French activists protest Paris air show
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French activists protest Paris air show

***image2***A group of French activists from the BDS France campaign held a non- violent protest against the Israeli presence at the Paris – Le Bourget Air Show. Le Bourget Air Show is one of the largest weapons and aerospace technology fairs in the world. The protest took place outside the Israeli pavilion, where several Israeli arms companies had come to sell their military technologies to potential European buyers.

On 20 June, protesters gathered under the banner ‘Boycott Israel’. They denounced the sale of weapons and weapon components to Israel on the basis that they are used to commit war crimes against civilians. They also exposed French complicity in these war crimes, pointing out that components marked “made in France” were found in the wreckage of missiles used to commit war crimes during the attack on Gaza in early 2009. Further, Israeli firms test their products on Palestinians before exporting them to the international market. The arms trade allows these these companies to profit from war crimes, and as such protestors demanded an end to such business links. The protesters also denounced the presence of Israeli war criminals at the air show, demanding that war criminals be tried and punished, not welcomed by the French state.

The action took place while French president Nicolas Sarkozy was visiting the air show. Although some protesters were forcibly removed by police, the demonstration had great visibility and several thousands of informational leaflets were distributed to the public.

Video of the action can be found here.