Last week, Caterpillar’s board members faced shareholders, including our allies from Jewish Voice for Peace, the Sisters of Loretto, and Chicagoans Against Apartheid in Palestine. The US Campaign’s National Organizer attended and spoke at the meeting as well, on behalf of shareholder Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights. Inside the meeting Matan Cohen of Hampshire College Students for Justice in Palestine spoke on behalf of a resolution that would require Caterpillar to report on foreign sales of weapons related products. During the Q&A portion of the meeting our allies repeatedly demanded to know why CAT continues to risk legal action and alienate investors by providing Israel with the machinery of occupation and apartheid. Repeatedly, Caterpillar CEO, Jim Owens, told those in attendance that if they don’t like the way Caterpillar operates, then they don’t have to hold on to their stock.
At the end of the meeting, one shareholder who was previously unfamiliar with Caterpillar’s complicity in occupation and apartheid confided that his retirement had already been hit hard by corporations which have made bad P.R. moves or lost law suits. On his way out of the meeting, he stated that he would follow Jim Owens’ advice to divest of Caterpillar stock. We are thrilled by the success of Jim Owens’ endorsement of divestment! Click here to help us spread this message.
We got our message to people outside of the meeting through the media and public protest. View our media hits, including the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Forbes, Democracy Now!, and several local radio stations, by clicking here. Unfortunately, after a lengthy exchange, the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times both rejected our online ad, which we wanted to place on their websites during the CAT shareholder meeting. But we won’t accept this censorship. We’re going to use contributions from supporters like you to place this ad on blogs and Facebook, educating even more people about our campaign. Click here to make a tax-deductible donation to amplify our message online. Each $50 that you donate will inform 80 targeted Facebook users about our campaign. Every $200 will ensure that our blog ad educates 4500 new people about our effective boycott and divestment campaign, which sheds light on Caterpillar’s complicity in human rights and international law violations in Israel/Palestine.
US Campaign supporters and member groups rallied outside of the shareholder meeting, educating passersby and the media about CAT’s culpability for war crimes in Palestine/Israel. The Church of England and Hampshire College divesting from Caterpillar aren’t the only recent victories for the global boycott and divestment movement. French company Violia recently bowed to human rights advocates and withdrew from the Jerusalem Light Rail project that would connect West Bank settlements to West Jerusalem via commuter rail. Similar European campaigns forced international financier Dexia to end its support for Israeli settlements on Occupied Palestinian Territory.
Our blog ads will spread this same message that corporations cannot profit from war crimes. Click here to educate savvy investors about the spreading divestment movement targeting Caterpillar through our blog ads. Our Facebook ads will reach students at campuses to be visited on our October Campus Boycott & Divestment Organizing Tour. Help us use Caterpillar’s own words to hold them accountable, make a tax deductible donation to our online advertising campaign now.