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memberof As an exffemelyconcemed sha¡eholder Caterpillar,and an equallyconcemed of vindicationin this matteron the legalweight and intemationalcivil society,I basemy personal jurisdiction of the highest judicial body in the world, the United NationsInternational Court of Justice (ICJ). The court'smonumental rendered the UN General to Assembly July 2004advisoryopinion proclaimedthat the entireworld hasa moral and legal obligation"not to renderaid or support"to, and recognize illegality of, the military occupation Palestine, the of with specificregardto the Separation Territories. is from the dedicated It and Wall underconstruction Israelin the OccupiedPalestinian by groupHumanRightsWatchand local monitoring reliablework of organizations suchasinternational Israelihumanrights groupB'Tselem, amongnumerous others,that I learnedof my þartly-owned) and company's bulldozersplayrngsucha critical role in the maintenance facilitationof theseillegal activities. participationandusageof company know of the unequivocal What'smore, the companyexecutives productsin the abovecrimes,which comeat the executives'sanction approval.HumanRights and Watchhaswritten to our CEO Jim Owensurgrngthe companyto divesttheir holdingsin the Israeli govemment until the statecomplieswith intemationallaw. The United Nationshaswritten to the particularlyconcerning the notifying themof the humanrights catastrophe company's executives potentialof massstarvationof Palestinian civilians in which the companyis frightfrrlly increasing Suchcompassionate of contributingby facilitatingmassdestruction civilian agriculturalresources. pleaswere spurned their seriousness, miserablyremissof any due regardby Mr. Owens. of and own shareholders, havepersistently urgently Most personallyupsettingof all, we, the company's that from thesecrimesby suggesting the executives direct the companymore recommended divestment havenot only failed to comply with honorablyby practicingsocialresponsibility. Caterpillarexecutives any wrongdoingin their actions.Our resolutionas eachof the abovepleas,they refuseto recognize use has, shareholders for years,continuallybeenrejectedas "an inappropriate ofcompany resources" This morally degrading illegal behavioris and it, for themto evenregardor consider substantively. That is the purpose so unacceptable, I am (asmany othersare) obligedto resortto additionalavenues. of my writing to you today. I am askingyou to fulfill your purposeas a committee"for monitoringlabor andhumanrights issues" via investments productand servicelicensingof the University of which directly concernthe business yourselves your power to disassociate from the companyin which I, Anzonaand to do everythingin - togetherwith the companyof my shareholder in constituents the Motorola andnow you, hold stake, who havebroughtsimilar resolutions beforetheir companyonly to be rejectedwith Corporation, In legal andethical disdainand disregard their own executives. light of eachcompany's by comparable leverage that my company now I believeit is only throughexactingacutebusiness intransigence, to will effectivelybe pressured comply with intemationallaw executives your power is non-bindingand that you canonly give recommendations as well While I understand - for your universityto severfinancialties with Caterpillar as hold educational forumsaboutthe issues andprinciplesno betterthanto can and Motorola, you, as a committee, fulfill your own purpose to and/or in an carefully draft andpresent official recommendation, writing, addressed your president violations which outlinesthe contextand circumstances the companies' of universityboardof directors, and how the universitycanbenefitby divestingdirectly from both, while publicly statingtheir reasons. to Justas in the caseagainstthe RussellCorporationearlierthis year aboutwhich I was pleased hear
in Coalition (SFC) role with the students Sweatshop-Free how your committeeplayedan instrumental the andthe University Communityfor HumanRights (UCHR) in persuading Universityto divestits own criminal activitiesin Honduras. because that company's of holdingsin Russellgoodsand services The fact that Russellendedup doing exactlywhat they indicatedtime and time againwas "impossible" by in for them to do (namelyproviding reparations, fuIl, that were demanded the victims of Russell's all is criminal practices), powerfully instructive,and attests the more clearly to the effrcacyof initiatives. universitydivestment to At this point, allow me a word aboutmy connection the University ofArizona, which drawsall my concemsto a headin a numberof ways.Today,living in Tucson,particularlynearthe university,I have many cultural and othereventsthat haveprofited immenselyfrom the innovation enjoyedfrequenting faculty and staff. I alsosupporta numberof initiativesled by energetic and creativityof its students, Amnesty as in andpassionate students suchcampusorganizations MEChA, Voicesof Opposition, of I ardentsupporter the passionate International, and Students Justicein Palestine. am an especially for persistence, and gratefulfor their honorable work, dedication, in students UCHR. I am tremendously exceeding scrutinyin this matter. admirer,andneighborof the university,then,I feel I havea culturaland social As a supporter, and in investment its intellectual,educational sociallyimportantfuture and sharein the hopeof its missionandprinciples. enornous a Therefore, feel impelledto write to you with burningurgencyconcerning no-less-than I humanrights crisis your universityfacestoday,as it hasfor the manyyearsthat it hasbeenassociated while they'vebeencommittedto the most graveand grim of humanrights abuses. with both companies On not Your universityis already neutralin thesematters. this issue,thereis no suchthing asneutrality. quo, and in the caseof the UniversityofArizona, To remain"neutral" is to be on the sideof the st¿tus practicallyand symbolically,by direct investment of the statusquo is to supportthe occupation, licensingagreements. You havea powerful choice- both as an institutionand as individualsthat comprisethe institutionconstituents and not to be implicatedin the crimesof my company, of the companyof my shareholder in Motorola.True,you carulotcontrol eachwhat Caterpillaror Motorola does;you cannotcontrol what does;but you canensure the U.S. government does;you cannotcontrolwhat the Israeli govemment that your universityholds true to its own principlesandhasno part in the responsibilityof what as intemationallaw designates fourth-partyculpability violationsof intemationalhumanrights and law. humanitarian of UCHR monitoringgroup;they haveinformedme very I havemet with representation the student-led informationI haveleamed as thoroughlyon the situationon campus, well as on someof the supportive providedby the work of humanrights andhumanitarian and haveincludedin this letter,mainly of I my delightto hearthat you, asmembers the organizations. would like to express supreme who havebroughtthis matterto your attentionin the committee,arein full supportof the students to suggestions them beginningof this schoolyear;that you havebeengiving thoughtfuland considered carefuland alongthe way which haveinvolved continuallyfollowing up on this matter,conducting in rangeof avenues orderto ensurea investigations, coveringa wide, yet concentrated, and considered legitimateandjust resolutionat the end. well-earned, today. I believethat end to be nearif vou makethis recommendation
everythingyou havesuggested, that I also understand over the pasttwo monthsthey haveresearched you followed up with everysingleperson/department haveurged,andwaitedpatientlythroughoutthe all of process theirsandyours- in orderto encompass shadows possibledoubt. investigation for actionon your part.Your official recommendation and But now is the time for dedicated determined with CaterpillarandMotorola will relationships to divestits conffactual the University ofArizona and off, to follow suit andto lend their support pavethe way for other groups,on campus undoubtedly justice in this matter.Like your recommendation to the cause upholdingthe rule of law and pursuing of this from the RussellCorporation year; like that setthe stagefor the University of Arizona'sdivestment referredto above;like the ICJ'sJune 1971advisoryopinionwhich the historic 2004 advisoryopinion SouthAfrica's the that the world is "under obligationto recognize illegality" of apartheid maintained with the ofNamibia, "and to refrain from any actsand in particularany dealings occupation to of South Affica," including "lending supportor assistance" it; like the 155universities Govemment like that compliedwith the ICJ'sruling and divestedover the period 1977-1988; the Churchof England (suchas,but millions of dollarsfrom companies andHampshireCollege,which this year divested of certainlynot limited to, specificallyCaterpillarandlorMotorola,)profiting from the occupation or which havepassed remainas starkoptionsto for the bold resolutions divestment like Palestine; in profîteeringof the above(andgreater)companies the most completeextent wield againstoccupation Church(USA), United MethodistChurch possibleby ethicalsynodsand councilsof the Presbyterian (USA), New EnglandConference the United MethodistChurch(USA), United Churchof Christ, of other student body, andnumerous the World Council of Churches, London Schoolof Economics groupsaroundthe world. unions,and faith-based institutions,tradeunions,teacher educational but for Clearly,you arenot alonein this recommendation divestment at the heelsof a global movement justice and equalityunderthe law and for universalhumanrights. for throughouthistory runningthroughthe currentmoment,provethat divestment Theseaboveexamples powerful shieldandblunt instrumentagainstinjustice.And relativeto what the modelswork as a yours is not a risky decision.It is victims face everyday underthe brunt terror of military occupation, simply the decentdecisionto divest. decision. in It is clea¡that you haveall the ingredients your handsto makea well-informed,responsible you madethe right choice You madethe right choicein the caseagainstRussell,asmanybefore maintainagainstthe illegal and immoral againstracist SouthAfrica, as many currentlycourageously I hopeyou will makethe right choicetoday. of occupation Palestine. 'Warm Regards, Nancy Fleck Myers
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