Latin America roundup: BDS campaigns target complicity with Israeli apartheid
In November, numerous BDS initiatives were launched as solidarity activism built up towards the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people (November 29).
The Coordination of Social Movements together with the Network for the Integration of the People (REBRIP) and the Front in Defense of the Palestinian people, which represent some of the most important civil society networks in Brazil, launched a common poster calling for a military embargo, the end to the Free Trade Agreement between the Mercosul and Israel and bearing the slogan “Don’t finance Israeli apartheid, colonialism and occupation!”.
The BDS committee launched a petition “Veolia out of Transmilenio!” The petition asks the mayor of Bogotá not to renew the contract with the firm operating Ciudad Movil SA because "among the operators of the public transportation system Transmilenio is one whose name is Cuidad Movil SA, which is part of the conglomerate Veolia, responsible for providing services to illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and therefore complicit in the occupation of Palestine. Also the request is extended to companies LAN MóvilSA, Citi Móvil SA, Gmóvil SAS and all companies with organic business relationship with Ciudad Móvil SA and therefore with Veolia”.
For more information on the campaign see: https://oiga.me/campaigns/fuera-veolia-de-transmilenio, http://boicotisraelencolombia.wordpress.com
The invitation of Israel as guest of Honour to the International Book for of Guadalajara (FILG) and the presence of Shimon Peres encountered a number of boycott activities.
A small protest greeted Peres’ arrival at the FILG, which was quickly repressed by the all present security forces. Activists staged a Counter-FILG under the slogan “¡Solidarity with the Palestinian people! We reject the occupation of the Zionist and murderous state of Israel. For another culture, a culture of the people in resistance.”
“We cannot consider the ‘visit’ of the Zionist state as an innocent ‘celebration of culture and literature,’ in which there are only university students, writers, and artists, rather there are also intelligence and security services from the Mossad here to protect the President of Israel, as well as a hundred members of the elite Israeli bourgeoisie who came with the intention of ‘investing’ in the opportune privatization of the energy sector, in water, aviation and of course, education,” reads the Contra-FIL Manifesto, which was signed off on by 17 organizations.
The activities of the Counter-FILG included film screenings and readings of Palestinian poetry and have taken place over the duration of the book fair.
In the run up to the FILG, a number of Arab authors, writers, and critics — among them Palestinian poet Najwan Darwish, Lebanese author and publisher Samah Idris, and Jordanian authors Elias Farkouh and Hisham Bustani – have signed a letter opposing Israel’s guest-of-honor status. A separate statement from Latin American writers and thinkers also condemned the selection of Israelas FIL’s guest of honor.
The overall outcome of this year’s FILG was a highly militarized environment, full of the metall detectors, intelligence and military presence and a much smaller influx of visitors than in previous years.