Palestine Solidarity Campaign has written to raise concerns about designjunction hosting SodaStream’s Play during the London Design Festival, and listing SodaStream as their partner.
18 September was the launch London Design Festival, an annual event, held to celebrate and promote London as the design capital of the world, it will run for nine days until 22 September 2013.
“SodaStream will launch the new Yves Behar designed Play during LDF. Play is the first ever kitchen appliance that can be colour customised and will be unveiled in an interactive space at designjunction. Visitors will be able to experiment with colour and design their own machine. A variety of refreshments including sodas and cocktails will be served from the SodaStream Soda Bar, allowing the exhibition to be plastic-bottle free for the duration of the Festival”
PSC has written to raise concerns about designjunction hosting SodaStream’s Play during the London Design Festival, listing SodaStream as their partner. Our original letter and their reply below:
This is designjunction’s reply: our original letter is below
‘Dear Ms Colborne,
Thank you for your email.
designjunction which will host SodaStream’s Play is a private event. designjunction is a non-political organisation which cannot and will not under any circumstances comment on debatable matters relating to state sovereignty or international border disputes.
If you have a grievance with an individual exhibitor at this year’s show, we would direct you to their communications team.’
PSC’s letter to designjunction:
Dear Ms Marshall-Hardy,
I am writing to express our serious concern that the designjunction is hosting SodaStream’s Play during the London Design Festival, and that SodaStream is listed on your website as a partner.
You may not be aware that there is an international campaign against SodaStream, by those supporting human rights, justice and international law, in response to the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions.
The publicity for SodaStream’s Play at designjunction implies a concern for the environment: ‘A variety of sodas and cocktails will be served from the SodaStream Soda Bar, allowing the exhibition to be plastic-bottle free for the duration of the festival’.
But Sodastream’s operation inside an illegal Israeli settlement isn’t green, or environmentally-friendly. SodaStream’s main factory is in a settlement – Mishor Adumim – in the Occupied West Bank. These settlements are illegal under international law, therefore settlement production relies on, and supports, an activity that is illegal. The UN, the International Court of Justice, the EU and the UK government all agree that settlements are illegal and an obstacle to peace. Israeli companies operating in the West Bank enjoy cheap land and water, confiscated from the indigenous Palestinian owners; a captive Palestinian labour force; tax benefits; and lax regulation of environmental and labour protection laws.
SodaStream devices are made on land expropriated from its original Palestinian owners, and employing Palestinian workers under the discriminatory and exploitative conditions of Israel’s military occupation, including severe restrictions of movement and organisation. Sodastream’s Palestinian workers have spoken out on the harsh conditions: “They treat us like slaves. This has happened many times on the assembly line: when a worker is sick and wants to take sick leave, the supervisor will fire him on the second day. They will not even give him warning or send him to human resources, they will immediately fire him.”
As Mike Merryman-Lotz from the American Friends Service Committee puts it, ‘By choosing to locate its factory in a settlement, SodaStream has chosen to support the settlement enterprise and the occupation. The taxes the factory pays do not go to benefit Palestinian workers. Rather they go to the Israeli government and the Ma’aleh Adumim Municipality where they are used to support the growth and development of the settlement and to sustain the occupation.’
We therefore request that designjunction reconsiders its decision to partner with SodaStream, and look forward to your reply on this matter.
Palestine Solidarity Campaign