Did you know that Ireland was the first country to ban the sale of South African goods in our country’s shops? That was in 1987. Well, I was delighted to see Mary Manning on the News last night, she was the Dunne’s Stores worker who in 1984, refused to handle South African goods in protest at the Apartheid regime. She ended up staying on strike, along with a dozen or so others, for two and a half years – but that strike played a significant part in the eventual ending of Apartheid in South Africa.
Nelson Mandela was emotional when he met the Dunnes Stores strikers in Dublin in 1990. He said that their solidarity had given him strength in prison. (Unfortunately Mary Manning was no longer in Ireland at the time so she never met him)
So now, a quote from www.Broadsheet.ie : “ The strikers established a picket line outside the store entrance, attracting derision and abuse from shoppers. People called the strikers ‘nigger-lovers’ and even spat at them. Two of the strikers received a visit from the Special Branch. Public perceptions of the strike were to change, however. There was growing support for the movement, partly as a consequence of a meeting in London in December between the strikers and Archbishop Desmond Tutu while he was on his way to collect the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo.”
The painting of the apples is an old one but I put it up there as a tribute to our brave girl, she was only 21 when she took this principled stand against a cruel and seemingly unstoppable regime. But now, coming up to Christmas, I’m thinking about another unfortunate nation which struggles to survive under an even worse regime – and I think you know where I mean.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, between 2000 and 2007, more than half a million olive trees were destroyed by the oppressor in this land. These days the figure is estimated at over 2 million trees uprooted.
So… Make sure you check where it comes from before you buy. I certainly do.
See also http://www.sadaka.ie/