Sunday 24 August 2014

Protesters again call on Barclays to stop profiting from Israeli war crimes

As the slaughter in Gaza continues, taking the lives of more children and their families, members of Aberdeen Trades Union Council, Scottish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign and faith and community groups kept up the pressure on Barclay's Bank to divest from Israeli arms manufacturer Elbit systems.

For the second Saturday, protesters demonstrated outside Barclay's Bank and staged a "die-in" to commemorate all those who have lost their lives as a result of the Israeli assaults on Gaza, and calling on Barclays to end their complicity with Israeli war crimes.

Passers by again took leaflets and many signed the petition with some even joining the protest. Speakers again called for Israel to end its occupation of Palestine and for the establishment of a Palestinian Free State.

Ally Coutts of SPSC condemned Barclay's investment in Elbit Systems, which is Israel's biggest producer of drones. "Elbit frequently boasts that their drones have been "combat proven"," slammed Ally, "Combat proven on innocent civilians, women, children and the elderly."

Kate Ramsden, speaking on behalf of Aberdeen TUC told those gathered that we must keep up the strategy of boycott, divesment and sanctions. "It's what we can do," she said. "It brought down South African apartheid, now we need to bring down apartheid in Israel and get justice for Palestine using the same tactics.

"We stand alongside Desmond Tutu, who this week called for non-violent protest against Israel's occupation and bombardment of Palestine," added Kate.

Protesters then went inside Barclay's Bank and staged a die-in, calling on customers and staff to bring pressure on their bank to divest from Elbit systems.

Jay Jay Thomson, one of the demonstrators said, "Inside there were four protesters lying down with red stained sheets.

"There were about 4 others who went in and stood at the back with their flags to support the 'corpses' on the ground.

"All in all, I think it worked really well and really got our point across to Barclay's."

Dave Black from SPSC added, "Activists gave leaflets and discussed the protest with the bank's customers, with most of them expressing interest and a few showing their support. 

"The bank manager did not engage with the peaceful protest, instead calling the police in to remove those involved.  The police accused protestors of preventing the bank from going about its business, clearly not true as bank customers had unhindered access to the bank during the "die-in". 

"Hopefully Barclays will get the message that they need to think again about their investment in Elbit Systems and their complicity in Israel's atrocities in Gaza."

Also keep up to date on the SPSC Aberdeen facebook site. Thanks to them for the pics.