PRESS STATEMENT: BDS SA on Pharrell Williams intended Collaboration with Woolworths
The human rights and Palestine solidarity organization BDS South Africa has been inundated with calls from supporters and Palestinian solidarity partner organisations regarding USA hip hop artist Pharrell Williams' collaboration with Woolworths.
The U.S music artist and producer Pharrell Williams, using his Twitter account said earlier today: "Proud to collab with retailer @Woolworths_SA. Are you with us, South Africa? See you in September! #PharrellWithWoolies”. Shortly after the tweet, members of the public replied to Williams alerting him to the #BoycottWoolworths campaign and calling on him not to collaborate with Woolworths till it divests from Israel.
In August 2014 a call for the complete boycott of Woolworths until it ends its Israeli trade links was made by BDS South Africa, COSATU, ANC Youth League, MJC, SACP, YCL, EEF and various others including the National Coalition 4 Palestine (a coalition consisting of more than 30 organizations, trade unions and other groups). An independent #BoycottWoolworths impact report by a Wits University researcher has found that Woolworths is losing over R30 million (close to R8 million per month) since the start of the #BoycottWoolworths campaign. According to the report, which was based on a survey of over 3000 participants, the actual impact "could be in the hundreds of millions".
BDS South Africa will be formally writing to Pharrell Williams, requesting that he postpones his Woolworths collaboration until the company divests from Israel. The BDS #BoycottWoolworths campaign is inspired by the anti-apartheid boycott movement of the 1980s against companies that traded with Apartheid South Africa. Given our history, as South Africans, we call for the boycott of companies, such as Woolworths, who continue to trade with Apartheid Israel. We trust that Pharrell Williams will heed our call.ISSUED BY KWARA KEKANA ON BEHALF OF BDS SOUTH AFRICAKWARA KEKANA
BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT AND SANCTIONS AGAINST ISRAEL IN SOUTH AFRICA (BDS SOUTH AFRICA)
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