Trimet Bus Ad Campaign Links Rights Violations at Standing Rock & Palestine


December 7, 2016

Media Contacts:  email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for Curt Bell or Rod Such 

Occupation-Free Portland Begins Ad Campaign on Trimet Buses Ads Link Rights Violations at Standing Rock and Palestine

Occupation-Free Portland, a coalition of faith, social justice and peace organizations, today announced the launch of an ad campaign on Trimet buses serving the Portland, Oregon, metropolitan area. The ad reads, “Portland: Divest from Caterpillar. Caterpillar Violates Human Rights from Standing Rock to Palestine.” The ad shows a photograph of a Caterpillar bulldozer that was used to desecrate a sacred burial site on land promised to the Standing Rock Sioux nation by an 1851 treaty. It also shows a photograph of a Palestinian child left in the ruins of her home demolished by a Caterpillar bulldozer.

“We wanted to show that Caterpillar is complicit in serious human rights violations that are contrary to Portland’s Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) policy,” said Maxine Fookson, a member of Jewish Voice for Peace and the steering committee of Occupation-Free Portland.

The ad campaign comes as Portland’s City Council prepares to vote on December 15 on whether the city will continue to invest in Caterpillar. Since 2014, the city has invested more than $110 million in commercial paper issued by Caterpillar.

In October, the city’s Socially Responsible Investments Committee (SRIC) issued its final report to the City Council and found Caterpillar in “violation of Sioux’s human rights” and Palestinian human rights. The SRIC called out findings by the United Nations Human Rights Council showing that Caterpillar’s D9 bulldozer was used by the Israeli military to violate UN agreements and to carry out “attacks on civilians.”

The SRIC is a volunteer committee that advises the city on its investments and recommends that companies be placed on the Do-Not-Buy list if they breach the criteria established under the SRI policy. The committee found that Caterpillar violated six of the seven criteria, including extreme tax avoidance and harm to the environment in addition to human rights.

“Portland has rightly condemned the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and issued an official proclamation supporting the Standing Rock Sioux,” noted Rod Such, another member of the OFP steering committee. “It makes no sense to invest in a company that is helping build the pipeline you’ve just condemned. It makes no sense to ban investments in fossil fuel companies, as Portland did earlier this year, and yet put $110 million into a company that specializes in extracting fossil fuels.” Caterpillar’s Oil and Gas Division sells and leases portable generators used for fracking shale oil, and seven Caterpillar dealers directly leased 250 earth excavators to the company building DAPL.

Caterpillar’s D9 bulldozer is sold to the Israeli military through the U.S. military sales program and is weaponized by a Caterpillar subsidiary in Israel. Numerous human rights and faith organizations, including Human Rights Watch, United Church of Christ and Presbyterian USA, have called on Caterpillar for more than a decade to cease these sales. Since 1967 Caterpillar bulldozers have been used to destroy more than 12,000 Palestinian homes and businesses, leaving more than 50,000 Palestinians homeless in blatant violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which both Israel and the United States have ratified.

The bus ad campaign began on Nov. 29, coinciding with the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The campaign is scheduled to run for one month. The ad was developed in collaboration with the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC) and was cosponsored by Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights, a Portland-based group, and Jewish Voice for Peace-Portland Chapter. Photos of the ad are available upon request.

Occupation-Free Portland (OFP) is a coalition of faith, peace, and social justice groups working for human rights, justice, and equality in Israel/Palestine.




Tell the City of Portland: Stop Investing in Destruction!

Click Here to sign Enlace's Petition!

On December 15, the Portland City Council will vote on whether to stop investing in the banks financing private prisons and the Dakota Access Pipeline, and Caterpillar for its destruction of indigenous land and involvement in human rights abuses in Standing Rock and Palestine.

The companies involved in destroying our communities are the same. Our struggles are united. Join us in raising a single voice to City Council: uphold human rights and add Wells Fargo, Caterpillar, JPMorgan Chase, HSBC, and Bank of NY Mellon to the city's do-not-buy list.

As taxpayers and residents in the City of Portland, we demand that the City immediately stop our investments in the finance industry and Caterpillar that are complicit in tearing apart our families and criminalizing our communities, destroying Palestinian communities, desecrating sacred lands and indigenous sovereignty, and threatening all of our water.

Click Here to sign Enlace's Petition!

How Israeli Settlements Stifle Palestine’s Economy

Israel is marshaling pro-Israel forces in Europe as well as in the US against the European Union’s recently issued guidelines on labeling some of its settlement products, for fear that this will lead to stronger measures. Al-Shabaka’s Nur Arafeh, Samia al-Botmeh and Leila Farsakh debunk Israel’s arguments both as regards the impact on the Palestinian economy as well as on Palestinian workers.

Read More

Suddenly It’s Okay to Be pro-Israel and anti-Semitic

When friendship for Israel is judged solely on the basis of support for the occupation, Israel has no friends other than racists and nationalists.

All of a sudden it’s not so terrible to be anti-Semitic. Suddenly it’s excusable as long as you hate Muslims and Arabs and “love Israel.” The Jewish and Israeli right has issued a sweeping amnesty to anti-Semitic lovers of Israel – yes, there is such a thing, and they’re en route to taking power in the United States.

So now we know: Not just pornography but also anti-Semitism is a matter of geography and price. Right-wing American anti-Semites are no longer considered anti-Semites.

The definition has been updated: From now on, anti-Semites are only found on the left. Roger Waters, a courageous man of conscience without stain, is an anti-Semite. Steve Bannon, a declared racist and closet anti-Semite who has been appointed chief strategist in the Trump White House, is a friend of Israel.

Read more: Suddenly It’s Okay to Be pro-Israel and anti-Semitic

Associated Students of Portland State University Pass Divestment Resolution In Support of Palestinian Human Rights

October 26, 2016
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Associated Students of Portland State University Pass Divestment Resolution In Support of Palestinian Human Rights

Portland, OR (October 26, 2016)— The student senate of the Associated Students of Portland State University (ASPSU) passed a resolution earlier this week brought forward by Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights (SUPER). The resolution calls on the university to divest from Israeli apartheid by an overwhelming vote of 22-2, with 1 abstention.

The resolution was passed after seven years of work by SUPER, which presented to the student senate. The central focus of the resolution is to prohibit investment in four corporations complicit in the oppression of Palestinians: Hewlett-Packard, Motorola Solutions, G4S and Caterpillar.  Hewlett-Packard provides biometric ID systems to the Israeli military that enables discriminatory treatment of Palestinians, playing a similar role that Polaroid did in apartheid South Africa. Motorola provides surveillance and communication systems supporting Israel's occupation and illegal settlements. G4Sprovides systems and support for Israel's imprisonment of political prisoners and children under unjust military rule. Caterpillar provides militarized bulldozers, which are complicit with numerous human rights violations and are used to destroy Palestinian homes, orchards, and civilian infrastructure.

It was resolved that the ASPSU call on Portland State University to divest any current and future holdings in the companies mentioned above, and any other company deemed to profit from human rights violations against Palestinians. Furthermore, the resolution more specially resolved, "that the Associated Students of Portland State University ASPSU calls on the University to put in place an internal investment screen which prohibits investment in any company that provides weapons or equipment used for violent acts that target either Israeli or Palestinian civilians; provides equipment used for the displacement of Palestinians from their homes or the construction and maintenance of illegal and unethical Israeli government authorized settlements; or supplies equipment used for the construction or maintenance of the Separation Wall in the West Bank and Jerusalem.”

The passing of this resolution means the students of Portland State University have spoken: moving forward, the university should cease investing in these companies. "These four companies aren't only responsible for human rights violations in Palestine, but all over the world," according to SUPER. "They are also involved in the U.S. prison system, immigration and human rights violations all around the globe.”

We believe in justice and equality for all people, and are proud that our campus is now on the right side of history. We hope our university’s decision may encourage others to also stand for human rights. We urge other members of the university community and other universities to pursue the same path of justice, and to continue to make history towards a free Palestine.

For more information:
Motorola Solutions:


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