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Expose about two pro-Palestine activists facing court on June 28, 2012 in Perth, Australia.

Miranda Wood and Alex Bainbridge were charged with trespass for singing modified Christmas carols in December 2011. They face a two day trial beginning 28 June 2012.

Find out why Friends of Palestine boycott Seacret:
http://www.fopwa.org/2011/03/information-about-seacret-why-boycott/

Friends of Palestine WA: http://www.fopwa.org

Posted on May 7, 2012 by AlexB

The May 1, 2012 meeting of the Friends of Palestine WA has reaffirmed its support for the Max Brenner 19 – Palestine solidarity activists in Melbourne who face trial for supporting Palestinian human rights.

The activists in question took part in a July 1, 2011 protest action outside a Melbourne Central Max Brenner chocolate store. Max Brenner is Israeli owned and actively supports extreme sections of the Israeli military forces.

This means that Max Brenner is a legitimate target of the non-violent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Apartheid Israel.

Israel’s Apartheid policies include the illegal occupation of Palestine, a raft of discriminatory laws against Palestinians who hold Israeli citizenship and the refusal of right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland.

Australian authorities should be breaking their alliance with Apartheid Israel and speaking out on the international stage against Israel’s Apartheid policies instead of trying to criminalise activists who are protesting here in support of Palestinian human rights.

Friends of Palestine support for the Max Brenner 19 has been previously expressed here. We would encourage all human rights supporters to sign the statement of support here.

In a major show of support, around 200 people gathered at Melbourne’s Trades Hall building on Friday night for a public meeting entitled “Protest On Trial”. The meeting was intended to discuss the increase in police brutality towards demonstrations and the criminalisation of protesters. In particular the meeting gathered together participants from Occupy Melbourne and those on trial for protesting against Israeli owned shop Max Brenner.

Erin Buckley from the Occupy Melbourne legal team discussed the ongoing legal fallout of the police assault on protesters in Melbourne’s City Square in October last year, as well as the harassment by the Melbourne City Council and the police of Occupy protesters in Melbourne’s parks. She drew out the absurdities of the attempt to stifle legitimate dissent and made a radical critique of the way the legal system weighs on those challenging the status quo.

Jeff Sparrow highlighted the increasingly  right wing trajectory of Zionism internationally and the pattern here in Australia. He spoke about the tightening of controls of the pro- Israel establishment and their attempts to crack down on any (even mild) critique of the state. Jeff was one of the Austudy 5, who were targeted for arrest following a militant student demonstration in 1992 opposing a move from the then Labor Government to abolish Austudy and replace it with a loan. He compared the crackdown then, and now and noted the increasing aggressiveness of the state police towards protesters.

Inbal Sinai, an activist from Anarchists Against the Wall, highlighted military order 101, in force in the West Bank from 1967 until the present, which criminalizes civic activities including: organizing and participating in protests; taking part in assemblies or vigils; waving flags and other political symbols; printing and distributing political material. In addition, the order deems any acts of influencing public opinion as prohibited “political incitement”. She revealed the brutality of the Israeli state and made a compelling case for why the Palestinian political prisoners need to have our unconditional support.

Kevin Bracken, the State Secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia, pointing out the use of the “besetting” charge against picketers at an industrial dispute at Visy in 2010. He made a similar point to Jeff in suggesting that many infringements on our civil liberties are brought in slowly “If you put a frog in boiling water it will jump straight out. But if you put it in cold water and raise the temperature, it won’t notice it is boiling, and boil to death.” He urged us to maintain a vigilant attitudes to our civil liberties and the importance of ongoing mobilisation to defend them.

Inbal Sinai, an activist from Anarchists Against the Wall, highlighted military order 101, in force in the West Bank from 1967 until the present, which criminalizes civic activities including: organizing and participating in protests; taking part in assemblies or vigils; waving flags and other political symbols; printing and distributing political material. She convinced the crowd of the importance of opposing these apartheid like conditions – from Israel to Australia.

Vashti Kenway, one of the defendants in the case, discussed the civil liberties implications of the Max Brenner trial. She pointed to the collusion between the political authorities and the corporations in backing apartheid Israel. She concluded with the old union slogan ‘Touch One, Touch All’ and made the point that the attacks on Occupy and pro-Palestine protesters today would be an attack on unions and other social movements tomorrow.

Several speakers highlighted the importance of the Palestine Solidarity rally on May 18 to show that protestors were not intimidated from showing support to our brothers and sisters in Palestine.

Over $2,000 was raised for the defence fund by the auction of art works by Azlan McLennan and Van Rudd, and donations on the door.

The organisers extend a big thankyou to all those who helped make the evening a  success.

 

January 2012

February 2012

On November 12, as part of the 9th annual international week against the apartheid wall, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in Melbourne took to the streets to raise awareness about Israel’s occupation and apartheid policies.

In November 2000 Israel approved the first project to build a so- called “security barrier” — a 8 metre high wall (twice the height of
the Berlin Wall), with watch towers, electric fences, concrete walls, trenches, sensors and military patrols.

Israeli apartheid wall cuts deep into the Occupied West Bank, expanding Israel’s theft of Palestinian land and resources. In total, 85% of the Wall is located in the West Bank. When completed, the Wall and its associated regime will de facto annex some 46% of the West Bank, isolating communities into Bantustans, ghettos and “military zones”. This means that the Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, including almost 1.5 million refugees, will be encircled on only 12% of mandate Palestine.

Some 12% of Palestinians in the West Bank will be living in the closed military zone of the Jordan Valley or surrounded on three or four sides by the Wall or isolated between it and the green line. They face increasingly unbearable living conditions – the loss of land, markets, movement and livelihoods – and many will face expulsion.

More than 200,000 Palestinians living in Occupied East Jerusalem will be totally isolated from the rest of the West Bank by the apartheid wall, while 98% of the settler population will be included in the de facto annexed areas.

As of December 2010, 520 km of the planned 810 km, or 64%, had been completed. The Wall has destroyed a large amount of Palestinian farmland and usurped water supplies, including the biggest aquifer in the West Bank. With the completion of the Wall, at least 78 Palestinian villages and communities, which are home to almost 266, 500 Palestinian civilians will be isolated with a total population of 266,442 will be isolated and forced to live in ghettos.

Demand:

  • Israel dismantle its apartheid wall and illegal settlements
  • An end to Israel’s illegal siege and blockade of Gaza
  • An end to Israel’s military occupation and colonisation of all Arab lands
  • No Australian support for Israel — end all military and economic ties now!

 

More than 40 people joined a BDS campaign action at the Seacret stall in the Carousel shopping centre.

Seacret is an Israeli cosmetics company that illegally sources its product from the Dead Sea in Occupied Palestine.

Borrowing a song from a successful Brisbane BDS action, Friends of Palestine activists created a musical message against Israeli Apartheid in the shopping centre’s food court. When Centre security tried to move us on, we proceeded to the Seacret stall chanting “Free, free Palestine, Occupation is a crime” where the protest continued for some time.

The actions by the shopping centre security force – colluding with police to try to close down a democratic protest for human rights – were largely ineffective. The protest achieved exactly what we set out to achieve: to raise the issue of Israeli Apartheid and the illegal actions of the Seacret company.

The questions must be asked though: Why does Carousel Centre Management tolerate the presence in its complex of a company that profits from illegal occupation? Further, why do they try to restrict the democratic rights and free speech of their customers who are simply drawing attention to the human rights abuses connected to Israeli Apartheid?

Friends of Palestine encourages our supporters to write to Carousel Shopping Centre encouraging the company to respect human rights and to end the lease they currently grant to Seacret. Click here for contact details.

The next Seacret action – don’t buy Israeli Apartheid for Christmas – will be on Thursday 8 December 2011. Contact Friends of Palestine WA for more information.

 

 

On Thursday 13 October 2011, Jews against the Occupation Sydney led a flash mob action outside Max Brenner Chocolate Shop in the Westfield Plaza, Bondi Junction, Sydney. We were supported by the Socialist Alliance, the Socialist Alternative, Actively Radical TV and other Palestine solidarity activists. We support the call by Palestinian civil society for boycotts, divestment sanctions against Israel because the State of Israel continues to defy international law and the human and national rights of the Palestinians.

 

http://www.bdsmovement.net/2011/occupy-wall-street-not-palestine-8163#.TpgU1N4pvVY

  

Occupy Wall Street not Palestine!

We are part of the world’s 99% yearning for freedom, justice and equal rights!

 

If a people one day wills to live   fate must answer its call

And the night must fade  and the chain must break

— Abou-Al-kacem El-Chebbi (Tunisia)


 

 

 Wall St protests – End American military aid to Israel

 

 Palestinian women protesting outside of Ofer military prison in support of Palestinian political prisoners on hunger strike

PALESTINIAN BDS NATIONAL COMMITTEE STATEMENT

Occupied Palestine, October 13 -The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC), the largest Palestinian civil society coalition struggling for Palestinian rights, is proud to stand in solidarity with the movements struggling for a new world based on democracy, human rights and economic justice. From New York to Athens, from Madrid to Santiago, from Bahrain to Rome, these huge mobilisations provide a much needed reminder of something that Palestinians have always known – that another world, a dignifying one, is possible and ordinary people can create it.

 

Our aspirations overlap; our struggles converge. Our oppressors, whether greedy corporations or military occupations, are united in profiting from wars, pillage, environmental destruction, repression and impoverishment. We must unite in our common quest for freedoms, equal rights, social and economic justice, environmental sanity, and world peace. We can no longer afford to be splintered and divided; we can no longer ignore our obligations to join hands in the struggle against wars and corporate exploitation and for a human-friendly world community not a profit-maximizing jungle.

 

The Occupy Wall Street movement and its counterparts across the US, Europe, Latin America and elsewhere are — at least partially — inspired by the Arab Spring for democracy and social justice. Leaders of the Arab popular revolts tell us that they, in turn, were largely inspired by our own, decades-old struggle against Israel’s occupation of our land, its system of discrimination that matches the UN’s definition of apartheid, and its denial of the right of Palestinian refugees to return home.

 

The rapidly emerging movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law is a key and effective part of the Palestinian struggle. Anchored in universal principles of human rights and struggling for freedom, justice and equality, the BDS movement, established in 2005, is deeply rooted in decades of Palestinian peaceful resistance to colonial oppression and is inspired by the South African struggle against apartheid as well as the civil rights movement in the US. It is adopted by a near consensus among Palestinians everywhere, with all the main political parties, trade unions, professional syndicates, women’s unions, student groups, NGO networks and refugee advocacy networks represented in the BNC, the reference for this growing movement to end Israeli impunity.

 

The Palestinian-led BDS movement is a global effort of groups, from South Africa to Britain, from Canada to India, and within Israel itself, all committed to ending Israel’s denial of basic Palestinian rights. It is endorsed by towering moral leaders of the calibre of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Holocaust survivor and co-author of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Stephane Hessel. It is supported by world renowned cultural and intellectual figures such as Alice Walker, Naomi Klein, Roger Waters, Judith Butler, Sarah Schulman, John Berger, Ken Loach, John Greyson, and Adrienne Rich.  Massive trade union federations such as COSATU (South Africa), CUT (Brazil), TUC (UK), ICTU (Ireland), among many others, have also adopted BDS.

 

The movement has scored in the last two years some spectacular achievements when internationally renowned artists and music groups heeded the cultural boycott of Israel and refused to perform there or cancelled scheduled appearances. These have included the Pixies, Elvis Costello, Snoop Dogg, Meg Ryan, Vanessa Paradis, Gil Scott-Heron, among many others. The Norwegian state pension fund, among others, major European banks and some corporations have all been convinced to divest from businesses implicated in Israel’s violations of international law. Increasingly, BDS is recognized as a civic movement capable of ending Israeli impunity and, crucially, contributing to the global struggle against the war-mongering, racist agenda which Israel has persistently played a key role in.

 

So as you break your own chains and build your own effective resistance against corporate tyranny, we ask you to demand a just peace for all the peoples in the Middle East, based on international law and equal human rights. Palestinians, too, are part of the 99% around the world that suffer at the hands of the 1% whose greed and ruthless quest for hegemony have led to unspeakable suffering and endless war. Corporate power has not just profited from our suffering but has colluded in maintaining Israel’s occupation and apartheid to perpetuate an unjust order that profits oil and military companies and multinational financial institutions.

 

We call upon all the spreading social movements of the world to think critically when considering their attitude towards the Israeli ‘social justice’ protests, which have almost completely ignored the key issue at the heart of all of the problems faced by ordinary Palestinians and even Israelis: Israel’s costly system of occupation, colonialism and apartheid over the Palestinian people. Without putting an end to that multi-tiered Israeli system of oppression, our entire region will never enjoy a comprehensive and lasting peace, one that is based on justice and human rights.

 

Money for jobs, health and education, not for racist oppression and occupation!

 

Nowhere is this more important than in the United States. Despite Israel’s persistent denial of Palestinian rights, the US has provided Israel with unconditional political and military assistance that directly contributes to the denial of Palestinian rights, but also to the problems faced by ordinary US citizens. Could the $24bn of military aid provided to Israel in the period 2000-2009 not been better spent on schools, healthcare and other essential services? Did Israel not play a major role in prodding the US to launch and continue its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, at immense human and material cost, mainly borne by the poorest in those countries?

 

But, we must remind ourselves all the time that this struggle will never be easy, and reaching our objectives never inevitable. As Martin Luther King once said:

 

“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.”

 

The refreshing scenes of determined peaceful protest for justice from around the world tell us that we, the 99% of the world, are in the process of straightening our backs, collectively, with unwavering fortitude and boundless hope.

 

BNC Secretariat

www.BDSmovement.net

report by Friends of Palestine Western Australia

Around 80 people marched through the streets of Perth to protest against Israeli Apartheid on September 17. The protest was organised by Friends of Palestine WA and targeted businesses in the CBD area that have links with Apartheid Israel or who profit from the illegal occupation of Israel.

Businesses targeted included Veolia, The Body Shop and Caterpillar. Veolia is building a light rail project to service illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank and whose subsidiary runs some bus services in Perth. The Body Shop is owned by L’Oreal which has deep and extensive business links with Israel. Caterpillar produces military bulldozers specifically designed to be used in war zones and which have killed people defending Palestinian houses from demolition. Several shops in the CBD sell Caterpillar branded merchandise.

The rally attracted a counter-protest of supporters of Apartheid Israel which demonstrates that the international BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) campaign is having major impact. The rally called for an end to the illegal occupation of Palestine and for Israel to comply with international law.

To view slideshow of photos from rally click here