EUROPEAN FORUM AGAINST AGREXCO/CARMEL
WHY THIS FORUM?
Campaign against Agrexco
BDS Europe, a major struggle
The Annual General Meeting of the Coalition against Agrexco has initiated this forum while Operation “Gaza Strawberries”, conducted by Agrexco, the CRIF and the Israeli Embassy in France, is in full swing.
Operation “Gaza Strawberries” has two goals.First, to nullify the impact of the efforts made to launch the French Ship for Gaza. (“Thanks to Agrexco, there is no more blockade, so there is no point in sending the ship.”)They are wasting their time, there will be a French ship in the second flotilla!The second goal was to nullify the Boycott and the the rejection of Agrexco. (“Since Agrexco is rescuing the Palestinians by exporting their products, boycotting Agrexco is boycotting the Palestinians.”)This sordid manoeuvring had the advantage of revealing the enormous challenge posed to Israel by this struggle because of the symbolic importance of the Carmel Agrexco brand.
The immediate reaction of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), i.e. the call for a total boycott of Agrexco including all farmer NGOs, and Popular Resistance Committees and then the communiqué by the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC), constituted a counter-attack of similar magnitude to the Israeli offensive.The call for a total boycott of Agrexco by the BNC has legitimised all the actions undertaken in Europe against Agrexco and reinforced the primacy of this struggle in the context of European BDS.
The first European forum for campaigns against Agrexco, with the encouragement of the BNC, meets this challenge to make the struggle against Agrexco a major European BDS struggle, with the goal of chasing Agrexco/Carmel out of Europe!
Stepping up the struggle in each country and pursuing co-ordinated European action
The time has come to share our audits, experiences and thoughts, to challenge our assumptions and plans with the goal of:
- stepping up the struggle in each country in the form of legal action and boycotting Agrexco/Carmel products;
- producing a European plan of coordination action to strike together at the same time.
EUROPEAN REPRESENTATION ALREADY SECURED
Registration is far from being closed, but we can already see that there is a very good representation of European countries concerned about Agrexco.
- Two to four person delegations from Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Holland and the UK have already been registered.
- Michael Daes, Coordinator of the Palestinian BNC, who will be participating, in addition to his call for participation (http://coalitioncontreagrexco.net/node/63) has just issued a special invitation to the Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway and Denmark) and we await replies in the next few days.
- The BNC will be represented by the Palestinian RafeefZiadah, who will jointly lead the Boycott-Agrexco workshop.
- If visas are obtained, a delegation of Palestinian lawyers will travel to attend the entire Forum.In fact, they are very interested in the legal action approach set up by the Coalition through the initiative of Gilles Devers, who will be one of the facilitators of the Legal Action Workshop.Several Palestinian lawyers will be joining the Coalition’s legal staff and taking part in various procedures.
In the light of discussions with key European participants and registration choices, we have decided to concentrate on two workshops:Legal Action and Boycott.In fact, other than motions passed by trade union conferences, which do not concern BDS, the real involvement of trade unions against Agrexco is actually carried out in these two fields of action and we shall approach them this way.
WORKSHOP:LEGAL ACTION AGAINST AGREXCO:
Facilitators:Gilles Devers, Mireille Fanon-Mendès France, Christophe Perrin and Mario Rossi
Review of current legal actions against Agrexco, identifying their rationale (target, means etc.).Discussion on the philosophy of “militant legal action”.How to extend this activity, according to the various legislations involved?(cf. Coalition France, cf. Belgian citizens’ complaints etc.).How do we progress from denunciation of fraud to filing a war crime complaint? Inclusion of Palestinian lawyers and NGOs in the procedures.What coordinated legal action is possible at the European level through the ICC? What coordination is possible with the Russell Tribunal?
BOYCOTT AGREXCO WORKSHOP:
Facilitators:Rafeef Ziadah, Jean-Guy Greilsamer, Florent Schaeffer, Imen Habib and a Belgian representative
Review and description of actions carried out:against Agrexco products, aimed at consumers and management and which shops or retail chains?How do we link the boycott of Agrexco products to the boycott of Agrexco itself?How do we place Agrexco at the heart of boycott action?What linkages do we make with overall BDS action?How do we link this boycott action to legal action?What boycott action should we coordinate at the European level?What are the targets?What shared tools do we have?
SATURDAY 4 JUNE – 1.30 p.m. to 11.30 p.m.
Reception / Registration:from 10 am at the Cimade
Refreshments:12 noon – 1 a.m. at the Cimade
1.30 p.m. – 5.30 p.m. WORKSHOPS
– LEGAL ACTION:Cimade
– BOYCOTT:Salle Pelloutier
– 6 p.m. PRESS CONFERENCE SalleRabelais
– 7.30 p.m. – refreshments + sandwiches:Salle Rabelais
– MEETING:9 p.m. Salle Rabelais
– Rafeef Zianah (BNC), Gilles Devers (the Coalition’s lawyer), Nahla Chahal (CCIPPP-Coalition), Josie Riffaud (CCI-Via Campesina), a Belgian representative and Michael Deas (BNC European Coordinator)
SUNDAY 5 JUNE – 9.30 a.m. – 2.30 p.m.
9.30 a.m. – 12.30 pm Salon du Belvédère
– Report back from workshops and discussion
– Adoption of Agrexco
1 p.m. Closing Aperitif and RefreshmentsSalon du Belvédère
The Cimade:28 Rue du faubourg Boutonnet.From the station, take the blue tram in the direction of Mosson and get off at the Place Albert 1st stop.
SALLE PELLOUTIER:Place de Thessalie, Antigone, opposite the Montpellier-Agglomération (Civic Centre)
SALLE RABELAIS:27 Boulevard Sarail, near the Esplanade Charles de Gaulle by the Comédie theatre
SALON DU BELVÉDÈRE:above the Corum, at the end of the Esplanade Charles de Gaulle near the Salle Rabelais and the Comédie theatre.
If you have not done so already, it is essential that you register:http://www.placeauxdroits.net/forumeurop/
For accommodation, contact Valérie:email@example.com
We cannot offer you accommodation if we have not been given advance warning!
Call for the Forum from the Coalition Against Agrexco (four languages):http://www.placeauxdroits.net/forumeurop/
Call for the Forum from the BNC European Coordinator:http://coalitioncontreagrexco.net/node/63
Agrexco: the final declaration of the Dakar World Social Forum:http://coalitioncontreagrexco.net/node/55
PARC Communiqué Against Agrexco:http://coalitioncontreagrexco.net/node/51
BNC Call for total boycott of Agrexco:http://coalitioncontreagrexco.net/node/37
Agrexco condemned by the Russell Tribunal:http://coalitioncontreagrexco.net/node/16
Action against Agrexco in Liège (Belgium):http://coalitioncontreagrexco.net/node/16
RESCOP Against Agrexco (Spanish State):http://coalitioncontreagrexco.net/node/25
Stop Agrexco Italy:http://www.stopagrexcoitalia.org/
Italy Flash Mob:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhPhMjNTCDg