BDS organizers and activists for justice in PalestineÂ organized dozens of international actionsÂ calling for a boycott of Puma on Saturday, 15 June. After Adidas dropped its sponsorship of the Israeli Football Association in 2018 after being presented with over 16,000 signatures of protest, Puma took up the sponsorship. This means that the global German athletic manufacturer is a partner in apartheid, supporting teams in Israeli illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land.
Over 200 Palestinian sports clubs have called on Puma to end the sponsorship. On 15 June, organizers around the world â€“ including in Germany, France, Portugal, Malaysia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Denmark, Egypt, Nigeria, the Spanish State, Belgium, Hong Kong, Argentina, New Zealand, Jordan, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary and the United States â€“Â organized actions to support the Palestinian athletesâ€™ callÂ to #BoycottPuma.
In the German capital,Â BDS Berlin organized a protestÂ outside the Puma Concept Store at Hackescher Markt. Organizers delivered leaflets and information about the boycott call to staff at the Puma store to be forwarded to corporate headquarters. The response from passers-by was overwhelmingly positive, and participants distributed hundreds of flyers to nearby people. The demonstration included loud chants to â€śBoycott Puma! Boycott Apartheid!â€ť as well as social justice songs and music. After the rally, a falafel vendor from the nearby market donated a round of sandwiches to the activists involved.
Watch the BDS Berlin video:
In Toulouse, theÂ Collectif Palestine Vaincra, a member of the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, held an information stand for over 2 hours at Olivier Place in Toulouse. Despite being displaced from their original location by the prefecture to a less heavily-trafficked location at the last minute, activists distributed 800 flyers and had hundreds of positive conversations. Dozens ofÂ people took selfiesÂ in solidarity with the campaign.
Watch the video here:
Actions took place throughout France, including in Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, Strasbourg, Paris and a few days earlier in Clermont-Ferrand, Foix, Tours and elsewhere.
In Paris, the violent provocateurs of the Jewish Defense League (JDL)Â attempted to physically attackÂ activists from the BDS France campaign in order to attempt to force them to end their boycott action outside the Puma store.
However, their attempt failed and over 20 activists participated in the action, receiving strong support from the public for their anti-apartheid campaign.
In Charleroi, Belgium, theÂ Plate-forme Charleroi-Palestine distributed informationÂ about Pumaâ€™s involvement with sponsoring Israeli apartheid and the call for boycott from Palestinian athletes and collected support photos for the campaign.
In Vienna,Â BDS Austria held an information tableÂ outside the Puma store, posting informative displays and distributing flyers to hundreds of passers-by about the athletic gear companyâ€™s complicity with Israeli occupation and apartheid.
In Amsterdam,Â docP activists took to the streetsÂ for the international day of action, delivering a petition to the management of the Puma store and distributing flyers on the Koningsplein and in the Vondelpark.
Manchester Palestine ActionÂ kicked off the international day of actionÂ with a direct action inside Pumaâ€™s Manchester office, protesting and delivering the message that sponsoring apartheid is not acceptable:
Watch | Direct action against sports firm @PUMA at their Manchester office to help launch today's international campaign to #BoycottPUMA
Posted by Manchester Palestine Action on Saturday, June 15, 2019
There wereÂ almost 30 actions throughout the UKÂ for the #BoycottPuma day of action. In addition to a protest in London, grassroots â€ścounter-advertisementsâ€ť for the Boycott Puma campaign appeared at bus stations throughout the city.
In Rome, BDS Roma secured the support of 14 rugby teams in the city to join the call of the Palestinian athletes to #BoycottPuma:
Grandi!14 squadre di rugby popolare sostengono l'appello delle atlete e degli atleti palestinesi di boicottare la PUMA, sponsor della Federcalcio israeliana, che comprende squadre nelle colonie costruite su terre rubate ai palestinesi. #BoycottPumaALL Reds Rugby Roma, Rugby I Briganti ASD Onlus – Librino, Zona Orientale Rugby Popolare Salerno, Montevirginio Rugby, Alicante Rugby (Spagna), Cinghiali del setta rugby, Stella Rossa Rugby Milano, LaMassa Rugby Genova, Teramo Rugby, Le Ginestre del Rugby Vesuvio Femminile, Rugby Vesuvio Casalnuovo, Acrobax
Posted by BDS Roma on Monday, June 10, 2019
In Belfast, the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign protested Pumaâ€™s involvement in supporting Israeli apartheid teams.
The campaign against Puma is not stopping. Palestinian football players themselves struggle to play, practice and improve their skills when they face Israeli violence, including arrests and imprisonment by occupation forces. Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges people and organizations to join the ongoing actions to put pressure on Puma to end its sponsorship of Israeli apartheid, includingÂ taking the #BoycottPuma pledgeÂ and organizing events and actions at Puma stores and corporate offices.
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