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BDS protesters to oppose interdict

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A coalition of Palestine solidarity activists involved in the on-going Woolworths boycott have instructed their lawyers to oppose an interdict sought by Grand West Casino attempting to halt a planned protest at the upcoming Pharell Williams concert. On Wednesday, BDS held a press conference stating that the protest will go forth this coming Monday, despite an application being launched by the organisers to prevent it.

On Monday, Grand West Casino lodged a court application against the activists seeking an urgent court interdict against the #PharrellProtest action during the upcoming Pharrell Williams Woolworths tour. The protest scheduled for Monday 21 September in Cape Town and activists at the press briefing claim that this will be the largest protest “any artist would have faced since the end of apartheid”. Grand West Casino wants a court interdict limiting the protest to 150 people only but activists want and are determined to have a legal protest of over 50 000 protesters.

Muhammed Desai, chairperson of BDS South Africa seems confident that the court will not find in favour of the organisers to prevent the concert from happening.

“We are fully within our rights to have this protest, there is physical space available and most importantly there is a constitutional right to the freedom of protest so we are absolutely confident that the court interdict that the Grand West casino applied for will be kicked out,” Desai explained.

Various other organisations attended the press conference to show their support for the #BoycottWoolworths campaign and to indicate that they too will be attending the protest on Monday. These organisations include, the ANC youth league, the ANC women’s League and the Young communist league of South Africa amongst others.

Reverend Dorothea Gopie from the ANC women’s league in the Western Cape says that the league fully supports the #BoycottWoolworths campaign.

“We can’t keep quiet while women and children are being killed, that is why we are coming out in full support of this campaign,” Reverend Gopie continued.

The protest is scheduled to take place at 3pm with the main speeches starting at 6pm. The protest will take place right outside the concert venue at the Grand West casino in Goodwood Cape Town and despite the City of Cape Town only giving BDS a permit that allows for 150 protesters, BDS says that they will ignore this as the number of protesters is estimated to outnumber the concert goers.

Braam Hanekom from the Young Communist League says that people must not be intimidated into not attending the protest as they feel that the court will turn down the attempted interdict against BDS South Africa.

“The protest will go ahead, all organisations here are not intimated, we are mobilising, we will win in court and we will make history by hosting the biggest protest any artist has seen in South Africa,” Hanekom went further.

The matter is to be heard on Thursday and activists are confident that the court will not grant the limiting 150-person-only interdict to Grand West Casino. Instead, activists are confident that the court will grant a permit, as initially requested, for a protest between 25 000 and 50 000 people. VOC (Umarah Hartley)


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