submitted anonymously –
On Friday December 15, 2023, there was an action at the Eastside Olympia, WA RE/MAX office.
This action was organized old-school style. Kept off social media, word of mouth and distribution of printed flyers got the word out.
On the day of the action, dozens of people gathered and received chant sheets and leaflets detailing RE/MAX’s complicity in Israeli apartheid. After a brief announcement and explanation of logistics, the crowd moved in silence on the way to the RE/MAX office building.
The Palestine solidarity protesters disrupted the real estate corporation and delivered a letter, demanding that RE/MAX stop buying and selling real estate in stolen Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The group chanted, drowning out the complaints of a neighboring corporation’s office workers.
Afterwards, a fleet of city police SUVs arrived on the scene. The police locked down the nearby food co-op and prevented grocery shoppers from leaving the area for over an hour until they eventually and unjustly arrested three people. All have been released on bail.
Some background on RE/MAX
RE/MAX LLC is a multinational real estate corporation based out of Denver, CO. RE/ MAX Israel has been operating since 1995, and is the largest real estate network in Israel. RE/MAX Israel operates a licensed RE/MAX office in the Israeli settlement of Ma’ale Adumim in occupied Palestinian territory. This and their other Israeli offices sell and rent real estate in all the major West Bank settlements and in occupied East Jerusalem. RE/MAX Israel is a franchise of the larger RE/MAX, LLC and pays recurring fees and a percentage of their sales revenue to their RE/MAX parent company.
RE/MAX is a corporation that contributes to housing scarcity and gentrification worldwide. Domestically, they are a major player in raising the cost of living for renters and first-time home buyers. In Israel and Palestine, their business goes beyond the classic gentrification playbook. Israel’s occupation is a history of violent land grabs against the people of Palestine.
RE/MAX’s bottom-line is intimately connected to the Israeli occupation. The ability to attract corporate investors is a key ingredient to the Israeli occupation. Pressuring RE/MAX to suspend its real estate moves in the West Bank and East Jerusalem weakens Israeli state legitimacy and will force other corporations to do the same.
With each passing day, the Israeli government is struggling to justify its war crimes more than ever before. Public opinion is shifting. A major corporate divestment will further public pressure against Israeli war crimes.
Targeting corporate profiteers through direct action can force those corporations to divest for several different reasons: negative publicity, lower profits, public outcry and not wanting to deal with the blowback of continual protests. While most rallies usually take place in public spaces, actions that take place in corporate settings are also important because they are a direct response to profiteers of human suffering.
Let’s keep the pressure on RE/MAX to ensure they divest from Israeli settlements in Palestine.
Whatever critiques people may have about a diversity of tactics, there is nothing to be gained by public shaming of other activists. Don’t talk to police or do their job for them.
ORGANIZE ACTIONS AT YOUR LOCAL RE/MAX BRANCHES.
DEMAND RE/MAX DIVEST FROM OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES.
Sources about RE/MAX’s complicity in the Israeli occupation: