Facebook share Share on TwitterRSS feed

Innovative Minds © 2014. All Rights Reserved. www.inminds.co.uk

[Boycott - Israel Supporters]

Bin Veolia Protest at the Natural History Museum

26 October 2011

Over 25 human rights activists demonstrated outside the Natural History Museum (NHM) on Saturday 22nd October 2011 to protest against Veolia's sponsorship of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition at the Natural History Museum. The French multinational company Veolia is complicit in Israels occupation of the West Bank. Its the third year running that the Natural History Museum has chosen Veolia as the sponsor for this prestigious competition and exhibition.

Veolia sponsoring the Natural History Museum's "Wildlife Photographer of the Year" exhibition

The public eager to learn about Veolia's dirty secrets
- notice he takes two leaflets, one for a friend

Background - Veolia's Dirty Business

Veolia has helped build and operate the Jerusalem light railway, a tram-line running through Palestinian land linking illegal settlements to Israel thereby helping Israel consolidate its occupation of Palestinian land.

In April 2010 the UN Human Rights Council declared the tramway and its operation to be illegal (A/HRC/RES/13/7 of 14 April 2010). The resolution was passed 44 to 1, with the UK, France and all the EU members of the Council voting in favour.

Veolia runs the Tovlan landfill site in the Occupied Jordan Valley where toxic waste from Israel and the settlements is dumped. Veolia also provides rubbish collection services to numerous settlements in the area. Recently Veolia has compounded its crime by selling the Tovlan site to an illegal settlement whilst staying on in an advisory role.

Tovlan landfill site in the Occupied Jordan Valley

The Tovlan dumping site is located next to the Palestinian village of Abu Ajaj. Due to the proximity of the site people in the village suffer from breathing difficulties and their animals now live shorter lives and an increase in stillborn babies has been recorded.

A Veolia-run bus operates in the occupied West Bank. (Anne Paq/ActiveStills)

Veolia’s subsidiary, Connex, operates regular bus services linking Israel to its illegal settlements in the West Bank. These include Giv’at Ze’ev, Har Shmuel and Mevo Horonalong along the apartheid road 443 which until recently Palestinians were totally forbidden from using, and even now access is severally restricted.

The Protest

The protest was held on Exhibition Road which has just been pedestrianised. Apart from its adjacency to the Natural History Museum it also features the entrance to the Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum (and the Geological Museum which is now part of the Natural History Museum), making it an ideal spot to engage with the public.

'Are YOU helping Israel grab more Palestinian land?'
The entrance in the background is that of the Victoria and Albert Museum

Palestinian flag

Around 25 activists from various groups including the Bin Veolia campaign. London BDS, local branches of PSC, etc. participated in the protest. Large roll up stands with detailed information of Veolia's activity in Palestine were set up and colourful postcards with the facts about Veolia were handed out. Palestinian flags were raised so people could quickly identify what the protest was about. Activists from the Bin Veolia campaign also carried petitions asking residents to sign demanding their local authority doesn't award Veolia any contracts.

Queue to enter the museum

People bored waiting in along queue to enter the Museum were very receptive to chating about Veolia and Palestine

A family visiting the Museum during half-term takes a leaflet on Veolia, learns about the occupation and Veolia's dirty role in it

Demonstrating outside the exhibition creates unique opportunities to engage the public. Here an activist speaks to one of the winners of this years British Wildlife Photography awards 2011 (Animal Behaviour category), whose breathtaking photographs have been featured at the NHM Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, explaining to him that we fully support the photographers and are in awe of their talent in capturing those special moments in nature, allowing us all to share in them through their wonderful photographs. The problem is the sponsor - Veolia and it using such publicity to greenwash its crimes in Palestine. On Veolia's website they boast that their sponsorship of this exhibition
"complements our commitment to both the environment and biodiversity, and demonstrates our willingness to support sustainable development across the planet. It also embodies our corporate values, including the preservation of natural resources and the very real need to inspire and educate people of all ages.."
When does 'commitment to the environment and the preservation of natural resources' mean its okay to help ethnically cleanse an indigenous population?

Young activist with laminated placard
"Veolia - a multinational that directly profits
from Israel's illegal occupation of Palestinian land.."

NHM feedback form

Many visitors to the NHM who are shocked with its collaboration with Veolia used the Museums feedback forms to voice their disappointment and demand an explanation from the NHM. The form has a box for "Please tell us what you thought about your vist" and a tick box labeled "If you would like a response from us please tick here".

Box of information cards

By the end of the two hour protest around 1000 information cards had been distributed, which averages to each activist handing out a card every 3 minutes!




NHM Facebook Reply

Following a deluge of complaints on their facebook page regarding the Veolia sponsorship, the Natural History Museum posted an incredulous reply simply suggesting they knew full well of Veolia's crimes in Palestine having gone through a "formal process" of "considering the partnership" but all they cared about was the money they received from Veolia which helped them grow the competition in to the "world’s most prestigious wildlife photography competition"!

"Thank you everyone for sharing your views regarding Veolia Environnement’s sponsorship of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition and exhibition, and in relation to Veolia Transport’s activity in the West Bank of Palestine and the Tovlan landfill site. Like any large charity reliant on sponsorship, we have a formal process that we go through in considering each partnership and this sponsorship has enabled Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year to grow into the world’s most prestigious wildlife photography competition. Thanks again for your feedback."


Natural History Museum in partnership with those complicit in the illegal ocupation of Palestinian land

NHM's further collaboration with the occupation

Natural History Museum is conducting research in close collaboration with Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories, an Israeli cosmetics company partly owned by and located in the illegal Israeli settlement of Mitzpe Shalem, deep in occupied Palestinian territory. Ahava profits from, and helps to maintain, Israeli violations of international law.


Ahava's other research partners in the project include Kings College London and Imperial College London. On 20th October Kings College Student Union voted to condemn the collaboration between King's and Ahava, and to support the student campaign and its demands, with 25 votes for, 5 abstentions, and just 1 vote against:

Motion 111212 : King’s College London’s involvement in a research project with Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories

This Union notes:

King’s College London is involved in a research project with Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories.

Ahava is a commercial company located in the illegal Israeli settlement of Mitzpe Shalem, and is also partly owned by the council of this illegal settlement, located approximately 10km inside occupied Palestinian territory in the West Bank.

Israeli settlements are illegal under rulings of the International Court of Justice, UN resolution 446, the Fourth Geneva Convention, and, overwhelmingly, the international community, including the EU and the UK.

Since the settlement of Mitzpe Shalem is illegal, Ahava is essentially stealing what should be resources available for use by the Palestinians inside the West Bank.

By accruing profits from, and sustaining itself on, an illegal settlement, Ahava is complicit in violations of international law.

Recently, the University of London Union (ULU) overwhelmingly passed a motion condemning the collaboration between King’s and Ahava, and supporting the student campaign launched by students and staff at the university, with 9 votes for, 0 against, and 3 abstentions.

This Union Believes:

By collaborating with Ahava, King’s itself has become complicit with violations of international law, consenting to the company’s position in relation to the illegal settlement and its theft of resources.

It is unacceptable and self-defeating for an academic institution with such a high reputation, that lays emphasis on community service and wellbeing, to lend legitimacy to, and actively work with, an entity that owes its current state of existence to violations of international law.

This Union Resolves:

To condemn the collaboration between King’s College London and Ahava in the research project, and demand the immediate end of the university’s involvement in the project, and the rejection of the financial grant King’s has received for its participation.

To strongly urge King’s College London to re-evaluate its commitments to ethical research, and establish a formal ethical research policy, to prevent a similar situation from arising in the future that compromises the university’s integrity and respect for international law.

To support the campaign led by academics and students at King’s, in order to achieve the above aims.

Veolia - The Boycott begins to bite

As the BDS campaign begins to bite Veloia has lost some very prominent tenders costing the company billions. At the beginning of August 2011 it was announced that Ealing Council in London had failed to select Veolia for a comprehensive tender for its domestic refuse, street cleaning and parks maintenance contract. The contract is worth approx £300m in total over 15 years and one of Ealing Council’s largest single contracts. At the start of August Veolia, the world's biggest listed water utility, announced it's quitting half of the 77 countries where it does business due to financial difficulties.

Boycott Veolia: Complicit in Israeli War Crimes

Veolia defeat at Cambridge

Yesterday (October 25th 2011) saw another victory for the campaign against Veolia's complicity in war crimes in Palestine with 58% of Cambridge students voting in favour of breaking the university's contract with Veolia. Whilst the referendum, with 7.2% of the student body voting, fell a little short of the required 10%, its never the less a great victory:

Cambridge students vote to break contract with Veolia

58% of students vote to break contract with company implicated in Israeli human rights abuses

Students at Cambridge have voted to call on the University to cut ties with a company implicated in Israeli human rights abuses.

The vote calls on CUSU (Cambridge University Students Union) to campaign to have the University cut ties with Veolia, a company involved in infrastructure projects in Israeli settlements, and employed by the University on a waste disposal contract. The referendum, which closed yesterday, passed with a majority of 58% to 41%: there were 898 votes yes, 637 votes no, and 21 ballots spoilt. While a strong majority was in support, the referendum was inquorate: 7.2% of the student body voted, short of the 10% required.

Students involved in the campaign pledged to continue the campaign to ensure that Veolia’s contract, which expires in September 2012, is not renewed..

Cambridge Bin Veolia

Source: www.inminds.co.uk

Related Articles

Also Of Interest

Page URL: http://inminds.co.uk/article.php?id=10522
Support Us
If you agree with our work then please support us.

Give one time donation:

Setup monthly donation:
INMINDS Facebook Live Feed
Latest Video's
Latest News..
[all-by date]
[all-by category]
[all-by modify date]
INMINDS Twitter Feed
Boycott Israel Campaign
Featured Video's
You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video.
Why boycott Israel on Campus[1:50:05]
12 London universities discuss need for BDS on campuses. Speakers include Rafeef Ziadeh, Ilan Pappe, Karma Nabulsi & Mike Cushman
Love Letters to Gaza[31:08]
A unique theatrical event using personal messages of love, support and hope from people of all ages and all walks of life to the people of Gaza.
John Pilger[7:55]
journalist and documentary maker
Antiwar Mass Assembly 8 Oct 2011
Julian Assange[7:07]
founder of WikiLeaks
Antiwar Mass Assembly 8 Oct 2011
Lauren Booth, Sami Ramadani & Yvonne Ridley[6:28]
Reading the names of the dead
Antiwar Mass Assembly 8 Oct 2011
George Galloway[6:39]
Antiwar Mass Assembly 8 Oct 2011
Jemima Khan[8:42]
Antiwar Mass Assembly 8 Oct 2011
Why Boycott Marks & Spencer 2011?[23:29]
Demo outside M&S Oxford Street(24 Sept 2011)
Sean Clinton[4:59]
Israeli Blood Diamonds Campaign
Al Quds Day rally, Trafalgar Square (31 Aug 2011)
Lauren Booth[5:24]
Al Quds Day rally, Trafalgar Square (31 Aug 2011)
Lauren Booth - Prayer for Gaza[2:46]
Al Quds Day rally, Trafalgar Square (31 Aug 2011)
Benny Morris - Historian or Racist?[34:07]
Activists oppose visit of racist Israeli historian Benny Morris who justifies ethnic cleansing and genocide.
Is Israel applying apartheid?[2:12:56]
Speakers: Yael Kahn, Jody McIntyre and Ghada Karmi (5 May 2011)
Karen Mitchell[48:27]
Partner at Thompsons Solicitors
Life changing visit to Palestine in 2008 (21 Feb 2011)
Ramzy Baroud[1:59:32]
Editor-in-chief of the Palestine Chronicle
"My Father Was A Freedom Fighter - Gaza's Untold Story" (25 Mar 2011)
Women United in the Intifada[2:31:36]
Speakers: Lizzie Cocker, Ewa Jasiewcz, Alaa Kassim, Yvonney Ridley, Isis Amlak, Sukant Chandan, Ramzy Baroud (14 Mar 2011)
George Galloway[1:01:48]
Solidarity with the Middle-East Revolution, support the people - oppose US/UK intervention (SOAS, 11 Mar 2011)
Omar Barghouti[55:08]
BDS Movement co-founder
"Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions" book launch (7 Mar 2011)
Shir Hever[1:49:09]
Alternative Information Centre
The Political Economy of Israel's Occupation, Kings College London (17 Feb 2011)
Why academic boycott of Israel[1:29:37]
Speakers: Mohammed Abuabdou(PSCABI), Mike Cushman(BRICUP), Jodey McIntyre(activist) (8 Feb 2011)
Dashed Hopes - Gaza Blockade[1:23:08]
Mohammed-Ali Abu Najela (Oxfam), Andrea Becker (MAP), Ewa Jasiewicz (Free Gaza Movement) (1 Feb 2011)
Jordan Valley: Apartheid[1:17:12]
Sarah Cobham(Brighton Jordan Valley Solidarity), Chris Osmond (Corporate Watch) (House of Commons, 1 Feb 2011)
Dump Veolia Demo[7:00]
Protesting at settlement supporter Veolia's sponsership of exhibit at the Natural History Museum (23 Oct 2010)
Boycott Israeli Dates [1/2][9:11]
Are you financing Israels brutal occupation this Ramadan?
Boycott Israeli Dates [2/2][9:05]
Are you financing Israels brutal occupation this Ramadan?
Lee Jasper [1/2][10:13]
[4 of 8] Genocide Memorial Day 2010 Session One, 17-1-2010
Lee Jasper [2/2][9:51]
[5 of 8] Genocide Memorial Day 2010 Session One, 17-1-2010
One Oppressor One Bullet[8:11]
Imam Achmad Cassiem, veteran of the armed struggle against apartheid in South Africa, speaks at the StW rally (London, 19 Feb 2005)
Salwa Alenat [1/2][9:56]
KavLaOved (Workers Rights hotline)
[1 of 8] Israel's Occupation - Abuse of Palestinian Workers (LSE 19 Nov 2009)
Salwa Alenat [2/2][8:57]
KavLaOved (Workers Rights hotline)
[2 of 8] Israel's Occupation - Abuse of Palestinian Workers (LSE 19 Nov 2009)
For Anwar [1of2][10:01]
Carmel Agrexco Valentines Action 7 Feb 2009
For Anwar [2of2][9:56]
Carmel Agrexco Valentines Action 7 Feb 2009
[all videos (over 200)..]
Featured MP3 Podcast

"For most journalists, whether they realize it or not, are groomed to be tribunes of an ideology that regards itself as non-ideological, that presents itself as the natural center, the very fulcrum of modern life. This may very well be the most powerful and dangerous ideology we have ever known because it is open-ended. This is liberalism."
Campaigning Journalist and Film-maker
Socialism 2007 Conference, Chicago [43min / 21Mb]
[need flash]

[all podcasts..]
To subscribe
enter your email:

If you wish to comment on this page:

(all fields optional)

The opinions expressed on this site, unless otherwise stated, are those of the authors.
All logos & trademarks are the property of their respective owners and their use is covered under 'fair use' policy.
Copyright © 1998-2012 Innovative Minds www.inminds.com All Rights Reserved.
The opinions expressed on this site, unless otherwise stated, are those of the authors.
All logos & trademarks are the property of their respective owners and their use is covered under 'fair use' policy.
Copyright © 1998-2012 Innovative Minds www.inminds.com All Rights Reserved.