***image1***Boycott Israeli Goods (BIG) Campaign, UK, launched blockade actions in the run up to Valentines Day, strengthening the ongoing boycott against Carmel-Agrexco. The company, which fuels Israeli apartheid, suffered disruptions to one of its busiest periods of trade as protestors converged at company headquarters to prevent goods such as cut flowers from reaching stores across the country.
On Saturday 10th of February, over 100 solidarity protesters from London and Brighton arrived at the headquarters of Israeli agricultural export company Carmel-Agrexco (UK) Ltd, located on Swallowfield Way in Hayes, Middlesex.
It marked the fourth action taken against Agrexco and was the largest demonstration yet on one of the companyâs busiest weekends of the year. As Carmel-Agrexco looked forward to distributing large volumes of cut flowers for Valentines Day, deliveries were disrupted and rescheduled. Meanwhile, protests stimulated local media and public interest in the company and its complicity in crimes against the Palestinian people.
***image2***Gates remained shut for several hours at the depot and a smaller group of activists reconvened the following morning to maintain the blockade. Three people were arrested as campaigners locked themselves to the depot gates and halted Agrexcoâs transportation. They have been bailed pending charge.
The action marked the fourth blockade in recent years and protestors will continue efforts against Carmel-Agrexco, a company in which the Israeli state has a 50% stake and who export a variety of agricultural products from illegal settlements in the West Bank to European markets. Moreover, Agrexco also benefits from the stranglehold placed upon the Palestinian economy by the Occupation, in which Palestinian farmers encounter severe difficulties exporting their goods.
After the first blockade in 2004, Agrexco initiated a court case against the activists, later dropped by the company when the court asked for clarification that Agrexcoâs operations were lawful. Israeli state sponsored settlements have appropriated land and water resources by military force from Palestinian communities in a policy of colonial settlement. Goods yielded on stolen lands can be processed within 24 hours by Carmel-Agrexco, and sold in supermarkets across Europe.