BDS movement spreads to Australia

on 7 Comments
BDS action in Melbourne, Austrailia

In October 2010, Australian Palestine solidarity activists and supporters of human rights held their first national Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) conference in support of Palestine. The Building Solidarity: Combating Occupation and Apartheid – activism in support of Palestine conference in Melbourne brought together more than 150 Palestine solidarity activists and supporters of human rights and represented a watershed moment in the Palestinian solidarity movement in Australia

At the conclusion of the conference, participants unanimously adopted a calendar of BDS activity and actions to be carried out over the next 12 months. In the month since the conclusion of the conference, Palestine solidarity groups around the country have begun to launch “Don’t Buy Israeli Apartheid for Christmas” actions in the lead up to Christmas as the first stage of the national campaign. So far a range of BDS actions have been held in most Australian capital cities, including Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

BDS action in Perth

BDS action in Brisbane

Kim Bullimore is one of the organisers of the national Australian BDS conference held in October 2010. She is a volunteer with the International Women’s Peace Service in Palestine and writes regularly on the Palestine-Israeli conflict for the Australian newspaper, Direct Action. She has a blog at: For more information on the Australian BDS campaign visit:

7 Responses

  1. seafoid
    December 6, 2010, 11:00 am

    Well done to Bruce and Sheila for standing up to Israeli tyranny.

  2. Kathleen
    December 6, 2010, 1:34 pm

    The movement is growing and growing. No way to put this cat back in the bag. The momentum is amazing. Like watching the South Africa anti Apartheid movement take off during the 70’s 80’s but much slower. But it is moving

    • seafoid
      December 6, 2010, 5:12 pm

      It’s incredibly powerful to see people with such strong values of justice and decency on the other side of the world. The Israel brand is really damaged.

  3. Taxi
    December 6, 2010, 3:13 pm

    Hey I wanna hear THAT kinda christmas carolling going on in my local los angeles mall too!

    What? You whisper next year?

    O okay then.

  4. seafoid
    December 6, 2010, 5:07 pm

    Loving the Aussie accent

    • MRW
      December 6, 2010, 5:39 pm

      Let’s stalk strine?

      • Sumud
        December 6, 2010, 9:36 pm

        I can translate for you MRW :-) which vid & what time?

        I didn’t even know there were BDS actions planned in Melbourne; I missed the BDS conference – looks like I’ve got some catching up to do.

        This 1st vid is actually a pretty amazing action. It’s in one of the main shopping centres (Melbourne Central) in the city – and shopping centres are generally very hostile to any sort of political demonstrations. Great stuff.

        – – – – –

        There’s a growing third political party in Australia, the Greens. They did pretty well in the recent Federal election and traditional Labour (the progressives of the 2 main parties) supporters are defecting to the Greens en masse. Ant Loewenstein blogged yesterday that the NSW state chapter of the Greens unanimously endorsed BDS, and much more:

        ‘New South Wales Greens embrace BDS’
        link to

        I’ll paste the proposal they endorsed. I’m actually shocked at how blunt it is (especially the call to end military co-operation:

        That the Greens NSW call upon all Australians and the Australian government to boycott Israeli goods, trading and military arrangements, and sporting, cultural and academic events as a contribution to the struggle to end Israel’s occupation and colonisation of Palestinian territory, the siege of Gaza and imprisonment of 1.5 million people, and Israel’s institution of a system of apartheid, by endorsing the following actions:
        1. condemning Israel’s apartheid and occupation policies;
        2. censuring Israel’s violations of the human rights of Palestinians and its failure to abide by international law;
        3. halting any military cooperation or trade with Israel;
        4. refraining from participation in any form of sporting event, academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions or teams except those that publicly oppose Israel’s apartheid and occupation policies;
        5. advocating a comprehensive boycott of Israeli institutions at national and international levels, including suspension of all forms of funding and subsidies to these institutions; and
        6. supporting and promoting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel.

        I don’t know anything about the relationship between the state and federal Greens but I hope this platform is eventually adopted at a federal level. That might finally force a national debate – Australia/Israel relations are almost never discussed in the media – and would put the two main parties in the unfortunate position of defending apartheid. Oh boy.

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