On Saturday 5 June, some Worcesterites held a march to show support and solidarity with (occupied) Palestine.
Humaira Abbas, spokesperson for the Free Palestine movement, organisers of the march, says the march was initiated and done in solidarity with Palestine and the Palestinian people “who are being oppressed by the illegal, apartheid state of Israel”.
According to Abbas it is every South African’s duty, who have lived through apartheid, to stand up against these clear injustices the Palestinian people are facing.
“Furthermore, it was to raise awareness in our community about this very present and important struggle,” says Abbas.
Abbas says the main aim of the movement is to continue shining a light on present causes and struggles, as well as using their voices to bring about change.
“The march was done to educate the people as well as bring about awareness of the atrocities being done by the apartheid state of Israel. It also drew attention to the very important struggle. This march gave people the opportunity to openly show their support with the Palestinian people. It also allowed the people to speak the truth of what is happening and teach others about it,” says Abbas.
Abbas says an important issue at the march was highlighting the claimed killing of the innocent Palestinian people (mostly women and children) and that this “genocide” is caused by the brutal, apartheid state of Israel. Furthermore, boycotting Israeli goods which provides ammunition to the apartheid Israeli state to further kill Palestinian children/people.
According to Abbas a spokesperson from the ANC highlighted that this struggle is not a religious one but a humanitarian one.
“They stood with us in solidarity. This struggle is a worldwide one. It matters to us all. We had the Al-Quds foundation from Cape Town show us great support and they joined us in numbers all the way from Cape Town. We had spokespersons from their side highlighting the genocide of the Palestinian people and how we need to never stop speaking out about it and keep on raising awareness. We had a youth from the Worcester community too that recited a heartfelt poem in support of Palestine. We also had Nehawu reach out to us and show their support too. We thank everyone for their unwavering support,” says Abbas.
He says the march that took place was historic and will remain that.
“We were overwhelmed by the warm, strong response from the Worcester community. Furthermore, the unity and solidarity shown by the Worcester community was unwavering and wholesome. We will forever remember this day and the impact it had.
According to Abbas it was extremely important to clear the perception that the Palestinian struggle is a religious struggle.
“It is not. It is a humanitarian one. You get Muslim, Christian and Jewish Palestinians. The Palestinians are stripped of their basic human rights. They have been and are currently being kicked out of their homeland, out of their houses by the brutal state (of Israel).
“Journalists are being locked up, children are being held at gunpoint, shot at, tortured by the IDF/soldiers. Old people illegally and physically dragged out of their home. What is happening to them is heart-wrenching and inhumane. The apartheid state of Israel is racist, inhumane and brutal and it should not be existing.”
Abbas further adds that “the Palestinians deserve their freedom, they deserve to be given back their land, they deserve to live without wondering when the next bomb will be dropped or which family member or friend they will lose next”.
“73 years (even more) is too long. Their suffering has been happening too long. It needs to end. From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
Abbas says there will be more initiatives by the Free Palestine movement.
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