The Rachel Corrie Foundation proudly supports the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. BDS seeks to hold Israeli companies, institutions, and their international collaborators accountable for human rights abuses committed against Palestinians under illegal Israeli occupation.
We celebrate several successes within the last year, including the National Building Museum’s cancellation of an award ceremony honoring Caterpillar Inc. Caterpillar supplies heavy equipment used to demolish Palestinian homes and infrastructure and is the focus of a long term education and boycott-divestment campaign by RCF, Evergreen State College students seeking to make their campus “Caterpillar free,” and other organizations nationwide. In September, the Corries delivered a petition to the museum – with thousands of signatures and 150 organizational sponsors – to rescind Caterpillar’s award.
Locally, RCF and our supporters celebrated the one-year anniversary of the Olympia Food Co-op’s decision to support BDS. This fall, a lawsuit was filed targeting the Co-op and several of its past and present board members, to intimidate them into repealing their courageous stand. “Allegations that the co-op’s board acted beyond its power are a thinly veiled attempt to stop concerned citizens from using a nonviolent and historical tool for social change,” said Maria LaHood, Senior Staff Attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, representing the Co-op and other defendants. The Co-op seeks to have the case dismissed under Washington’s anti-Strategic Laws Against Public Participation (SLAPP) statute. The first hearing is January 13, 2012, 11am, at Thurston County Superior Court. Please save the date to join us that day in support!
RCF also supports national BDS efforts including divestment initiatives in the Presbyterian and Methodist Churches, a Minnesota Bonds effort, and campaigns by California Israel Divestment (IDC) and University of Arizona Divestment. RCF praised NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for boycotting the Spirit of Freedom Award at the Jerusalem Film Festival and asked that he put his action into context of BDS rather than taking a neutral stance.
By Evan Welkin. To learn more about local BDS efforts, visit www.olympiabds.org.