Brooklyn, NY, August 8 – Fifteen New York human rights advocates rallied at Fulton Street Mall in Brooklyn Saturday, singing songs that called on Brooklyn shoppers to boycott communications giant Motorola until it stops providing technology that aids Israel’s army and settlement movement. The protest was held outside a Sprint Store where Boost Mobile, a division of Sprint, sells Motorola phones.
Holding signs and a banner saying, “Boycott Motorola, Free Palestine, Goodbye Motorola, Goodbye Apartheid,” the protesters serenaded passersby with versions of classic songs that were rewritten to focus on boycotting Motorola. They gave away 500 flyers to Fulton Street Mall shoppers. After learning of Motorola’s support for Israeli apartheid, one woman said that she would return her newly purchased Motorola phone. Forty-nine people signed a pledge not to buy Motorola products until Motorola ends its support for Israeli apartheid. Nearly 400 people have signed the pledge after five New York City street actions.
The Brooklyn protest, organized by the New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel (NYCBI), was the second consecutive protest held in Brooklyn, and the fourth of five planned summer actions around the city to spread the word about Motorola’s support for Israeli apartheid.
On July 24, the group strolled through Prospect Park in a mobile Brooklyn protest. The protests are part of a growing worldwide movement to boycott Israel that has gained momentum since Israel’s recent attack on Gaza killing 1400 Palestinians.
Protesters sang songs including, "Mama Said (Don't Build Settlements)" to the tune of the song by the Shirelles, "Don't Buy Israeli Goods" to the tune of “Hava Nagila,” and adapted versions of the civil rights classics “Which Side Are You On?” and “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Round.”
Motorola Israel, a wholly owned subsidiary of Motorola, has supplied the Israeli military with a Wide Area Surveillance System (WASS), radar devices and thermal cameras installed around Israel’s rapidly expanding settlement/colonies on Palestinian land in the West Bank. According to Who Profits, a project of Israel’s Coalition of Women for Peace, a related system, MotoEagle Surveillance, is now in use in 16 settlements. All Israeli settlements violate international law. Motorola also provides an encrypted cellular network to the Israeli army, whose routine and severe violations of Palestinian human rights are well-documented by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, among others. According to Who Profits, MIRS, a subsidiary of Motorola, is the Israeli army's cellular services provider, and Mirs has an extensive infrastructure network in the West Bank. Additionally, in April 2009 Motorola stated that by May or June it would sell a controversial unit that manufactured bomb fuses for Israeli bombs dropped on Palestinians and Lebanese, but there has been no confirmation that the sale has occurred.
In 2005 over 170 Palestinian civil society organizations called on the world to implement Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns against Israeli institutions and businesses. Because of its business activities supporting the Israel’s settlements and army, Motorola has been targeted for boycott by the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, NYCBI and groups throughout the country.
Click HERE for protest photos.