With the welcome departure on September 20th of the Ahava shop from Monmouth Street, here’s a historical timeline of the London campaign, complete with links:
10 January 2009 – Activists stage the first occupation of the Ahava shop on Monmouth Street in London. Three activists arrested. Charges later dropped.
14 February 2009 – Valentines Day picket outside Ahava shop organised by Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (J-BIG). Monthly pickets held several times thereafter.
7 March 2009 – Ahava shop pickets continue attended by J-BIG and other activists.
18 September 2009 – Second Ahava occupation. Shop closed for several hours after two activists lock themselves to an oil drum filled with concrete inside the Ahava shop and are arrested for aggravated trespass.
19 September 2009 – Ahava International Day of Action. Campaigners stage protests outside stores in London, Amsterdam, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles.
12 December 2009 – Third occupation inside the Ahava shop. Two activists arrested for aggravated trespass.
19 December 2009 – Ahava bathrobe demonstration.
1 January 2010 – Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (London) disseminates The Case Against AHAVA by CODEPINK’s Stolen Beauty Campaign Manager, Nancy Kricorian.
27 January 2010 – MP Phyllis Starkey denounces Ahava’s fraudulent labelling practices during debate in Parliament on Israeli “settlement products”.
Early March 2010 – A grassroots coalition of activists propose holding regular fortnightly demonstrations outside the UK’s only Ahava shop in response to an appeal from the West Bank village of Bil’in.
13 March 2010 – The first fortnightly demo outside Ahava attracts about thirty protesters and causes the shop to close early. Fortnightly demonstrations continue until 10 September 2011.
9/10 August 2010 – Trial of four activists, all charged with aggravated trespass, who locked themselves to concrete-filled oil drums inside the Ahava shop in Covent Garden in Sept and Dec 2009. All four are acquitted after the manager refuses to testify.
14 August 2010 – The Islamophobic English Defence League’s first appearance alongside the Zionist Federation at the Saturday fortnightly demo.
26 August 2010 – Unknown person(s) target the Ahava shop with paint.
2 October 2010 – Fourth occupation inside Ahava forces shop to close. Two activists arrested.
20/21 November 2010 – Unknown person(s) glue Ahava’s door locks, thus delaying the shop’s opening on the day of the Zionist Federation-sponsored BUYcott. The BUYcott doesn’t materialise when the right-wing English Defence League’s ‘Jewish Division’ announce they will also attend.
20-22 November 2010 – Ahava in the dock at the Russell Tribunal on Palestine London Session. CODEPINK’s Nancy Kricorian and Rae Abileah testify against the company. Ahava is found to be complicit in Israel’s violations of international law.
22 November 2010 – Fifth Ahava occupation during the last day of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine. American CODEPINK activists Nancy Kricorian and Rae Abileah present. Ahava shop forced to close and two activists arrested.
9-24 December 2010 – Boycott campaigners are present outside Ahava almost daily throughout December and influence shoppers in the run up to the festive season.
17 December 2010 – Ahava employee calls a Jewish boycott campaigner a Christ killer. Zionists defend anti-Semitic comment.
14 January 2011 – Major UK retailer John Lewis confirms that it no longer sells Ahava products.
12 February 2011 – A Valentine for Ahava dedicated to the memory of Jawaher Abu Rahmah who was killed by tear gas while a bystander at an anti-wall demonstration in Bil’in.
21 – 23 March 2011 – Four activists on trial for aggravated trespass. During the three-day hearing, the defence demonstrated that Ahava cosmetics are manufactured on stolen Palestinian land. Neither the District Judge, Ian Baker nor the prosecution challenged the assertion that the settlements are illegal in international law. Though all four activists are found guilty, District Judge Baker in his summing up states: “I reach this conclusion with considerable hesitancy.”
31 March 2011 – VICTORY! JCrap (the Zionist Jewish Chronicle newspaper) reports that Ahava’s landlord will not renew its lease due to the ongoing protests. A neighbouring shopkeeper tells a reporter: “I’m pleased Ahava is leaving. It’s brought the street down. Everyone would like them to leave. I wish they had left two years ago.”
20 September 2011 – Ahava leaves Monmouth Street as a direct result of the campaign that began in 2009.
24 September 2011 – Several activists gather for one last time in front of the almost empty Ahava shop, bringing the two-year campaign to an end.