Sep 13, 2010

#BDS: Activists Target Hewlett Packard: “Shoppers, don’t support Israeli Apartheid!”

On Labor Day, September 6, 2010, about 40 local activists took part in the growing consumer boycott of Israeli goods with lively “back to school” actions at Best Buy and Office Depot in Emeryville. The actions focused on Hewlett Packard (HP), a multinational corporation based in Palo Alto, whose Enterprise Services “Basel System” technology is utilized by the Israeli state at military checkpoints in the West Bank and Gaza. The checkpoints restrict Palestinian freedom of movement; they keep students from getting to school, prevent workers from reaching their places of employment, restrict farmers’ access to their land, enforce separations between families, and often make it impossible for Palestinians to access necessary medical care.
Activists performed a choreographed dance to Aretha Franklin’s song “Think” – with a rewritten set of lyrics and distributed flyers with the theme “Think Before You Ink”. They interacted with back-to-school shoppers about HP’s “Basel System”, letting HP’s customers know that HP profits from Israeli apartheid with the sale of this technology to Israel. They also said that HP’s ‘socially responsible’ rhetoric will not hide the blood that is on their hands.

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