As the suffering in Gaza continues, more and more people are taking action to building support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
Today in Portsmouth, six activists took action in Portsmouth. Their target was the Commercial Road branch of Sainbury’s.
“There were 6 of us, mostly women involved in the action. We had leaflets to give to people explaining why we were doing the action and had the companies which people shouldn’t buy” Lee-Lee told Portsmouth Socialist Network.
“We filled up a trolley with products which were Israeli or had a relationship with the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) and presented ourselves at customer services and asked to speak to the manager.”
While waiting they handed out leaflets to customers and staff and explained they were not here to intimidate anyone but to inform.
“Some people didn’t want to know which is fair enough, but we had people take leaflets and say that they wouldn’t buy the products.
“We had two teachers come over and thank us for doing it. Some staff took leaflets and said they agreed with us. We had a really good chat with some of them.”
When the manager did speak to them, he informed them Head Office had sent a memo advising managers on what to do.
“They said to us that they were told by Head office that they were aware of the protests and if any happened to call the police and not give any statements.”
“I feel let down by Sainbury’s. Its not like they cannot do anything. They can either stop selling the goods or pressure the companies to cut their relationship with the IDF.”
When Police arrived, the manager was keen that they stop the protest.
“We were there for about 2 and a half hours before police told us to leave as we were committing “aggravated trespass” but they said we could protest outside. But the police then moved us completely off the Sainsburys site and said we were banned from going there for three months.”
“We never damaged anything or had any intention of stealing but people need to know what the products they are buying are backing. What going on in Gaza is a genocide, even the UN says it.”
The group haven’t been put off by the action of the police however.
“We have some upcoming plans to do more actions. We are going to have an organising meeting to get more people and do a bigger action. We couldn’t shut down the store today because there were six of us, but with more people we can do bigger things.
Find out more about BDS here: http://www.bdsmovement.ne