National BDS action in Australia
In early September 2012 over 60 Australian pro-Palestinian activists met in Adelaide for a Solidarity Weekend which included the 8th Edward Said Memorial Lecture presented by Ilan Pappe, the 3rd National BDS conference, the inaugural APAN (Australia Palestine Advocacy Network) AGM and a concert by Phil Monsour. The weekend was organized by a South Australian group, the Australian Friends of Palestine Association, and was particularly useful as the BDS conference gave activists from all over our huge country a chance to meet, share ideas and plan for national actions.
One of the groups created wanted to focus on consumer boycotts of Israeli cosmetic firms and so the NICC (National Israeli Cosmetic Campaign) planning group was set up comprising organizers from Brisbane (Queensland), Sydney (New South Wales), Melbourne (Victoria) and Adelaide (South Australia).
Just before Christmas the NICC group held its first major action, a National Week of Action (December 7-14) on the theme “Don’t buy Israeli Apartheid for Christmas”. This was Australia’s first national and coordinated BDS action. Despite occurring very close to the emergency rallies for the latest War on Gaza all events went ahead as planned and were peaceful and effective. Thousands more Australians are now aware of the BDS movement and how they can vote with their feet and money to help the Palestinians.
View a compilation You Tube of actions in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide at http://www.youtube.com/watch?
These actions and the education of Australians regarding the plight of the Palestinians and BDS will be ongoing with the weekly Seacret protests in Adelaide continuing and regular actions organized in NSW, Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland focusing on Israeli cosmetic firms, Sodastream and Veolia.