The BDS National Committee (BNC) is calling on you to unite in your different capacities and struggles for a Global BDS Day of Action on 30 March 2010 in solidarity with the Palestinian people and for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel.
The BNC calls on people of conscience and their organizations around the globe to mobilize in creative, concrete and visible BDS actions to make this day a historic step in the movement against Israel’s apartheid, colonialism and occupation, for accountability of the oppressor and for the fulfillment of the rights and dignity of the Palestinian people.
The BNC asks you to focus your 30 March BDS actions on:
1. Boycotting and divesting from Israeli and international corporations that sustain Israel’s apartheid, colonialism and occupation;
2. Taking legal action towards ending Israel’s impunity, including by investigating and prosecuting suspected Israeli war criminals in national courts and international tribunals;
3. Promoting and applying pressure to implement arms embargoes against Israel as well as a freeze or cancellation of free trade and other preferential agreements with it, as a crucial and urgent step towards full-fledged sanctions against Israel;
4. Launching academic, cultural and sports boycott actions against Israel and its complicit institutions.
The first Global BDS Day of Action was announced by Palestinian civil society with overwhelming support at the World Social Forum in 2009. The day of action held on 30 March coincides with Palestinian Land Day, which commemorates the day in 1976 when Israeli security forces shot and killed six young Palestinian citizens of Israel. These brave youth were among the thousands protesting expropriation of Palestinian land to build new Jewish colonies and expand existing Jewish cities. Today, Land Day symbolizes Palestinian resistance to Israel’s ongoing land expropriation, colonization, occupation and apartheid.
The announcement of the first Global BDS Day of Action came in the wake of the Israel’s 23-day military offensive “Operation Cast Lead” during which it killed more than 1,400 and injured over 5,000 Palestinians in the occupied and besieged Gaza Strip. One year later, Israel continues its suffocating blockade of the entire Gaza Strip in what has been described by human rights experts and analysts as an act of “slow genocide.” This is but a continuation of Israel’s brutal oppression of the Palestinian people, including their expulsion from their homes during the Nakba in 1948, military rule, occupation and colonization of their land, apartheid and persistent denial of the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and lands.
In the 2009 BDS Day of Action, numerous nongovernmental organizations, trade unions, student organizations, political parties and social groups in over 40 cities worldwide took up the call for globally coordinated BDS action coming from the 2009 World Social Forum. BDS activities on that day targeted, among others, companies such as Connex, a subsidiary of the multinational Veolia complicit in building the Jerusalem light rail system connecting Israeli colonies in the occupied West Bank to Jerusalem; Chapters Indigo bookstore, whose profits fund “lone” Israeli soldiers; the supermarket giant Tesco, which stocks an assortment of illegal settlement goods; and Motorola, supplier of telecommunications and electronic systems for the Israeli occupation forces.
Since then, the global BDS campaign has grown. Students, private sector firms, trade unions and other civil society actors worldwide have come to see that Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people cannot be tolerated any longer and have accordingly adopted diverse forms of BDS against Israel until it ends its oppression of the Palestinian people and fully complies with international law. This past year alone, trade unions, faith-based organizations, student groups and many other civil society movements and organizations have engaged in BDS campaigns aimed at holding Israel accountable for its violations of international law and fundamental Palestinian rights.