Friday, June 29, 2012
Alex Bainbridge and Miranda Wood from the Friends of Palestine WA (FOPWA) had been charged with trespass in relation to a December protest outside Israeli cosmetics company Seacret. Seacret benefits from the illegal occupation of Palestine by stealing resources from the Dead Sea to use in its products.
The company has been targeted by FOPWA and other campaigners around Australia as part of the BDS (boycott, divestment & sanctions) campaign against Apartheid Israel.
"This [acquittal] is a tremendous victory for freedom of speech and the right to protest," Bainbridge told Green Left Weekly.
"The court action against the Max Brenner 19 in Melbourne and recent attempts by NSW police to prevent a pro-Palestine demonstration from taking place in Sydney demonstrate that there is a notable pattern of legal harassment against the BDS movement," he said.
"In the current climate, Palestine activists have to fight not only for justice for Palestine, but also for the very right to protest," he said.
More than 40 activists joined Father Christmas in attending a support action for the "Christmas Carol Criminals" as their court case began on June 28.
[Friends of Palestine meets fortnightly at the CitiPlace Community Centre. For more information visit www.fopwa.org.]
Photos by Zeb Parkes