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Thousands worldwide mark Boycott PUMA Global Day of Action to slam company’s Israeli soccer sponsorship

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Activists hold a vigil on the Irish island of Inis Oirr in solidarity with the Palestinian people and in support of the global day of action against Puma, on September 10, 2022. (Photo by Wafa news agency)

Thousands of activists around the world have taken part in the Boycott PUMA Global Day of Action against the German sportswear company over its sponsorship of the Israel Football Association (IFA), which operates in Israeli settlements.

The protest rallies were held on Saturday after the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement called on supporters from around the world to join thousands of people on the Global Day of Action and urge PUMA to end its support for the Israeli regime, Palestine’s official Wafa news agency reported.  

“PUMA’s greenwashing is dangerous. It does a disservice to authentic grassroots efforts for climate justice for all and allows Israel’s human rights abuses against Palestinians to continue,” the BDS said in a statement.

“Groups around the world will join the #BoycottPUMA Global Day of Action. Join them online to let PUMA know that you stand with the growing number of people and movements around the world that recognize Palestine as a climate justice issue,” it added.

Members and supporters of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) held vigils across the United Kingdom, as they informed shoppers they should not buy goods from Puma because of its complicity in Israel’s crimes.

A rally was also held on Inis Oirr of Aran Islands in Galway Bay, Ireland, in solidarity with the Palestinian people and in support of the global day of action against Puma.

The participants called on the company to end its complicity in Israel’s crimes as they waved flags of Palestine and held banners.

In France, activists rallied in the cities of Lyon and Provence for the Boycott PUMA Global Day of Action, demanding the global sportswear manufacturer end its complicity in the regime’s crimes and its oppression of millions of Palestinians.

In the Austrian capital, Vienna, activists held an information stall at Wien Mitte the Mall to inform people about Israel’s crimes and the need to end Puma’s sponsorship of IFA, which includes teams based in settlements built on occupied Palestinian land.

Also in Malaysia, more than 30 futsal teams joined the “Free Palestine” tournament in the capital Kuala Lumpur marking the Boycott PUMA Global Day of Action, demanding the sportswear company end its complicity in the Israeli regime’s oppression of Palestinians.

In Germany, dozens of activists rallied at Hackescher Markt in the capital Berlin, heeding the call to Boycott Puma over its sponsorship of Israel’s oppression of Palestinians.

Back in February, the BDS called for a boycott of Puma over its sponsorship of IFA, saying that its online campaign aims to pressure the company, which is one of the world’s largest providers of sports footwear, apparel and accessories, “to end complicity with the Israeli colonial and apartheid regime.”

The BDS said Puma has signed a contract with an Israeli distributor, who conducts sale operations in illegal Israeli settlements built on Palestinian lands in the occupied West Bank.

The BDS campaign is reportedly the sixth of its kind against the German company since 2018 to stop its IFA sponsorship.

Last September, the BDS organized activities in more than 50 cities worldwide to pile up pressure on Puma to halt its sponsorship of the IFA.

The BDS movement, which is modeled after the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, was launched in 2005 by over 170 Palestinian organizations that were pushing for “various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law.”

Thousands of volunteers worldwide have since then joined the BDS movement, which calls for people and groups across the world to cut economic, cultural, and academic ties to Tel Aviv, to help promote the Palestinian cause.

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