Protest to step up
GPJA (Global Peace and Justice Auckland) and the PHRC (Palestine Human Rights Campaign) will step up protests against the presence of Israeli tennis player Shahar Peer in the ASB Womens’ Classic tennis tournament.
Protest will resume tomorrow (Thursday) at 11am at the Stanley Street courts where we expect a larger protest as people return from holiday etc.
The protest is targeting Peer because there is an international consensus that the best way to challenge Israel ’s brutal oppression of Palestinians is through an international boycott – termed the BDS (Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions) campaign.
This is just the second time in recent history when such a consensus has developed – the first being in respect of apartheid South Africa . In that case the international boycott had a powerful and positive impact in bringing pressure for change. The same pressure can be brought to bear on Israel which follows policies remarkably similar to apartheid South Africa.
This morning police arrested one of the protest group in extraordinary circumstances. The protest had broken up at 12 noon and was leaving the stadium and returning to vehicles when police arrived and asked for an assurance we would not be protesting again at the tournament with either a drum or a loudhailer. Giving such an assurance was politely declined whereupon the police sought to seize the loudhailer. The person holding it was astonished at the request, declined to give it up and was arrested.
Meanwhile reports from Gaza in the past 24 hours indicate an Israeli airstrike has killed one Palestinian and wounded another three. Such attacks are a common occurrence. The absolute impunity with which Israel rains death and destruction on Palestinians underlines the importance of international pressure on Israel.