Report by Bruce, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (J-BIG)
Photos by Bruce/Tapash, London BDS
24 September 2011
On a sunny and mild Saturday afternoon, about ten campaigners, including two from Brighton, gathered one last time in front of the former Ahava shop on a day that would have been a fortnightly picket.
Thanks to the regular protests, part of a campaign that started in 2009, Ahava’s landlord refused to renew its lease and on the 20th of September 2011, Ahava closed its only UK shop located on Monmouth Street, near to London’s Covent Garden.
Whilst campaigners were present, workmen were clearing out the last shop fittings and placing them in a nearby lorry. As seen from the photographs, the Ahava lettering was removed from the front of the shop and the inside was almost totally empty.
Outside was a skip whose contents included a few large plasterboard advertising panels and next to the skip were placed metal barriers stacked on top of each other, to be used for a demonstration that never materialised.
Ahava’s Managing Director of its UK arm, who also once served in the Israeli Occupation Force’s intelligence unit, spotted us and was last seen scurrying down Monmouth Street.
The only police presence was when a police car pulled up and its driver briefly exchanged greetings before speeding off. We were told on several occasions that there are many in authority who privately wanted Ahava out, though they had to be seen, quite understandably, to remain impartial.
After reminiscing over coffee, campaigners headed off to the Eid Festival in nearby Trafalgar Square to celebrate – which was a fitting end to this campaign.
Well done to all who made it a success.
A video report from infolive.tv, an Israeli news & information service:
And some images as well…