On Wednesday Byron Friends of Palestine held a stall on Jonson Street outside Fundies supporting the non-violent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against the apartheid Israeli state.
Others were also there playing music, reading palms and selling jewellery but only we were singled out by Bob Higgins the compliance officer who ordered us to remove our stall, flags and placards immediately or a truck would come and impound everything.
He admitted complaints had been received but we replied that we had had many compliments from motorists and passers by. Why do complaints trump compliments?
We transferred to Australia Post property near the ANZ Bank and were left alone.
Palestine’s pleas to the world for justice are largely ignored by mainstream media and most governments, including Australia, actively support Israel.
However, BDS has notched up some significant victories. Veolia, for example, has pulled out of the Jerusalem light rail project and US churches have divested from Caterpillar and SodaStream.
The EU does not recognise Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights which it captured in 1967 so it has passed new labelling legislation forcing Israel to identify products originating from these occupied territories.
Gareth W R Smith, Palestine Liberation Centre, Byron Bay