London Indymedia

Pix of Boycott M&S Protest, Oxford Street, Thu 06 May 04 - Set 1 of 2

Alex Eisenstein | 07.05.2004 10:33 | Anti-militarism | Anti-racism | London

These photos are of the longest running protest against the illegal Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip - every Thursday from 18:00 to 20:00 since October 2000, at the beginning of the second intifada (Arabic for uprising). Since September 2003, a collection of Zionist extremists and home grown fascists have been mounting a counter demonstration, photos of which appear in set 2. For the last 12 weeks the police have been confining the protest and the counter demonstration to equal sized crash barrier enclosures, and the inspector in charge has been reading the chief steward a Section 14, Public Order Act, notice detailing the police's parameters to both the protesters and the Zionist/fascist alliance.

Reproduced below is the text of the leaflet being handed out on the protest.
Victory to the Intifada

Join the picket of Marks and Spencer on Oxford Street at Marble Arch
Every Thursday 6-8pm

Public Meeting on the Palestine and Iraq
Saturday 8 May, 12-5pm
The Old Theatre, Houghton St, London School of Economics, WC2. Nearest Tube: Holborn

Boycotting Israeli goods is essential to undermining the Zionist regime but there is one company that MUST
be particularly targeted, just as Barclays was a focus against apartheid South Africa. That company should
be a British one to highlight the links to this country and our responsibility. That company IS Marks &
Spencer - the biggest British corporate sponsor of Israel. Marks & Spencer is not just interested in trading
with Israel for profit like other companies, it IS and ALWAYS has been an unequivocal supporter of Zionism
- 'aiding the economic development of Israel is one of our main objectives" said Lord Sieff the M&S chairman
(1999). The boycott Marks & Spencer campaign has been active nationally since the beginning of the
second Intifada. It continues... Support Palestine! Support the picket!

Recently a counter demonstration to the M&S pickets has begun by an alliance of Zionist extremists and
British fascists. Your support is needed more than ever to defeat these racists who spout lies about Palestine.
Join the pickets! Help defeat M&S's Israeli sponsorship AND their fascist backers!

"The things a Palestinian has to endure, simply coming to work in the morning, ie a long and continuous nightmare that includes humiliation bordering on despair. The present model integrates apartheid."
(Former head of Israeli Security Service Shin Bet, Ami Aylaon. Ma'ariv 5/12/00)

FACT 42,000 Palestinian civilians have been seriously injured and over 3000 Palestinians have been killed since the Intifada began in September 2000 (
FACT Israel is targeting children: More than one in three of the injured are under 18. Over 600 children under 18 have been killed.
FACT Israel has violated international law (UN Resolutions 242 and 338) by blocking 4 million Palestinian refugees from returning to their homeland while promoting the influx of immigrants to settle in occupied Palestine from Europe, Russia and all over the world.
FACT Shelling and demolition have destroyed 3000 houses and damaged over 43,000. Israelis forces have bulldozed over 900,000 Palestinian olive and fruit trees and 15,000 acres of Palestinian farmland.

Why Boycott M&S? Because M&S...
• supports Israel with £233 million in trade each year (Jerusalem Report, 5 June 2000).
• sells goods produced In the illegally occupied territories.
• were key diplomatic allies for Zionism in the 1920s-40s, working closely Chaim Weizmann*
• M&S Chairman Israel Sieff advocated ethnic cleansing: "large sections of the Arab population of Palestine should be transplanted to Iraq and other Middle-Eastern Arab States" (Jewish Chronicle, 21/09/1941)
• sees "aiding the economic development of Israel" as "one of its fundamental objectives" (Lord Marcus Sieff, long-time M&S Chairman, Management: The M&S Way, 1999).
• "was prominent, even essential, from the 1960s to the 1980s ... partly because of its strong links with Zionism; and partly for its success In getting Israeli goods to the British marketplace" (Barry Kosmin).
• received the Jubilee Award, Israel's highest tribute, from Israeli PM Netanyahu in 1998.
• was honoured in 2000 by the Israeli Ambassador to Britain in a ceremony in London.
• "are as close to Israel as we have ever been" (M&S Spokesperson. Jewish Chronicle, 2000)

Our concern is not with M&S' Jewish roots but with its historic and continuing support for Zionism.
Get Active, Get Involved, or 020 7837 1688
Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!

* "There is a country which happens to be called Palestine, a country without a people, and on the other hand there exists the Jewish people, and it has no country. What else is necessary, then, but to fit the gem into the ring, to unite this people with this country?"
Chaim Weizmann, future first Israeli President, 1914
"The British told us that there are some hundred thousand blacks [in Palestine], and for those there is no value."
Chaim Weizmann, confiding in a friend, 1917

Finally, in traversing St James Park on the way home, I couldn't resist shooting the ducks against the reflections of the setting sun.

In International Solidarity,

Alex Eisenstein

Alex Eisenstein


Hide the following 17 comments

Links to Pix of Boycott M&S Protest, Oxford Street, Thu 06 May 04

07.05.2004 10:55

The photos of the Boycott Marks & Spencer Protest at the Marble Arch end of Oxford Street are in two sets:
Set 1:
Set 2:
In International Solidarity,

Alex Eisenstein

Alex Eisenstein
mail e-mail:


07.05.2004 14:21

Cheers Alex. Great photos.


8 milion refugees?ahaha

08.05.2004 17:48

the woman with the poster which says 8 milion palestinian refugees in the world makes me laugh. there were just over a milion arabs in palestine in 1948 and now only the refugees are 8 milion? ahahah. and add the milion still living in israel. the milion native to the west bank.

the voice of common sense

the voice of common sense

08.05.2004 20:23

Not wishing to sour the sense of pro-Israel solidarity, but 1m Palestinian refugees? The highest estimate I can find even from reputable pro-Pali sources is 560,000 - outweighed by the number of Jewish refugees driven out at gunpoint from the Arab dictatorships.

As I mentioned, not wanting to spoil the sense of solidarity,the point of your post still stands. The nonsense vomited up by these tragic, misguided Arab extremist sympathisers is still comical, whatever the tiny number of 'native' Palestinian Arabs was.

Incidentally, of course, there WERE no Palestinians before people like Arafat, a native of Cairo, decided to invent a Palestinian Nationalist identity in the late 1960s.

However much these imbeciles want to obscure the truth about the rights of the Jewish people, the facts will always find them out - being Pro-Palestinian is tantamount to being either ignorant or a liar. I'll give the ISM degenerates gurning for the photos the benefit of being straight imbeciles, although theoretically at least, ISM members are liars AND imbeciles.

tired of the same old tired, false, regurgitated pro-pali propaganda


09.05.2004 09:28

Just to clarify


"Under UNRWA's operational definition, Palestine refugees are persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948, who lost both their homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict. UNRWA's services are available to all those living in its area of operations who meet this definition, who are registered with the Agency and who need assistance. UNRWA's definition of a refugee also covers the descendants of persons who became refugees in 1948. The number of registered Palestine refugees has subsequently grown from 914,000 in 1950 to more than four million in 2002, and continues to rise due to natural population growth."

Are you arguing that there were no Palestinians? Well, there were certainly people living in that area before 1948 who aren't there anymore.
Certainly, there were no Israelis. How come the Palestinians have no right to a national identity, based on legitimate claim to land they had lived on for centuries before 1948, but the Israeli's are allowed to forge a national identity based on a claim some of their ancestors had on the land 2000 years ago?


Hermes the Ignorant

09.05.2004 15:41

Jews have lived there continuously for thousands of years. Your claim there were no Jews there after biblical times is staggeringly ignorant but sadly typical of the Arab supremacist-revisionist mindset. It suggests you're also ignorant of the millions of Jewish refugees from the Arab fascist states (i.e. Arab states), who were the victims of vicious ethnic cleansing - the same ethnic cleansing that the Arabs have tried repeatedly in Israel to the present day.

There is no Palestinian history before 1960. Everything about 'Palestine' reeks of bullshit, a kind of 'nouveau-riche' nationalism, a hastily and pretentiously cobbled together national identity, made up from the leftovers of Arab imperialism.

Why did the leadership decide the borders of the new 'Palestine', to be founded after the extermination of the Jews, should only include the tiny sliver of land in which Jews are exercising their right to self-determination?

Why not include Jordan, the state of which, as you will know, all 'Palestinians' were formerly citizens? Of course, this didn't include terror tourists like Arafat...

If Egyptian - uh, sorry, Palestinian - terrorist Arafat (born and raised in Cairo) ever gets his way, it will be the first time in human history that there has ever been a Palestinian state - an apartheid, Arab settler state of Palestine.

Perhaps it will happen in time for the 50th anniversary of the invention of the Palestinian identity? Pity 'the paediatrician of death' Rantisi will never get to see it. He was another great Egyptian - uh, sorry, Palestinian - 'leader'.

I understand the pro-Palestinian position, Hermes. Your lies are so transparent, your grip on reality so flimsy, the only way you can convince yourself it's true is by spouting the same old drivel again and again. Why bother? The Palestinian position is based on extortion, murder, gangsterism, terrorism, spin, propaganda - but NEVER discussion.

Why not just start stabbing people at random in the street? It's a policy pro-Palestinians have used for years - there was a case a couple of years ago of a friend of Palestine who knifed a Jew on a bus. How about spray painting Jewish graves with swastikas and 'intifada' graffiti! It's much more 'authentically' Palestinian behaviour.

Why commit yourself to a higher standard than the Palestinian leadership? They've bombed and slaughtered their way to staggering riches (around $7bn for Arafat ALONE!) while your lot just gets laughed at in the street. Go on, kill for the Arab empire! It's the Palestinian way!

tired of the same old tired, false, regurgitated pro-pali propaganda


09.05.2004 18:27

I tell you what, tired, why don't you just go into somebodies house with a machine gun, kill their family, and confine any survivors to the cellar. Then, go tell all the neighbours that its YOUR house, you have every right to be there, the former family had no claim to the house, or in fact, didn't even exist at all.

Why don't you fire a missile into my house if you don't like me. True, it may kill my housemates, and a few of the neighbours, who have nothing to do with this discussion, but at least it will shut me up.

Why not go set up a checkpoint in the road and beat up random arabs as they pass you by. In fact, why not go harrass arabs as they work, go rent a bulldozer, demolish their house, maybe while they're still inside. I mean, it's what you support isn't it? You think all that is neccessary for the security of Israel? Why not get a rock and break the arms of Palestinian children to stop them thrwoing stones? Why not learn torture, so you can interrogate brown skinned potential terrorists? You may even enjoy it, beating them, getting them to stand up for hours in a claustrophobic cupboard, or doing things to them the like of which would make even that American soldier caught in Iraq blush. Do you think the sort of abuse we're seeing coming out of Iraq is new? You should have a look into the methods used by Shin Bet.

After all it's the Israeli way, isn't it? No, its the way of cruel, deluded people, who try and rationalise the most inhumane acts for the sake of nothing more than concepts. You do it, the US does it, arabs do it too. But a difference is that the Palestinians are fighting for an end to occupation, and years of humiliation at the hands of cruel soldiers. And they're fighting for their dignity. Sooner or later, they are going to get their freedom in one way or another, and the fate of those who oppressed them will be dependent on whether this freedom is something both sides worked on together.

If you think its OK to steal someones land, and then continue to oppress, kill and torture them then I'm afraid there's not much that can be said to you, except that one day, you're going to have to answer to someone, yourself, God maybe, why did you think it was OK for fellow human beings to be treated this way? For the sake of a blue and white flag?


my reply

10.05.2004 00:30

Why don't you murder a pregnant woman and her three little children, and then send more gangsters along to machine gun THEIR MOURNERS?

Israel does not machine gun shahid street parties. But hurry, maybe you could invent something, backed up with some florid rant from an ISM narcissist with one eye on a publishing deal, assuming he could take time off from his hagiography of the grotesque Rachel Corrie.

Why don't you force a woman you suspect of adultery to kill bystanders and herself as a punishment? Or a mentally handicapped child? Or a little boy who thought he was carrying car parts? Find you own URLs for these, there are plenty.

Why not shoot at, or fire mortars and rockets into schools and homes of people you dislike with such regularity the attacks aren't reported by the media? Why not use the state controlled media to broadcast constant propaganda stating Jews are the spawn of pigs and monkeys, that they are subhuman, that exterminating them is a duty?

Why not ensure that every child you have contact with is told on a daily basis, at home, in school textbooks, that their only purpose on earth is to kill Jews? Why not ensure every place of worship under your control preaches nothing but hatred of Jews? Why not murder some people who were coming to give University scholarships to your children, and then appoint the person you ordered to carry it out to investigate? (Arafat has a twisted sense of humour).

Why not target civilians on public transport with bombs filled with rusty nails and rat poison?

I could go on, but everyone knows what the Palestinain leadership are like. They know about their death cult. So do you, but you choose to ignore it, or at least avoid confronting the issue. The current Arraf dictated line (dictated to her by the finely honed Hamas PR machine) is that any question that mentions Palestinian crimes should be replied to with a whiney 'what about Israel?'

Then she quite happily avails herself of Israeli democracy, fairness and justice by suing, in Israeli courts, any time someone disagrees with her. Not to mention her continual attempt to hamper justice by opposing efforts to have her removed from the country.

The Palestinian approach, of course, would be to shoot her in the back and leave her to die. No appealing that, as many Israeli children have discovered - and that's children who weren't acting as cover for heavily armed Hamas terrorists.

Torture and abuse will never be acceptable, but charges are and have been brought against any Israeli, soldier or civilian, who breaks the law in dealing with Palestinians, no matter how bloodstained and mad with hate the Palestinian happens to be.

As for Palestinian justice, ask the two reservists who were beaten and then ripped apart by baying Palestinians who smeared themselves with human gore and held the organs aloft as trophies. Or ask the ordinary Palestinians who got on the wrong side of Arafat and ended up being publicly lynched.

Occupation? There is no occupation. I will accept that Yesha is disputed territory, as that's an objective fact, but nothing exists factually, historically or legally to suggest the use of the term 'occupation'.

I hope the Palestinians DO get peace and freedom. Freedom from the brainwashing of Arafat and his gangster mob, freedom from the death cult slavery, freedom from the regime that embezzles tens of billions, that buys shipfuls of weapons and bombs instead of food and medicine, freedom to learn peace from the countless numbers of Israelis who give up their time to volunteer to help ordinary Palestinian civilians traumatised by Arafat's war...

They will never be free while the Palestinian leadership refuses to negotiate.

As for your last paragraph - I think you should ask yourself the same question.

How can you believe that the historically unprecedented atrocities committed by the Palestinians can be justified by anything?

When you see the Palestinian flag at the Olympics, do you ever think of 1972 and feel sickened?

Of course I don't think it's acceptable to steal, kill, oppress and torture. That's why the Palestinian leadership, and their Arab nationalist brethren, fill me with disgust. It's all they know. It's why I support Tibetan causes but not Palestinian ones. The Chinese government have treated the Tibetans infinitely more brutally than even ISM types suggest Israel has treated the Palestinians, but that's not the point.

The point is that I can support Tibet without having to deal with the thought of Tibetans revelling in the commission of the most abject atrocities, gleefully celebrating crimes so unspeakable any sane person would be sickened. Palestinian glee at the crimes they commit is an issue anti-Israeli groups commonly dismiss as 'desperation'. It seems I can't lie as well to myself as you lie to yourself.

tired of the same old tired, false, regurgitated pro-pali propaganda


10.05.2004 08:04

"tired of the same old tired, false, regurgitated pro-pali propaganda"

Its interesting you equate supporting the palestinians right to self-determination with unequivocal support for the murder of civilians. There is nothing inconsistent about opposing murder, whoever the perpertrator whilst acknowledging the causal order of occupation and reaction. If we're serious about peace for all inhabitants of Israel/Palestine then the occupation needs to end. And why the slander of Rachel Corrie? Just because you see 'supporting israel' as unquestioning support for any of their actions doesn't mean you have to transpose such dichotomous simplicity onto everyone else.




10.05.2004 08:48

I find it quite funny the human rights campaign you support is the far away occupation it can be argued the West has no involvement with. Yes, Tibet, thousands of miles away and conveniently occupied by the West's up and coming rival, China.
I won't argue with you on this score, the torture and oppression of the Tibetan people is terrible and unjustified.

And yet the Chinese justify it to themselves. The use an ancient historic claim to the land in the name of Greater China. They point to the fact that before Chinese rule, Tibet was a feudal society, and not exactly a paragon in upholding human rights itself. China came and brought civilisation to the region, made the metaphorical desert bloom.

Tell me, do you have the same passion for human rights with regard to Indonesia? Did you campaign against apartheid South Africa? What about our own occupation, now, of Iraq?

I remember arguing with some crazy guy in the message board the other day who was trying to justify apartheid. He came out with the same sort of stuff you are coming out with. How the blacks were so brutal, and even tortured their own people. They're just violent savages, and now they're in charge, the whole country is falling apart, and that any day soon, South Africa would go the way of Zimbabwe, and the whites would be metaphorically driven into the sea. The same old tired arguments...

I'm not a big supporter of flags. I support one state for Jews and Palestinians to live in together, like it always should have been. Jews have every right to live there, or in fact, anywhere, and so do the Palestinians. But Israel was built on the concept of a state for one particular ethnic group, and involved the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians from what was their land.
In fact, the artificial division of arab lands into nations is a modern phenomena, brought about by the British and French, when before it was all one Arabia. I am not a fervent supporter of Palestinian desires to statehood. I'm a supporter of their freedom from occupation, and for their right to live their lives in a normal way, without constant harrassment, murder, and destruction by Israeli forces. If that involves a state, then fine, but such a state should only be a step on the way to living together with the Jews as brothers, not as rivals side by side, which will only lead to more conflict in the future.

And I support the Jews in that region. It is painful to see the occupation being done in the name of people who suffered so much for so long, and brought so much to the world in terms of science, art, philosophy. The purpose of Israel was to make a safe place for Jews to escape from persecution. Well, I ask you now, as you look at the situation in the middle-east and the hatred towards Israel, are the Jews safer now that they have a state? What was considered simply a practical neccessity has transformed into blind nationalism. A state for a states sake. This national sentiment supersedes the more relevant question of, how can we live it peace with all the nations of the world? And that is the mistake you are making. Ask yourself, would you rather the Jewish people die than give up that land? If the answer is yes, then what was the point of Israel?


what i meant

10.05.2004 15:24

i never ment to say that the palestinian people don't exist personally, offcourse they exist, even though they are not culturally distinguished from the arabs of syria, jordan, and lebanon. i just wanted to say that the refugees aren't 8 milion, the refugees, or to be more precise their descendants, are probably 3.5-4 milion, and they should not be allowed to return after all this time. they should settle down where they now live, just like the milion german refugees from poland did after the second world war.

the voice of common sense

"and they should not be allowed to return after all this time"

10.05.2004 15:48

The only objection I can see to the right of return is the fact it may create a load of homeless Israelis. That wouldn't solve anything, but would just shift the injustice. SO if the palestinians don't have the right of return presumably their are owed massive compensation to turn the shanty town refugee camps into safe living environments of comparable standard to what they are being prevented from returning to?

This could only happen under one state, or preferably no state. The issue of Israel-Palestine simply highlights the absurdity of arbitrary borders and nationalism from whatever source - the only problem states have ever solved is how to control a population via movement restrictions and a conversion of natural solidarity and empathy into artificial 'patriotism'. Maybe Ken o'Keefe's 'P10k' thing will break the cycle. I hope so.



10.05.2004 16:20

if they live in shanty towns in lebanon, it's because the lebanese government doesn't give them citizenship or any civil rights, and the same happened in various arab countries. if it wasn't like that they would be less keen on returning. anyway I think they should get compensation (though not that much that they can become as rich as israelis, that makes no sense) and the arab league should compensate for the nearly milion jews who fled from arab states in the fifties(without coming up with stupid theories that the mossad pushed them to flee) , so that israelis will find the deal more easy to swallow.

the voice of common sense

Right of return

11.05.2004 10:38

Did I miss something? Palestinians should not be allowed to return 'after all this time' since 1948. But Jews can 'return' at any time, whether they or any relative of theirs in living memory has ever lived in the middle east. Come on, now....


save israel

17.05.2004 22:56

fight antisemitism and antizionism !!

save israel

- Homepage:


06.06.2004 16:13

Equating the broad range of voices that are representative of the interests of Palestine to Yasser Arafat is just going to leave egg on your face. His is hardly representative of anyone with some sort of sanity, and more importantly is the typical elite the US would like to see 'lead' Palestine into the future, despite their apparent tantrums..


HOW MANY?? it'd be the same if it had been one

28.09.2004 04:37

if even there was only one palestinian refugee it would make no difference as to the causes of him seekinf refuge. even though thats not even the point of this article, the point here is that some store is making money tu support a regime that slaughters people, and that's whats wrong, it would still be wrong if the store was making money for the palestine regime. the problem here seems to be everyone puts everyone in the same bag, just because you were born further to the east or vicevesa and that is plain cr@p.

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