“Boycott Apartheid Israel! Boycott Max Brenner!” were the main themes of a rally and march in Brisbane on August 27, which focused on the Max Brenner chocolate shop at South Bank.
Despite steady rain, more than 50 protesters demonstrated to support a boycott of the Max Brenner chain, as part of the Australian and international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign initiated by representatives of the Palestinian people.
Max Brenner is a subsidiary of the Israeli-owned Strauss Group, which boasts of its role in providing support to shock troops of the Israeli army in its repression of the people of the West Bank and Gaza.
The Brisbane protest action was organised by Justice for Palestine Brisbane (JFP).
JFP spokespeople Kathy Newnam, Sarah Giles and Hamish Chitts explained the reasons for boycotting companies such as Max Brenner and the cosmetics firm Seacret that profit from the Israeli regimes brutal colonisation of Palestine.
During the march to Max Brenner, the protesters chanted: "Max Brenner, you can't hide! You're supporting apartheid!" and "Max Brenner, come off it! Exporting your hot chocolate!" and "Free Palestine! Boycott Israel!"
At South Bank, the demonstrators were confronted by a hostile counter-rally called by right-wing University of Queensland students and other organisations.
A tragic irony of the pro-Zionist counter-protest was that it included members of the far right, Australian Patriotic Defence Movement (APDM) — who have called two racist, anti-Islamic rallies in Brisbane in recent weeks.
After marching back to a post-rally gathering, the BDS protesters heard activist and musician Phil Monsour declare that the boycott Israel campaign was "absolutely anti-racist."
"This campaign is part of a big international movement, which needs to escalate to a demand for an arms embargo on Israel and other measures.
”Now we need to do the hard work in the unions and elsewhere in the community to build the infrastructure for a stronger, broader campaign to isolate Israel," Monsour added.
[For more information about Justice for Palestine Brisbane visit www.justiceforpalestinebrisbane.org ]