Day of Action Against MEC: Tell MEC to Stop Supporting Israeli Apartheid
Saturday, June 5
12:00pm – 2:00pm
Mountain Equipment Co-op Edmonton
12328-102 Avenue NW (Map)
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On Saturday, June 5th, Palestine Solidarity Network is joining Palestine solidarity activists across Canada in a global day of action for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. In the wake of Israel’s bloody massacre on the Freedom Flotilla loaded with humanitarian aid bound for Gaza, which has been under an inhumane and illegal siege for the last three years, it is imperative that we continue our call for BDS and an end to Israeli Apartheid. June 5 also marks the 43rd anniversary of the start of the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.
We demand MEC ends its partnerships with Israeli factories and stops sourcing products from Israel. Until MEC does so, we will continue to pressure MEC to act in accordance with their stated ethics by ending its partnership with Israeli factories. Information pickets will be held outside Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) stores, asking shoppers not to buy Israeli goods at MEC.
This action is in solidarity with the Global BDS Day of Action that Palestinian civil society has called for June 5, 2010. The first Global Day of Action for BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) against Israel came in the wake of last year’s brutal three-week assault on Gaza. The Israeli military killed more than 1400 Palestinians, at least 80% of them civilians, according to the Israeli human rights group B’tselem.
Judge Goldstone’s 500-page report to the UN concluded that Israel’s attack was “designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population.” More than one year later, Israel continues its suffocating blockade of the Gaza Strip which has been described by Jimmy Carter as “one of the greatest human rights crimes on Earth.”
Over the last year, the global movement calling for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions has accelerated, with the explicit aim of forcing Israel to comply with international law. In Canada, members have been asking MEC to end its “partnerships” with Israeli factories, including military contractors, that produce MEC branded seamless underwear and hydration systems. These partnerships are antithetical to MEC’s promotion of itself as an organization with “rigorous ethical sourcing requirements,” and a “business [that] can advance human rights.”
MEC’s house brand “partner” for hydration systems is Source Vagabond, an Israeli military designer and contractor that boasts on its website: “[Founder] Yoki and most of the members of our R&D team are experienced ex officers of elite IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) units.” Also, “50,000 [of its hydration packs] have been purchased by the IDF” and were almost certainly used during Israel’s recent massacre in Gaza that killed more than 430 Palestinian women and children, according to B’tselem.
During the Gaza assault, Source’s slogan was “Hydration is Essential In the Heat of Battle.” But apparently not for the more than 500,000 Palestinian civilians who had no running water in Gaza during January 2009 because of the deliberate Israeli military attacks on civilian infrastructure such as power plants, wells and water lines, as documented in the Goldstone report.
As Naomi Klein said in January 2009, “The best strategy to end the increasingly bloody occupation is for Israel to become the target of the kind of global movement that put an end to apartheid in South Africa.”
Until MEC reverses it’s position on sourcing from Israel we are asking MEC members to take the actions below:
WHAT YOU CAN DO
* Do not buy products made in Israel at MEC
* Leaflet a MEC store (please join us for the information picket on Saturday, June 5th).
* Ask friends and relatives not to buy Israeli goods at MEC.
* Whatever else you do, please write/fax/phone the CEO and board of MEC telling them of your actions and asking that MEC halt all dealings with Israeli companies. Please email CEO dLabistour@mec.ca and cc any emails to firstname.lastname@example.org