BDS's Pharrell protest comes to a muted end - As it happened

2015-09-21 15:12

A protest against musician Pharrell Williams and his collaboration with retail chain Woolworths has come to an end at the Grandwest Casino in Cape Town.

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Last Updated at 04:37
21 Sep 19:33
News24's Tammy Petersen says the protest is over. And apparently there were about 1 000 people. Significantly less than the hoped for 16 000.

21 Sep 19:25
Meanwhile, other people are asking why BDS doesn't protest against matters "closer to home".

21 Sep 19:16
As some protesters leave, cars continue to pull up as supporters make their way to the stage near the entrance of Grandwest.

21 Sep 18:56
There have also been a few tweets asking why BDS doesn't protests against what's happening in Syria. This is just one of them.

21 Sep 18:50
Some tweeters are not quite behind the protest...

21 Sep 18:38

21 Sep 18:28
Marshals have their hands full as singing protesters dance down the street.

21 Sep 18:21

21 Sep 18:19
Fransman called on international artists to rather support the campaign.

21 Sep 18:16
Marius Fransman: it is a shame that taxpayers money was used to try and stop this protest.

21 Sep 18:16
Muhammed Desai of BDS: Over 551 Palestinian children under 16 killed in six weeks a year ago. Woolworths and Pharrell were silent. Those who have gone back to Woolworths, we know who you are and where you live. Come back home.

21 Sep 18:12
"We understand Pharell will be here shortly. As he arrives, he must get a clear message. We cant be supporting apartheid in our own backyard." - programme director

21 Sep 18:09

21 Sep 17:59

Mohammed Lee, 3, holds his father Abdullah's hand and raises his little fist, screaming 'free Palestine!'


21 Sep 17:52

21 Sep 17:51
Jerusha Sukhdeo-Raath reckons there are about 1 000 protestors there now. Lots of ANC supporters arriving, she says.

21 Sep 17:50

A representative from the Muslim Judicial Council says to the crowd: Pharrell is the betrayer of the Palestinian blood. You sing you are happy (in reference to the singer's mega-hit); do you see the children dying by the number? What are you happy about?


21 Sep 17:47
Nabuweyah Davids from Rondebosch East said she brought her son Safwaan, 5, to raise his awareness of the 'disgusting realities' taking place in Palestine.

21 Sep 17:47
And in a slightly strange development, dance competitions for scarves have started taking place as the chill starts to creep in, says Tammy Petersen.

21 Sep 17:44

SACP: Pharrell has blood on his hands. Genocide is taking place and the world is silent about this.

Music is blaring from speakers and protesters are dancing. "We have a free concert," one woman comments.

Meanwhile, these protestors took a selfie. (Photo by News24's Tammy Petersen)


21 Sep 17:37
WATCH: The ANCYL's Muhammad Khalid Sayed calls for their mother party to cut ties with Israel.

21 Sep 17:31
Meanwhile, over on Woolies Twitter page...

21 Sep 17:18

21 Sep 17:16
News24's Jerusha Sukhdeo-Raath and Tammy Petersen are at the protest. They'll be bringing all the latest as it happens. Photo below is by Jerusha.

21 Sep 16:59
Congress of South African Students members and supporters have now also turned up for the protest.

21 Sep 16:46
It looks as if there are a few hundred protestors already there in Goodwood.

21 Sep 16:19

News24's Paul Herman spoke to BDS co-ordinator Muhammad Desai about why the movement targeted Woolworths.

Desai stressed that the campaign, part of the larger BDS movement, started in Palestine in 2005, is far bigger than just a local organisation hoping to make a noise.

“The boycott is not a malicious boycott or punitive. It’s simply aimed at how we can get Israel to end its occupation according to international law," he said.

“Over 17 EU union countries have issued warnings against companies doing business in Palestine occupied territories."

Woolworths, though, stated on Monday the company does not source any products from occupied territories in Israel, and denied having any political affiliations.


21 Sep 15:47
SA musician Tumi Molekane has also joined the protestors. 

21 Sep 15:30
BDS also seems to be setting up a concert of its own outside Williams's one.

21 Sep 15:23
Union federation Cosatu as well as the ANC Youth league in the Western Cape has pledged its support for the protest.

21 Sep 15:17

21 Sep 15:13

Protestors started making their way to Grand West Casino on Monday ahead of US Grammy-winner Pharrell Williams's concert.

Activist movement, Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions SA (BDS) is leading the protest where they say they are expecting 40 000 protestors.They are protesting Williams's concert because he has partnered with retail chain Woolworths in a campaign.

“The boycott is not a malicious boycott or punitive. It’s simply aimed at how we can get Israel to end its occupation according to international law," BDS's Muhammad Desai told News24.

“Woolworths is a company that has in the past supported human rights and good human values. We believe that’s wonderful, and they have a good business journey," he said.

“But surely a part of your business journey should include the rights of Palestinians, and not to buy from a country in violation of international laws backed up by legitimate human rights organisations.

“We lobby with the SA government, we work with artists, but at a consumer level, we decided to start off with Woolworths."

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