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Rachel Corrie was a 23-year-old American peace activist born and raised in Olympia, Washington. She wrote of her home, “Studying the history of this area roots me. It makes me more conscious of myself and of people around me as actors in history. We are startled to discover that the places that we live in are important. History is motivating. We’ve certainly waded in the same water and wandered on the same beaches as very brave people. It makes bravery seem possible….I look at this place now and I just want to do right by it. The salmon beneath downtown and the people who came to drop-ins group and the creeks and the inlets and the people who were here first and my elementary school teachers and my mom.”

Rachel’s Evergreen State College professor, Lin Nelson wrote, “…Rachel left this place which she embraced with both care and impatience and went to another place that she had been carefully learning about, to make the community-to-community connections that she valued so much and was so good at. As Rachel said, she just wanted to do right by it.”

On March 16, 2003, Rachel Corrie was crushed to death by an Israeli military Caterpillar D9 bulldozer, as she engaged in nonviolent direct action in Rafah, Gaza. Rachel stood to protect the home of a Palestinian family from demolition. She had written, “I think it’s important for people who oppose war and repression to speak about who we are as a community in addition to speaking about war and racism and injustice. We are not outside. I think it’s important that human rights and resistance to oppression be included in the way we define ourselves as a community…”

Please use this space to share your reflections on Rachel’s work and the struggle of the people of Palestine.

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