On Sunday, August 31st, the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) gathered to share information with members of the Toronto community about the current campaign to boycott SodaStream, a carbonated beverage company whose main production facility is in Ma’ale Adumim, an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied Palestinian West Bank.
As part of the international campaign to Boycott SodaStream, CAIA launched a its own campaign in October of 2013 asking homewares company Bed Bath and Beyond to stop carrying SodaStream products.
SodaStream’s current promotional tour brought them to Toronto’s Distillery District (amongst other GTA locations over the Labour Day weekend) where employees gave out samples and information about their product.
In response, CAIA set up a table on public space just meters away from the SodaStream truck and handing out “apartheid-free soda” as well as a mock SodaStream catalogue with information about SodaStream’s complicity in Israeli apartheid. In the hour-long action, they also collected dozens of signatures on their petition demanding that Bed Bath and Beyond Canada remove SodaStream from their shelves.
Reception to CAIA volunteers was overwhelmingly positive, with a number of community members confirming their knowledge of Israel’s violations of international law as well as their support of BDS and the SodaStream boycott campaign.
“In the wake of Israel’s deadly assault on the people of Gaza we must intensify our BDS campaigns,” said CAIA member Kat Lapointe. “We know for a fact that the global campaign against SodaStream is having a significant impact. People will no longer tolerate companies that profit off of Israeli apartheid.”