Palestinian BNC Mourns Loss of Anti-Apartheid Icon Ahmed Kathrada

March 28, 2017, Occupied Palestine —The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) has heard with great sadness the news of Comrade Ahmed Kathrada’s passing. Mr. Kathrada, born to an Indian Muslim family, was the most prominent Asian South African in the movement to end apartheid, the system of racial discrimination, segregation and white dominance that existed in South Africa until it was defeated in 1994.

Comrade Kathrada was also an active and consistent supporter of the Palestinian struggle for freedom. He visited Palestine, and saw the apartheid system we endure for himself. He said when in Palestine: "In our short stay here we have seen and heard enough to conclude that Apartheid has been reborn here. In its reborn form it is however worse than its predecessor. Even during the worst days of Apartheid we did not have walls to divide and control people, we also did not have separate roads for separate races, and we did not have the system of checkpoints that exist here."

The Foundation which bears his name engages in activities in support of Israeli Apartheid Week, which aims to raise awareness of Israel's apartheid policies towards Palestinians. It also supports the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights, believing that this is the way to bring an end to Israel's apartheid policies and violations of international law. 

Kathrada’s own long imprisonment — 26 years and 3 months — alongside the anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela and his lifelong struggle against apartheid and injustice are an example to all Palestinians that integrity and perseverance will lead to justice and freedom.

The BDS movement is working to increase international civil society and government support for the Palestinian struggle for justice. We were honored to count Comrade Kathrada as a supporter of our struggle and remain inspired by his life.

We send out our condolences to his family, friends, comrades and all South Africans during these difficult days.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) is the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society. It leads and supports the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. 

In the News

Energy firm ditches occupation profiteer G4S

British firm Good Energy has announced that it will end its business relationship with G4S, the private security giant with a track record of complicity in Israel’s human rights abuses.

Good Energy claims to be committed to high ethical standards but had contracted a G4S company to conduct door-to-door energy meter readings since 2008.

British firm Good Energy has announced that it will end its business relationship with G4S, the private security giant with a track record of complicity in Israel’s human rights abuses.

Good Energy claims to be committed to high ethical standards but had contracted a G4S company to conduct door-to-door energy meter readings since 2008. G4Sprovides equipment and services to Israeli prisons and checkpoints in the occupied West Bank and has been involved in serious abuses in the UK deportation system and other privatized services that were previously in public ownership. The recent decision not to procecute G4S or any of its staff over their role in the death of Jimmy Mubenga, an Angolan who died on a deporation flight while being “restrained” by G4S guards, has sparked outrage.

In a statement published on its website last week, Good Energy hinted that it had felt the pressure by campaigners, saying that “feedback from customers” was one of the reasons behind its decision to drop G4S. This small but significant victory shows that the rapidly emerging campaign against G4S is already succeeding in toxifying the G4S brand.

G4S in the dock

The Good Energy annoucement came as the trial of two activists who occupied the roof of the G4S headquarters near London last month got underway.

As Corporate Watch reports, both activists entered “not guilty” pleas to charges of aggravated trespass under Section 68 of the 1994 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act:

Both defendants pleaded “not guilty” on the basis that, among other things, the activity they are accused of obstructing/disrupting is unlawful (in reference to G4S’s contract with the Israeli Prison Service and services to Israeli settlements and military checkpoints, the use of unlawful restraint techniques in immigration detention centers and so on).

Section 68 states that a person commits the offense of aggravated trespass if he or she trespasses on land where persons are engaged in a lawful activity with the intention of intimidating those persons, obstructing or disrupting that activity.

The draconian bail conditions that had been imposed by the police (not to trespass anywhere in the UK, not to enter the borough of Crawley, and not to enter any land or building associated with G4S anywhere within the UK) were varied by the court. The first two conditions were removed altogether and the third was limited to the boundaries of the G4S HQ concerned. The court seemed to agree with the defendants that the original condition meant they could not enter or use numerous public and private buildings “associated with G4S” (where the company provides security, for example), from banks, hospitals and stations to prisons and possibly the court building itself.

A court hearing date was set for  3 and 4 December 2012 at Horsham and Haywards Heath magistrates courts.

Original link: http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/michael-deas/energy-firm-ditches-occupation-profiteer-g4s


SHARE

Stay updated!

Get breaking news, campaign updates and action alerts!