8 July 2024
Reading Pride drop Doritos

We emailed Reading Pride on 4th June to let them know that Doritos is owned by PepsiCo, a company that invests in Israel and the genocide of Palestinians. We have received no response to our email.

PepsiCo bought SodaStream in 2018, and also co-owns the brand Sabra - both of which are on the Palestinian run Boycott, Divest and Sanction list.

SodaStream is actively complicit in Israel's policy of displacing the indigenous Bedouin-Palestinian citizens of Israel in the Naqab (Negev). SodaStream have a long history of mistreatment of and discrimination against Palestinian workers. Sabra hummus is a joint venture between PepsiCo and the Strauss Group, an Israeli food company that provides financial support to the Israeli army.

It is deeply troubling to us as part of the Reading queer community to see Reading Pride accept sponsorship and support from companies investing in the genocide of Palestinian people.

We are calling on our community to sign an open letter to Reading Pride urging them to take action. We want Reading Pride to:

There is no pride in genocide. We refuse to allow pinkwashing to justify the brutal repression of Palestinians, using queer people to legitimise this horrific violence.

Head to the link in our bio to sign your name on our open letter for Pride.

If you are due to perform at Reading Pride and wish to remove your labour in solidarity, the LAD fund are doing incredible work to provide much needed funds to replace pay lost. Head to @theladfund to find out more.

We are not free until we are all free. Free Palestine 🇵🇸

Update 12 July 2024

Response from Reading Pride

We received a response from @readingprideuk this morning and are very disappointed. We are now planning next steps, and in the meantime felt it necessary to share Reading Pride’s response publicly for the benefit of those who signed the open letter.

Email in images and copy and pasted into comments below.

We urge performers, artists, creatives and partners of Reading Pride to boycott the festival until they drop Doritos and (any other yet to be announced sponsors investing in G3n0c1d3) as a sponsor. Please apply to @theladfund to help with lost pay.


Dear Ollie, George, Milly, Emeline and George,

Thank you for your email regarding sponsorship of Reading Pride. For over two decades, Reading Pride has promoted diversity, equity and inclusivity. As one of the largest free Pride Festivals in the country, we offer an accessible space for LGBTQ+ equality in the Thames Valley.

This is only possible by the generous support of those that raise money, sponsor or donate directly to Reading Pride. The festival is a complex operation and requires many funds and lots of hard work from dedicated volunteers around the year (none are paid) to enable it to take place.

While we understand your position, we have spoken to PepsiCo, and have received the following response, which we feel provides adequate reassurance and does not necessitate us to end the sponsorship with a company who has supported Reading Pride for the past 15 years.

'PepsiCo UK is proud to be a long-term supporter of Reading Pride and we're looking forward to being part of the festival again this year. With Reading being the home of our UK head office, the relationship with Reading Pride is an important part of the engagement with our local community and is led by our LGBTQ+ employee resource group, EQUAL.

PepsiCo UK is part of a global food and beverages company, present in 200 countries and regions including the Middle East. Neither PepsiCo nor any of our brands are affiliated with any government or military in the conflict. We care deeply about the safety and well-being of everyone in these communities and are horrified by the violence and suffering taking place. We have provided millions in aid to those suffering in the region and will continue to do so.'

Reading Pride remains committed to fighting hate and inequality until Love Unites us all. We still have a fight to ban conversion therapy and while the recent change in Government is positive in this regard, we need to see this through to completion. We also need to work to improve the lives of Trans* people, who have come under increasing pressure in their daily lives.

While our charitable objectives somewhat restrict activities that we can undertake directly, we do support your concerns regarding the Middle East. Therefore, if you set-up a shared fund-raising account for one or more of you to fly to Palestine to support the relief effort in person, and in an LGBTQ+ capacity, as local individuals we can help promote your cause to a wider audience. We could possibly assist you in working with aid organisations, so you can directly help the people of Palestine.

In unity,

Reading Pride Trustees

Update 10 July 2024

Updated text

*updated due to error missing out part of the text - see ‘we want Reading Pride to:’

We emailed Reading Pride on 4th June to let them know that Doritos is owned by PepsiCo, a company that invests in Israel and the genocide of Palestinians. We have received no response to our email.

PepsiCo bought SodaStream in 2018, and also co-owns the brand Sabra - both of which are on the Palestinian run Boycott, Divest and Sanction list.

SodaStream is actively complicit in Israel's policy of displacing the indigenous Bedouin-Palestinian citizens of Israel in the Naqab (Negev). SodaStream have a long history of mistreatment of and discrimination against Palestinian workers. Sabra hummus is a joint venture between PepsiCo and the Strauss Group, an Israeli food company that provides financial support to the Israeli army.

It is deeply troubling to us as part of the Reading queer community to see Reading Pride accept sponsorship and support from companies investing in the genocide of Palestinian people.

We are calling on our community to sign an open letter to Reading Pride urging them to take action. We want Reading Pride to:

  • Drop Doritos and any other sponsors yet to be announced investing in Israel as a sponsor in solidarity with the BDS movement.

  • Publicly call for a ceasefire and a free Palestine.

There is no pride in genocide. We refuse to allow pinkwashing to justify the brutal repression of Palestinians, using queer people to legitimise this horrific violence.

Head to the link in our bio to sign your name on our open letter for Pride.

If you are due to perform at Reading Pride and wish to remove your labour in solidarity, the LAD fund are doing incredible work to provide much needed funds to replace pay lost. Head to @theladfund to find out more.

We are not free until we are all free. Free Palestine 🇵🇸

100
signatures
91 verified
  1. George turner, Reading
  2. Milly Allwood-Rose, DJ, Reading
  3. George Field, Double Okay, Reading
  4. Emeline Nevers-White, Self-employed, Reading
  5. Ollie Musson, Artist, Double Okay, Reading
  6. Becs Lees, Reading
  7. Caitlin Lammin, Reading
  8. Cameron Moreton, Wembley
  9. Francesca Dac, Maidstone
  10. Phil Harper/ Philli Mi Up, Drag, Birmingham
  11. Eleni hadjicostas, , Reading
  12. Maryam Alizada, Reading
  13. Liv Powell, Drag King, London
  14. anonymous, Reading Queers For Palestine, Reading
  15. Big Jay, CEO, Iota Events, Reading
  16. Alice Robb, , Reading
  17. Jordan C, Portsmouth
  18. Lentil pulse, Drag artist, My umbrella, Reading
  19. nathan, drag artist, iota events, reading
  20. Libby Skipp, Events acquisition and retention coordinator, Reading
  21. Luca, Student, Reading uni, Reading
  22. Shameless Heaney, Drag artist
  23. Nina Sato, Filmmaker, Berlin
  24. Kelly Lloyd, Lecturer, University of Reading, London
  25. Alice Flynn, Artistic Director, Dogmouth Theatre, Reading
  26. Kit Goldfinch, Socials & Graphics, serving.bristol, Reading
  27. Mistress Lezmerelda Leathercrax, Drag Queen, Iota Events, Reading
  28. Emily Gillmor, Art Technician, Reading university, Reading
  29. Charlotte Mowat, Accountant, Basingstoke
  30. Sarah Pontin, Unemployed, Reading
  31. Maddy Chaudoir, Brighton
  32. Candra Leksmono, Brighton
  33. The LAD fund, Drag, The LAD Fund, UK!
  34. Zander Mawbey, Reading
  35. Kara Burke
  36. Daniel Leslie, Glasgow
  37. Natasha van Leeuwen, , Westcliff-on-sea
  38. Beverley Bennett, Teacher, Self employed, Birmingham
  39. Beth Paton, Librarian, OXFORD
  40. Megan Stoneman, Student Veterinary Nurse, Reading
  41. Lauren Grannum, Content Editor, N/A, Wokingham
  42. Anon, Drag artist, London
  43. Maebh Springbett, , Reading
  44. Anonymous, Freelance Writer, Finchampstead
  45. Anonymous, Reading
  46. Josh, Professional tattooist to the stars, Self employed, Reading
  47. Holly Buckle, Director / support worker, The Outside Project, London
  48. Dan Pearce, Game Developer, Contractor, Reading
  49. Anonymous, Retail manager, Wokingham
  50. Peter McNamara, Reading
  51. Charlie Spinks, Product Manager, Pangbourne
  52. Lydia Stone, Glasgow
  53. Natalie Punter, Performer, London
  54. Sam Blunn, Student/Waiter, Newcastle University/Vintage Inns, Newcastle/Reading
  55. Andy Lopez-Rocca, Reading
  56. Fran Rijnbende, Revolutionary Communist, RCP, Reading
  57. Tea southwell, UoR Palestine Solidarity Encampment
  58. Jessica Bunyan, Software developer, Reading
  59. Gabrielle Cole, Artists, Kent
  60. KXK, Photographer
  61. Hats Taylor, Inclusion Lead/Counsellor, Reading
  62. Sandra, Reading
  63. Paige Stubbs
  64. Mia Webster
  65. Mia Harvey, Actor, Birmingham
  66. Stephanie Bull, UoR, Reading
  67. Zanna Joyce, Reading
  68. Anne Le, Student, University of Reading, Reading
  69. Caleb Whinnerah, Bartender, Reading
  70. jasper tyrrell, student, reading
  71. Milo, Reading
  72. Lara beasley, Student, University of Reading, Reading
  73. Haliem Mohamed / Cairo Ali, DRAG ARTIST / Promoter, Oxfordshire Drag Collective, Oxford
  74. Pilau Primce, Drag king
  75. Carina, Student, Brighton
  76. Katya, Researcher, Reading
  77. Amanda Grace, Wellbeing Facilitator, Dogmouth Theatre, Reading, London
  78. ennaya Shehzad, Writer, Soundcheck, Reading
  79. Dio Moore, Photographer, Liverpool
  80. Crash, Drag Artist, Bracknell
  81. Cassi Greenman, Taproom Supervisor, Reading Queers for Palestine, Reading
  82. Gauthier Jardon, Scientist, Reading
  83. Jo Barnes, Reading
  84. Harry Frenett, Head of Production, Reading
  85. Lexi Stevens, Reading
  86. Ellis Ballard, Reading
  87. Madison Maskell, Basingstoke
  88. Georgia Bugg, Reading
  89. Juliet Salima Gil Gordon
  90. Lydia Potrykus, Social Media and Marketing, Peterborough
  91. Izzy P
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