Urge the National Building Museum to Rescind the Award to Caterpillar Inc.

Posted in Call to Action on August 24, 2011 by .

As we build our list of petition signatures, help us today to tell the National Building Museum and the Turner Prize jury how many of us are concerned. Copy and paste our sample email template (below) or send your own email message for Mr. Chase Rynd, Executive Director of the National Building Museum (crynd@nbm.org). Tell Mr. Rynd why you cannot support this award to Caterpillar Inc..

We advise you to send the letter to the public email address of Chase W. Rynd (crynd@nbm.org), Executive Director at the National Building Museum.

Sample Letter

Dear Mr. Rynd and Turner Prize Jurors:

Thank you for your recent decision to cancel the public award ceremony where Caterpillar Inc. was scheduled to receive the 2011 Henry C. Turner Prize.   Although this is a great first step it does not address the critical issue of the National Building Museum selecting an organization complicit in human rights abuses to receive the award.  I respectfully urge you to listen to the voices of the 5,300 people and over 55 organizations who have signed the petition urging you to reconsider your decision.

For decades, Caterpillar Inc. has supplied equipment to the Israeli government that is used in a pattern of human rights abuses and violations of international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The equipment continues to be used to demolish the homes of Palestinian civilians, to destroy olive groves and farmland, and to construct a separation/annexation wall and illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank that expropriate Palestinian territory. International and Palestinian civilians have been killed and injured in these illegal and immoral actions, committed by the Israeli military with Caterpillar equipment.

Individuals, human rights organizations, and the United Nations have put Caterpillar Inc. on notice about the use of its equipment by the Israeli Government in Palestine. Yet, Caterpillar’s sales to Israel continue. The company’s business practices in this matter and its ongoing complicity in egregious policies do not equate with the stated principles of the Henry C. Turner Prize or with the values of the National Building Museum. In seeming to break with the intent of the prize by giving it to a multinational corporation, you have made an unfortunate choice in Caterpillar Inc.

I can appreciate Caterpillar’s technological innovation, but I am not willing to blind myself to the damage perpetrated against the Palestinian people under the Caterpillar name. I ask those at the National Building Museum to open your eyes to the death and destruction that Caterpillar Inc. has facilitated through its continuing sales to Israel. Please do not use the Henry C. Turner Prize to congratulate participation in human rights violations. I respectfully ask that you rescind this award to Caterpillar Inc. immediately.


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