In a last-ditch attempt to stop pro-Palestine activists from pressing with protest action, organizers of the upcoming Pharrell Williams Woolworths concerts have launched an urgent application at the Cape High Court trying to prevent #BoycottWoolworths protests against the US musician and his collaboration with Woolworths. According to the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign in South Africa (BDS SA), there is now an increased effort to curb the voice of the pro-Palestine movement in a bid to avoid the possible embarassment for the US singer-songwriter and the retail company.
In a statement, BDS said they were informed by the organisers that would be “unqualified damages, in terms of loss of revenue, particularly from patrons not attending the concert who are deterred from using the Grand West Casino”. The organizers also claim that the protest will bring “damage to the applicant’s reputation”.
#BoycottWoolworths activists have dubbed the Monday 21 September demonstration as “the largest protest any artist has faced in South Africa since the dawn of democracy”. Pharrell Williams is expected to perform at the casino concert venue in the evening, while the protest gets underway at 3pm. Pharrell Williams is, according to media reports, perfoming in Israel in violation of the cultural boycott before he arrives in South Africa.
BDS South Africa has previously written a five-page letter to Williams urging the artist to cancel his Israeli gig plans and delay his collaboration with Woolworths till it ends its Israeli trade. BDS South Africa even offered to fly and meet with Pharrell Williams to discuss the issue. Williams has refused to respond to the letter and refused to meet. VOC