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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 March, 2004, 11:15 GMT
Bulldozer protesters are released
Arrested protesters being led away from the Caterpillar Perkins plant in Shrewsbury
The factory was evacuated as a precaution
Twelve protesters arrested during a demonstration at a Shrewsbury factory have been released on police bail.

The activists chained themselves to equipment at Caterpillar Perkins' site on Tuesday - one year after the death of a US peace campaigner.

The twelve, who are members of the International Solidarity Movement, said the firm made the bulldozer that killed Rachel Corrie in Israel in March 2003.

She was campaigning against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank.

The group of men and women, aged between and 19 and 44, were taken to various police stations after being arrested on suspicion of burglary.

We have neither the legal right nor the means to police individual use of that equipment
Caterpillar Perkins
Although the International Solidarity Movement said it was staging a peaceful protest, the factory was evacuated as a precaution.

A police helicopter and dog handlers were called to the scene and all the buildings at the site were searched.

A company statement issued on Tuesday said: "Caterpillar shares the world's concern over unrest in the Middle East and we certainly have compassion for all those affected by the political strife.

Rachel Corrie
Protesters said Ms Corrie was run over deliberately
"However, more than two million Caterpillar machines and engines are at work in virtually every country and region of the world each day.

"We have neither the legal right nor the means to police individual use of that equipment.

"We believe any comments on political strife in the region are best left to our governmental leaders who have the ability to impact action and advance the peace process."

Ms Corrie, 23, was crushed by an Israeli military bulldozer on 16 March 2003 as she tried to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian home at Rafah in the southern Gaza strip.

Eyewitnesses, including fellow protesters from the International Solidarity Movement for whom Ms Corrie was a volunteer, said she was clearly visible to the bulldozer operator.

An Israeli army investigation found her death was accidental.




SEE ALSO:
Israel to deploy robot bulldozers
31 Oct 03  |  Middle East
Israel calls Corrie death 'accident'
27 Jun 03  |  Middle East
Activist who died for conviction
17 Mar 03  |  Middle East
US peace activist killed in Gaza
16 Mar 03  |  Middle East


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