Activists, in co-ordination with MPA and the rolling pickets, organised a banner drop on Saturday in Manchester City Centre. Spotted at Mercure Hotel and BHS Department Store roof, their banner read ‘END APARTHEID, BOYCOTT ISRAEL’.
Israel has just finished its latest war in Gaza, killing 2100 Palestinians, including four children on its beach and 15 who sought refuge in a UN School in Beit Hanoun, condemned by international observers. Whilst the Westbank has been occupied for over 60 years , the longest illegal miltary occupation in modern history, Gaza continues to be under siege by the Israeli army. The blockade, deemed ‘collective punishment’ by renowned international jurist and Israel supporter, Richard Goldstone, denies Palestinians, in one of the most densely populated areas in the world, basic foods, medicine and building materials.
Palestinian civil society, in 2005, called on all states and people of conscience to boycott, divest and sanction Israel (BDS) in an effort to pressure Israel in a way analogous to Apartheid South Africa.
Various groups and trade unions in Manchester have engaged in prolonged campaigns to heed the call for BDS, including Stop G4s which aims to pressure city council to terminate its contracts with the security company that has been responsible for the death of detainees, the privatization of prison services and the imprisonment of Palestinian children in Israel. The banner drop sought to raise awareness of the increasingly successful BDS movement.