The M&S picket in Manchester has been an ongoing battle between the pro-Palestinian picketers, the police and zionists, who have aggressively tried to break up the picket and have been verbally and physically abusive to individuals taking part in it. Counter demonstrators have held Israeli, American and British flags and sung 'God Save the Queen' along with the Israeli national anthem. They are thought to have links with various right-wing groups. The police have repeatedly served the picketers with a Section 14 notice, “imposing certain conditions” on their right to protest, though this usually happens after a couple of hours of disruption by the zionists. On one occasion the shop was closed, ironically as a result of the actions of the counter-demonstrators rather than the picketers. Two picketers have been convicted for obstructing a public highway.
Marks and Spencers have financially and ideologically supported the state of Israel since its creation. On 9th December CEO Stuart Rose is due to address the Annual Dinner of the British-Israel Chamber of Commerce at the Millenium Hotel, Grosvenor Square, London at 7pm.
Activists from Boycott Israeli Goods (BIG) and Boycott Marks and Spencer were scheduled to meet with the "Corporate Responsibility Division" of M&S to discuss what links M&S has with Israel, and what settlement goods they trade in. M&S cancelled the meeting "due to Christmas" - almost certainly on the calender when they made the appointment.