A GROUP OF 15 to 20 protesters conducted “die-ins” at several stores in and around the Jervis Centre in Dublin city centre this evening.
The group, which is organised through the Act for Palestine Facebook page, carried Palestinian flags and banners calling for a boycott of Israeli goods and held demonstrations at Marks and Spencer on Mary Street.
From there, they moved to Smyths Toys on Jervis Street, before entering the Jervis Centre, holding a “die-in” protest on the second floor.
Their demonstration at Smyths comes a day after the company ordered staff at the Jervis Street branch to remove a sign from the door which stated that Israeli products had been taken off the shelves.
The demonstrators then continued downstairs to Tesco in the Jervis Centre, where they collected a number of goods, purportedly Israeli, and piled them on the floor next to the entrance of the store.
Gardaí and security guards kept a close watch over the protests, but there were no disturbances and no arrests were made.
Bernie Hughes, a protester from Finglas in North Dublin, told TheJournal.ie that demonstrations like this afternoon’s would be become regular events.
This will be happening on an ongoing basis – I personally will be escalating this.
She drew comparisons between the ongoing campaign to boycott Israeli goods, with the actions of Dunnes Stores workers against South African apartheid in the 1980s.
Even though it took a long time, it did work – it was effective.
Although today’s “die-ins” were led by a relatively small group, some shoppers at Tesco in the Jervis Centre appeared to be sympathetic to their cause.
Andy from Dublin told TheJournal.ie that after seeing the die-in next to the store’s entrance, he had made a point of checking which products on display were made in Israel.
I think it would be a positive move for a company to stop stocking Israeli goods, and if one of them announced they were doing it, I would definitely make a point of shopping there.
Anna from Waterford, meanwhile, said she would be consciously looking at the country of origin on her products. Holding up a bag of limes from Mexico, she said she was particularly cautious while shopping for avocados, herbs and potatoes.
Management at Smyths, Marks and Spencer and Tesco refused to comment on today’s protests, and spokespersons for all three companies were unavailable for comment this evening.