BDS double victory over Sodastream
Company complicit in occupation closes store and ditched by retailer
Palestinian solidarity activist were celebrating earlier this month after a double victory over SodaStream, a company with facilities in the occupied Westbank.
First came the news that Sodastream was closing its flagship eco-store in Brighton, this was followed a day later by a decision from John Lewis to stop stocking SodaStream products.
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) had held fortnightly Saturday protests outside John Lewis’ flagship Oxford Street store in London. With Brighton and Hove PSC holding weekly demonstrations outside the Brighton store
“The double blow dealt to SodaStream this week should serve as a warning to other settlement companies - their business is not wanted here,” the PSC said in a statement.
Sarah Colborne, director of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said in a media release: “The news that SodaStream is closing its main UK store and that John Lewis is taking SodaStream products off its shelves is a major success for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.”
Complicit in the occupation of Palestinian land
SodaStream’s manufacturing plant is located in the Israeli settlement of Maaleh Adumim, one of the biggest in the occupied West Bank. Israel’s settlements are illegal under international law.
Seven Palestinian villages were destroyed and their inhabitants displaced in order to build the Maaleh Adumim settlement.
Brighton and Hove PSC issued a statement saying: “The closure of SodaStream’s flagship UK store in Brighton is just one step in a campaign to send a clear message to the Israeli government and the international community that, at the grassroots level, people of conscience are taking action to force Israel to comply with international law and to bring about justice for the Palestinian people, Congratulations to the people of Brighton and Hove, who can tell the difference between ethical and unethical.”
The campaign continues
PSC also said it would continue to campaign nationally to persuade other retailers, including Argos and Sainsbury’s, to stop selling SodaStream.
In her statement Colborne of PSC also said that:
“UK retailers should note John Lewis’ decision to ditch SodaStream, and take heed of UK government business guidelines which warn companies of the potential reputational damage of trading with settlement firms.”
John Lewis said in a statement that is has stocked Sodastream for the past four years but, "in light of recent sales levels, coupled with a new direction for our cook and dine assortment, we’ve taken the decision to no longer stock the range".
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