- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 18, 2003

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) Within hours of being crushed by an Israeli bulldozer, Rachel Corrie became a martyr and hero for the peace activists of her hometown.
Candles burned and bitter tears flowed as several hundred people gathered Sunday evening in a waterfront park in this small, liberal city.
Mourners held photocopied pictures of Miss Corrie, 23, a student at Evergreen State College in Olympia, who died Sunday in Gaza trying to stop the bulldozer from tearing down a Palestinian physician's home. She fell in front of the machine, which ran over her and then backed up, witnesses said.
The caption under the picture was "Peacemaker," while a hand-lettered banner read: "Rachel, your courage, your spirit of resistance and your joy for life will inspire us always to stand for peace and justice." Mourners put flowers on a mock coffin draped with a Palestinian head-cloth.
Her friends called on the United States to stop aiding Israel and avoid war in Iraq.
"Rachel shouldered the responsibility that her government would not bear," said Krissy Johnson, 24. "She was killed by a bulldozer paid for by U.S. tax dollars. In her name, we say: Stop the killing."
In an e-mail earlier this month, Miss Corrie described a Feb. 14 confrontation with another Israeli bulldozer in which she referred to herself and other activists as "internationals."
"The internationals stood in the path of the bulldozer and were physically pushed with the shovel backwards, taking shelter in a house," Miss Corrie wrote in the e-mail, distributed in a March 3 news release by the International Solidarity Movement.
A few months before her death, Corrie was organizing events as an activist in Olympia's peace movement and at Evergreen, a small campus known for its devotion to liberal causes.
Through a local group called Olympians for Peace in the Middle East, she joined the International Solidarity Movement, a Palestinian-led group of international activists working to raise awareness of the struggle for Palestinian freedom and to end Israeli occupation through nonviolent measures.

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