PRESS STATEMENT: BDS South Africa distances itself from pig head found at Woolworths
24 October 2014
The latest actions of young people placing pig heads at various Woolworths stores - although aimed at increasing pressure on Woolworths - are not supported, endorsed or encouraged by Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) South Africa. We believe that the methods used, namely placing pigs heads in South African Woolworths stores, are very controversial and may not have been properly thought through. It may be argued that the placing of pig heads is a form of militant human rights action however there is a great amount of sensitivity surrounding Halaal and Kosher food. The pig heads have now effectively made various Woolworths Stores a complete no-go zone for those that buy Kosher or Halaal as those areas are now contaminated.
Despite discouraging this method of applying pressure (by placing pig heads in Woolworths Stores), we also recognize that this radical action was probably done with the good intention of helping the people of Palestine and as an expression of the increasing frustration against Woolworths by South African young people - particularly Woolworths stubborn refusal to meet with representatives from the NC4P, BDS South Africa and the larger #BoycottWoolworths campaign. Protests are increasing against Woolworths as the company tries to ignore the calls to end its relations with Apartheid Israel.
We, as BDS South Africa will be going ahead tomorrow with the #BoycottWoolworths National Day of Action but we will not support this method of protest - i.e. placing pig heads in Halaal and Kosher sections of Woolworths stores. BDS South Africa must state clearly that while we will condemn such actions, we are not responsible for them. It is clear to all that the easiest way to end all protest actions against Woolworths is for Woolworths to stop supporting Apartheid Israel.
We trust that Woolworths and other Apartheid Israel sympathisers will not try derail media and public focus from the #BoycottWoolworths National Day of Action by using this latest pig-head issue as a distraction.
We do not believe that taking pigs heads to Woolworths is correct; we also do not believe that Woolworths supporting Israeli Apartheid is correct. We will try our best to discourage both.
BDS South Africa will be convening a meeting with representatives of various organisations to discuss this matter.
FOR COMMENT, CONTACT KWARA KEKANA OF BDS SOUTH AFRICA: 074 054 3826
BDS South Africa is a registered Non-Profit Organization. NPO NUMBER: 084 306 NPO
BDS South Africa is a registered Public Benefit Organisation with Section 18A status. PBO NUMBER: 930 037 446