Protest Against State Repression to be Held at at Macassar Village – Tomorrow

27 11 2009

Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape
Press Statement, Friday 27 November 2009

We will be holding a protest against state repression at New Road, Maccassar Village, from 11:00 on Saturday 28 November 2009.

Our movement is under serious attack in Durban. Our comrades in Abahlali baseMjondolo in Durban have been attacked and had their homes destroyed by an armed ANC militia supported by the local police and politicians. They have also been arrested, denied bail, beaten while in custody and attacked and seriously beaten by the police while going about their ordinary activities in their communities. Many of our comrades are living under death threats and have been turned into refugees. Many of our comrades are no longer able to appear in public in Durban. There have been longstanding problems with democracy in Durban but it is now clear that there is no longer any democracy in Durban. Durban ceased to be a democratic city on 26 September 2009 when this wave of violent repression was launched against our movement.

This is the worst case of state repression in post-apartheid South Africa but it is far from the first case. Over the years all of the movements in The Poor People’s Alliance have had their marches banned and been subject to arrest, assault and even torture at the hands of the police. We are all very familiar with rubber bullet, tear gas, holding cells and courts. We all confront regular illegal and violent evictions at the hands of the state. Here in Cape Town Abahlali baseMjondolo has recently confronted mysterious violent attacks, illegal and violent evictions from the state and arrests and police violence. Neither the criminalistion of the poor nor the criminalisation of dissent are new.

Our protest is in support of our comrades in Durban and we are demanding the immediate restoration of democracy in Durban. We also support the demand for an independent inquiry into all the attacks on our movement in Durban including those from both the militia and the police.

Our protest is also in defence of our own struggle here in the Western Cape. We also face repression here and it is clear that if we allow democracy to be done away with in Durban it will not be long before democracy is also done away with in Cape Town, in Johannesburg and across the country.

Silence is the speech of the defeated. We are not defeated and we will not be defeated. We are organised and we will remain organised. South Africa belongs to all who live in it and therefore we will continue to take our place in the cities and in all discussions affecting our communities and our lives. Our position is that each person’s life and intelligence counts the same and no ward councillor, police officer or land invasions unit will succeed to make us deviate from this position.

For more information and comment please contact:

Mzonke Poni: 073 256 2036
Mthobeli Qona: 076 875 9533




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