Over a dozen activists took part in Saturday’s protest outside the Sainsbury’s store in the centre of Newry. Complete with Palestine and PFLP flags the activists distributed hundreds of leaflets to Saturday shoppers. A banner which read Saoirse Don Phalaistin (Freedom for Palestine) was also unfurled at the busy Quays shopping complex.
Commenting on the successful protest a spokesperson for the Newry Palestine Support Group said “Today we have made hundreds of people aware of the reality of what is happening in Palestine. We distributed hundreds of pieces of literature regarding the Israeli linked goods that are being sold from Sainsburys, goods such as Coca-Cola, L’Oreal, Garnier, Nestle, Nescafe and Halawi products to name but a few are all being sold in this store. Sainsburys use suppliers that trade in products from illegal Israeli settlements, these settlements are built on stolen Palestinian land and are illegal under international law.”
“Despite a supposed ceasefire in Gaza, Palestine is still suffering under Israeli occupation. In fact today Israeli forces have sealed off the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, as Palestinians prepare to mark the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha. To add insult to injury, on 30th of August, Israeli occupation authorities announced that they will confiscate almost 1000 acres of Palestinian land belonging to five villages situated south of Bethlehem. Along with Jabaa, Nahalin and Surif, much of Wadi Fukin’s land will be stolen and given to three nearby Jewish-only settlements. ”
The spokesperson continued “Purchasing Israeli products provides support to the Israeli economy, which in turn lends support to the Israeli state and its murderous campaign against the Palestinian people. Following our first protest at Marks and Spencer the Newry Palestine Support Group were inundated with messages of support from people in Palestine and we also received a statement of support from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. “
“Boycotting of Israeli goods sends a very strong economic and political message to Israel – ‘apartheid and genocide are not acceptable in our world.’ Just like the apartheid regime of South Africa, Israel is on the wrong side of history. For as long as that regime exists right-thinking people across the world will organise opposition to it.”