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For nastiness and malevolence, it's DIY for Woodie's?

category galway | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Monday June 22, 2009 01:39author by TD - Free Palestine Campaign Report this post to the editors

Spanners in the money machine?

In its ongoing campaign of picketing Galway businesses unethically selling Israeli products, activists with the Free Palestine Campaign are assiduous in their duty to conscience and human rights, of equal committment to base slander, malevolence and malodorous porkies are the management and security of Woodies DIY store, off the Headford Road, Galway, who unfailingly call in the Gardai to get rid of us on spurious and malevolent grounds: that we abuse, swear at and curse their customers, are aggressive towards them, block the entrance to their store and the area, which is a public space for commercial activities, is "private property."

The Guards, who seem to be at this establishments beck and call readily acquiesce in this harassment (some, not all) and parrot the canard of private property as the pretext to bullshit us away from close to the store's entrance on to the Headford Road - contrary to the legal situation - where we'd be relatively ineffectual, perfume in the desert air, as it were. Yesterday, subjected to more severe harassment than usual we were threatened with arrest under Section 8 of the Public Order Act if we didn't move on and put under so much duress that members of the public spontaneously intervened on our behalf and made the shame faced Gardai back off (See Politube video). So it goes in money machine Galway with cash registers between the ears of amoral business people instead of conscience, who see us a spanners in the money machine instead of human rights activists, to be cleansed as fast as possible from their threshholds with whatever sewage their benighted minds concoct to feed down the telephone line to Mill Street Garda Station to bring the Guards to do their dirty work.

On the other hand, people of good heart bought handicrafts from the embattled village of Bil'in in the West Bank at our information stall outside Lynch's Castle in Shop Street thus helping to alleviate some of the poverty caused by the theft of over 60% of the village's land for the construction of the Apartheid Wall and the illegal Israeli colonising "settlement" of Matityahu East skulking behind it - a war crime which is now being challenged in a Canadian Court where Bil'in has taken a legal action against the builders of the colonies infra structure and condominiums; Green Park International and Green Mount International (Related Link).

As always, in remembrance of the murdered Bassem Abu Rahmah - a Bil'in villager and friend of mine who was butchered by an IOF soldier last April whilst peacefully protesting at the theft of his village's land with a high velocity tear gas projectile shot, point blank, into his chest - we graced our table with a placard of the deeply missed kind and caring, smiling Bassem (see second, YouTube video).

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Caption: All Unquiet on the Western Front : Galway Flying Picket

author by TD - FPCpublication date Mon Jun 22, 2009 01:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors


Caption: Irish Friends of Palestine Against Lisbon & Bassem Ibrahim Abu Rahmah

author by Mike Novackpublication date Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

But don't just ASSUME that all the paved area between the street and the building is "public sidewalk". Some of that width might indeed be private area still belonging to the building in spite of being otherwise indistinguishable from the public part of the sidewalk. What do you expect a buisiness building owner to do? Leave a narrow strip of mud between the public sidewalk and the building? But the act of paving that space would not convey title to the public.

I haven't a clue how you would look up the proper records in Ireland. ROFLOL in the city where my early demonstrating days were spent it was quite common for there to be little brass markers set in the concrete "space within these lines not dedicated" (to public purposes) so you didn't have to look anything up, just look down, and then plan your picket set up accordingly (and when the cops came to roust you at the owner's behest you just pointed to the markers and that you were on the "public" side of the line).

author by Nathanpublication date Mon Jun 22, 2009 16:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

10 bus shelter billboards advertising the University of California’s “Study in Israel” campaign were ad busted into “Boycott Israel”. Under the title, “Boycott Israel? We boycott Israel because…”, one of the modified posters depicts students saying, “I believe in speaking out against racism. Israel’s entrenched system of racial discrimination & segregation against the Palestinian citizens of Israel is frighteningly similar to the former apartheid system in South Africa!” and “I believe that governments must be held accountable for their actions! Israel denies its responsibility for the waves of ethnic cleansing that have made millions of Palestinians into refugees.”

The original ad campaign was financed by the pro-Israel publicity agency BlueStar PR as part of an intensive campaign to promote study in Israel at California universities. One ad busted poster draws attention to Israel’s actions to prevent Palestinian students from getting an education. In the immeasurably improved version, the women are saying, “I find it shocking that hundreds of Palestinian schools and kindergartens and at least eight universities have been shelled, shot at and invaded by the Israeli army, and dozens have been closed down and converted into barracks since September 2000,” and “I’m really angry that the so-called ‘separation wall’ isolates and divides Palestinian population centers, cutting students off from their schools and literally bulldozing through educational institutions in its path.”

For full report and more photos, see link





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author by Socialistpublication date Mon Jun 22, 2009 20:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I think it's disgraceful that you are being harassed for your protests. Woodies and the Cops should just leave you alone to make your point.

I do disagree with the boycott of Israeli goods and even Israeli Universities. It's not the case that Israeli workers are to blame for the crimes of their own rulers. Israeli people are also victims of their own rulers. Boycotting Israeli goods doesn't really put forward a solution in my opinion. We need to be winning ordinary Israelis over to the side of the Palestinians. How do we really do this by boyoctting Israeli goods? The workers in the DIY goods factories will just be more and more moved away and more and more into the hands of their rulers argument "sure, we're on our own, they're boycotting you and are putting your jobs in jeopardy".

I never understood for one minute how Israeli colleges are to be blamed for the crimes of their rulers. Israeli academics and students are not at all to blame for the crimes against Palestinians. Why call for a boycott of them? I really don't understand that for one minute. What next? Irish companies and Irish unversities to be boycotted because you don't like Brian Cowen? That's the logic.

Effective boycotts need to be focused on particular firms that have blood on their hands and should be a part of a wider movement that links ordinary Israelis and Palestinians against their common enemy - the Israeli ruling class.

author by TD - FPCpublication date Mon Jun 22, 2009 23:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Socialist", you ask; What about Israeli Workers.? Well, if you're referring to Israel's Palestinian citizens, they are systematically discriminated against, the latest example being the sacking of some 100 to 150 of them by Israeli Railways last March on spurious grounds - even though they constitute 20% of the overall population, only about 5% of Israel's civil servants are Palestinian Israeli citizens.
If you're referring to Israeli Jewish workers, some 90% of Israel's Jewish citizens in a recent poll were of the opinion that the genocidal attack on Gaza wasn't severe or long lasting enough, some 60% to 70% of them consistently, in Haaretz conducted polls, want the ethnic cleansing of their fellow Palestinian citizens and an even a higher proportion want Iran attacked. Israel's Universities are deeply implicated in Israel's industrial military complex with heavy subventions from the Israeli government for research and development or as the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel puts it "the vast majority of Israeli intellectuals and academics have either contributed directly to the Israeli occupation or at the very least have been complicit through their silence" and, as such, PACBI are calling for a comprehensive boycott of Israeli institutions at the national and international levels.

Many Israeli Jewish workers earn their dishonest bread from stolen Palestinian resources such as Dead Sea minerals in the manufacture of cosmetic products, stolen water for agricultural produce grown on stolen Palestinian land in the so called colonising "settlements" in the West Bank - some of which is exported to Europe by the Israeli government owned Agrexco company, expropriated rock from West Bank quarries for Israeli and colony infrastructure and so on. Ok!

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author by Socialistpublication date Tue Jun 23, 2009 20:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I don't accept for one minute your tarring of all Israelis with the one brush. It's like saying the ordinary Germans were to blame for the Holocaust. Or that ordinary British people share some guilt and blame for the crimes against Ireland. Or that Belgian workers are to blame for the crimes of their rulers in Congo. The list is endless. I draw a class line. The people committing crimes on the Palestinians are also the exploiters of Israeli workers. Israel is no paradise. Israelis face low wages and poverty. Not on the same level as Palestinians, true. But poverty, low pay, exploitation, cuts in public services and so on.

In the neo-colonial world European states and European companies are committing great exploitation. Does that mean that all Europeans are to blame and should be written off?

On the universities. Yes, there should be boycotts of engineers and scientists that aid the military in their crimes against Palestine. But what has an historian, sociologist, English professor, medical doctor, or student nurse got to do with the crimes of their government? Nothing!

Not drawing a class line on issues like this leads to nationalistic solutions being put forward which divides ordinary people further and further. Any socialist would put "Workers of all countries Unite!" into action and actually try to win Israeli workers over to the cause of rights of Palestinians and Israelis to a decent life and living standard. I didn't think Marx said "workers of all countries (except those that are shown in opinion polls to be right-offs) Unite!

author by Rebecca Murphypublication date Tue Jun 23, 2009 21:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Socialist, perhaps Prof. Ilan Pappe, Israeli Jew, ferocious critic of Zionism and chair in the Department of History at the University of Exeter may illuminate your thinking.?: This approach to Israeli culture and academia as separate entities from the army, the occupation and the destruction is morally corrupt and logically defunct ... As in the case of South Africa, these decent people, either as individuals or as members of organizations, voice their outrage against the continued oppression, colonization, ethnic cleansing and starvation in Palestine. They are looking for ways of showing their protest and some even hope convince their government to change its old policy of indifference and inaction in the face of the continued destruction of Palestine and the Palestinians. Many among them are Jews ... One trade union after the other, one professional group after the other, have all sent recently a clear message: enough is enough. It is done in the name of decency, human morality and basic civil commitment not to remain idle in the face of atrocities of the kind Israel has and still is committing against the Palestinian people ... Filmmaker Ken Loach led a campaign against the official and financial connections the city's (Edinburgh) film festival had with the Israeli embassy. Such a stance was meant to send a message that this embassy represents not only the filmmakers of Israel but also its generals who massacred the people of Gaza, its tormentors who torture Palestinians in jails, its judges who sent 10,000 Palestinians -- half of them children -- without trial to prison, its racist mayors who want to expel Arabs from their cities, its architects who built walls and fences to enclave people and prevent them from reaching their fields, schools, cinemas and offices and its politicians who strategize yet again how to complete the ethnic cleansing of Palestine they began in 1948. Ken Loach felt that only a call for boycotting the festival as whole would bring its directors into a moral sense and perspective. He was right; it did, because the case is so clear-cut and the action so simple and pure (full article on link and

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author by TD - FPCpublication date Tue Jun 23, 2009 22:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It patently escapes you,"Socialist," that all the Israeli Jews who supported, in the various relevant polls, the ethnic cleansing of their Palestinian Israeli fellow citizens, an Israeli attack on Iran and succumbing to blood lust, more slaughter in Gaza, tarred and soiled themselves with such repugnant views and attacking the messenger doesn't help matters - with such a mindset, the child in the fairy tale pointing out that the emperor wore no clothes is not safe from your befuddlement and harm as regards the shooting of the messenger, etc.?

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel are calling "for a comprehensive boycott of Israeli institutions" (see my above Comment) and not personal boycotts of "an (Israeli) historian, sociologist, English professor, medical doctor, or student nurse." Ok!

author by privatepublication date Sun Jun 28, 2009 23:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Having understood the balance of forcefulness needed to reach people without upsetting them is needed to make any headway in anything, that wasn't done here. You wont get anywhere with people if you just cut across them and shove your own opinions in their face whilst ignoring others' words; that's called being obnoxious
The unfortunate fact of the matter is that people WILL cross the street in order to avoid any dilemma or confrontation either internal or external and these protesters went about dealing with the store and gardai in the wrong way- as published in this video. It's unreasonable to use such bias and slander in the descriptions in this page when, after viewing the web link a viewer may indeed feel that the protesters were more unruly and rude (though presumably from frustration) then courageous, and combined with the strong condemning words on this page leave a worse impression of the protesters then the organisations!
My point is simply that arguing in public places where you are protesting and showing these arguments online points out the negative aspects of protesters that people dread and AVOID- you are associating these negative aspects with the cause and doing it harm!
You will catch more supporters with honey then with vinegar and I think most that seem opposed to you or walk away do so for this reason.

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