The following report is translated from the French original by Collectif Palestine Vaincra:
On Saturday, 18 September, at the Capitole metro station in Toulouse, France, around 20 activists and supporters of the Collectif Palestine Vaincra, a member organization of the Samidoun Network, gathered to hold a Palestine Stand as part of the international day of action to #BoycottPuma.
Puma is subject to a global boycott campaign because it sponsors the Israel Football Association, including six teams from illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank of Palestine. The campaign calls for a boycott of the sportswear brand until it stops providing financial and political support and sponsorship for Israeli apartheid and colonialism.
In the heart of downtown Toulouse, despite the rainy weather, participants unfurled Palestinian flags and banners in support of Palestinian prisoners and the boycott of Israel. The organizers hung large explanatory banners and placards on the struggle to free Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, Arab struggler for Palestine imprisoned in France for 37 years, and the campaign to boycott Israel. These large banners and displays attracted the interest of many people passing by.
The Palestine Stand enjoyed a busy two hours, as many people visited to collect free leaflets and stickers, discuss the current situation in Palestine or sign up for the next initiatives the Collectif plans to organize. Organizers distributed almost 1,000 #BoycottPuma flyers and talked with passers-by. A large graffiti-style art banner was created during the stand in the middle of the pedestrian area, calling for the boycott of Puma, while speakers challenged the brand’s support for Israeli apartheid.
The stand also played Palestinian music, including songs praising the resistance and the self-liberated Palestinian prisoners of Gilboa prison. A young Irish man and a South African woman stopped at the stand, and both highlighted that the Palestinian people’s struggle is deeply connected to all peoples of the world fighting apartheid and colonialism.
Dozens of people also showed their support for the six Palestinian prisoners who liberated themselves from the Israeli Gilboa prison on 6 September 2021. Many people emphasized their pride at seeing the images of the escape from this high-security prison and the humiliation imposed on the Israeli occupation by Palestinians with only the tools at hand, despite its boasts of being a great military power and security leader. Everyone held up a spoon painted in the colours of the Palestinian flag, a new symbol of resistance!
The Collectif Palestine Vaincra organizes actions and initiatives in Toulouse every month to support the Palestinian people and their resistance for the liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea. Contact the Collectif to get involved, or reach out to Samidoun Network to get involved in your local area outside of France.