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Friday, March 29, 2013

Local groups wrap up picket at The Bay, plan further actions
Winnipeg—On March 30, Palestinian Land Day, several Winnipeg groups that joined together to protest a new product at The Bay are marking the occasion with the last of their 8-week info-picketing sessions.
The groups, united as the Winnipeg Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid, focussed their efforts on the SodaStream home carbonation system because it is manufactured in Mishor Adumim, an illegally-established Israeli industrial area, part of the illegal Ma’aleh Adumim settlement. The settlement was built on land that used to be the Palestinian towns of Abu Dis, Azarya, A-Tur, Issauya, Han El Akhmar, Anata and Nebbi Mussa.

The groups organizing the initiative point out that the Fourth Geneva Convention, which Israel signed, prohibits colonization of any occupied territory. As one of the largest settlements in the occupied West Bank, the scale and location of Ma’aleh Adumim make it an obstacle to peace.

As it concludes the 8-week information picket, the Winnipeg Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (WCAIA) vows to continuing putting pressure on retailers to stop selling SodaStream.

“We handed out leaflets to more than 1000 people,” said Bassam Hozaima, a member of WCAIA. “There is a growing movement around the world that opposes the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, and we will continue to encourage people to boycott Israeli settlement products like SodaStream.”

WCAIA notes that several large retailers now carry SodaStream, including The Bay, Canadian Tire, London Drugs, Sears, and Wal-Mart.

Added Hozaima, who was born in Gaza: “It is fitting that we are wrapping up our picket on March 30, Palestinian Land Day. This day marks the 1976 Palestinian resistance to land theft by the Israeli military regime. We will continue to put pressure on retailers to take SodaStream off their shelves. Selling SodaStream supports a system that oppresses of Palestinians.”

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