Here is an email that I received from the UK.
Swansea citizens action to remove Tesco ‘West Bank dates’ from sale.
With support from local Justice for Palestine and Stop the War groups, I’ve been confiscating these dates from Tesco shelves on the grounds that they are produced by illegal settlements under illegal Israeli occupation.
I have written to Tesco CEO Terry Leahy informing him. I have told him they were subsequently ‘sold’ in aid of Gaza charities (?200 raised so far) and that I would refund the shop price if he could satisfy me that the dates were NOT the product of illegal settlementsPolite response from customer service executive referred to ethical trading but avoided the settlement issue. When I did a repeat performance, Tesco said they’d inform the police if I did it again, which I now have. So we’ll see!
There’s been some local press coverage. It might be worth getting the issue to court: I’d make a parallel between this ‘seizure’ of unlawful goods and citizen’s arrest, except that here the law being broken is international law, signed up to by a British government.
If the forces of law and order are not in a position to act, or prepared to act, then the citizen has a duty.
This is a novel approach to protest the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands. One concern is that the confiscation could be portrayed as a means of self-enrichment. It makes sense to borrow the precaution used in the war tax resistance movement that put funds in an escrow account or actually distributes these funds to alternative efforts for public benefit. Perhaps the dates could be prominently distributed to the homeless or a soup kitchen.
Kate – another ‘citizen’s seizure’ at Swansea Tescos yesterday, this time with a group of ten, carrying posters, leaflets etc explaining action and linking long-term attrocities of West Bank occupation with Gaza horrors. Two trolleys of dates and other West Bank goods rolled out of the main entrance, tipped out and splattered with (Tesco Value) ketchup. D. Murphy and I were arrested and charged with theft, but charges against me were dropped ‘for lack of evidence’ – although the whole business was filmed, photographed and recorded on CCTV, with dozens of witnesses. Dont know why PPS is pressing charges on her and not me, but plan to have people in and around court hearing Wednesday – Greg