BDS action against Max Brenner undeterred by counter protest

Photo: Jim McIlroy
Friday, August 26, 2011

“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 ]

Comments

Is this the best target the BDS could think of...a chocolate shop...hardly a military symbol. It's Pythonesque in its silliness.

Anyone found hindering a coffee chain like Max Brenner is in grave danger. There are plans beyond counter-protests that will involve counter-measures beyond the boundaries of the protest arena, but rather a larger arena.. There are profiles being drawn up in various tactical response rooms that will ensure anti-Semitic protests do not continue.

Dear god, we've messed with the caffeine-industrial complex now.... I'm shaking in my boots... Being honest, though, it's pretty obvious this is the kind of strategy the police have been employing for months, pre-emptively arresting a huge number of peaceful protestors, then re-arresting several in dawn raids simply for being part of the campaign.

If you want to ensure the protests don't continue, perhaps you should stop Israel's supporters from trying to claim that it represents all Jews (when prominent members of the BDS movement are Jewish). Better yet, why not stop the holocaust denying facists from joining the anti-BDS side because it suits their xenophobic anti-muslim agenda?

The above article failed to report on slogans that were perhaps more revealing as to the real intent of those who attended: "No more Israel, No More Israel, Down Down Israel" - very disturbing when a peaceful boycott of a chocolate company who supports the IDF also advocates the destruction of the Jewish state. - Oh sorry, I shouldn't confuse anti-zionism with anti-semitism now should I?

Another interesting note was the speakers at the protest common use of the term: "ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian population". Ethnic cleansing refers to the deliberate and systematic removal of a population - think Rwanda, Nazi Germany/Europe, etc . It is offensive to hear such terms being used to stir up a misguided sense of justice. Protest, Support the Palestinian cause, Don't eat good chocolate, but please get your facts straight and stop being so F*&%ing offensive!!!!!

The counter-protest was called by lefties, I know the organiser personally- the right-winger weirdos from the university and the anti-muslim racists had the idea and claimed credit, but certainly weren't the majority of those there.