Today is March 16th, 2010 and although this day may not carry a sentimental value for some, it carries the lasting memory of a true hero for many others. Today is considered Rachel Corrie Day in many peoples’ minds across the world.
Rachel Corrie was a non-violent peace activist fighting for Palestinian human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Exactly 7 years ago, she was killed by an Caterpillar bulldozer operated by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) while trying to prevent the IDF from demolishing the home of a local Palestinian pharmacist, Samir Nasrallah. She was 23 years old at the time.
Rachel had taken a year off from school to travel to the Gaza Strip during the Second Intifada to help the helpless in the Palestine. She used her body (and her life) as a shield against the unjustified oppression carried out by the state of Israel, on the Palestinian people. Since her death, many solidarity actions take place around the world on this, the Rachel Corrie Day of Conscience.
Just last week, her family, after waiting 7 years, has finally received its day in an Israeli court to hear the testimonies of those present at her killing, and hopefully receive the justice they deserve by placing accountability on those responsible. They also understand that this is an opportunity that hundreds and thousands of Palestinians never receive, every day. We wish them all the best in their quest for peace and justice for their daughter, for the Palestinian people, as well as all oppressed peoples around the world.
On this day of conscience, I’m thinking about the bravery and courage of the young Rachel Corrie, and how her story should inspire us all to always do what is right in the face of oppression, regardless of our fears and uncertainties about the future. On this day, we keep the memory of Rachel alive.
In honor of her memory, I’d like to share a video of a speech Rachel gave when she was in the 5th grade. It is truly heartwarming, inspiring, and a clear predictor of her heroic nature as an adult.
[youtube UK8Z3i3aTq4 Rachel Corrie – I’m Here Because I Care]
To learn more about Rachel Corrie and her family’s ongoing law suit, please visit the Rachel Corrie Foundation.
To find out about solidarity actions taking place in your area, or to register your action, please visit the GFM Rachel Corrie page.
To learn more about what you can do to stop Caterpillar from selling bulldozers to Israel, to be used as military weapons, please visit the GFM Caterpillar page.
May Rachel always be remembered in the hearts and minds of all people around the world. May she be a constant reminder of the courage and bravery needed to fight for freedom and justice and against evil and oppression. And may she be granted the infinite love and mercy of the Almighty.