Caterpillar Executive Meeting Disrupted
- For Immediate Release
Bay Area SUSTAIN Disrupts Caterpillar Executive Meeting
Activists from the Bay Area chapter of SUSTAIN (Stop U.S. Tax-funded
Aid to Israel Now) disrupted an executive meeting in the board room
of the Caterpillar corporation today to perform a citizensâ
arrest, charging the CAT executives with war crimes and violations
of the Fourth Geneva Convention for selling bulldozers to the
Israeli military which uses them to demolish Palestinian homes,
olive groves, and villages.
Two activists dressed in business attire together with a camera
operator were able to enter the Caterpillar offices in Concord,
California to interrupt the meeting and issue the arrest warrants.
Some Executives sat dumbfounded while others reacted with hostility
as they were read aloud their numerous crimes against the
Palestinian people in front of their co-workers. They were
presented with photographic evidence and human rights reports
clearly illustrating their complicity in what Amnesty International
has documented as "war crimes." The executives were then urged to
turn themselves into authorities immediately.
While they were inside carrying out the arrest, SUSTAIN activists
and their supporters on the outside roped off the building and did a
street theater performance of a mock demolition, reenacting how the
Caterpillar bulldozers are used to destroy Palestinian homes and
This is the latest in a series of escalating actions since August
2002 when SUSTAIN, together with other activist and human rights
groups, launched a national campaign calling on Caterpillar to halt
sales to the Israeli military. Since August, Caterpillar business
operations have been disrupted all over the country--from
Washington, DC, to Houston, to Seattle. The campaign has also taken
on an international dimension as well, as there have been actions
against Caterpillar facilities in Italy, the UK, and elsewhere.
The Israeli Defense Forces have destroyed more than 7,000
Palestinian homes since 1967, leaving thousands of people homeless.
Most home demolitions target civilians who have not been charged
with any crime. They are conducted as collective punishment and as a
means of clearing the way for illegal Israeli settlement expansion
on Palestinian land. The Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits both
collective punishment and the destruction of personal property in
The activists demand that Caterpillar uphold its own code of conduct
by halting sales to the Israeli Defense Forces until civilian home
demolitions cease. The Code of Conduct states: As a global company
we can use our strength and resources to improve, and in some cases
rebuild, the lives of our neighbors around the world.
Watch a Video of the Caterpillar action in Concord on 11/21/02 as
well as the San Francisco Press conference on 08/07/02 at
SUSTAIN Bay Area
Stop U.S. Aid to Israel Now!
(415) 364-1831 voice mail