- Created: Tuesday, 26 May 2009 21:02
- Written by London FRFI
As part of The Fifth International Week of Action against Israel’s Apartheid Wall between 9 and 16 November 2007 (www.stopthewall.org), protesters held a rolling picket in London raising awareness of the Apartheid Wall and calling on the public to boycott Israeli goods.
The Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign and its popular committees have called on the world to protest against the illegal occupation of Palestine. In 2004 the International Court of Justice ruled that the Apartheid Wall is illegal. Despite this, the British government has continued to support Israel economically, politically and militarily. Join the movement to boycott Israeli Apartheid.
The protest was called by Victory to the Intifada and Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!
Israel destroys Palestinian lives, livelihoods and homes daily, refuses to stop building its illegal apartheid wall, denies Palestinian refugees their right of return, grows produce and sets up industrial zones on stolen Palestinian land, and operates an apartheid, racist system against Palestinian people.
Meanwhile illegal Israeli settlements are continuing and growing, in defiance of international law. Already, 40% of the West Bank is taken up with Israeli infrastructure including settlements, outposts, roadblocks, checkpoints, military areas, nature reserves and the parts of the Apartheid Wall built so far. There are now 450,000 Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. In the last 20 years the settler population has increased by 150%.
29 September 2007 marked the seventh anniversary of the start of the second Intifada. In those seven years the Israeli Occupation Army has killed more than 4,600 Palestinians, including 967 children and has injured a further 32,000. In August 2007 alone, the Israeli Occupation Army killed 52 Palestinians, 12 of them children.
The rolling picket began at Marks & Spencer in Edgware Road. M&S is one of the biggest British corporate sponsors of Israel and the occupation of Palestine. Marks & Spencer is not just interested in trading with Israel for profit like other companies; it IS and ALWAYS has been a supporter of Israeli apartheid – ‘aiding the economic development of Israel is one of our main objectives’ (Marcus Sieff, M&S chairman, Management: The M&S Way, 1990) and sells food and clothing manufactured in colonial settlements in the illegally occupied West Bank Palestinian Territories.
The protest then moved on to Sainsbury’s in Marble Arch, calling for the public to boycott Israeli goods, and picketed Marks and Spencer’s flagship store on Oxford Street, using street theatre to demonstrate the reality of the daily brutal oppression Palestinian People face. We continued to Selfridges, which sells goods produced in Israel’s illegal settlements in the West Bank and Golan Heights. Under pressure from pro-Palestinian campaigners they initially withdrew these products from their shelves only to stock them again.
Finally a lively demonstration was held outside John Lewis because they sell Caterpillar products. Caterpillar’s armoured bulldozers have been used by the Israeli army for the destruction of thousands of Palestinian homes, schools, wells and olive groves, and have also been used in the construction of the Apartheid Wall.
The aim of the campaign to Boycott Israeli Goods is to raise awareness of the economic links between British business and Israeli Apartheid and build economic pressure on Israel to end its illegal occupation of Palestine. We aim to get people active on Britain's streets in solidarity with the Palestinian people and their national liberation struggle.
We call on the public to:
• Demand that British companies stop supporting Israel’s brutal occupation and apartheid by selling Israeli goods and goods made by companies directly involved in the destruction of Palestinian land, lives and livelihoods.
• Demand that the British Government stops supporting and funding Israeli racism.
• Join our campaign in support of the Palestinian Liberation Struggle. There is a demonstration every Thursday, 6 – 8 pm outside Marks & Spencer’s flagship store on Oxford Street (Marble Arch end), London. We urge everyone to boycott M&S as a focus of the boycott Israeli goods campaign in order to dent the profits of the British retailing company that has repeatedly stated their support for Israel and thus send a shock wave through the whole establishment.
End the Occupation of Palestine! Victory to the Intifada! Free all Palestinian Political Prisoners! Tear down the Apartheid Wall!
Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!