First boycott action at Sainsbury’s supermarket by newly formed London Palestine Action (LPA) network

First boycott action at Sainsbury’s supermarket by newly formed London Palestine Action (LPA) network

Palestine solidarity campaigners targeted a branch of Sainsbury’s in Islington, north London, on Saturday 26th October, calling for the boycott of companies whose goods are made in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

More than 30 activists from the newly formed London Palestine Action (LPA) network removed produce labelled ‘Israel’ – including dates, peppers and herbs – from the shelves and created a mock-wall/settlement with the baskets of goods.

Banners were unfurled to display messages parodying the supermarket chain’s marketing slogans: ‘Try Something New Today: Boycott Israeli Apartheid’ and ‘Illegal Israeli Settlements: Where Good Food Costs Lives’.

Sainsbury’s – which claims to purchase ‘with integrity’ – sources fruit and vegetables from companies such as EDOM and Mehadrin, known to be complicit in and to profit from Israel’s decades-long occupation of the West Bank.

Shoppers were very receptive to the protestors’ message, many stopping to ask questions and convey their support. The LPA activists explained that these companies have a track-record of mislabelling their products ‘Made in Israel’ when in fact they come from illegal settlements.

The action was staged as part of a nationwide campaign to put pressure on Sainsbury’s to stop trading with companies profiting from Israeli apartheid. Human rights campaigners want the chain to follow the example of the Co-operative supermarket, which last year decided to stop trading with companies sourcing from stolen land.

Campaigners distributed leaflets explaining Sainsbury’s complicity in Israel’s illegal actions and calling for others to join them in answering the 2005 Palestinian call for international solidarity activists to pursue justice via Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law.

Free ethically source herbs from the Cooperative were also given out to demonstrate that alternatives were available, before police arrived to eject protestors from the store.

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