Blow for Pharrell concert protest

American singer Pharrell Williams. Picture: Oli Scarff

American singer Pharrell Williams. Picture: Oli Scarff

Published Aug 8, 2015


Cape Town -

The city has dealt a blow to the planned picket at the Pharrell Williams concert in September, granting a permit for only 150 people.

Following the announcement of Williams’s tour of South Africa with Woolworths for their Are You With Us campaign, threats of picketing and protests have continued.

On Friday the City of Cape Town granted a permit for the September 21 protest, but for a far smaller group than the 50 000 requested.

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel SA spokesman Braam Hanekom said on Friday that they would be in front of GrandWest, where the concert is scheduled to take place, on the day.

Garreth Bloor, mayoral committee member for tourism, events and economic development, said on Friday night they had, in consultation with the police, considered the safety of protesters and of people and property surrounding the protest.

“We treated this permit as we do all, in line with the nationally prescribed Gatherings Act,” he said.

Meanwhile, the ANC in the Western Cape has slammed the city’s decision, saying the city first revoked the permit, the reissued it on Friday.

“Subsequent to our public condemnation the city has now done a U-turn, changed its tone and blatantly lied about denying the permit.

“The city has taken these steps to reduce the numbers and location without any engagement on this with protest organisers. This move is not only anti-Palestinian but anti-civil society... The gathering was for 50 000 and the ANC believes that civil society has a right to gather in such large numbers.”

Saturday Argus

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