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Max Brenner demonstrators did not break law, Aussie panel finds

SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) — Pro-Palestinian protesters who demonstrated outside Israeli chocolate shops across Australia have not breached the law, the nation’s consumer watchdog ruled.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said in a statement issued Sept. 2 that the protesters had not broken federal competition law because the protests did not cause substantial loss or damage to the Max Brenner chocolate stores that were targeted in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane over the past few months.

“The ACCC has decided not to take any further action in relation to the matter at this time,” the statement said. “The ACCC will, however, be monitoring any future protests and considering whether they constitute a breach of the Competition and Consumer Act.”

Pro-Palestinian groups allege that Max Brenner, owned by the Strauss Group, supplies packages for Israeli soldiers.

On July 1, 19 protesters were arrested in a clash with police outside a Max Brenner shop in Melbourne, prompting Victorian Consumer Affairs Minister Michael O’Brien to write to the ACCC.

An anti-Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement solidarity rally held Sunday in Melbourne was addressed by several Zionist leaders. A pro-BDS rally scheduled for Sept. 10 will be held outside the  Max Brenner store in Sydney.
 

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