Activists plan protest at Pharrell Williams concert in Cape Town

2015-09-15 18:53

Cape Town - Activist of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) have threatened to protest outside Pharrell Williams’s upcoming Cape Town concert.

According to a press statement released by the BDS on Tuesday the group is planning a large protest on Monday 21 September from 15:00 at Grand West Casino where Pharrell Williams is expected to perform.

BDS South Africa has previously written a five-page letter to Williams urging the artist to delay his collaboration with Woolworths until "it ends its Israeli trade".

The group says that the organisers of the concerts have allegedly launched an urgent application at the Cape High Court to prevent #BoycottWoolworths protests against Pharrell Williams and his collaboration with Woolworths.

"Our position is clear the protest will continue, we are confident the court will not allow the concert organisers to stop the legitimate right of us South Africans to hold a legal protest," BDS said in their statement.

Sun International and organisers respond:

Channel24 contacted both Big Concerts and Woolworths and neither of the companies had applied for a court interdict against the group.

Sun International, who owns the Grand West Casino property, confirmed that they did indeed apply for an interdict to stop the protest due to safety and logistical concerns.

"The City of Cape Town granted BDS a permit allowing 150 protesters. However the movement has advertised and encouraged thousands to attend thus not adhering to the city council's guidelines. For this reason and because of traffic and safety concerns we've taken the decision to take the matter to court," Michael Farr, Group General Manager of Corporate Brand and Communications at Sun International, told Channel24 on Tuesday evening.

"We respect their right to protest but with the size of the protest expected to be larger than allowed by The City of Cape Town it raised concerns over safety and security," Farr added.

The matter is due to appear in court on Thursday or Friday. BDS says it will have an official press conference on Wednesday afternoon in Cape Town.

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