Committee wants city to divest in Caterpillar

Portland’s Socially Responsible Investments Committee activists said Caterpillar supports the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

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“Caterpillar is the model of corporate bad behavior,” said committee member Hyung Nam, who is also a teacher at Wilson High School. “As for the issue with their bulldozers: this is a military weapon that was designed for military purposes —not for tractors. It’s been used to destroy Palestinian homes and infrastructures. They’re clearly not responding to criticism for developing a military weapon.”

(READ MORE: Willamette Week)

City officials disagreed with the divestment in an October meeting with The Human Rights Commission.

The Human Rights Commission endorsed pulling Portland money from Caterpillar but the decision prompted two members of the HRC, who later said they didn’t understand what they were supporting, to renounce their votes. Mayor Charlie Hales said he didn’t support the move. The Jewish Federation of Greater Portland railed against it. So did Oregon Treasurer Ted Wheeler, who’s running for Portland mayor, and U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Portland).

(READ MORE: Willamette Week)

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