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Major victory for pro-Palestine boycott campaign: Dublin City Council passes anti-Veolia motion

category national | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Monday May 10, 2010 23:44author by Kevin - IPSCauthor email info at ipsc dot ie Report this post to the editors

Dr David Landy of the IPSC welcomes the vote as a significant development

The international Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement today scored a major victory as Dublin City Council passed a resolution calling on the City Manager not to sign or renew any contracts with French multinational Veolia[1] – the operators of the LUAS who have also tendered for the Metro North project[2]. Veolia operate Israeli rail, bus and waste services in the illegally occupied West Bank, making them complicit in Israel’s contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Indeed, Veolia has a direct involvement in building the infrastructure of apartheid in Israel/Palestine.
IPSC anti-Veolia vigil outside Dublin City Hall this evening as the vote was being taken
IPSC anti-Veolia vigil outside Dublin City Hall this evening as the vote was being taken

The resolution, tabled by Cllr. Joan Collins (People Before Profit), was passed by unanimously at the sitting of Dublin City Council this evening (May 10th 2010) and is an important statement of solidarity with Palestine by the elected representatives of a European capital city. This solidarity mirrors the deep empathy that exists throughout Irish society for the Palestinian people and the widespread revulsion at the behaviour of the apartheid Israeli state.

Commenting on the motion’s passage, Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) chairperson Dr David Landy said: “This is a monumental victory for the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. The passing of this motion represents the elected representatives of a European capital city clearly standing up and saying ‘No’ to companies that collaborate with Israeli human rights abuses against the Palestinian people. It is doubly welcome coming as it does on the same day that Israel was scandalously accepted into the OECD.”

Dr Landy continued: “Furthermore, this is just the latest in a string of such defeats that Veolia has suffered as a result of their active participation in Israel’s apartheid policies – victories for the BDS movement have been seen in Sweden, Holland, Australia, Iran, France and elsewhere in Ireland. The IPSC once again urges Veolia to heed the Palestinian call for BDS and divest now from its Israeli operations in the occupied Palestinian territories. However, until it does so, the IPSC will continue to campaign for Veolia not to be granted contracts in Ireland.”

“The IPSC will now be working with other local councils to ensure the passage of similar motions nationwide[3]. The IPSC will also now step up the pressure on the Rail Procurement Agency, which is responsible for awarding the highly lucrative Dublin Metro North contract. The city of Dublin has spoken loudly and clearly, and it says no to collusion with Israeli apartheid. The RPA should listen carefully - the Palestine solidarity movement is not going to quietly stand by while such companies are given Irish taxpayers’ money. It’s not on.”

Dr Landy concluded: “Finally, on behalf of the IPSC, I would like to thank all of the councillors who supported this motion, not least People Before Profit’s Cllr Joan Collins whose motion it was. I would also like to thank everyone who contacted their councillors in support of the motion, and those who came out on the many demonstrations and actions over the past three months that the IPSC held in the run up to this momentous vote.”

Details of Veolia’s illegal operations in occupied Palestine can be viewed on the IPSC website: http://www.ipsc.ie/veolia

[1] The full text of the motion reads as follows:

Dublin City Council recognizing
1. That Veolia is a leading partner in the consortium contracted to build a light railway system linking Israel to illegal settlements in occupied East Jerusalem
2. That the Irish government and the U.N does not recognise Israel’s annexation and occupation of East Jerusalem and have repeatedly stated their views that the Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank contravene international law
3. That Veolia’s involvement in the project is in contravention of the UN’s stated demand that Israeli settlement activities and occupation should not be supported;
This Council calls on the City Manager not to sign any new or renew any existing contracts with Veolia as it would be in contravention of the wishes of this council. Galway and Sligo city/county councils have supported similar motions.
Cllr Joan Collins

[2] Veolia is set to merge with Transdev, who are one of the two final tenderers for the Dublin Metro North contract. http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20100505-703713.html

[3] Dublin City Council is the third Irish council to pass such a motion, following on from Sligo and Galway.

Related Link: http://www.ipsc.ie

IPSC supporters making their voices heard outside tonight's meeting
IPSC supporters making their voices heard outside tonight's meeting

veolia_006.jpg

veolia_005.jpg

veolia_002.jpg

author by Bpublication date Mon May 10, 2010 23:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Great News, well done!

author by John D - IPSCpublication date Tue May 11, 2010 12:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Brilliant stuff-the news is spreading like wildfire across the global BDS movement.

Well done to our city guardians and to everyone for all the hard work in spreading the message and lobbying on this very important motion.

Lets now mobilise every single council in the country with wave after wave of motions excluding Veolia from any future contracts until such time as they divest from their shameful operations in occupied Palestine. This will send out a very powerful message to complicit companies such as Veolia that the people of Ireland will not allow any company involved in human rights abuses of the Palestinian people to operate in our country without sanction.

Next stop : RPA do not allow Veolia a back door entry to the Metro North.

author by Dermot Laceypublication date Tue May 11, 2010 13:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I supported the motion last night and welcomed it as a positive contribution by PBP - however....

Activists here should realise that the motion has absolutely no legal implications or affect.

The City Manager will still be obliged to consider any legal tender for a contract and accept the best offer no matter what the motion states.

I am not defending that. I am personally strongly opposed to the present system of Local Government and National Procurement Policy but that it the law as determined by the Oireachtas.

author by Fintan Lane - IPSCpublication date Tue May 11, 2010 14:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dermot is right...and wrong(ish).

Ultimately, this motion has no legal effect and the City Manager can get on with business as usual. In truth, what passes for democratic 'local government' in this state is a joke and elected representatives have very little real power, which lies with the state-appointed bureaucracy. It's a poor form of representative democracy.

Nonetheless, the passing of this motion remains a tremendous act of solidarity with the people of Palestine. It might not have legal effect but it has moral force behind it - the elected councillors of Dublin City Council have sent out a clear message about Israeli apartheid and those companies that collaborate with that obnoxious system. The City Manager should listen to these voices and the campaign needs to focus next on ensuring that he does.

author by John Lpublication date Tue May 11, 2010 15:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Time to press home the advantage. Well done, IPSC!

author by Alex Cachinero-Gormanpublication date Wed May 12, 2010 10:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

victory! ireland activists inspiring as always.

author by Yasserpublication date Thu May 13, 2010 19:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is a great victory for the global bds movement.Respect to Councilor Collins!We must now lobby and put pressure on the Railway Precurement Agency and make them realise what Veolia are doing.Veolia have lost numerous contracts worldwide due to public pressure.Next stop Rpa Parkgate st!

author by Sarahpublication date Sat May 15, 2010 02:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is only a small victory. More to come until Israeli apartheid is over.

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