***image2***Numerous activities marked the 2nd International Week against the Apartheid Wall in the UK, starting on November 6th, with a blockade of the Hayes, Middlesex premises of Agrexco Ltd., the largest Israeli exporter of fresh agricultural produce. The activity was organized by the Coalition for Palestine UK. According to the activistsâ press release, âexporting under the premium CARMEL label, Agrexco markets over 300,000 tons of fresh produce per year.â Agrexco is a partnership between the Israeli government (50%), the Tnuva company (25%), and other Israelis in the agricultural marketing industry.
Activists erected a cage at the entrance to the factory, and a barrier at the exit, stopping all collections and deliveries for 8 hours. The protestors were âcalling on Israel and the rest of the world to honour their obligations under International law, and on the British people and government to end the Israel-EU Association Agreement and to boycott Israeli Goods until such time as Israel honours its obligations.â Seven activists were arrested and charged with Aggravated Trespass and other accusations.
The same day, the Oxford branch of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign UK organized an Anti-Apartheid Wall action, forming a “human wall” down the middle of Cornmarket with between 30 and 40 people. An over 6 meters long banner against the Apartheid Wall was hoisted and photos and facts about the Wall were displayed. The public was invited to add signatures and comments to the banner and people where queuing up to do so. The stall was also busy acquiring new signatures on the petition for Parliament against the Apartheid Wall.
Later that week, around 150 demonstrators attended a âStop The Wallâ rally in the center of York called for by the York Palestine Solidarity Campaign, where local politicians, a Palestinian student, a representative from the local Mosque, and Stephen Sizer, author of Christian Zionism: Road-map to Armageddon addressed the protestors. Members of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign UK gave accounts of their recent trip to Palestine.
Similar initiatives were held by branches in London, Nottingham, Birmingham, Oxford and Reading all throughout the week.
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign held a picket in front of Marks and Spencer in Nottingham and in Brighton, where activists staged a âdie-inâ outside Marks and Spencer, as part of an ongoing campaign to boycott Israeli goods and call for divestment. The Guardian newspaper also featured a report on the company, describing how Marks and Spencer continues to buy produce from Israel and the settlements.
The International Week against the Apartheid Wall this year tragically coincided with the death of Yasser Arafat on November 11th as vigils where held in Cambridge and London to commemorate the Palestinian leader and to call for Freedom and Justice for the Palestinian people.