Civil leaders in Gaza have called for international boycotts
- In a letter on July 13, 2014, twenty-two civil society organizations in Gaza wrote, “We Palestinians trapped inside the bloodied and besieged Gaza Strip call on conscientious people all over the world to act, protest and intensify the boycotts, divestments and sanctions against Israel until it ends this murderous attack on our people and is held to account.”
- As North Carolinians horrified by the Israeli military’s slaughter of Palestinian civilians in Gaza and by Israel’s continued occupation of Palestinian land, we hope to support this call by cutting Durham County’s $1 million contract with occupation profiteer G4S.
G4S profits from the Israeli occupation of Palestine
- G4S profits from human rights abuses across the world, notably in occupied Palestine. G4S provides equipment and guards for checkpoints that limit Palestinians’ freedom of movement, provides inadequate housing to immigrants, and has been implicated in torture in prisons.
- According to WeDivest, “G4S recently announced at its shareholders meeting in London that it plans to end its activities inside Israel’s prisons, albeit not until 2017. BDS campaign continue to call on G4S to act immediately… by ending all contracts with the Israeli prison service and occupation immediately.” As long as G4S continues to profit from Israeli occupation, Durham County should not be supporting G4S.
Durham County does not need G4S
- Durham County spends almost $1 million of taxpayer money each yearsupporting G4S.
- G4S provides security officers—some of whom are armed and have arrest authority—to civil spaces including parking lots, libraries, and human services buildings throughout the county. In the Durham that we want to live in, there are many much needed services the County could provide with the money that currently covers the G4S contract.
- The livelihood of all Durham residents is important. We don’t want these security workers to lose their jobs—if Durham does choose to enter another security contract, these workers should be rehired. At the same time, guards at our county facilities should not be able to arrest people: such policing hurts our community, and disproportionately harms people of color.
Durham boycotted companies profiting from apartheid in South Africa
- In 1986, Durham City Council passed a resolution to demonstrate its “commitment to racial equality” and in “opposition to apartheid in the Republic of South Africa or Namibia,” that included a provision not to award contract bids to any companies doing business with the apartheid governments of South Africa and Namibia. As the City of Durham joined the chorus of voices against apartheid in South Africa in the 1980s, we call on Durham County to join the growing movement across the globe to challenge apartheid in Israel/Palestine.
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