While we respect the right to protest peacefully and lawfully, the safety of our employees and customers comes first.
For this reason, Woolworths has filed a court application to protect our employees and customers from the increasing unlawful protests inside our stores.

Paula Disberry, Group Director: Retail Operations at Woolworths said, “The unlawful protest actions inside our stores have had a profound effect on many of our employees and customers. We respect the right of BDS to protest, but we are seeking to prevent protests inside our stores. ”Unfortunately their campaign has extended beyond raising awareness and includes actions such as intimidation of customers and employees, restricting access and preventing customers from shopping. Products have also been damaged. The recent statements by BDS to ramp up their protest action has given us no choice but to take legal steps. It is our responsibility to ensure that our customers and employees feel safe in our stores, free of disruption, abuse and intimidation.”


Editors notes:

Woolworths has applied for the interdict because:

  • The business has a right to trade unhindered;
  • We have a duty to protect employees and customers;
    (These rights are underpinned in the Constitution)
  • BDS violates the rights of our customers and employees when they protest unlawfully inside our stores.
    • The right to assemble and protest does not extend to protest action inside Woolworths stores.
    • Protests have extended beyond raising awareness and include harmful (non-peaceful) actions including restricting access and preventing customers from shopping, intimidation of customers and employees and damage to goods.