BDS action in France/Photo: Save the seven BDS campaigners!
Seven French activists are being prosecuted by the French government following pressure by the Israeli lobby. They will appear in court in Pontoise (Paris suburb) on Thursday September 12 for having called for the boycott of Israeli products during a small show (a parody of trial) inside a Carrefour supermarket. A video of their performance may be seen here: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xduhfx_boycott-israel-tous-coupables_news These activists are from all political persuasions (Green Party, Communist Party, New Anticapitalist Party, EuroPalestine, and include ex-senator Alima Boumediene-Thierry who won a BDS trial in the same court in October 2010. France's new "socialist" government is adopting the same policy as the previous one in regards the repression of the non violent BDS campaign in France. In spite of the new European guidelines, it wants to prohibit any call to boycott the Israel occupier, whereas all other boycotts are allowed (China, Mexico, Iran Russia…). Even though the government has lost all its BDS trials but one (the first one in Bordeaux, which was completely biased), it continues suing us. They hope to intimidate activists and also to strangle us financially. Don't forget that in the French "democracy," people prosecuted by the state must not only pay for all the expenses related to their defence (lawyers, witnesses... = at least 3000 euros each time) but are not refunded this money when the French state loses a case! The accusation against the seven activists is the same as usual : racism and discrimination against a nation, which completely distorts the law stating : "Will be punished (up to 40.000 euros fine and 2 years of prison) all those who discriminate against a person or a group of persons because of their belonging to a race, a religion, an ethnicity or a nation". Of course when we boycott goods exported by Israel : 1) we do not discriminate against people but products; 2) we do it for political reasons and not because the producers are Jewish or Israeli, as the government and the Zionist French association try to argue; 3) and even if you take the producers of the goods exported by Israel you can't pretend they were produced by Jews or Israelis since many of them are produced by Palestinians and immigrant workers, who are neither Jewish nor Israeli. For these reasons, most judges have refused to condemn us until now. But yet the French government (the only one in the world to do so) continues suing the BDS activists. Last August 14 for instance, the Court in Perpignan (south of France) acquitted three BDS comrades, but the French government has appealed this judgment. Next October 30, I (John Tymon) will appear with three other comrades in the Paris Court of Appeal after having won a 15 hour trial in Bobigny (Paris suburb). This continuous harassment has been applauded by Israel, which recently claimed that France should be a model for the rest of Europe. We rely on your support to show the BDS campaign is a network and that the French political leaders are watched and disapproved of in the rest of the world. Please organize demonstrations in front of the French embassies and consulates in your countries. Send e-mails and letters to them. In France there will be protests in front of the courts on September 12 and October 30. Facebook page for solidarity and support: https://www.facebook.com/events/579732018757840/permalink/582514908479551/