Palestine campaign petitions for new Dunnes Stores boycott
Shoppers across Ireland are getting the chance to sign a petition demanding that branches of Dunnes Stores take Israeli products off their shelves.
The two-week petition drive, launched last weekend by the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC), will seek to enlist Dunnes customers in Dublin, Cork, Belfast, Limerick, Galway, Newry, Wexford, Waterford, Bantry, Enniscorthy, and Sligo — just for a start, as the IPSC hopes to spread the campaign to other locations.
It comes a quarter-century after Dunnes was at the centre of a bitter two-year campaign of boycott and pickets, when it sacked a group of workers who refused to handle South African goods.
“Dunnes was on the wrong side of history, siding with the South African apartheid regime against its own workers,” Freda Hughes, IPSC chairperson, said. “This is a chance for it to put itself on the right side of history.”
The petition campaign is part of a coordinated international effort for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, which have seen actions take place in dozens of countries this weekend, including Israel and South Africa. Many South African organisations, and figures including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, have endorsed the BDS campaign.
“The Dunnes strike in the 1980s was internationally inspirational for the anti-apartheid movement,” David Landy, IPSC regional coordinator, said. “Today, Irish trade unions are supporting the boycott of Israeli goods.”
Israeli products for sale in Ireland are mainly food items, including the Jaffa and Carmel brands, and range from dates and avocados to strawberries, peppers and lemons.
A move by Dunnes to remove Israeli goods would not be unprecented. “Some Dunnes branches removed items from the shelves during and immediately after the Gaza massacre a year-and-a-half ago, and they did the same after the flotilla massacre several weeks ago,” Freda Hughes said. “Our message is that boycott is not just for massacres. Israel should be boycotted until its stops oppressing Palestinians and complies fully with its obligations under international law.”
Last weekend marked the fifth anniversary of the launch of the international movement for BDS, which aims to make Israeli pay for its illegal occupation of Palestinian lands and its violence and oppression against Palestinian people.
Some “Israeli” produce is grown on illegal settlements in the West Bank, where Palestinian workers toil for as little as five cents per hour, are subject to arbitrary dismissal and receive no pensions, sick pay or compensation for injury, the IPSC said.
Print Out Your Own Petition And Get Friends and Family to Sign!
Or sign the petition online
Even if you can’t make it along to any of the boycott actions this weekend, you can still download and print the petition asking Dunnes Stores not to stock Israeli goods and get your friends and family to sign them.
If you do, please return to IPSC before 27th July as we will be handing them in to Dunnes Stores Head Office on Thursday 29th July. Our address is: IPSC, Unit 5, 64 Dame Street, Dublin 2.