Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Brighton's Sodastream Shop is Forced to Close

A Magnificent Victory for BDS

When Israel’s Sodastream decided to set up shop in Brighton, in an attempt to exploit our Green credentials, the local Palestine Solidarity Campaign took up the challenge and began a weekly picket with others on week days. Local Zionist and Kach/EDL thug, Simon Cobbs, vowed that this would not be another Ahava. Ahava was the Israeli ‘beauty shop’ in London’s Covent Garden which we closed down two years ago.

Picture from the early days of demonstrations

From the early days

At the beginning the Zionists confined themselves to the opposite side.  When they mixed it with us, they managed to successfully deter any doubting shoppers
Cobbs unhinged from Glenn Williams on Vimeo.
 Leading Zionist Cobb Unhinged

The Zionists, with the complicity of the Police, left no stone unturned in order to defeat the PSC campaigners. They were the usual mixture of hypocrites.  They said they supported a 2 states solution at the same time as they supported the confiscation and theft of Palestinian land by Israeli settlements vulture companies like Sodastream. Like most Zionists, 'Peace' was a weapon to be branded against the Palestinians, it had no substance in itself.  Although on some occasions the Police attempted to be even handed, the number of arrests of those of us who were the victims of harassment were far higher than the Zionist abusers.

From the early days of the demonstration
  Silver racist. from Glenn Williams on Vimeo.
'Go Back to Your Own Country' Zionist tells Black Palestinian supporter

Julie Burchill -The racist bigot and cokehead who doesn't like Arabs or Transexuals -  supported Sodastream

The  Zionists said they supported equality even as the Christian Zionist fundamentalists, who often made up the bulk of the Zionist counter-demonstrators, argued that there is no such thing as the Palestinians. Every one who opposed them was anti-Semitic despite the fact that at the annual invasion of Brighton by the EDL/March 4 England, there wasn’t a Zionist in sight.  Wanting Jews to burn in their millions in the Christian Rapture, so the Palestinian Jesus could be with us once again, was not anti-Semitic!
Early Demonstration Against Sodastream
 The Israeli Nazi - Shaike Rozanski
Week after week, a hardy band of PSC campaigners braved the insults and taunts of the Zionists, with the Police interested solely in arresting pro-Palestinian demonstrators whilst turning their eyes from the naked racism of the Zionists.  Many of us were subject to physical assault by these peaceniks and when, on one occasion, I defended myself, I was the person charged.

Cobbs being told off for harassment by Police

But whilst the Zionists occasionally managed to mobilise about the same numbers as ourselves, their ‘in your face’ counterdemonstration and comparison of all and  sundry as 'anti-Semitic'  which involved following and abusing anyone who was sympathetic to the Palestinians, slowly but surely alienated the vast majority of those who live in Brighton & Hove.    T he more they mobilised the fewer people went into the shop!  Something the limited intellects of people like Cobb never got.
Brighton Argus’s business editor (long since departed from  the Argus) John Keenan allowed Sodastream to fund an all expenses  paid trip to the factory in Mishor Adumim and in return he provided sympathetic copy about how, without the factory, the Palestinians would not have a job. It was yellow journalism at its worst and reminiscent of the apologists for Apartheid in South Africa. What Keenan didn’t mention was  that an anti-racist workers organisation, consisting of Palestinians and Israelis, Kav La’Oved, was refused access, as have Palestinian trade unions.  We wonder why?

Passing by on days when there were no demonstrations, the shop still stubbornly refused to attract any custom. The only question is how it managed to stay open for 2 years?  The only answer is that the central company was heavily subsidising it, but the damage to its reputation, reflected in a declining share price, made a shop that doesn't make money a luxury too far.

Unfortunately I became seriously ill during the protests and had to retire from the weekly counter-demonstrators. However Brighton PSC, which has grown enormously as a result of the campaign, fielded people, young and old, to make clear their opposition to the ‘green’ Apartheid shop on Western Road.

A good example of Police bias was when I was forced to defend myself against a violent Israeli by punching him once.  He is a well known nasty piece of work, as you can see from the videos, who had advanced towards me with the clear intent (based on previous experiences) of attacking me. The Police prosecuted me (though as I've pleaded not guilty they may be in for a surprise).  Unsurprisingly the ‘green’ administration of Brighton & Hove Council was conspicuous by its absence, except for leader Jason Kitkat, who participated in the shop’s opening party.  Others like Deputy Leader Phelim McCafferty, who had turned up on Palestinian protests before being elected, kept their distance.  To be fair, Green MP Caroline Lucas has been more supportive.

Below are some videos and pictures from the different phases of the demonstrations and also below is the report fromBrighton PSC's Website

EcoStream store closes following two years of street protests 

Following two years of regular street protests by pro-Palestine campaigners outside the Eco-Stream store in central Brighton, the shop has announced that it has ceased trading.

Campaigners have held regular demonstrations outside the store since it opened in the summer of 2012. The protests have raised awareness about the role of the shop’s parent company SodaStream in Israel’s programme of ethnic cleansing and human rights abuses in the occupied Palestinian territory. SodaStream’s main factory is located on an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied Palestinian West Bank, where Palestinian villages have been destroyed and the population removed to make room for Israeli colonists and businesses. The SodaStream company enjoys numerous financial incentives from the Israeli government to operate there in order to consolidate the illegal occupation of Palestine.

The people of Brighton and Hove have been asked to boycott the EcoStream shop to show their disapproval of Israel’s illegal settlements and their violations of human rights, and to put pressure on the Israeli government to comply with international law. The people of Brighton & Hove have responded by refusing to buy into the shop’s alleged ‘green’ image. The shop’s profits declined steadily over the two years of the protests. Today’s announcement of the shop’s closure is the result.

The regular protests outside the EcoStream store in Western Road have attracted huge support from local residents and from human rights campaigners all over the country and internationally. The campaign has featured regularly in the local, national and international media – including coverage in the Times and the Guardian. The campaign is now a national one, with stockists of SodaStream products being targeted for protests in local areas across the UK.


Shaker, Director of Israeli Security Firm at
Gatwick seems embarrassed

 Brighton & Hove Palestine Solidarity Campaign today issued the following statement:
‘This campaign has taken the message about human rights abuses in occupied Palestine to the people of Brighton, and their response has been fantastic. They have made it clear that they do not want businesses from illegal Israeli settlements trading in their town. The closure of SodaStream’s so-called flagship UK store in Brighton is just one step in a campaign to send a clear message to the Israeli government and the international community that, at the grassroots level, people of conscience are taking action to force Israel to comply with international law and to bring about justice for the Palestinian people. We give notice to the other stockists of SodaStream products in the city that we will continue to take the message about SodaStream to the people of Brighton on behalf of the Palestinian people. Congratulations to the people of Brighton and Hove, who can tell the difference between ethical and unethical.’
An unhappy Israeli from Glenn Williams on Vimeo.

Zionist strikes out - in the cause of peace!

These protests are part of a wider international movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), following a call in 2005 by over 130 civil society organisations in Palestine. The BDS Call urges a boycott of all Israeli companies until Israel complies with international humanitarian law, recognizes the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality, the rights of return of refugees and ends the siege of Gaza and the occupation of all lands occupied in 1967. The EcoStream protest has focused specifically on the Israeli programme of illegal settlement expansion, and the presence in the store of products manufactured on a key illegal settlement in the West Bank.

Simon Cobbs's double standards from Glenn Williams on Vimeo.

Cobbs imposing himself on others - calls anti-Zionist Jews Kapos and then complains when I called him one!

More from Sussex Police Facilitator Simon Cobbs from Glenn Williams on Vimeo 
Simon Cobb Annoyed By Our Presence
Empty as always - Sodastream's shop - a place to meditate

Johanssen - Money is more important than principles

The Crazy Zionist

Shaike Rozanski - Israeli Thug
Zionist Fundamentalist Christian (James)

Shaker being   told off by Police
Shop - Empty as Usual

Shaike Unhinged II from Glenn Williams on Vimeo.
Shaike Unhinged
Jill Young - a made Christian Fundie - doesn't like a bit of her own medicine

Another Crazed Christian Fundie

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