Delft AEC Press Update
19 February 2009
Today, as promised, Symphony Way residents spent about 17 hours commemorating last February’s violent evictions, as well as taking note of the significant effect that living on a road has been for the community.
We started the day by waking up at 4am – the same time as the evictions began on 19th February 2008. The entire road came together in prayer and then held a candle lighting vigil. We then watched a very emotional slide show of our experiences with one another including the mass meetings with Frank Martin that set our community on the path to occupation in the first place (Martin has now received a slap on the wrist for committing mass fraud and abandoning us to face the wrath of the Province and the police during the evictions).
After the slide show, residents told their personal histories and how the evictions had effected them. This was the most emotional time of the day as we recounted both the good and the bad of our struggle. After breaking for a while, the children brought us back together with a series of plays which they came up with themselves. Themes varied from recounting last year’s unjust evictions, fictional accounts of how school and life weave together for communities in struggle, and even a comedic sketch of how the children interpret the roadside politics of the adults. Finally, the children came up with a few personal histories of their own. Differing from the parents in that it challenged the parent’s own account of the evictions but still no less emotional.
Eventually, at about 4:30pm, over a hundred residents, some visitors and a few of our dogs, set out and walked about 3km to Stellenbosch Arterial where we staged a 2 hour toyi-toyi in peak-time. Homemade signs were meant to remind those in power that we will not fade away – nor will be go quietly to Blikkiesdorp. We won’t stop reminding government that we want and deserve houses and that we will continue to blockade the road and refuse to vote until we get them. See pictures of the protest below. (Email us for higher quality and other pictures. Check back on our website for more photos to be posted within the next day).
In the end, we vowed to make sure that as the elections get nearer, we will make the stakes even higher for political parties. We will be an important voice come election-day and will hold all politicians accountable.
No Land! No House! No Vote! Asiyi eBlikkies, Asiyi!
Ashraf Cassiem at 076 1861 408