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(en) Britain, SchNEWS 699, 13th November 2009 - VEG OF DARKNESS - Israeli Carmel Agrexco suffered three days of disruption

Date Sat, 14 Nov 2009 14:47:20 +0200

Their internationally illegal export business this week disrupted as feisty protesters
launched the most audacious sustained blockade of the Israel-owned depot yet. --- Between
Friday 6th November and Sunday the 8th, activists endured crappy weather and attitude from
Carmel staff and police at the headquarters in Hayes, Middlesex. On the Friday, London
students, Anarchists Against the Wall and the International Solidarity Movement joined
(literally, with locks) together using fencing panels to carry out the blockade, managing
to disrupt Carmel’s business all day. Some activists were trapped inside the premises by
the Carmel staff, who the cops claimed had the right to use “reasonable force” to remove
those on their work premises, indicating when questioned that breaking their necks was
consistent with “reasonable force”.

The blockade lasted for eight hours before the d-lockers unlocked themselves. The best
Carmel could do was to lift some produce over the gates with forklifts - not quite
‘business as usual.’ None were arrested.

Day two saw the protesters locked on to oil drums, blocking access roads, and suffering
pain when police removed them. Three protesters were nicked and eventually those locked-on
were dragged, still attached to their barrels, away from the gates by police after five hours.

By Sunday (the final day of action) the Carmel staff had virtually given up, and a large
public demo blockaded trucks. Five people were arrested, although the police have rarely
charged anyone demonstrating against Carmel (the people nicked on the Valentine’s protests
were the first lot to be put on trial for three years (See SchNEWS 666, 698).

The Palestinians are experiencing their 42nd year of occupation. Carmel Agrexco is a part-
Israeli company that operates out of the Geneva Convention defying settlements in
Palestine. Vegetables make up 80% of Israeli exports and the UK is their largest market.

Lately there’s been a serious escalation in the actions against Carmel, and not before
time as the Israeli government feels free to lurch further and further to the right. A
ragtag group of British based protesters are able to do what even the US president seems
incapable of – impact, however slightly, on the Israeli settlement programme.
* For information on direct action and the boycott see www.bigcampaign.org and
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