Ashraf Cassiem Speaks at the Brecht Forum in New York City tonight

19 11 2009

Hello all, we wanted to let folks know about a speaking event tonight at the Brecht Forum in NYC.  Ashraf Cassiem, the chairperson of the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign in South Africa will will be speaking along with Jean Rice, lead organizer from Picture the Homeless in NYC.  Ashraf and his organization are part of an alliance with the Shack Dwellers Movement featured in our film Dear Mandela , that is called the Poor People’s Alliance. The important and inspired work being done both in the shacks and townships of South Africa as well as on the streets of New York City forms the frontlines in the struggle for a world where every person counts.
In South Africa the fight is against immoral evictions being done in the name of development as the Soccer World Cup approaches.  Ashraf lives and organizes in the forefront of the fight to stop the forced removal of families to transit camps far outside the city, away from work, schools and health clinics.  In New York City the fight is against injustice and stereotypes perpetrated against homeless people as more and more families are foreclosed on and evicted in the midst of the “Great Recession” we are living through.  Picture the Homeless has been fighting this fight for 10 years now and tonight offers an opportunity to meet and hear one of their key leaders.  We look forward to seeing some of y’all tonight.
Where: Brecht Forum,  51 West Street (between Bank & Bethune Streets), New York, NY 10014
Time: Thursday November 19, 7:30 pm
Thursday, November 19
7:30 pm



The Post Apartheid Moment

An Evening of Solidarity with the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign

Ashraf Cassem & Jean Rice

South Africa will be on the global stage as host of the 2010 World Cup. Yet, with one of the world’s highest rates of economic inequality and social protest, it is likely that the country’s glaring contradictions and its militant poor, perhaps more so than the “beautiful game,” will be center stage next summer.

For the past nine years, Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign has been one of the most prominent organizations of militant poor, fighting against evictions and police brutality as well as for free basic service and quality health care in South Africa’s poor and working class communities. As a coordinating body of over 15 community organizations in the Western Cape Province, the AEC has been at the forefront of challenging the neoliberal economic policies have been imposed since the fall of apartheid, recently helping to found the Poor People’s Alliance as a national network of poor people’s movements.

Please join us for an evening of discussion and solidarity with Ashraf Cassiem, the chairman of the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign, as he calls attention to the problem facing South Africa’s poor and draws connections between the struggles being waged in his country and those now being taken up here in the midst of the Great Recession.

“As coordinators of the anti-eviction campaign, we are not leaders In
the traditional authoritarian sense. Instead, we are like a set of
cutlery. We are the tools that are there to be used by poor
communities fighting against the cruel and oppressive conditions of
South African society. Power to the poor people!”

Ashraf Cassiem is an organizer with the Western Cape Anti Eviction Campaign

Jean Rice is lead organizer and board member of Picture the Homeless


The Brecht Forum owes its existence to a broad network of support. Our modest fees cover only a fraction of our costs and we rely on the progressive community for our financial survival. Hundreds of valued subscribers and donors provide steady contributions to all of our activities. Our programs are made possible with public funds from Manhattan Neighborhood Network, The Surdna Foundation, and public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency.




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