BDS victory in Brighton

Issue section: 

In a landmark victory for Palestinian rights campaigners SodaStream’s flagship Brighton EcoStream store was forced to close its doors.

The Israeli firm announced it had ceased trading on 1 July following two years of protests. The company is a target for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS) for its links to illegal settlements in the West Bank.

Brighton and Hove Palestine Solidarity Campaign held protests at the shop every Saturday despite threats and intimidation from a group of Israel supporters. The campaign and the trades council organised a trade union solidarity day involving wider numbers.

SodaStream presented the closure as a failed “experiment”. The Israeli Times was more honest with the headline: “Protests Close EcoStream Shop”.

The Brighton shop was to be a test pilot ahead of opening a chain of shops across the country. Fear of similar protests appears to have derailed that idea.