Despite Heavy Rain, Montrealers took to the Streets to Call for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction against Israeli apartheid

Dror warschawski addressing the crowd

Montrealers took to the streets again yesterday on Wednesday August 13th despite heavy rain to continue showing their support for Palestinian rights.  Colourful umbrellas dotted the crowd of protesters who marched down St-Denis street calling on people to join the boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israeli Apartheid.

Protesters stopped at various stores that sell Israeli products made in the Occupied Palestinian Territories to raise awareness of Israeli products that should be boycotted as part of the BDS campaign.  The stops included:

  • Mountain Equipment Co-op, where sports equipment and clothing made in Israel are sold under Israeli brands such as Source or under other brands such as Patagonia.
  • The SAQ that sells Israeli wines including wines produced in the Occupied Syrian Golan Heights.
  • Centre du Rasoir that sells soda gas machines from the Israeli brand Sodastream, manufactured in the illegal settlement of Maale.
  • Naot Shoes that has a factory outlet store located in the illegal Gush Etzion settlement.

Other BDS targets mentioned by the protester organizers include:

  • Ahava Beautfy Products, whose factory is located in the illegal Israeli settlements of Mitzpe Shalem, sold at The Bay and Sears
  • Fruits and vegetables from Israel under the Israeli brand Sharon
  • The Canadian Indigo/Chapters chain of bookstores, from which the owners subsidize Canadians to join the Israeli army
  • G4S, which is the Anglo-Danish security company that equips Israeli prisons, the illegal Apartheid Wall, and Israeli checkpoints throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territories

Additional information on Israeli products to boycott in Montreal as part of the BDS campaign can be found at

Protest organizers encouraged people to denounce occupation and colonialism and emphasized the link between Palestinian solidarity and other anti-colonial struggles, including those of First Nations peoples in Canada.

Despite a temporary ceasefire in Gaza, Montreal demonstrators are still taking to the streets to denounce Israel’s daily occupation of Palestinian land, its continued violations of international laws, and its apartheid system.  Over 10,000 people marched through Montreal’s downtown on Sunday August 10th, demonstrating a growing Palestinian Solidarity Movement in Quebec.  Protesters denounced Israel’s many violations of international law and called on the Canadian government to end its complicity with Israeli crimes and its unwavering support for Israeli policies of occupation and apartheid.

Gaza, Je Me Souviens
Protester holding umbrella and Palestinian flag
Dror warschawski addressing the crowd
Gaza, Je Me Souviens
Despite the heavy rain, protesters took to the streets of Montreal
Protesters stopped in front the Mountain Equipment Co-op
Gaza, Je Me Souviens
Despite the heavy rain, protesters took to the streets of Montreal
Despite the heavy rain, protesters took to the streets of Montreal
Protesters stopped in front the Centre du Rasoir
Protesters stopped in front the SAQ
Members of Naturei Karta
Stefan Christoff addressing the crowd

Photos courtesy of Under The Olive Tree


Under the Olive Tree is a Montreal-based community radio program in solidarity with Palestinians aired live every Thursday from 11am – 12 noon on CKUT 90.3 FM in Montreal and on CFRC 101.9FM in Kingston, Ontario.

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One thought on “Despite Heavy Rain, Montrealers took to the Streets to Call for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction against Israeli apartheid

  1. This is so sad. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign is a product of the NGO Forum held in parallel to the 2001 UN World Conference against Racism in Durban, South Africa. The NGO Forum was marked by repeated expressions of naked anti-Semitism by non-governmental organization (NGO) activists and condemned as such by United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson who chaired the Conference. The BDS movement is based on coercion rather than democracy. Pro¬ponents imply that Israel is not open to persuasion and that the elector¬ate is too stupid, immature or evil to know what is best for the society. Unable to convince the Israeli electorate of the merits of their views, BDS proponents demonize Israel and call for outsiders to punish the citizens of Israel until they capitulate.

    My position is based upon the belief that it is through cooperation based on mutual respect, rather than through boycotts or discrimination, that our common goals can be achieved. Bridging political gulfs—rather than widening them further apart—between nations and individuals thus becomes an educational duty as well as a functional necessity, requir¬ing exchange and dialogue rather than confrontation and antagonism. Israel does not need to be coerced to seek peace. The effort to reach a compromise between Jews and Arabs began nearly a century ago. Israel has repeatedly offered a variety of compromises that would have allowed the Palestinians to establish a state. Here are some examples:

    -In 1937, the Peel Commission proposed the partition of Palestine and the creation of an Arab state, but it was rejected.
    -In 1939, the British White Paper proposed the creation of a unitary Arab state, but it was turned down.
    -In 1947, the UN would have created an even larger Arab state as part of its partition plan, but it was turned down.
    -The 1979 Egypt-Israel peace negotiations offered the Palestinians autonomy, which would almost certainly have led to full independence, but it was rejected.
    -The Oslo agreements of the 1990s laid out a path for Palestinian independence, but the process was derailed by terrorism, and it was turned down.
    -In 2000, Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered to create a Palestinian state in all of Gaza and 97 percent of the West Bank, but it was turned down!
    -In 2008, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered to withdraw from almost the entire West Bank and partition Jerusalem on a demographic basis, but it was rejected!
    -In addition, from 1948 to 1967, Israel did not control the West Bank. The Palestinians could have demanded an independent state from the Jordanians, but they didn’t.

    BDS is modeled on the campaign against South Africa, which was not designed to promote peace, but to dismantle the state. The BDS Movement rejects the peace process. Its leaders routinely dismiss peace efforts ranging from the 1978 Camp David Peace Accords to the Oslo Process. BDS advocates refuse to contemplate the negative effects their efforts will have on the peace process. With their zero-sum approach to everything Israeli, they make no attempt to address issues of reconciliation and coexistence. Moreover, they do not acknowledge any Palestinian responsibility or accountability. Rather than encourage compromise, efforts to isolate Israel only make its citizens feel more vulnerable and raise the already high level of tension in the area.

    BDS leaders abhor cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians. Perhaps the best example of their hypocrisy is BDS co-founder, Omar Bar-ghouti, who advocates a boycott against Israeli universities even as he enjoys the benefits of participating in a Ph.D. program at Tel Aviv University.
    BDS reinforces the views of the cynics who do not believe that any compromise will satisfy the Palestinians, and undermines the peace activists who believe the Palestinians would trade peace for land. Rather than encourage compromise, efforts to isolate Israel only make its citizens feel more vulnerable and raise the already high level of risk associated with evacuating additional territory.

    Thanks for inspiring me and others to step up my donations to Israel. I still believe in a two-state solution. You should consider it too.


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