The parents of Rachel Corrie and former congressman Brian Baird are among speakers at an event inside the state Capitol this afternoon, marking the 10-year anniversary of Corrie’s death in Israel. Corrie was crushed by an Israeli bulldozer while protesting actions against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in March 2003.
Corrie was acting as a human shield against the military efforts to demolish Palestinian homes. An Israeli court in Haifa ruled last August that the death was accidental, and the judge denied the family’s request to reopen the investigation into the death and to award Corrie’s family $1 in symbolic damages.
The event today is in the Columbia Room from 4 to 5:30 p.m.
Corrie’s parents, Cindi and Craig Corrie, have battled Israeli authorities since the death, and Baird, a congressman in the 3rd Congressional District until 2010, assisted the Corries. He also made trips to the Gaza Strip.
Information in an email sent today by Cindi Corrie says the event is a briefing “to address the 10-year quest for justice in Rachel Corrie’s case” and it calls for accountability in the use of U.S. taxpayers’ money to support Israel.
During the trial, the Israeli bulldozer driver, who was never identified, said he did not see Corrie standing in front of his vehicle. He ran over the young women, then backed up and drove over her a second time, witnesses said.
Activists testified that the driver must have seen Corrie, wearing a fluorescent orange vest. They said it appeared Corrie became trapped in the dirt and debris and was unable to escape.
An Israeli military investigation blamed Corrie and other activists for putting themselves in harm’s way. The inquiry suggested that the bulldozer was not directly responsible for her death and that she might have been fatally injured after falling into concrete and other debris.
No charges or disciplinary actions were brought against anyone involved. U.S. officials raised questions about whether the inquiry was credible.
The family argued in court that the military should have suspended the bulldozing operations until the civilian protesters had been removed from the area.
The event is sponsored by the Rachel Corrie Foundation, Jewish Voice for Peace-Tacoma, Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation, Veterans for Peace Chapter 109 and other groups.