One week ago Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights and The Rachel Corrie Foundation, along with many other groups and individuals, went to UW’s graduation at CenturyLink field to ask students to join us in addressing speaker Jon Huntsman to take the opportunity of his position on the board of Caterpillar Inc to stop sales of CAT machines to Israel until a guarantee of respect for human rights and humanitarian law is obtained.
With volunteers from Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, Voices for Palestine, St. Mark’s Mideast Focus Group, and many other people, we handed out over 3000 flyers with the open letter to Jon Huntsman. That letter had 139 signatures from alumni, faculty, and community organizations local, national, and international.
Many people took the flyers inside with them. Several also stayed outside to talk to us and have their photos taken holding a sign repeating the request to Jon Huntsman.
We know that Huntsman’s office has been made aware of our request for a meeting, as they have been in touch with us. While we did not meet when he was in town, SUPER and The Rachel Corrie Foundation are still in contact about a follow up phone conversation.
These things alone were our main goal: to reach out to graduating students and to address Huntsman directly. In addition to these successes we were picked up by Kiro7 and KBCS, as well as by a number of independent news and editorial blogs (such as Mondoweiss).
Our thanks to all the community organizations, individuals, student groups, faculty, alumni, and graduating seniors who made this possible.