Following the National Day of Action against Woolworths on Saturday, the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) held a picket outside the retailers head office in Long Market Street, Cape Town on Monday. While protest action only garnered the support of about 40 ANCYL members, the organisation’s Western Cape Convenor, Khalid Sayed said the lack of support was due to organised taxis that were unable to transport supporters to the location.
However, the little support did not put a damper on the spirits of those present. Calling for an end to trade relations with Israel, the group said it will not end its action against the Apartheid State of Israel much as it has not wavered in previous action against the struggle in South Africa.
“This is not only about the Woolworths Campaign. The ANCYL held an event in March of this year commemorating Israeli Apartheid week, an event we host every year. This time we were in Mitchells Plain where supporters from different parts of our community came forward to show their support. Even at that time, we were able to see the immense support from the youth who aren’t necessarily members of the youth league. Then when Gaza happened, we also saw lots of youth coming forward and pledging their solidarity to the people of Palestine,” Sayed said.
Sayed said the campaign has had an impact on the South African community. The humble group of ANCYL members and other supporters’ chants could be heard through the streets of Cape Town during a busy Monday lunch time rush.
According to Sayed, Woolworths have not displayed a willingness to negotiate on its current position on Israeli goods.
“The attitude of Woolworths has been very arrogant. They have not responded positively. The profits they make with Israel is not a lot so they won’t be missing out on much. So many smaller businesses within our community have made huge sacrifices by no longer stocking Coca Cola products which resulted in a heavy knock on their business, yet they made that choice based on morals. We can only hope that sanity prevails now,” Sayed added. VOC (Ra’eesah Isaacs)