Support Boycott of Israel (BDS) in Marrickville

Thank you all for your previous support for Marrickville Council’s decision to endorse the international BDS movement. Unfortunately that decision is still under threat.

The Australian national government and the NSW state government have both condemned the council for this ethical decision. The State Premier, has threatened to dissolve the council if it does not reverse the decision.

BUT ALL IS NOT LOST!

The mayor of Marrickville hopes to save the policy – see her article in the Sydney Morning Herald: “Roads, rates and Gaza”:

“To this effect I will be tabling a mayoral minute tomorrow night recommending that the council maintain in-principle support for the campaign, while rescinding the part of the original motion which called for the council to implement the policy in our local area. I will also recommend we acknowledge Israel’s right to exist and condemn all acts of violence.”

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/rates-roads–and-justice-in-gaza-20110417-1djkc.html#ixzz1JpRvmqPJ

What you can do:

Please support us by doing what you can – writing letters, talking to councillors or coming to the meeting to show support. If you are in Sydney, come to the council meeting tomorrow night, Tuesday 19 April 2011, when Marrickville Council will vote again on its BDS policy.

Attend Marrickville Council meeting
6:30pm, Tuesday 19 April 2011
Marrickville Council, 2 Fisher Street, Petersham
(Level 3 of the Administrative Centre)

We have updated our webpage at http://www.marrickvillebds.wordpress.com

Please consider sending other councillors a personal message of support – their email addresses are here:
http://www.marrickvillebds.wordpress.com/cntcil

2 responses to “Support Boycott of Israel (BDS) in Marrickville

  1. Can workers & their organisations succeed where political elites have failed?

    A response to Marrickville Council vote against Boycott, Divestments & Sanctions BDS of Israel (BDS) on 19 April 2011

    The Boycott, Divestments & Sanctions (BDS) of Israel campaign puts in the hands of ordinary people and their representatives the tools to demonstrate their opposition to Israel’s repression of Palestinian freedom by boycotting Israeli goods.

    In the case of councils like Marrickville, BDS calls for an end to contracts with companies like Veolia that is involved in building settlements in occupied Palestine.

    There are 68 resolutions in the United Nations calling for the end to the occupation of Palestine and for Israel to obey international law. These UN resolutions are ignored daily by Israel – it has done so for decades.They are never enforced by the nations that supported them.

    Over the past few weeks, in Australia, Labor Party leaders (like Rudd) put pressure on ALP councillors in Marrickville to change their vote on BDS. Last night they were successful. Many people in Marrickville has a multicultural community and many (probably the majority) support Palestine. Nearly 40% of people across Sydney support the stance taken by Marrickville on BDS. No wonder the ALP is losing votes to the Greens!

    Conservatives (i.e. Liberal & National Parties) already opposed BDS.

    All the resolutions, letters and statments by the political elite have failed to bring freedom & justice in Palestine.

    BDS should not be an appeal to just masters. Who are these people anyway but exploiters and corrupt? Rudd’s wife, Therese Rein, has $Billion contracts with the British government to take advantage of rising unemployment. Where are these just masters? In the leadership of the Australian Labor Party? In the Liberal Party? In the Federal Greens?

    Marrickville has proven that even with qualified support from a mainstream political organisation (i.e. The Greens) conservatives (ALP, Liberals etc) can block any attempt to impose a boycott of Israel.

    It is time to organise & act – people need to boycott Israeli goods, yes, but Palestinians need unity & political power.

    In taking a rights approach palestinian solidarity groups should not ignore division between rich & poor, the corruption of officials, the intervention of the United States and other imperial powers.

    Some shameful acts have been prosecuted in Palestine that do not accord with BDS calls for Justice.

    I speak here of the assassinations of Juliano Mer Khamis in Jenin and of Vittorio Arrigoni, an Internatinal Solidarity Movement activist ruthlessly murdered in Gaza. These assassinations are akin to killing a doctor who comes on the battlefield to help the wounded. Vittorio Arrigoni was helping protect Palestinian farmers from Israeli bullets. What a senseless act to kill him.

    Where does the power to act lie? Marrickville council comprise workers who are members of unions. Why can’t they implement the boycott of Veolia and Israeli companies & contractors?

    For ordinary people doesn’t power lie in working class organisations i.e. unions?

    In a few days time workers around Australia will celebrate May Day — in Queensland there will be marches in Brisbane & regional centres. BDS has already obtained in principle support from some unions. Shoudn’t greater effort be placed to get union members to act on these motions? It is we who have the power to stop Israeli companies from operating in Australia – as both consumers to stop buying Israeli goods and as workers by withdrawing our labour from transport or sale of Israeli products.

    But then our unions are themselves under the influence of the political elite in the ALP.

    It is easy to talk about these issues. But look at my union, the Natiional Tertiary Edication Union (NTEU) stance on Palestine. The NTEU is not affiliated with the ALP yet will not take a stand to have Australian universities boycott Israelis academic institutions.

    Ian Curr
    22 April

    Like

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