The Friday-night crowd in Adelaide’s premier retail precinct seemed intent on their Christmas shopping; everywhere, that is except outside Myers. This was Week 8 of the BDS protest in Adelaide, and the usually-bustling crowd of shoppers entering Myers had thinned to a trickle.
Many of those outside the store were engaged in animated discussion with the protesters, or just to learn why Adelaidians were being asked to support the international boycott of Israeli goods. How was it that cosmetics manufacturer Seacret is committing human rights abuses by stealing ‘minerals from the Dead Sea’ from Palestinian lands?
Sean Robinson and fellow protesters were engaging with Adelaide’s citizens in explaining why ‘It’s no SECRET: Israel is an apartheid state’. Most Australians are familiar with apartheid in a different context, and many see depictions of the wall as merely an artist’s fabrication. On this Friday night, they seemed unaware of the wall’s existence (and still do).
Eight weeks on, and Seacret’s Adelaide franchise owners are feeling the pinch. The private security staff at the store’s entrance were obviously uncomfortable, photographs in the store were ‘out of the question’, and it was clear the green-shirted protesters were unwelcomed anywhere within the Myer complex.
Radio Adelaide’s BackStory program continues to explain the campaign on its Wednesday night timeslot. Over the next couple of weeks, there will be interviews with AFOPA Chairman Paul Heywood-Smith QC, and Kim Bullimore, organiser of the national BDS conference held in Melbourne last weekend.
And next Friday night the green-shirted protesters will return, with the security staff and franchise owners more on edge as, in their views, the protest is becoming more militant and aggressive. More likely, they just don’t want to be there, as the franchise staff of black-shirted Israeli citizens seem out of place, and don’t have any customers to serve.
Videos from previous Seacret protests in Adelaide are available here.