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A campaign to raise awareness of the Palestinian struggle for freedom and justice.
We support the call for Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions of Israel and Israeli goods.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Gaza protester ejected from Swansea court hearing

Wednesday, February 04, 2009, 15:56

A PROTESTER was ejected by security staff after interrupting court proceedings in Swansea.

The 72-year-old former journalist was among 20 people lending support to a woman accused of theft.

Greg Wilkinson and Dee Murphy — the so-called Tesco Two — were arrested nine days ago outside a city store, where they upended a shopping trolley and sprayed blood-red paint and ketchup over dates, herbs and salad items taken from the store.

Their actions, they said, were in protest at Tesco selling food produced in the West Bank, an area of Palestine occupied by Israel for the past 42 years.

After spending eight hours in police cells, Ms Murphy was charged with theft, but no action was taken against Mr Wilkinson.

When she was arraigned yesterday before Swansea magistrates, Mr Wilkinson interrupted proceedings to ask why he was not before the court.

He felt both of them should be charged, or neither.

His outburst led to him being promptly taken hold of by court security staff and escorted from the building. Ms Murphy, aged 54, of Rhondda Street, Mount Pleasant, denied the January 27 theft.

She elected jury trial and had the matter against her adjourned to April 1 ahead of committal to the Crown Court.

Outside court, she said: "It's very obvious we had no intention to steal in the traditional sense and there was no desire for personal gain.

"The action was purely political and intended to highlight the humanitarian issues and injustices in Palestine.

"The main aim was to challenge the legality of supermarkets selling goods grown on what we say are illegal Israeli settlements."

Ahead of the hearing, members and supporters of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign unfurled banners outside the court building, calling on shoppers to boycott Israeli goods.

Mr Wilkinson, from Brynmill, a former Reuters foreign correspondent, said: "This has all been prompted by what's happening in Gaza.

"Tesco and other stores are selling West Bank goods which are produced on what we say are illegal settlements in Palestine."

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