World Bulletin/News Desk
Over 60 activists protesting against major retail store Woolworths were on Saturday arrested in Johannesburg for reportedly demonstrating without permission.
"Over 60 'Boycott Woolworths' activists, including minors, were arrested and detained at the Hillbrow Police Station in Johannesburg," Kwara Kekana, the spokeswoman for the South African chapter of the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Campaign, said in a statement late on Saturday.
She added that the arrests came after activists carried out a successful and peaceful boycott Woolworths flash mob at the retailer’s branch in Killarney Mall in Johannesburg.
Activists from several groups, including BDS, have been calling for a nationwide boycott of Woolworths' stores.
They say the stores source products from Israeli companies in violation of the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions consumer boycott.
The activists say they have been asking the retailer to take Israeli products off its shelves and respect the international boycott on Israel.
Kekana said today’s flash mob consisted of campaigners walking into the Woolworths' store clad in boycott Woolworths T-shirts and simultaneously dropping on the ground, pretending to be dead as a form of protest against the human rights abuses committed by Israel and supported by Woolworths.
Kekana said police arrested the activists after they had carried out the successful boycott Woolworths flash mob and after they had peacefully left the Killarney Mall branch of Woolworths.
"In fact, they had even walked out of the mall and were in their transport vehicles," Kekana said in the statement, adding that Woolworths had probably wanted to punish the activists.
The BDS spokesperson further said Woolworths continued to act in an "arrogant" and "high-handed" manner.
"The retailer refuses to negotiate with concerned consumers, political parties, trade unions or human rights organizations," Kekana said. "Instead, it resorts to using force to clamp down on non-violent protests," she added in the statement.
According to BDS, Woolworths sources products to the value of 12 million South African Rands from Israeli companies in violation of the international BDS consumer boycott.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Ekim 2014, 12:07