Philly BDS, our local consumer boycott and de-shelving campaign against Sabra Hummus and Tribe hummus, was launched at the Peoplehood Parade in West Philadelphia almost one year ago. After participating in the parade with our Handela puppets, we positioned ourselves at a table in sunny Clark Park where we offered samples of homemade hummus to passersby who received information about our campaign, talked with us, and signed our petitions.
Our now famous Philly BDS flash dance was performed inside the Fresh Grocer store on 40th & Walnut St. the very next day. It went “viral” on youtube almost immediately, and now boasts 80,000 plus hits! . The Flashdance was a great idea created by dedicated members of our group and our allies. The huge response it engendered was surprising – a dream come true for our campaign, sparking interest in our campaign locally, nationally, and internationally People continue to come up to us and tell us about what countries where it has been sent.
The success of the Flashdance provided an overwhelmingly positive kick-off for our campaign. Philly BDS went big very early. We have far surpassed our expectations in many areas. As a creative coalition, Philly BDS now has 23 local endorsers, 18 national endorsers, and 12 international. Our outreach extends to campus work and faith-based communities. We are continuing to build a viable structure for our de-shelving campaign.
Looking back over the year, let’s reflect together on the events and actions organized by Philly BDS, which include:
- 7 film series “Have You Heard from Johannesburg” with panel and discussion to educate community about anti-apartheid movement in South Africa
- Peoplehood launch
- Outreach to endorsers- How to Get Involved Event
- Mime-in at Fresh Grocer: “Don’t Be Silent”
- Participation in First Friday through a/literature hand-out
- Caroling originally composed Christmas and holiday songs at Fresh Grocer
- Organizing an evening of creative Valentine letter-writing and delivering them to Patrick Burns, CEO Fresh Grocer
- Tabling at Independence Mall with anti-War groups on July 4
- Organizing demo to support Gaza Freedom Flotilla
- Handing out information at Fresh Grocer to encourage de-shelving and not buying Sabra or Tribe hummus
- Speaking at local churches as part of Christian-Jewish Allies Israel-Palestine educational series
- Outreach to campus groups in other areas undertaking this campaign or interested in the issue
- Co-sponsor and support Temple SJP and other Allies for speakers and events
- Holding a Fundraiser/Art Auction
- Participating in national BDS organizers’ conference at Rachel Corrie Foundation in Olympia, WA
- Community tabling, information, distribution, and hummus sampling over the Summer in Clark Park,
- Networking through our Philly BDS Newsletter/Facebook/Twitter
- Holding a film screening and fundraiser dance in cooperation with The Defenstrator
- Participation in an international documentary by an Australian filmmaker entitled “Make Hummus, Not War.”
- Participation in Occupy Philly by providing homemade hummus
It’s been only a year! Philly BDS has organized a well-researched and solid campaign. We take pride in being part of a vibrant and growing international movement. It will take continuous work on the part of us all to bring justice to Israel-Palestine. Please consider ways that you can get involved at a level that allows you to contribute skills you can share.