PRESS STATEMENT: #PharrellProtest activists oppose interdict attempt
16 September 2015
At a press conference earlier today human rights and Palestine solidarity activists communicated that they have instructed their lawyers to oppose an interdict sought (but not yet granted) by Grand West Casino attempting to limit the activists' upcoming #PharrellProtest actions. Various #PharrellProtest actions are scheduled during the artist’s upcoming SA tour over the artist's collabroation with Woolworths which trades with Apartheid Israel.
On Monday Grand West Casino lodged a court application against the activists seeking an urgent court interdict against the #PharrellProtest actions during the upcoming Pharrell Williams Woolworths tour. In particular, Grand West Casino, the court applicant, is concerned about the #BoycottWoolworths protest scheduled for Monday 21 September in Cape Town which activists claim will be the largest protest “any artist would have faced since the end of apartheid”. Grand West Casino wants a court interdict limiting the protest to 150 people only but activists want and are determined to have a legal protest of over 50 000 protestors.
Activists explained how they were in discussions right until Monday morning with representatives of the City of Cape Town in an attempt to find a workable solution between the City of Cape Town’s unreasonable 150 person protest demand and the activists intention of a 50 000 protest.
Activists were taken aback when during these discussions they were then abruptly served with court papers seeking an interdict against them attempting to limit the upcoming protests. In its papers Grand West Casino tried to justify the limitation saying that they will otherwise suffer, due to the protests, "unqualified damages, in terms of loss of revenue (particularly from patrons not attending the concert who are deterred from using the Applicant's facilities [Grand West Casino])".
Activists have slammed the attempt by Grand West Casino for an urgent interdict as a malicious, anti-democratic move by Grand West Casino in collaboration with the City of Cape Town, Woolworths and Pharrell Williams.
The matter is to be heard tomorrow (Thursday 17 September) and activists are confident that the court will not grant the limiting 150-person-only interdict to Grand West Casino. Instead, activists are confident that the court will grant a permit, as initially requested, for a protest between 25 000 and 50 000 people.
Present at the press conference were representatives from various civil society organisations belonging to the National Coalition 4 alestine. Also present were representatives of South Africa’s ruling party, the ANC, South Africa’s largest trade union federation COSATU, the SACP, ANC Womens League as well as leaders of various youth organisations including the South African Students Congress, Young Communist League of South Africa, Muslim Students Association and the Congress of South African Students (the largest school- learner organization in the country).
Representatives pledged to jointly mobilise their members to attend the upcoming #PharellProtest actions and in particular the one at Grand West Casino on Monday 21 September starting at 3pm. The #PharellProtest, activists explained, will be a celebration, if anything, of South Africa’s rich activism and internationalism - a principle and concept that motivated peoples of the world in the 1980s to stand in solidarity with South Africans against Apartheid.
ISSUED BY KWARA KEKANA ON BEHALF OF BDS SOUTH AFRICA AND THE NATIONAL COALITION 4 PALESTINE
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