250 Activists in Denmark Give Israeli Apartheid the Red Card
Inside and outside the Denmark - Israel football match, demonstrators denounced Israel's attacks on Palestinian sports and its use of football to sports-wash its oppression of Palestinians.
More than 250 Palestinian rights supporters took part in a demonstration protesting Israeli apartheid inside and outside the Denmark - Israel World Cup Qualifier football match.
Outside the stadium, speakers denounced Israel's attacks on Palestinian sports and its use of football to sports-wash its oppression of Palestinians. Demonstrators showed support for the call from 200 Palestinian teams to boycott German sportswear company Puma over its support for illegal Israeli settlements. Over 1000 leaflets were distributed to football fans.
Inside the stadium, Palestinian flags went up around the stands, gaining media coverage including on Danish national television.
The demonstration was organized by Boykot Israel Kampagnen - Denmark, International Forum Copenhagen, Stop the Annexation of Palestine, International Forum North Zealand, Palestinian Democratic Union in Denmark, Palestinian National Assembly in Denmark, Global Action, Demos..
Below is a statement from the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) read at the demonstration.
The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), a founding member of the BDS National Committee, the largest Palestinian civil society coalition, salutes all those here today and stands with hundreds of Palestinian sports clubs to demand giving apartheid Israel the Red Card.
A red card to apartheid Israel for its decades-long regime of settler colonialism, racism and gradual ethnic cleansing forcing Indigenous Palestinians off their land.
A red card to apartheid Israel for holding Palestinians in Gaza under siege for more than 14 years now, while carrying out devastating bombing campaigns massacring thousands of Palestinians, including hundreds of children.
A red card to apartheid Israel for demolishing more than 130,000 Palestinian homes throughout all of historic Palestine, including the entire village of Al Araqib in the Naqab over 190 times.
A red card to apartheid Israel for detaining without charge or trial and torturing Palestinian prisoners, including children taken from their beds during night raids by fully armed soldiers and Palestinian footballers travelling to matches.
A red card to apartheid Israel for brutally ending the dreams of Palestinian athletes, including 16-year-old footballer Saeed Odeh who was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers in the occupied Palestinian West Bank on May 4.
A red card to apartheid Israel for bombing Palestinian sports facilities in Gaza, including sports clubs, a gym, a football pitch, and a Paralympic facility in May alone.
A red card to apartheid Israel for denying Palestinian athletes their right to travel, causing the cancellation of the Palestine Football Cup.
A red card to apartheid Israel for cynically using the “beautiful game” to sports-wash its grave violations of Palestinian human rights.
For those calling to keep politics out of sports, the Israel Football Association is far from an apolitical organization. The IFA is an active participant in Israel’s military occupation. It not only includes teams in illegal Israeli settlements on stolen Palestinian land in its official leagues. The IFA has also actively lobbied, together with the Israeli government, to maintain the settlement teams.
As Palestinians continue to resist Israeli oppression in all its forms, we are heartened by those of you here today to say that Israeli apartheid has no place in sports. Just as South Africa’s apartheid regime was expelled from international sports thanks to popular outcry and strategic campaigning, so will apartheid Israel be.
During Israel’s latest escalation of violence, we saw unprecedented numbers of professional athletes and entire teams throughout the world and across all sports taking a stand for Palestinian rights.
Teams from Qatar, to Malaysia to the UK are dropping sports brand Puma in response to the call from more than 200 Palestinian teams to boycott Puma over its support for illegal Israeli settlements through its sponsorship of the Israel Football Association.
At the Tokyo Olympics, judokas Fethi Nourine from Algeria and Mohamed Abdalrasool from Sudan took principled stands, refusing to face representatives of the Israeli state, putting the Palestinian cause ahead of their own dreams.
The tide is turning. Around the world, fans, athletes and people of conscience are refusing to remain silent. Just like all of you here today, they are rejecting attempts to sports-wash Israeli apartheid. They are boycotting companies like Puma that claim to uphold the values of sports while supporting Israeli apartheid.
Our movement for justice and liberation is only destined to grow with your support.
Boycott Puma! Red Card apartheid Israel!