For the second time in two years the annual shareholders’ meeting of security giant G4S has descended into chaos after nine activists were forcibly ejected by guards during protests against its operations in Israel.
The meeting, held in London on Thursday, was frequently interrupted by uniformed and plainclothes security staff fighting protesters upset over G4S’ enabling of Israel’s genocide against Palestinians.
G4S’s supply of security and screening equipment to Israeli security forces dominated the proceedings, during which few questions focused on its financial results.
The events were similar to the meeting last year, where protesters, who gained entrance by purchasing shares in G4S, were violently removed for speaking out against the company’s role in supplying Israeli prisons and the death of an Angolan man while in G4S custody.
G4S responded to last year’s protests by vowing to end its Israeli prison contracts, but only within three years.
Keen to avoid negative press for its enabling of the atrocities on the West Bank, which happened last year, the company banned all electronic devices this year.
Chairman John Connolly cautioned that disrupting the “proper conduct” of the meeting would not be tolerated, which prompted an immediate protest in which the activist was carried out after she threw shredded photographs of teenagers being held in Israeli prisons.
“Stop hurting me. This is what you do to Palestinian prisoners in Israel all the time,” she screamed while being forcibly removed by three guards.
When pressed for exact dates of withdrawal from Israel, G4S said it would honor contracts until they expired in 2017.
Ryvka Barnard, spokeswoman for anti-poverty group War on Want, said: “Their vague commitments serve only to distract from their continued failure to uphold their legal and ethical responsibilities.”
During the two-hour meeting, protesters frequently interrupted, with some wearing masks of Palestinian teenagers who are being held in G4S managed Israeli prisons.
On one point, ten security guards ejected two men who started to chant: “Who supports the siege in Gaza? G4S does.”
The protests come amid growing world condemnation of Israeli mass killings of Palestinians, which the United Nations has deemed to be genocide. Earlier in the day French telecom operator Orange announced it would pull its branding from the country, in response to criticism of its support for Israel.