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Announcement :: Civil & Human Rights

The Courage of Rachel Corrie

What you can do:

Give to the Rachel Corrie Memorial Fund, a fund set up by Evergreen and Rachel’s parents to allow future students the opportunity to enjoy the unique educational experience Rachel found at Evergreen. (
The Courage of Rachel Corrie

A letter from Denis M. McCarthy, M.D.

Alum of The Evergreen State College, Class of 1993

These are sad and desperate times. Global militarism is presented with all the glitz and technical details of the newest XBOX video game while issues of hunger, human rights, and environmental degradation don’t make it on to CNN. Recently, the world lost a pure and courageous soul, a twenty-three year old woman who faced oblivion because of what she knew was the right thing to do. Despite her murder and her heroism, the "shock and awe" of a new war in Iraq threaten to bury Rachel Corrie’s story beneath layers of advancing armored divisions, "smart bomb" detonations, and political spin.

Rachel Corrie was a student from Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. On March 16th, Rachel was crushed to death by bulldozer of the Israeli Defense Forces while protesting against the destruction of Palestinian homes in Rafah, a city in the Gaza Strip. From the sequence of pictures of this horrific event, you can see her standing in clear view of the bulldozer driver wearing bright orange jacket and shouting into her megaphone ( Her death was no accident nor was it a result of a death wish. Witnesses describe the bulldozer dumping a load of dirt onto her, knocking her down. The machine was then driven over her despite the pleas of the bystanders. Then the bulldozer backed up, crushing her again.

The bulldozer, a Caterpillar, was made in America and paid for by all of us.

Rachel was an activist and organizer since childhood. The words of her parents, Craig and Cindy Corrie, describe where she came from:

"We have raised all our children to appreciate the beauty of the global community and family and are proud that Rachel was able to live her convictions. Rachel was filled with love and a sense of duty to her fellow man, wherever they lived. And, she gave her life trying to protect those that are unable to protect themselves."

A statement from her parents about her murder can be read at:

The words of Peter Bohmer, one of her college professors, describes her skill for organizing:

"Rachel was a very reflective person who constantly thought about how to link together various groups working for justice, e.g., the labor movement and the peace movement. She volunteered at the Evergreen Labor Center and played a major role in organizing a conference dealing with networking and strategies for justice and peace last spring, 2002. Another major concern of hers was to involve the local Olympia community that was not connected to Evergreen to the anti-war and economic and social justice issues and groups."

Rachel was not afraid to lay her commitment on the line. So few of us have this kind of bravery in our country with its considerable, though diminishing comforts. We must not let her shining star fade into the dark smoke and gloom of war. We must use her memory and her story as an inspiration for a brighter, more enlightened future.

What you can do:

Give to the Rachel Corrie Memorial Fund, a fund set up by Evergreen and Rachel’s parents to allow future students the opportunity to enjoy the unique educational experience Rachel found at Evergreen. ( )

Write your Senators and Representatives! ( Tell them that you want a full, international investigation of the murder of Rachel Corrie by the Israeli Defense Forces. Tell them you want to stop sending military aid to Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine.

Through our collective efforts, we can turn this tragedy into a turning point for peace.

"I am just beginning to learn, from what I expect to be a very intense tutelage, about the ability of people to organize against all odds, and to resist against all odds."

--Rachel Corrie, from an email from Palestine, February 7, 2003

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Re: The Courage of Rachel Corrie

I don't want to see any inappropriate comments on this thread. If you disagree with Rachel's mission post elsewhere. Do not disrespect this individual and do not disrespect Dr. McCarthy. There will be consequences. Thank you for excercising restraint and tact.

Plymouth Street Neighborhood Council

Rachel, R.I.P.

Photos in support of Dr. McCarthy's statement.
Reiteration: Please respect this thread. Antagonistic remarks are inappropriate and will not be taken lightly. Thank you in advance for your consideration and silence.
-Plymouth Street Neighborhood Council

Coming Up on Two Year Anniversary of this statement - still true.

Press Release from the Parents of Rachel Corrie

19 March 2003

Our daughter Rachel, a volunteer with the International Solidarity Movement in the Occupied Territories, died Sunday in the Gaza Strip while courageously trying to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian home. Our loss is immense, but we are buoyed by the outpouring of support and love that we’ve received from around the world. We understand that Rachel is being remembered in many places in many beautiful ways, and we are grateful. We are comforted and heartened by the compassionate expressions of love that we have received from both Palestinian and Israeli people. We will forever remember and be thankful for Rachel’s ISM and Palestinian friends who cared for her and who held her for us as she died.

We are speaking out today because of Rachel’s fears about the impact of a war with Iraq on the people in the Occupied Territories. She reported to us that her Palestinian friends were afraid that with all eyes on Iraq, the Israeli Defense Forces would escalate activity in the Occupied Territories. Rachel wanted to be in Gaza if that happened.

In the last six weeks, Rachel became our eyes and ears for Rafah, a city at the southern tip of Gaza. Now that she’s no longer there, we are asking members of Congress and, truly, all the world to watch and listen.

One week ago I came rather timidly to members of Rachel’s delegation in Congress, expressing my concerns for the safety of those in the International Solidarity Movement. A piece of me wonders if I had spoken louder or sooner, if this week’s tragedy might have been averted. So today I am speaking up in memory of my daughter and on behalf of all her friends in Gaza.

We are greatly concerned for the non-violent internationals volunteering in the Occupied Territories. We ask that members of Congress call upon the Israeli government to cease harassment of these individuals and, specifically, to cease firing upon them when they are engaged in protecting the Palestinian water supply, protecting Palestinian homes from illegal demolitions, and retrieving bodies of murdered Palestinians for return to their families – all events Rachel witnessed.

In my last phone conversation with Rachel, she expressed that when we fail to support and protect the Internationals who resist non–violently, we also undercut the non-violent initiatives of the Palestinians. We are, therefore, asking our members of Congress to demand that the American Embassy in Tel Aviv, when called upon for assistance, provide all reasonable support to non-violent, American volunteers in the Occupied Territories, as well as support to other internationals as appropriate.

We are asking members of Congress to bring the U.S. government’s attention back to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis and to recognize that the occupation of the Palestinian territories is an overwhelming and continuous act of collective violence against the Palestinian people. We ask that military aid to Israel be commensurate with its efforts to end its occupation of the Palestinian Territories and to adhere to the rules of international law.

Rachel would not want her death to overshadow that of others. In barely glancing at headlines since word came of Rachel’s death, I note that many have died this week in the Occupied Territories – one a four-year-old child. I would like to be able to hold the mother of that child and to have her hold me.

Yesterday, I looked at a publication entitled "Who Will Save the Children?" with photos of children who have died since September 2000 in Israel and in the Occupied Territories. I understand that the next publication will be dedicated to Rachel and will include her photograph.

I want the mothers of these children to know that I have looked at the beaming faces of each of their babies and that I know how much the world has lost with the passing of each one of them.

In one of her e-mails Rachel wrote, "Today as I walked on top of the rubble where homes once stood, Egyptian soldiers called to me from the other side of the border, ‘Go! Go!’ because a tank was coming. Followed by waving and "what’s your name?" There is something disturbing about this friendly curiosity. It reminded me of how much, to some degree, we are all kids curious about other kids: Egyptian kids shouting at strange women wandering into the path of tanks. Palestinian kids shot from the tanks when they peek out from behind walls to see what’s going on. International kids standing in front of tanks with banners. Israeli kids in the tanks anonymously, occasionally shouting - and also occasionally waving – many forced to be here, many just aggressive, shooting into the houses as we wander away." How I wish that the young man in the bulldozer that killed Rachel could have just stopped, hopped out, and talked to her. He would have met a beautiful soul.

In another e-mail, Rachel wrote, "This has to stop. I think it is a good idea for us all to drop everything and devote our lives to making this stop. I don’t think it’s an extremist thing to do anymore. I really want to dance around to Pat Benatar and have boyfriends and make comics for my co-workers. But I also want this to stop. Disbelief and horror is what I feel. Disappointment. I am disappointed that this is the base reality of our world and that we, in fact, participate in it. This is not at all what I asked for when I came into this world. This is not at all what the people here asked for when they came into this world. This is not what they are asking for now. This is not the world you and Dad wanted me to come into when you decided to have me."

Rachel’s brutal death illustrates dramatically the madness of war.

Craig and Cindy Corrie


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