Press release from Students for Justice in Palestine Northeastern University Chapter:
While many couples were enjoying a romantic Valentine’s Day evening, a group of approximately 100 activists converged upon Boylston Street’s Max Brenner restaurant and chocolate shop to protest their financial backing of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. The goal of the action was to raise awareness of the popular restaurant’s ties to Israel’s human rights violations and encourage a boycott of their products. For two hours there was a large picket line in front of the restaurant’s doors, with activists distributing information about Max Brenner’s abuses on both sides of the street.
Chants such as “Roses are red, violets are blue, Max Brenner supports apartheid, how about you?”, could be heard for blocks around in the posh Back Bay neighborhood. Additional attention was drawn to the action by the presence of more than 25 police officers and 18 police vehicles. Though the protesters remained resolutely nonviolent, there were several assaults by passersby and patrons of the restaurant on protesters. One such incident resulted in a man being summonsed to court.
Max Brenner is owned by the Strauss Group, Israel’s second largest food and beverage corporation, which gives material support to the Israeli Defense Forces, particularly the controversial Golani Brigade, an IDF infantry brigade which has famously and repeatedly been accused of war crimes.
The action was a part of the worldwide Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) campaign against the Israeli occupation of Palestine. The three goals of BDS are an end to the occupation of Palestinian territories, full equality for all citizens of Israel, and the right of return for refugees displaced in the conflict. The BDS movement is the largest ever mobilization of civil society for the Palestinian cause.