Bristol’s Broadmead shopping district will see activists host a tour of it – focusing on companies that are complicit in Israel’s ongoing genocide and war crimes in Gaza and the Occupied Territories. Organisers are inviting the public to join them on Saturday 30 December as they visit companies like Barclays and Pret A Manger.
Bristol: in an alliance with Palestine
As the Canary previously reported, Bristol Palestine Alliance was formed in response to the horrific events happening in Gaza. Acting as an umbrella group, it brings members from organisations and groups and communities in the city together to respond collectively to organise marches and other events to call for a ceasefire in Gaza and an end to Israel’s brutal occupation of Palestine. It is based on the network of solidarity that has been successfully built in this city over many years.
Most recently, the group organised a protest outside a Labour Christmas buffet and quiz. In attendance at this party were local Bristol politicians. As the Canary previously wrote, they included:
Thangam Debbonaire (MP for Bristol West), together with Dan Norris (Labour West of England Mayor), Clare Moody (Labour Police and Crime Commissioner), plus local Labour councillors…
Local people are shocked that in November their MP Debbonaire, together with the three other Bristol Labour MPs, abstained from the vote for a ceasefire on Gaza. In addition, Dan Norris is known to be a member of “Labour Friends of Israel”.
Now, Bristol Palestine Alliance is taking its action one step further.
A walking tour of boycott in Broadmead
The group has announced a “Boycott Tour of Broadmead” 30 December.
The event starts at 10.30am at the Podium outside Barclays Bank BS1 3EA in Broadmead and is described as a “tour of stores and businesses people may wish to avoid”. Supporters are asked to bring whistles, drums, musical instruments, and children’s toys to make some noise.
People are utterly horrified at the slaughter being inflicted on the people of Gaza and feel they want to try to stop it. The aim of this tour is to explain how people can help by boycotting Israel products and companies that financially support Israel.
They go on to say:
People will be shocked that Barclays Bank invests over a billion pounds in the Israeli Arms Industry! That SodaStream is manufactured in settlements in the West Bank that are illegal under International Law! That Pret A Manger are planning to roll-out new restaurants in the West Bank settlements. That McDonalds and Burger King are supplying take-away dinners to Israeli soldiers killing innocent civilians in Gaza. And that many supermarkets sell products that support the Israeli economy.
Different group in Bristol have already done protests against specific sites in Bristol including the Arnolfini, AXA, Starbucks, Barclays Bank, Zara, and McDonalds. However, this is the first time all the targets have been joined-up into one tour.
An ‘educational’ event
Our aim definitely isn’t to disrupt the public. We see this as an educational tour. We aim to inform people how they can avoid supporting the Israel’s war machine with their purses and wallets.
They go on to say:
Due to hard work by campaigners over many years there have already been some great successes! Five years ago, HSBC bank dropped over three million pounds worth of shares in Elbit, an Israeli arms company. Plus, they pulled out over eight hundred million pounds from companies that provide technology to the Israeli military, such as Rolls Royce and BAE Systems.
Elbit Systems is one of Israel’s largest arms manufacturers, notorious for its deadly drones used in attacks on Palestinian civilians and marketed abroad as ‘combat proven’. The company has also manufactured white phosphorous and artillery systems that can be used for cluster munitions.
BDS for Palestine in Bristol
Just earlier this month PUMA, under relentless pressure from consumers, announced it was ending its sponsorship for the Israel Football Association because it includes teams from the illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.”
People can find out more about the movement for Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) which works to end international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and to apply pressure on Israel to comply with international law. https://bdsmovement.net/
Organisers also say “there’s even an app people can down-load to their phones called WATERMELON which they can use to check products while they’re shopping”.
Bristol Palestine Alliance hope to see people at 10:30am on Saturday.
Featured image via Visit Bristol