel Corrie, we did our part today to honor her legacy and continue work to secure a just peace in Israel and Palestine.
Remember Rachel 8/30, a set on Flickr.
On August 28th, the Haifa District Court will issue a ruling on Rachel Corrie’s 2003 murder in Gaza. Rachel was crushed to death by a militarized Caterpillar bulldozer while protecting homes from demolition. In collaboration with the Rachel Corrie Foundation, Chicago Divests is asking TIAA-CREF to divest completely from Caterpillar for facilitating the systematic home demolitions Rachel was trying to prevent. We are also asking TIAA-CREF to divest from all other corporations profiting from the occupation of Palestine, including Elbit Systems, Motorola Solutions, Hewlett-Packard, Northrop Grumman, and Veolia.
On August 30th, we will hold a Vigil outside of TIAA-CREF’s Chicago office. We will also deliver a letter and copy of our petition to TIAA-CREF. Help us remember Rachel. Sign our petition, and ask others to remember Rachel by doing the same. You can also help us by attending our August 30th vigil. More details about the vigil below and on facebook.
We hope to see you all there!