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UCT PSF launches IAW events

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The Palestinian Solidarity Forum (PSF) at the University of Cape Town (UCT) are to host several events on campus during the week ahead, in line with the global Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) campaign. IAW, which takes place in South Africa from the 2nd until the 8th March, seeks to bring light to the oppression suffered by Palestinians at the hands of the Israeli regime. It also seeks to increase support for the ongoing BDS boycott campaign against Israel, and those affiliated with the state.

A weeklong series of programmes is set to kick off on Monday with a Palestinian film screening, as well as the construction of a mock wall that will be on display at the UCT Jammie Plaza; symbolic of the ‘Apartheid Wall’ constructed by Israel in the West Bank.

Over the course of the next three days, the PSF will be hosting several discussions and lectures on the issue. On Tuesday, an external panel discussion featuring EFF spokesperson, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi and activist, Zackie Achmat amongst others, will address concrete ways of ‘resisting Israeli Apartheid’.

The following day, an internal discussion will be held with several UCT academics and administrators, including vice chancellor, Max Price, and associate professor in the Department of Political Science, Andrew Nash. This will centre on whether the university should enforce an academic boycott on Israeli institutions.

On Thursday Cosatu general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi will take to Jameson Hall to discuss lessons on the South African Apartheid struggle, in comparison with the Palestinian struggle. The PSF will conclude IAW with a rally on the same day, calling on UCT to cut ties with Israeli affiliated security firm, G4S. Furthermore, members will be handing out flyers amongst other UCT students, in a bit to raise awareness to the current situation.

“The programmes we are doing are all education, so that those not familiar with the conflict and struggle will be able to get more information (on it). We will also be handing out education flyers everyday with different aspects of what we want to address about Israeli Apartheid,” explained PSF chairperson, Alex Hotz. ‘

Hotz said they were hoping to see good turnout and support for the various events, but also suspected they would face some resistance from those align to the Israeli viewpoint.

“Obviously we are always going to be met with tension, especially from those who do not support the Palestinian struggle. But I think we’ve organized some amazing events, and we’re dealing with very relevant issues within the struggle at the moment,” she said, reiterating her hope for a positive turnout.

For more information, visit the ‘UCT Palestine Solidarity Forum’ Facebook page, or check out the Twitter handle @UCT_PSF. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)

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