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Greyville Residents Stand Up for Palestine

Anisa Vadi
2 minute read| 29 Jan 2024| 7:45am
Saturday, January 27, saw a group of Extension 2 residents from Greyville Against Genocide, host a picket in solidarity with Palestine.
They were joined by  members of the Palestinian Solidarity Alliance, the Atlantis Swimming Club and other concerned community members at the Elm Street Park adjacent to the Greyville swimming pool.
They held a demonstration to highlight the atrocities taking place in Gaza and Palestine at large.
The demonstration was organised after an individual, who reportedly claimed to have been ‘in the wrong state of mind’, had painted an Israeli flag on the wall at the swimming facility about a week prior to the protest.
Although the said individual apparently posted an apology via WhatsApp, questions were raised at Saturday’s protest about the whereabouts of the pool’s management when the incident occurred.
A representative from the MMC for Development Planning’s office was present and an appeal was made to him to have the matter further investigated, and if found that employees of the City of Joburg were involved in, or complacent, during the painting of the flag, that charges be laid against them for being involved in vandalising public property. Members of the public later engaged the representative regarding other issues the community was facing.
The group’s message was clear: “We stand united in our message to the supporters of apartheid Israel – we want to tell you that we will not allow you to deface our public spaces with the flag of the occupation state of Israel. It doesn’t matter if you are in the right state or wrong state of mind, we will come out again and again to make our voices heard. Our community made its voice heard during apartheid in South Africa, and we will make our voices heard again now against apartheid Israel.”
What was surprising was that the group that attended the picket was locked out of the pool facility, with metro police officers stationed inside. Some Atlantis swimmers, as well as their head coach, were initially refused entry, although their swimming practice session had already started.
Towards the end of the demonstration, another group of four metro police arrived, and the picketers were advised by a senior community activist who was supporting the demonstration, to disperse.
Since the Israeli offensive against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip began in October last year, almost 30 000 innocent lives have been lost, with approximately 12 000 of those being children.

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