CODEPINK Press Release
March 5, 2015
Contact: Sophia Armen, Boycott RE/MAX: No Open House on Stolen Land national coordinator, [email protected]
Activists Were Protesting Sales of Illegal Israeli Settlements in Palestine
Las Vegas, Nevada –– Activists from around the U.S. descended on the annual RE/MAX R4 Convention in the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, to protest Denver-based real estate giant RE/MAX for directly profiting from the sale of illegal Israeli settlement properties in Palestine in violation of international law. Through its RE/MAX Israel office currently operates in and sells in all major settlements in the West Bank
Activists engaged realtors and RE/MAX executives, staging actions both inside and outside the convention center. Top RE/MAX executives made clear their awareness of the protest as individuals were met with excessive response by RE/MAX security, Mandalay Bay Hotel security and Las Vegas police. Several activists received aggressive treatment with underlying racial undertones directed at Muslim and Palestinian participants. Twenty-five activists were forced from the Mandalay Bay property and told they were never again permitted on the premises. One activist was arrested and issued a citation.
“RE/MAX must stop selling Israeli settlements immediately and aiding and abetting this illegal activity that prevents a just and sustained peace in the region,” said Ann Wright, a former United States Army Colonel and retired U.S. State Department official who has traveled to Palestine and witnessed the devastation of the Israeli occupation on several CODEPINK delegations.
Participants in the #ShutDownREMAX actions were comprised of individuals who were compelled to travel from across the United States to condemn the compromising practices of RE/MAX Israel. They included, but were not limited to, individuals from Arizona, California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio, Texas, and Vermont, with participating organizations that included members from CODEPINK: Women for Peace, Veterans for Peace, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), Nevada City for Justice in Palestine, and Students for Justice in Palestine.
#ShutDownREMAX was truly a powerful demonstration of how people are willing to gather from all over the country to stop American corporate complicity in the suffering of Palestinians,” said Sophia Armen, CODEPINK campaigner from Los Angeles who organized the three days of action. “As we see the Israeli government becomes increasingly desperate to maintain its unjust Occupation, we understand how important it is to directly challenge RE/MAX for its egregious practices.“
The actions coincided with Netanyahu’s chilling speech to US Congress pressing for war on Iran and expansion of Israel’s illegal activities.
“It is clear by the heavy-handed response of RE/MAX’s security measures that they are very concerned about the efforts of the Boycott RE/MAX campaign, but we will continue to bring awareness to people, including RE/MAX realtors and affiliates” said Janet Weil, CODEPINK San Francisco Coordinator.
Demonstrations took place March 2-4 inside and outside the RE/MAX convention and continued on to a local RE/Max office. The full schedule of events can be found at codepink.org/shutdownremaxconvention. Photos and video from the action can be found at facebook.com/codepinkalert and facebook.com/noopenhouse.