A final farewell to Monmouth Street

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…

One last photocall.

Ahava: Rubbish inside, rubbish outside.

As no Zionist Federation riff-raff turned up, there were no need for these.

An empty shop brings this campaign to a close.

With love from London.

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3 thoughts on “A final farewell to Monmouth Street

  1. EVEN IF YOU LOVE ISRAEL YOU HAVE TO DO THESE THINGS FOR THE FUTURE OF ISRAEL. THE COUNTRY HAS BEEN KIDNAPPED BY THE WRONG PEOPLE: ULTRA RIGHT FANATICS, RELIGIOUS FANATICS, AND RUSSIAN AUTOCRATS. WHERE’S THE BEACON OF THE WORLD?.

    • An interesting angle Alfredo. Many would agree with you that the Israeli government has the wrong kind of people at the helm.

      Ironically here in Britain, we also have (and take a stand against) ultra right-wing groups such as the BNP, EDL and their religious zealot allies such as the Zionist Federation and the Stand with Us Israel lobby group.

      Our ‘beacons’ are the many people – both here in the UK and throughout the world – who believe and fight for peace, liberty, justice and freedom for a downtrodden and oppressed people.

      Join us!

  2. Was a fitting end and the video was a wonderful, joyous occaision and victory for Palestine, We who went regular and frequent, desire no accreditation but Palestinians get it all for living through what many experts have reported as a cultural destruction, this legally speaking is Holocaust the Nakba (Catastrophe), as one store closes its doors another opens and our Eagle eye is always watching the Zionist Elements ready for appropriate action and as always, our fight against Veolia is continuous.

    Veolia the french Waste Disposal Company that is charged with disposing most of london’s waste, yet another victory for Palestine is their failure to seal a 30 year contract in West London, that cost them over this period a reported £31billion if true, that accounts for £1.36billion yearly, this should be a warning of what happens to corporations who are co-complicit in the Palestinian genocide.

    From the river to the sea, Palestine will be FREE!!!!!

    Thank you all London BDS Network that includes J BIG members, my own People Social freedom movement (PSFM) membres over the past 2 years, when I tell my brothers and sisters in Gaza, to see a smile on a kids face when there is nothing but bombed out buildings and bullet holes in the background, I know we are right to fight this cause and nothing can stop us.

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