Hawzah News Agency - BDS organizers and activists for justice in Palestine organized dozens of international actions calling for a boycott of Puma on Saturday, 15 June. After Adidas dropped its sponsorship of the Israeli Football Association in 2018 after being presented with over 16,000 signatures of protest, Puma took up the sponsorship. This means that the global German athletic manufacturer is a partner in apartheid, supporting teams in Israeli illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land.
Over 200 Palestinian sports clubs have called on Puma to end the sponsorship. On 15 June, organizers around the world – including in Germany, France, Portugal, Malaysia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Denmark, Egypt, Nigeria, the Spanish State, Belgium, Hong Kong, Argentina, New Zealand, Jordan, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary and the United States – organized actions to support the Palestinian athletes’ call to #BoycottPuma.
In the German capital, BDS Berlin organized a protest outside the Puma Concept Store at Hackescher Markt. Organizers delivered leaflets and information about the boycott call to staff at the Puma store to be forwarded to corporate headquarters. The response from passers-by was overwhelmingly positive, and participants distributed hundreds of flyers to nearby people. The demonstration included loud chants to “Boycott Puma! Boycott Apartheid!” as well as social justice songs and music. After the rally, a falafel vendor from the nearby market donated a round of sandwiches to the activists involved.
In Toulouse, the Collectif Palestine Vaincra, a member of the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, held an information stand for over 2 hours at Olivier Place in Toulouse. Despite being displaced from their original location by the prefecture to a less heavily-trafficked location at the last minute, activists distributed 800 flyers and had hundreds of positive conversations. Dozens of people took selfies in solidarity with the campaign.
Actions took place throughout France, including in Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, Strasbourg, Paris and a few days earlier in Clermont-Ferrand, Foix, Tours and elsewhere.