Anti-Israel Ecostream protest marks Brighton store’s first anniversary

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The Argus September 30, 2013

Activists have vowed to continue their weekly protests outside a controversial Brighton store until it is “forced to close down”.

Demonstrators once again congregated outside Brighton’s Ecostream store in Western Road on Saturday, as the firm marked its year anniversary in the city.

Activists say the company behind the shop – part of the SodaStream brand – has a factory in a part of Jerusalem where Palestinians are denied equal rights with Israelis.

Glenn Williams, who is part of the Brighton Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said: “Saturday’s demonstration was very successful.

“We will continue to protest outside the store until it is no longer there.”

Meanwhile the Sussex Friends of Israel Group held a counter protest which they dubbed Bagels Against Bigotry.

Group spokesman, Neil Duncanson, said: “We will continue to support this green store which is in our green city.

“Saturday was proof the public wants it to stay and we will do everything we can to ensure it does.”

Daniel Birnbaum, boss at the company in Mishor Adumin, has previously insisted the store will not been driven out of Brighton.

He told the Argus: “No one is going to stop us. We do not seek confrontation but we will not close the shop in Brighton.

“The best thing I could do for SodaStream’s bottom line is move production to China. I won’t do that. We pay our workers three times the Israeli national average. We give them healthcare.

“Unemployment in the Palestine Authority region is around 30 per cent. Why would anyone want us to stop employing Palestinian workers?”