AEC’s Ashraf Cassiem on the World Cup

14 07 2010

Solidarity: Standing with the Poor People’s Alliance at the 2010 US Social Forum

7 07 2010

As the World Cup began in South Africa in June 2010, the social movements of the Poor People’s Alliance continue to face off against the governing elite’s escalation of harassment, repression, and displacement.  At the same time, activists gathered at the second United States Social Forum — to bring together U.S.-based movements fighting poverty, racism and oppression, within the States as well as globally.  Some of the poor people’s organizations that gathered in the embattled and resilient, majority-Black city of Detroit for the USSF had met with members of Abahlali baseMjondolo and the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign who visited the U.S. in 2009, finding common cause and inspiration in their creative struggles and visions for a better world.

On June 25 in Detroit, members of the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign, Coalition of Immokalee Workers, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Picture the Homeless, Poverty Initiative, and other movement activists at the USSF gathered to play football — as a solidarity message to our allies in South Africa and their Poor People’s World Cup games happening at the same time.

We are with you!   Aluta continua!   Amandla Ngwethu!

For past examples of New York City-based solidarity statements and actions, see here and here.

Solidarity: Urgent Press Statement on the Right to the City Campaign – 1 Day to go

10 06 2010

Urgent Press Statement

The Right to the City Campaign

Count Down

10 June 2010

Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape, 21 days ago launched it’s campaign ‘the right to the city campaign’ today the world and South Africans are counting few days before the kick off of the 2010 FiFa World cup, also Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape is counting few hours before kick starting it’s campaign.

Part of the aim of the campaign is to build shacks outside Green Point soccer stadium at Cape Town, occupying governmental offices, invading open public spaces within the city and occupying unused hotels, flats and schools within the City.

Tomorrow, the 11th June 2010 is the first day of our campaign, about 100 members of Abahlali baseMjondolo will meet at Cape Town next to Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) at Keizerngracht Street at 10:00 from there we will proceed to where our protest is going to take place.

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Press: Kicked Out for the Cup?

10 06 2010

Watch Christopher Werth’s multimedia report from South Africa: “Out of Bounds? Cape Town’s Cleanup for the World Cup.”

Kicked Out for the Cup?

South Africa is accused of clearing Cape Town slums to clean up for the big event

Newsweek Magazine, 4 June 2010

by Christhoper Werth

Victor Gumbi sits pensively beside a smoldering fire in a newly cleared lot, literally in the shadow of the recently renovated Ellis Park Stadium, one of the many venues where South Africa will host the World Cup football tournament, which kicks off this week. South Africa billed the world’s most popular sporting event as a boon to development that would help lift millions out of poverty, but Gumbi, a 35-year-old day laborer, says things are only getting worse. Not long after South Africa was awarded the tournament, an entire city block in the neighborhood where he lives was slated for destruction as part of a larger urban-regeneration scheme around the stadium, as Johannesburg began preparing for the throngs of tourists expected to come pouring in over the next few weeks. Late last year, the run-down building where Gumbi was squatting was torn down, leaving him in a small, jerry-built shack in the middle of a block of half-demolished houses that local residents have nicknamed “Baghdad.” Now many residents who’d been living in the area’s abandoned buildings for well more than a decade feel they’re being forced out because of the World Cup. “They want to hide us. They don’t want the Europeans seeing the people living here, so they demolished these dirty houses,” says Gumbi, who’s convinced he’ll be removed once and for all before the games actually begin.

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AbM: “A Quiet Coup” reviews attacks on AbM

2 06 2010

A Quiet Coup
South Africa’s largest social movement under attack

By Toussaint Losier
Originally published in Spanish at Desinformémonos
An earlier version of this article appeared in Left Turn Magazine

At roughly 11:30pm on September 26th, a group of 30 to 40 men – survivors are still unsure about the actual numbers –surrounded the community hall in Kennedy Road shack settlement in Durban, South Africa. Brandishing sticks, machetes, and automatic weapons and echoing the language of the state-sponsored internecine political conflict that tore through South Africa during the last years of apartheid, the mob launched an attack on a meeting of the Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM) Youth League taking place inside the hall. In the melee that followed, over a dozen people were injured, with four people left dead and the attackers left in control of the hall.

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FIFA favors evictions in Woodstock

2 12 2009
Anti-Eviction Campaign Press Release
2 December 2009

While the government and FIFA are preparing to celebrate the World Cup draw with great pomp and ceremony, people in Woodstock are continuing to be evicted by parasitic slumlords. The other night, the 30th November, another 9 families were evicted from 61 Victoria Road by the owner Arnold Steenkamp on the basis that they could not afford the rent. The families are now living on the pavement. The City of Cape Town now plans to dump these families on the outskits of the City in Blikkiesdorp. Instead of spending millions on some stupid FIFA party why not rather build houses for the poor close to city centre and stop all evictions.

The arrogance of the rich and politicians is also becoming really absurd. This is highlighted by the fact that Dan Plato has claimed in the newspapers that Blikkiesdorp – where all people evicted from Woodstock are dumped – is some kind of paradise on Earth. If this is really the case, then we call on Mayor Plato and Arnold Steenkamp to leave these families in Woodstock and for them to rather move themselves to Blikkiesdorp along with holding the FIFA draw in Blikkiesdorp.

We call on all the international news media covering the World Cup Final Draw, to come to Blikkiesdorp and see the other, darker side of the World Cup…

For more information contact Willy at 073 144 3619

How the World Cup will impact poor communities in South Africa

30 11 2009

Eva Davids from the Anti-Eviction Campaign (AEC) in South Africa talks about the impact of the 2010 Football World Cup on her community in Athlone.

Media: ‘We don’t want to live in Tin Can Town’

9 11 2009

09 November 2009
Anna Majavu – Sowetan

CAPE Town’s homeless people have accused the metro police of forcibly moving them to the Blikkiesdorp “temporary relocation area” – only for the city’s land invasion unit to

‘CONCENTRATION CAMP’: Children walk between the zinc houses that were built in Delft, about 30km from Cape Town, as a “temporary” relocation area before people are moved to houses. Photo: Roger Sedres

evict them for invading land.

Sowetan interviewed eight adults and seven children who had been removed by police from some caves along the R300 highway where they were living.

They were placed in one of Blikkiesdorp’s tiny shacks. But just two hours after the interview, the residents were evicted by the city’s land invasion unit and their belongings dumped along a busy arterial road.

They told Sowetan that police had arrived at their caves three weeks ago, picked them up and “dumped them” in Blikkiesdorp, Delft, about 30km from Cape Town. Read the rest of this entry »

Letter to the International Media from Nigel Gibson & Raj Patel

1 10 2009

September 29, 2009

Dear Members of the International Media

Like many of you, we fought and protested against the injustices of
the Apartheid regime in South Africa, and celebrated the fall of that
monstrous government in 1994. As South Africa prepares to host the
2010 World Cup, we write to you in grief and horror at the return of
some of the most horrific tactics of that era, directed at South
Africa’s poorest citizens. Read the rest of this entry »

Media- The real winners and losers: of the beautiful game

9 08 2009

Source: Sunday Herald

SOUTH AFRICA: South Africa’s 2010 world cup looms amidst a rising tide of anger and protest among the poor majority of South African citizensFrom Fred Bridgland in Johannesburg

SOUTH AFRICA’S 2010 World Cup looms amidst a rising tide of anger and protest among the poor majority of South African citizens From Fred Bridgland in Johannesburg IN just 306 days the 2010 World Cup will kick off in South Africa at a cost to the host government and FIFA, world football’s governing body, of at least £4 billion. When the month-long football fest is over, South Africans will be left with 10 magnificent state-of-the-art stadiums. Read the rest of this entry »