BDS causes fear in Brisbane

August 30, 2012 by Henry Benjamin
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A Brisbane shopkeeper is fearful for the future after BDS protesters stopped trade in her shoe store for 90 minutes and threatened to return.

Sally McGregor and Naot shoes

BDS protest outside Sally McGregor’s shop

66-yr-old Sally McGregor has been running her Children of the Revolution shoe store in Brisbane for 15 years. One of the brands featured in her store is from Israeli company Naot.

She told J-Wire: “Last week, a woman whom I have never seen before came into the shop and was very assertive. She told me she did not like the shoes I carry and talked to me intensely for about five minutes before leaving the store.”

On the weekend, the Brisbane-based pro-Palestinian Justice for Palestine group set out on a walking tour of the city stopping at businesses stocking Israeli-made goods and demanding that the owners desist.

McGregor added: “A group came into my shop and did not leave until police arrived. But they have left me a message saying they will come back and that ‘they are committed’. My business was at a standstill and I am scared that things may get worse. If I am confronted with financial loss I will be in trouble as my insurance stipulates that I am not covered against acts of terrorism and I am told that this would classified as such. I am really scared that they will return and damage my business but I will not be told what should or should not stock. They told me if I continued  ”

Sally McGregor came to Brisbane from San Francisco 40 years ago.

A J-Wire reporter who tracked the “tour” said: “The group was about twenty strong and tried unsuccessfully to get the attention of passers-by. They promoted it as a tour with one of the BDS-supporters carrying an umbrella with “Tour Guide” written on it. They were tracked by two policemen for the duration of the ‘tour'”.

About five protesters gathered outside the cinema featuring the Israeli Film Festival in Brisbane last night.



13 Responses to “BDS causes fear in Brisbane”
  1. Josette says:

    This is truly disturbing, and one that I hope is not a start of something else! How dare these BDS think they threaten Sally McGregor. I hope that this will have a more positive impact, I for one wasn’t aware of her shop, now I am, and look forward to visiting it in the near future! The shoes truly look gorgeous.

    There is an Australian group called Australians United for Israel. I am the admin for the Qld group. If anyone is interested in meeting as a group in order to show support to those who support Israel, please do not hesitate to contact me. I think if issues such as the above continue to take place unchecked, this could easily be the start of something worse, so the sooner this is nipped in the bud, the better.

    You can contact me through the FB group that I’m attaching a link to here.!/groups/australians4israel/

  2. michael says:

    ”You only have to follow their Facebook pages to see what they are like. Its pure antisemitism and hate.”

    Liat you are dead right, if only our Naive Jewish community leaders would wake up and and admit the connection between the Israel/ Pal/Arab conflict and antisemitism by the Palestinian and Arab/ Muslim community here.
    Whilst these people peddle hate and intolerance our Jewish community representatives want us to embrace more Jew haters that come on here leaky boats from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Palestinian terror-tories countries infected with antisemitism . Many of these individuals will end up protesting along side their anti- Semitic comrades outside max Brenners and the Brisbane shoe shop that stocks Israeli shoes.

  3. Naomi says:

    The best way to show support for Sally McGregor is, I think, to purchase shoes from her shop. While I can’t manage a trip to Bribane at the moment I found that there is a sister shop in Sydney:

    Children of the Revolution
    637 Darling Street
    Rozelle, NSW

    The Naot shoes we purchased there today combine comfort and style beautifully, and the lovely young woman in the Sydney shop said that there had been other people there yesterday for the express purpose of buying Naot shoes. She said that Sally had been devastated by the harrassment of her shop, but it now appears that we can turn an ugly incident into greater sales for this courageous shop keeper.

    • Shirlee says:


      Does Sally own the two shops.?

      I’ve been buying Naot shoes for a few years now. They really are very comfortable shoes . I used to buy them on line from Melbourne but shop in Bondi Junction, in Bronte Road, has an extensive range of them now

      I can’t believe the nerve of ‘these people’ walking into a shop and telling people what they can and cannot sell. The mind boggles

  4. Liat Nagar says:

    It seems to me that this BDS group in Brisbane is more than free to say what they like in the streets, but how can it be okay for them to enter the premises of stores, big or small, interrupt their business and urge people not to buy stock they, the shopkeepers, have already bought to sell. As well as that they get in the way physically of customers who want to browse peacefully and/or buy goods. To cause such discomfort to Sally McGregor as to make her feel threatened is completely unacceptable. What are the Brisbane authorities, council, state government, police force doing about this?

    How pathetic the BDS speeches were, and how naive and ill-informed the speakers: none of them had the slightest idea of the history or complexity of the Israeli/Palestinian situation, obviously.

    • Shirlee says:


      They are clueless. I’ve been following them for 3 to 4 years now.

      You only have to follow their Facebook pages to see what they are like. Its pure antisemitism and hate.

      I follow them interstate too. I have a friend in Perth who does what I do and passes on information from there. I helped organise a counter rally in Perth, which was very successful and the FOPWA ran for their lives.

  5. Denise says:

    It is appalling that this sort of intimidation is happening in our local streets! What rights do these hustlers have to incite racial hatred and intimidation like this? I agree – buy more Israeli goods – I LOVE my Naots and my Dead Sea products, jewellry, my phone. Stand firm Sally – be of great courage! Aussies – show your support for Israel – BUY Israeli products – they are always superb quality!

  6. pam says:

    These groups not only harass small businesses, but threaten public safety.
    There is no place in a democratic country for such incitement and bullying.

    It’s way past time that the BDS group were made to pay for the enormous amount
    of extra police deployed whenever they set out to disrupt legitimate businesses.

  7. Shirlee says:

    For those of you who haven’t tried Naot shoes, you should.

  8. Robert says:

    Part of the answer is to immediately buy the product these useful idiots are boycotting right in front of them.
    The more the better,avoid confrontation like the plague.

  9. Naomi says:

    I echo the sentiments of Shirlee and Elly above. The protesters in the video look ridiculous, but the shoes in Sally McGregor’s shop are gorgeous. I’ll make sure to shop there when I’m in Brisbane!

  10. Shirlee says:

    I would imagine that if they cause loss of business,legal action could be taken against them

    They look like a complete load of idiots if you look at their Youtube video.

    It’s a great laugh, truly pathetic

    Here’s the link to their equally as pathetic photos on Facebook

  11. Elly says:

    Well done to Sally McGregor for standing her ground.
    BDS proves once again that it is made up of thugs unashamedly making a career out of harrassment. Where is the local Brisbane member to protect this business woman who is simply trying to make a living?

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