Capetonians are gearing up for tomorrow’s Gaza march, tipped to be one of the largest pro Palestinian marches since 1994. Already, VOC has been inundated with calls from the public asking where they can get Palestinians flags, scarves and banners. Metrorail is offering a free service to anyone wearing the Palestinian colours or carrying a pamphlet issued by the National Coalition for Palestine (NC4P). The march kicks off from Keizergracht in District Six at 11am. The broader community is urged to support in their numbers.
“NC4P is the culmination of years of work that had been put together for the liberation for Palestine. Tomorrow is a great moment that we want to showcase the efforts of the NC4P since its inception,” said Maulana Abdul Khaliq Allie, the secretary general of Muslim Judicial Council (MJC), which forms part of the coalition.
The NC4P also includes trade federation Cosatu, the ANC Youth League, BDS South Africa, the Palestine Solidarity Alliance and other civil societies. The march will be kicked off by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.
“This particular coalition of all diverse societies and people is for the liberation and solidarity of Palestine. Come and embrace the diversity of the march. It is a multicultural, multiracial demonstration. It includes our Christian and Jewish brothers and sisters,” said Allie.
“Despite this being a diverse demonstration, Muslim brothers and sisters are urged to come out in their numbers to show their support.”
The NC4P will lead supporters down Keizergracht proceeding down Adderley Street towards Parliament. Motorists are urged to be there early to avoid traffic congestion. Parking will be available in Keizergracht and around the Woodstock area. Police will on standby and marshals have been deployed to the CBD to assist with the coordination of the crowds.
If you are using public transport, Metrorail will be offering free transport to all protestors between 9am and 3pm on Saturday. The only form of identification to access the free train service is a pamphlet from the NC4P which has been issued to the public. If you don’t have the pamphlet, then a Palestinian flag or scarf, school uniform, or any branded t-shirt bearing Cosatu, ANC, ANCYL or PAC will get you a free ride.
The call is to protest against Israeli attacks on Gaza, demanding action from the South African government. Palestinians are subject to human rights violations that may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Speaking to VOC News during lunchtime on Friday, some Capetonians shared their expectations for the march.
“Hopefully it will be one of the biggest marches in South Africa and hopefully it sends a clear message to our government that our people are serious about this,” said Abdul Malick Davidson.
“We need to show solidarity from our side as South Africans and that it is not okay to kill our brothers and sisters in Palestine,” said Kulsum Latief.
According to Boeta Ebrahim Taliep, he would be bringing along his five grandchildren, who plan to wear their Palestinian garb.
“We try to be at every protest to show our support in a small way. My grandchildren have even made their own hand drawn posters and are saving the money in their money boxes for the children of Gaza. This is very close to our hearts,” he said.
Mishkah Carelse will be selling Palestinian Stickers which are sold at R10 each. All funds raised will go to organization the Gift of the Givers, who will send all proceeds to Palestine. VOC (Nailah Cornelissen)