‘My name is Rachel Corrie’ is the title of the play
running in London’s theaters tracing the journey of Rachel Corrie from
comfortable American home to death in a Gaza refugee camp paints the
young peace activist.

The 23-year-old, member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM)
was killed on March 16, 2003 trying to stop an Israeli Army bulldozer
from demolishing a Palestinian home in the Rafah camp in the Gaza
strip. A personal testimony, the show makes no pretence of impartiality.

Corrie’s death made her a hero of the four-year-old Palestinian
Intifada, while some critics attacked her as naive, an idiot and a

{mosimage}But far from being a political rant, ‘My Name is
Rachel Corrie,’ directed by British actor Alan Rickman, paints a
personal portrait, using Corrie’s emails and diaries to reveal a poetic
writer brimming with ideas, energy and quirky humor.

‘I think it is a good idea for us all to drop everything and devote our
lives to making this stop. I don’t think it’s an extremist thing to do
anymore,’ Megan Dodds in the title role says – words from the last
email Corrie wrote her mother.

‘We were just trying to show who she was and present her fairly,
neither as a saint nor a traitor,’ Katharine Viner, a journalist at The
Guardian newspaper who edited Corrie’s writings with Rickman, told

‘Some of her writing is very poetic and profound and you think ‘God
this was a really good writer and she could’ve written lots of great
stuff had she lived.” The show at London’s Royal Court Theater runs to
the end of April and is already sold out.

Political theater in London is enjoying resurgence in popularity, partly fueled by public opposition to the Iraq war.

Plays like last year’s ‘Guantanamo,’ about prisoners at the U.S. naval base, have enjoyed big success.

Reviews of ‘My Name is Rachel Corrie’ were generally positive, although
The Times broadsheet said some scenes offered only a one-sided
portrayal of the Middle East conflict, calling them ‘unvarnished

‘I’ve got a fire in my belly,’ Corrie pronounces near the start of the
show, which opens in her messy bedroom in the town of Olympia,
Washington and ends among the bullet-pocked houses and rubble of Rafah.

That fire kept Corrie scribbling plans, dreams and opinions constantly in her diary as well as obsessively making lists.

Her philosophical musings on death, faithless boyfriends and improving
the world become urgent, intense dispatches to friends and family after
she arrives in the Middle East in January 2003.

Corrie’s parents, in London to see Rickman’s show, described it as an authentic portrait of their daughter.

‘It helps to explain what took her to Rafah, it very powerfully
explains what she found there,’ Corrie’s mother Cindy told Reuters.

The Corries are suing Caterpillar Inc., the company which manufactures
the type of bulldozer used by the Israeli Army in Gaza, for damages,
accusing Caterpillar of ‘war crimes.’

The Caterpillar shareholders have recently rejected a petition
demanding the company to stop selling its products to Israel as long as
they are used to violate human rights.

Corrie had several prescient dreams about her death. In her last email
home she writes: ‘Mom. I have bad nightmares about tanks and bulldozers
outside our house and you and me inside.’ An Israeli military
investigation concluded Corrie’s death was an accident, when a concrete
wall fell on her.

Eyewitnesses and photographs taken at the scene, falsify the Israeli
military claims.  Activists in the United States are trying to get
congressmen signatures on a petition to run a criminal investigation in
Corrie’s death.

Last week, Israel’s Army cleared an officer of any wrongdoing in the
killing of a young British cameraman James Miller in May 2003.

Lawsuit against soldier who killed another British ISM activist Tom Hurndall in April 2003 is still in force. 

Hurndall was shot in the head by an Israeli sniper in Rafah very close
to the place where Corrie was ran over with the bulldozer.

Initial military investigation concluded that Hurndall was shot because
he was armed and wearing camouflaged uniform.  Footage taken by
other ISM activists proves that he was not armed and was wearing a
florescent jacket.  Eyewitnesses also said there were no clashes
at all when Hurndall was shot.  Hurndall went into coma for nine
months before he died in a London hospital in January 2004.

The International Solidarity Movement is a Palestinian-led initiative
through which peace activists from all over the world go to Palestine
to join the Palestinians in their nonviolent resistance to the Israeli

The movement was established in the year 2000, shortly after the second Intifada started.