The Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine warmly congratulates the Mayor of Marrickville, Fiona Byrne, who has received a letter from Archbishop Desmond Tutu as a result of her and other Councillors’ support for the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions call from Palestinian civil society. The letter was presented to Mayor Byrne at Marrickville Council Chambers on Tuesday, June 7, 2011.
The letter makes reference to Marrickville Council’s Sister City relationship with Bethlehem, the importance of sporting boycotts in the campaign against apartheid in South Africa and the pressure placed on Marrickville Council.
“Sometimes taking a public stand for what is ethical and right brings costs, but social justice on a local or global scale requires faith and courage,” wrote Archbishop Tutu.
“I want to pay my respects to you and your fellow Councilors in Marrickville for taking a stand to isolate the Israeli state, and before that for offering practical solidarity to our sisters and brothers under occupation in the Holy City of Bethlehem.
“International Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions against the Apartheid regime, combined with the mass struggle inside South Africa, led to our victory.”
“I’m honoured to receive this endorsement from Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu,” Mayor Byrne said. “Desmond Tutu’s courageous stand against Apartheid in South Africa and ongoing advocacy for peace and human rights is an inspiration to us all. Palestinian civil society has called for support for the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions campaign to highlight the struggle of the Palestinian people for basic human rights. I am proud that Marrickville Council was able to support and highlight the human rights violations suffered by many Palestinian people,” Mayor Byrne said.
“We are humbled and inspired by this expression of support from Archbishop Desmond Tutu,” said Councillors Kontellis, Thanos and Peters, who along with Mayor Byrne maintained their support for the BDS despite intense media pressure.