Kolkata: There is an old age proverb that what Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow, has been proven right once again. As in against the barbarism of Israel in Palestine, the call for a complete boycott of Israeli and American products has got an overwhelming response from Kolkata residents.
The Concerned Citizens of Kolkata, has initiated a week-long campaign called ‘7 Days 7 Products Boycott Movement’ starting from November 17 across the city. While there were protest rallies in many parts of the country against Israel’s atrocities, no city has run a campaign of fully boycotting Israeli-American products and do their part in pressing for ceasefire in Palestine.
“Within two days of the campaign’s launch, we have successfully reached a broad audience, including elders, children, and women. Additionally, shopkeepers are replacing products from Israeli and American companies,” reacted one of the group members.
Malay Tiwari, a social activist, claimed, “The boycott of Zionist companies’ products is already there, but what this call has done, is that it reminded the consumers that 100 % boycott of its products is the only way they can impact the ongoing genocide and play a role to bring ceasefire in it.” Malay was part of the team that had conducted a press conference on the eve of the beginning of the campaign.
During the press meeting, the group issued a statement too. It reads:
For 40 days, Israel’s barbaric actions have resulted in the deaths of more than 15,000 Palestinians, including 6,405 children. After the 7th October attack by Hamas, in a speech by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said in the UN general meeting, “Hamas attack did not happen in a vacuum. The Palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation.”
Watch the boycott call video
However, the attacks by Israel, purportedly in self-defence, targeted schools, hospitals, ambulances, refugee camps, mosques, churches, and civilians both inside homes and on roads.
Nearly all countries around the world are protesting against these war crimes committed by Israel and its allies, primarily the United States.
Hundreds of rallies have taken place in major cities worldwide to stop the war. Despite multiple appeals from the UN, Israel has not been deterred from bombing Gaza, the West Bank, and other areas of Palestine.
Right-thinking people are feeling helpless.
So to make people’s appeal more impactful, we the concerned citizens of Kolkata have decided to fully (100%) boycott Israeli and American products. We also include companies like Amazon, which are funding Israel.
The group members do not believe in violence, and as we are citizens of a country whose Founding Father Mahatma Gandhi believed in non-violence and protesting democratically, we have given a boycott call.
Boycotting Israeli-American products- The Campaign
The campaigning is being done using auto-rickshaws to make announcements, initiating street corner meetings, releasing videos of boycott calls made by prominent people of the society, distributing handbills, and putting roadside banners and stickers.
“People were already saddened and aggrieved by the large-scale war crimes committed by Israel and its allies against Palestinians. Feeling helpless about what to do, we reached out to them and reminded them to fully boycott Israeli-American products,” said Athar Firdausi, who also campaigned in many parts of the city.
Kolkata, the 3rd largest city in India, has an estimated population of 1.53 crore, while Bengal population is more than 10 crores.
“This is just the beginning, and in the next five days, we hope it will evolve into a movement. As large corporations see India as a market and its population as consumers, we aim to inform consumers that their money becomes blood money when they use these company’s products,” pointed out Tamal Chakraborty.
The group members also informed that, given the overwhelming response, they would launch another phase of the campaign in 21 days. The call will be given to boycott twenty-one products in the coming three weeks, extending the originally planned 15-day campaign.