IPSC Action: Petition hand-in - Thousands demand that Dunnes stop stocking Israeli goods

29/07/2010 - 13:00
29/07/2010 - 14:00

This Thursday 29th July 2010 at 1pm, the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) will deliver a petition to Dunnes Stores signed by thousands of shoppers across Ireland. The petition demands that Dunnes Stores stop stocking Israeli products, until Israel respects Palestinian rights and international law.

Note: You can still sign the petition online before Thursday morning by clicking here: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/dunnes/ - Thanks!

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The petition will be handed to Dunnes head office at 46 - 50 Georges Street, Dublin 2 on Thursday 1 pm. Present at the handing-in will be Brendan Archbold, the trade union official at the centre of the 1980s Dunnes strike when workers refused to handle South African goods, Freda Hughes IPSC national chairperson, along with supporters of the campaign. If you're free at lunchtime then please come along and support the action, thanks.

The petition has been signed by over 4,000 shoppers in a two-week blitz that has seen Palestine solidarity activists enlist the support of Dunnes’ customers across the country. Signatures have flooded in from Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Derry, Limerick, Galway, Kilkenny, Newry, Wexford, Waterford, Bantry, New Ross, Enniscorthy, and Sligo. In many places around the country, solidarity activists will be presenting their local Dunnes' managers with copies of the petitions they have collected.

This campaign comes a quarter-century after Dunnes was at the centre of a bitter two-year campaign of boycott and pickets, when it sacked a group of workers who refused to handle South African goods.
"Dunnes was on the wrong side of history, siding with the South African apartheid regime against its own workers," Freda Hughes, IPSC chairperson, said. "This is a chance for it to put itself on the right side of history."

Brendan Archbold said: "The parallels between the old Apartheid regime of South Africa and the state of Israel are quite striking. Just as South African forces shot and killed their own people in Sharpeville and Uitenhage, so too do the Israeli military adopt a shoot-to-kill policy whether it is in relation to the Palestinian people themselves or those peaceful supporters of the Palestinians aboard the international flotilla recently attacked by Israel."

Mr Archbold concluded with a call for a boycott of Israel: "Just as Israel models itself on the old racist regime in South Africa, so too must we must model our response on the boycott policy that contributed so much to the ending of Apartheid. The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has adopted a comprehensive policy in relation to the isolation of Israel and it is now up to all trade unions and all trade unionists to ensure that this policy is implemented in full."

The petition campaign is part of a coordinated international effort for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, which has seen actions take place in dozens of countries, including Israel and South Africa. Many South African organisations, and figures including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, have endorsed the BDS campaign.

Related Link: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/dunnes/
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