Stuttgart protest urges boycott of occupation profiteer Hewlett-Packard (HP)

Protesters gathered on 3 June in Stuttgart, Germany to call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against the Israeli occupation and complicit corporations. The protesters highlighted in particular the boycott of Hewlett-Packard, the corporation known for its production of consumer electronics products including laptop computers, printers, ink and printing supplies. Hewlett Packard Enterprise has contracts with the Israeli occupation to provide technology and information services to the Israeli occupation, including checkpoints, the military, illegal settlements and the Israel Prison Service.

The corporation is subject to a global boycott campaign and growing international pressure to cut its contracts and end its profiteering from the imprisonment, oppression and colonization of Palestine and the Palestinian people.

Ahmed al-Said, a member of the leadership committee of the Union of Palestinian Communities and Organizations – Europe and one of the organizers of the demonstration, said that “it is important for us to deliver our message to the German public in the city of Stuttgart. We found a great deal of support and solidarity from people with whom we talked. Many people engaged with us, asking questions and engaging in a dialogue with us about the importance of boycott as a means of achieving justice.”

The protest was organized near Media Markt and Saturn, two large electronics stores in Stuttgart selling HP products. Participants carried Palestinian flags and banners calling for “Freedom for Palestine,” while distributing German-language information and holding signs with information about HP’s connection to the Israeli occupation.

Annette Groth, a member of the German Bundestag (Parliament), participated in the vigil and spoke about the role of HP in profiting form the occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people through creating and maintaining the technological infrastructure of control and surveillance. She emphasized the importance of exposing the suffering of Palestinians at checkpoints and crossing stations where this HP technology is being used to raise awareness among the German public.

She also noted that this repressive technology is also of concern to activists and organizers in Germany, as HP technology was used earlier in the same day in Karlsruhe to monitor anti-fascist and anti-Nazi demonstrators who were met with a heavy police presence.

The protest followed ongoing activities and events in Stuttgart in support of the Palestinian people, including multiple protests in support of the Palestinian prisoners and their struggle for freedom organized during the Strike of Freedom and Dignity.