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London protest calls for boycott of Israel-linked brands

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters have taken to the streets of London calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and a boycott of Israeli-linked brands as traffic was brought to a standstill days before Christmas.

Over 400 demonstrators marched from Soho Square, along Oxford Street, Regent Street and into Carnaby Street, where they gathered outside the Puma store, with some chanting “Shut it down.”

The sports company, which sponsors the Israeli Football Association, was included on a list of brands to boycott on leaflets distributed by protesters which said “No Christmas as usual in a genocide. The UK is complicit. Don’t fund genocide in Palestine. Boycott Israel.”

Protesters blocked the Puma store’s entrance as they waved Palestinian flags, and let off smoke colored red, black and white in a show of solidarity with Gaza. Holding placards reading “No shopping while bombs are dropping”, the protesters hold up buses and taxis.

Sisters Uncut, one of the groups organizing the march, said Christmas is canceled and that it wanted shopping to cease “until there is a ceasefire.”

Another targeted store was fashion giant Zara, which earlier this month pulled an advertising campaign featuring mannequins with missing limbs and statues wrapped in white from its website and app after it prompted calls by some pro-Palestine activists for a boycott of the fashion retailer.

Protesters outside two Zara stores chanted “While you’re shopping, bombs are dropping” and “Zara, Zara, you can’t hide, stop supporting genocide” referring to Israel’s onslaught on the Gaza Strip, which has killed more than 20,000 people, according to the health ministry, most of them women and children.

Security guards shut down the Zara stores and kept them guarded. The Metropolitan Police said no arrests were made.

The protests were part of a wider campaign to boycott Israeli goods and companies that support Israel and its genocidal war in Gaza.

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