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Spring Newsletter
Cindy and craig Corrie:
On the 9th Anniversary of Rachel’s Stand in Gaza
Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.Dear Friends,

It has been nine years today since our daughter Rachel was crushed to death under an Israeli driven, U.S. funded and built, Caterpillar D9 bulldozer in Gaza. In March 2003, the news was full of talk of war with Iraq – a preemptive war to protect the west, particularly the U.S. and Israel, from the weapons of mass destruction then alleged to have been amassed by Saddam Hussein. When Rachel traveled to Gaza that year, the world was not watching. According to Human Rights Watch, from September 2000 until September 2004, 1,600 Palestinian homes in the city of Rafah were destroyed by the Israeli military as it occupied the Gaza Strip. One-tenth of the population lost their homes. Rachel chose to be in Gaza when the ground attack against Iraq broke out. She feared an escalation of the violence and a tightening of the isolation against people there, as the world looked to the northeast and watched the carnage in Iraq. It did not happen as immediately as some expected, but with the Israeli military attack on Gaza of November 2008 through January 2009, the violence became overwhelming, and the tightening of the seige initiated in 2006 by Israel to remove Hamas, made the isolation nearly complete.

In 2003, Rachel wrote: “I went to a rally a few days ago in Khan Younis in solidarity with the people of Iraq. Many analogies were made about the continuing suffering of the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation and the upcoming occupation of Iraq by the United States – not the war itself – but the certain aftermath of the war. If people aren’t already thinking about the consequences of this war for the people of the entire region then I hope they will start.”

Now, in 2012, we listen to similar news – calls for bombing Iran to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons. The preemptive war has already begun with the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists. Our government tells us sanctions against Iran will pressure their government to abandon any program to develop these weapons, but experience tells us sanctions only increase the defensiveness of repressive regimes and tighten their control over their populations.

The news from our politicians is discouraging and even frightening, but in the meeting places and streets in our communities, we are making the kind of change that Rachel envisioned. It is happening in Olympia with continuing support for the Olympia Food Co-op’s boycott of Israeli products until the rights of Palestinians are addressed. Throughout Puget Sound this week, we have successfully challenged efforts by the Israeli government to use members of the Israeli gay community to distract from the continuing oppression of Palestinian people. Churches in our region are conversing about divestment from corporations like Caterpillar Inc. for their refusal to address their continuing participation in human rights abuses and the illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

In 2002, Rachel wrote, “I think it’s important for people who oppose war and repression to speak about who we are as a community in addition to speaking about war and racism and injustice. We are not outside. I think it’s important that human rights and resistance to oppression be included in the way we define ourselves as a community…” As the threat of war with Iran, the disintegration of the situation in Afghanistan, and the bombing of Gaza continue, the work we are all doing cindy-aipac-small.jpgin our hometowns at the grassroots level is powerful and critical. Today, as we remember Rachel’s stand nine years ago, we encourage our friends across the country and world to strengthen your own communities, educate, educate, educate, support each other in taking action, and walk with peace, love, and forgiveness in your hearts as you work for change.

Cindy and Craig Corrie

March 16, 2012

Nine years later:
Rachel’s Reach
We are so honored and amazed at the numerous requests we receive from people throughout the world wanting to honor Rachel’s stand on March 16th and beyond. Here are a just a few ways her memory lives on:

  • Here in Olympia we are continuing our annual memorial tradition with a community gathering entitled
    “Gaza On My Mind’ with a potluck, speakers who have recently traveled to Gaza, music and dancing. Details here.
  • In Washington D.C., Ray McGovern, retired CIA officer, will be holding a poster of Rachel Corrie and speaking at a before-the-White-House noon-time prayer and reflection on Friday the 16th.
  • In Iowa, the Des Moines Catholic Worker has dedicated one of their homes the ‘Rachel Corrie House’ and is now actively working to start up and maintain a year-round presence in occupied Palestine by sending one community member every three months to the Middle East to volunteer with the nonviolent protective accompaniment organization that Rachel worked for, the International Solidarity Movement.
  • In Wisconsin, the Madison Rafah Sister City Project is holding it’s annual Rachel Corrie Commemorative Benefit Dinner to fund a water filtration system for the Al-Shuka Girls Preparatory School in Rafah, Palestine.
  • In Tokat and Sakarya, Turkey they are continuing the ‘International Day of Conscience” that began in Rachel’s memory with events and a demonstration, carrying posters of Rachel, against all occupations.

Please send us an e-mail at info@rachelcorriefoundation.org to let us know what you are doing in Rachel’s memory.

boycott, divestment, sanctions:
Legal Victory
On February 27th a Washington State judge dismissed the case against current and former board members of the Olympia Food Co-op for their decision to boycott Israeli goods, calling the lawsuit a SLAPP – Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation. To a full courtroom of Co-op supporters he said that he would award the defendants attorneys’ fees, costs, and sanctions. “We are pleased the Court found this case to be what it is – an attempt to chill free speech on a matter of public concern. This sends a message to those trying to silence support of Palestinian human rights to think twice before they bring a lawsuit,” said Maria LaHood, a senior staff attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights.court-room-small.jpg

» Read full press release from the Center for Constitutional Rights and visit their case page for the details.
» Read full press releasefrom Olympia BDS.

[...]

Rachel Corrie Foundation For Peace and Justice | 203 East Fourth Ave., Suite 307 | Olympia | WA | 98501

THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP IN KEEPING RACHEL’S MEMORY ALIVE AND FOR SUPPORTING OUR EFFORTS TO CONTINUE THE WORK THAT SHE BEGAN.

Rachel Corrie - Interview
Rachel speaks in Gaza two days before her death.

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Please support the Rachel Corrie Foundation with your tax deductible contribution!

IN THIS ISSUE…Cindy and Craig Corrie:
On the 9th Anniversary of Rachel’s Stand in Gaza

Nine Year’s Later:
Rachel’s Reach
Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions:
Legal Victory

WE ARE HIRING…
The Rachel Corrie Foundation is accepting applications for our Office Management Position. Applications are due on April 2nd. Check out the job description with details on how to apply here.
Thank You!
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