A small crowd of protesters gathered outside Parliament on Friday calling for an end to the occupation of Palestine. Around the world similar protests were happening as the last Friday of Ramadan is marked as International Al Quds day. Back in Cape Town the turnout this was significantly less with an estimated crowd of 200 people who showed an unwavering dedication to the freedom of Palestine. Last year almost 5000 people were said to have taken the streets in support of Al Quds Day. Scores of protestors wore keffiyahs, carried Palestinian flags and lifted banners as they reached Parliament.
“The number of protesters was actually more than I expected. People tend to have short memories and they tend to forget that the occupation is continuous,” Kamil Suleiman from the Action Forum for Palestine explained.
The message for both protests was the same however, the speakers as well as the crowd called for an end to the occupation in Palestine. Furthermore, the protest also called for people to boycott local stores that distribute products manufactured in Occupied Palestine and called for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador.
“We must continue show solidarity, whether it is picketing, whether it is boycotting,” Suleiman added.
Pro Palestinian activist Dr Clint Le Bruyns addressed the crowd on his experiences as part of the Freedom Flotilla 111, which attempted to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. Husam Al Housani from the Palestinian embassy expressed his gratitude towards the crowd for showing their support and reiterated that the boycott of companies such as Woolworths should continue.
The message for the boycott of Woolworths was emphasised by the Action forum for Palestine. Woolworths has been targeted by the South Africa BDS movement as it continues to import and sell products produced in occupied lands on territory that was forcibly taken away from the Palestinian people.
“The international community should make a serious move to stop Israeli aggression and war crime,” Al Housani told the crowd.
“The march on the 9th of August 2014 had more than 100 000 people. When bombs aren’t falling people think that everything is well in Palestine which is far from the truth,” Kenny said.
Other countries where the march occurred include Canada and Turkey and people from all walks of life were in attendance. Human rights campaigners agree the situation in Palestine is not about religion but about the violation of human rights.
This day was initiated by Iran to express solidarity with the Palestinian people and today close to a million people attended the rallies in Iran condemning the Israeli government for their actions towards the Palestinian people and at the same time condemning the Saudi Regime for their bombardment of Yemen. VOC (Umarah Hartley)