06 February 2009

Protest at SA Zionist Federation

Friday, 6 February: A protest was held outside the offices of the South African Zionist Federation and the South African Jewish Board of Deputies in Johannesburg. Both these organisations unquestioningly supported the recent Israeli attacks against Gaza , and supported the massacre of civilians and the attacks on schools, mosques, ambulances, and UN refugee centres. The protest was hardly covered in the South African media, and the reports by Radio 702 and others, was heavily biased towards the Zionists, according to witnesses.Ronnie Kasrils, the former minister of intelligence, said the ongoing "butchering" of Palestinians in Gaza was unacceptable.
"What Israel is doing in Gaza is creating concentration camps because people have nowhere to run. It is reprehensible that we have Zionists here who support Israel."

"We want to convey a message to the Jews in SA that our 1.9-million workers who are affiliated to Cosatu are fully behind the people of Palestine," said Cosatu's Bongani Masuku.
"Any business owned by Israel supporters will be a target of workers in South Africa."
The organisers of the march to protest against the Zionist organisation's full support for Israel in its recent attack on Gaza said 10 of their buses had been turned away by SAPS uniformed men. One bus managed to find it's way to the protest, and was then stoned by Zionist thugs under protection of heavily armed SAPS uniformed men.
The following press release is from Wits University students that were harassed on the way to the peaceful protest:
Media Release: "I'll remember your face, you f#@ker".
Wits University students harassed by heavily armed SAPS uniformed men.
Issued by Wits University Student Coalition on Palestine
Wits University, Johannesburg
07 February 2009

"I'll remember your face, you f#@ker" were the parting words of inspector Pretorius as he sped away from a group of more than thirty university students who had been harassed and assaulted by Pretorius and his SAPS uniformed colleagues for at least two hours. Students of
Wits University and the University of Johannesburg, carrying paper placards and painted banners, were travelling by bus to a COSATU rally at the South African Zionist Federation where speeches were to be delivered. The COSATU rally formed part of a campaign of nationwide actions in support of the people of Gaza under the banner "Free Palestine, Isolate Apartheid Israel".

Heavily armed, uniformed SAPS men in unmarked BMWs forced the bus to come to a halt on Louis Botha, in Johannesburg, blocks before its destination. Using physical force, shouting in an aggressive and violent manner and intimidating student representatives with guns, they demanded the bus turn back to the university campus. Failure to comply, they insisted, would result in all students being arrested. For two hours students endured unrelenting threats and harassment, assault and offensive language with no response to calls for compromise or explanation. Finally, two officers with shotguns boarded the bus of unarmed students, the officers had additional ammunition and a "pistol whose name is Peter" [according to inspector Pretorius] and forced the bus to return to Wits University campus. The SAPS uniformed men made it clear that they were ready to use their weapons against the group of students. In fact, when a student remarked that the SAPS dressed members will probably 'moer' the students to teach them a lesson, inspector Martiz, simply nodded his head and grinned in agreement.

Students (including a unity of members from Wits branches of the ANCYL, YCL, SASCO, PSC, YID, Amnesty International and Zabalaza) chanted and sang at the SAPS uniformed men as they were "escorted" back to campus: "This is not 1976!", "We do not want those guns on our campus!" and "Boycott Apartheid Israel". In a symbolic gesture the students retreated to the back of the bus leaving rows of space between them and the shotguns. Upon arrival at the University a demonstration was held on the corner of Yale and Empire roads, which grew over two hours with much support and cheer from peak-hour passer-bys.

Students are disgusted and angered by the brutality of the SAPS dressed security men. There is no justification for the violent and intimidating threats made against a group of unarmed youth travelling from a university campus to a peaceful rally. This only strengthens the resolve of South African students to remain steadfast in our campaign of solidarity with Palestinians who resist Israeli occupation daily. Furthermore, these tactics of intimidation, obviously influenced and encouraged by the Zionist lobby in SA, will not deter the students. "We are motivated most recently by the SATAWU dock workers who continue to refuse to offload Israeli goods and the growing success of the campaign to 'Free Palestine and Isolate Apartheid Israel'" said Mbuyeiseni Ndlozi, one of the Wits students.

1 comment:

Saaleha said...

attended the rally in Actonville. An doing a post :) Been ages. hope you're well