A scheduled concert appearance by Grammy Award-winning producer and performer Pharrell Williams attracted a demonstration, with an estimated 500 protesters showing up outside the venue in Cape Town, South Africa, Reuters reports.
The demonstrators were protesting Pharrell’s promotional arrangement with the South African retailer Woolworths because of the company’s trade ties with Israel. The pro-Palestinian action was organized by the South African branch of the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel (BDS) movement, Reuters notes.
The report quotes Ashraf Salie, one of the protestors, saying: “By working with Woolworths, Pharrell supports Israel, a country that supports the oppression of Palestine, a country that is the new apartheid state.”
Protestors’ signs included messages such as “Pharrell is welcome if Gaza is free” and “Pharrell and Woolworths have blood on their hands,” the report notes.
The concert, scheduled for tonight, was expected to go ahead as planned.