Aug 15, 2010

Zionists and racist EDL unite to counter Ahava Protest

In celebration of the recent court victory in which four campaigners were acquitted for blockading the Covent Garden Ahava shop in 2009, approximately 60 protestors gathered outside its doors in Monmouth Street, central London, to celebrate and continue promoting boycott, divestment and sanctions against the Israeli occupation. While demonstrators were met by the usual Zionist counter-demonstrators, on this occasion they arrived flanked by the openly racist English Defence League.

Ahava, the cosmetics retailer and spa outlet, manufactures its products on the illegal Israeli settlement of Mitzpe Shalem. It has openly flouted tax requirements by exploiting the EU-Israel trade agreement and violates UK DEFRA guidelines in respect of proper labelling. The campaign against Ahava supports the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions as a global nonviolent means to challenge the Israeli Occupation of Palestine and the ongoing siege upon Gaza.

At the outset the small group of around ten EDL members remained close to the Zionist contingent of Ahava supporters, handing out leaflets. Over the course of the demonstration they began to take an increasingly prominent role, culminating with the unravelling of a flag of St. George and chanting “E-E-EDL.” This was accompanied by racist remarks towards a number of Ahava protestors who were of Asian/Middle Eastern descent. What was more surprising, and unsettling, was the apparent unwillingness of the Zionist contingent to distance themselves from the EDL.

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