A crowd of epic proportion gathered outside Parliament on Wednesday in a solidarity march for Palestine. Capetonians from across the city, some people trekking as far as Johannesburg, draped themselves in red, green, black and white – the colours of the Palestinian flag.
From afar it seemed as though the streets were about to flood, not with melancholy but with conviction for peace. A turbulent roar from the microphone with an infusion of “amandla- awethu” and “Free Palestine” echoed into the crowd.
The march was escorted cordially by police services and those partaking followed avidly behind the mobile stage. Parents, teenagers, children in prams and elderly in wheelchairs were amongst the masses that met at Keizersgracht in District Six. As everyone assembled it seemed as though the sea of people would not end. It was liberating to see such a united front for a just cause.
Palestinian flags were paraded in support for those who are being oppressed along the Gaza strip. It was a call for freedom by all walks of life expressing the ideals that this is not a religious fight but an outright massacre of civilians.
Tears were shed amongst the elderly as they came to grips with the ordeal. The loud speakers gripped the attention of some 40 000 people who took the time to pray and divert all their attention to the people of Palestine.
A plea to ban big pro-Israeli products and companies was made as to not aid the oppressors. A staunch message was brought across that it was not an anti-Jewish campaign or an anti anything for that matter. The march was to bring knowledge, power, and solidarity amongst the community who stood in support of Palestine. The church opposite Parliament opened its’ doors to whom ever needed a place to rest and stand as the proceedings had commenced. A band of photographers were snapping away from the high hall attempting to capture the vast numbers that came in support.
Colourful signs were paraded as the march progressed and the chanting became ever stronger. And the biggest battle was getting as close to the mobile platform as one could. It was a peaceful march that embodied everything in a positive light. There were no riots and no weapons. All masks and facial covers were requested to be removed as to not draw negative and unwanted attention.
A positive outcome with the result in a one million rand donation to a fund for the Palestinian crisis had even been awarded. This march has proven that violence does not necessarily have to be the answer in all situations. The crowd walked with enough love in their hearts for the people of Palestine that hate for their oppressors. It was a whimsical spectacle to be apart of such a mass movement that consisted of civilians who took the time to express their feelings towards the situation in Gaza. VOC (Ra-eesa Mohamed)