Big news! We just received confirmation that Veolia Transdev — a long-standing target of boycott and divestment Palestine solidarity campaigns worldwide along with its partial owner Veolia Environment –has sold off all bus services in Israel/Palestine! Until last week, Veolia Transdev, through its Israeli subsidiary Connex, operated bus lines for settlers on segregated roads in the Palestinian West Bank, and other lines throughout Israel. Today it operates none.
This marks one of the most significant, tangible victories to date for the international boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement. Veolia represents the global flagship BDS target, having lost more than $16 billion in contracts following campaigns across continents citing Veoliaâ€™s complicity in Israelâ€™s gross violations of Palestinian human rights.
LA activists highlight Veolia bus segregation, now a thing of the past.
In the U.S., member groups from Los Angeles to Boston have taken Veolia to task in their city councils and municipal departments. Peace-seeking Quakers andUnited Methodists achieved divestment from Veolia, while member groups in Yoloand Sonoma Counties, CA, and St. Louis, MO celebrated local victories and major breakthroughs catching the attention of Israeli officials, Veolia headquarters, mayoral candidates, and popular media.
These activities, combined with parallel campaigns across the world, have imposed a significant cost to Veolia for its ongoing participation in Israelâ€™s occupation and apartheid policies — a cost that Veolia can no longer ignore, as evidenced by the recent news.
St. Louisans at City Hall connect Veolia injustices in Palestine with its labor and environmental abuses.
Nonetheless, Veolia remains an important target. It continues to own and operate the Tovlan landfill in the occupied West Bank, which collects and dumps refuse from Israeli settlements using illegally captured Palestinian land and natural resources — a form of pillage; it provides wastewater services to settlements; and Veolia Transdev still operates the Jerusalem Light Rail, which deeply entrenches and normalizes Israeli illegal settlements in East Jerusalem.Beyond Palestine, Veolia is also infamous for labor abuses, privatizing public resources, and disastrous environmental practices. This recent victory illustrates the power of local organizing and the importance of redoubling our efforts to hold Veolia accountable until it ends all complicity in Israelâ€™s abusive practices once and for all!