In earlier filings, attorneys for the group that sued the Olympia Food Co-op over its boycott of Israeli goods argued that fines against the plaintiffs for filing an illegal SLAPP suit should be paid by the Co-op itself.
Judge Thomas McPhee ruled on February 27 that the lawsuit against the food co-op constituted an illegal ‘strategic lawsuit against public participation’ (SLAPP), because the plaintiffs filed the suit in an attempt to make it prohibitively expensive for the co-op to exercise its right to free speech. The ruling entitles the defendants, former and current members of the food co-op’s board of directors, to recoup legal fees and penalties from those suing.
In this case, the anti-SLAPP legislation protects the food co-op against the malicious lawsuit, but in an ironic turn, the plaintiffs contend that as members of the food co-op, they were suing on behalf of the store, and penalties for their illegal suit should be levied against the co-op itself.
“It’s completely absurd,” said Jeff Berryhill, a working member at the co-op. “The judge ruled that this is a SLAPP suit against the co-op, and still the plaintiffs are continuing to try to make this lawsuit hurt the store.”
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Today, the Flaming Eggplant, a student-run cafe at Olympia’s Evergreen State College, announced that they will be boycotting Israeli products. A statement, released today, reads:
Our Mission Statement outlines a commitment to serving socially just food. Israel’s policy of illegal land seizure and destruction on Palestinian lands means purchasing items from Israel is in conflict with our mission.
The Flaming Eggplant Cafe
As a student-run collective with the stated principle of supporting direct action for a just and egalitarian society, and as a café representing the student body at large, we feel it is important to uphold the desire for boycott and divestment as voted for by the students at The Evergreen State College.
» Read the full statement from the Flaming Eggplant…
TESC Divest, a student-led organization that works to end Evergreen State College’s complicity in Israel’s abuses of Palestinian human rights, has issued a press release:
On Monday June 4, 2012 The Flaming Eggplant Café, a student worker collective at The Evergreen State College (TESC), formally announced its decision to boycott Israeli goods, becoming the most recent business to join the growing international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
According to the Flaming Eggplant’s mission statement, one of the cafe’s goals is to “nourish the local food system by making delicious, healthy, ecologically and socially just food accessible to all.” In its statement of principles the collective also expresses its commitment to “supporting political participation and direct action to create a just and egalitarian society.”
Office Coordinator Cris Papaiacovou said, “We came to a consensus as a collective to support the Palestinian civil society call for BDS because it is directly in line with our mission and statement of principles.” He added, “We are proud to join this non-violent movement to pressure Israel until it ends its human rights violations against Palestinians.”
» Read the full press release at the TESC Divest website…