On Saturday 26th October 2013 Keith Taylor, MEP for Southeast England, accepted a petition signed by about 1600 supporters of BHPSC’s year-long campaign against SodaStream’s ‘EcoStream’ store in Brighton. These protests have drawn attention to SodaStream’s complicity with Israel’s programme of ethnic cleansing and human rights abuses in the occupied Palestinian territory.
The regular protests outside the EcoStream store in Western Road have attracted huge support from local residents and from human rights campaigners all over the country and internationally. The campaign has featured regularly in the local, national and international media (e.g. The Times 25/07/13; The Guardian 30/09/13. The campaign against SodaStream is now a national one – with stockists of SodaStream products all over the country being targeted for protests – as well as an international one, with protests taking place throughout Europe, North America, South Africa and Australasia.
Mr Taylor is a long-standing supporter of the Palestinian struggle in general, and of the local campaign against SodaStream in particular. On the recent National SodaStream Day of Action on 28 Sept 2013, he sent the following statement of support to campaigners in Brighton and Hove:
I’m sorry not to be with you in person today but I’m certainly standing alongside you in spirit.
Protests against companies like SodaStream are essential as part of the global campaign to break the power of the oppressive Israeli state. Thank you to everyone who has given up their Saturday to stand in solidarity with our Palestinian brothers and sisters who continue to suffer at the hands of state repression from Israel.
In my work on the European Parliament’s Palestine delegation I’ll be sure to highlight your protests as an example of international action against illegally produced settlement goods.
Thank you once again for standing up for human rights.
As a member of the European Parliament, Keith Taylor’s support for the campaign is highly significant in view of the crucial changes currently taking place in the EU’s relationship with Israel. For example, the EU has published new guidelines to member states (‘Horizon 2020’) which exclude EU funding of Israeli entities active in the illegally occupied territories. This could have profound consequences for companies such as SodaStream. The EU is also considering a tightening of labelling requirements for goods imported into the EU from illegal Israeli settlements. Many of SodaStream’s products would currently fall foul of such labelling requirements.