VARIOUS Nelson Mandela Bay communities and human rights organisations are expected to turn up for an annual freedom walk on Sunday.
The Palestine Solidarity Alliance (PSA), together with various communities, religious and human rights organisations, are hosting the annual Walk for Freedom on Sunday, in centres throughout South Africa.
Port Elizabeth PSA member Tasneem Mart, who recently returned from a group visit to Gaza, said Sunday should not be seen as a march but rather a family walk.
Participants are to meet at Kings Beach at 9am to register and will then walk to Shark Rock Pier and back to King's Beach.
"Placards will not be allowed during the walk. Those who join are encouraged to bring along a picnic basket to enjoy after the walk," Mart said.
Mart said what stood out during her trip to Gaza was that the 45km by 10km area was still "under siege by Israel".
"The airspace, border and sea are controlled by Israel. Fishermen are not allowed to go further than 3km into the sea. There were constant bombings and F16 planes fly every day. But despite the siege, the lack of water and electricity and the high unemployment people are living there. They make the best of their situation.
"But we must still stand up and support them. In South Africa, we experienced apartheid, the Group Areas Act and politicians were imprisoned and labelled terrorist."
The Walk for Freedom was first staged in 2010 in Johannesburg. "The main aim is to create awareness about the Palestinian issue and show how it relates to us as South Africans, having experienced apartheid."
Special programmes which include video screenings, poetry, and music as well as photo exhibitions have been arranged for the day in different centres.
In Port Elizabeth, guest speakers will talk on "why should we as South Africans care about a country on the other side of the world".
Speakers include human rights activist Dr Janet Cherry from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and Cosatu second deputy president Zingiswa Losi.
A registration fee of R20 will cover the cost of sound equipment and the hiring of the King's Beach venue.
Tickets are available on the day, with 200 already sold.