Nelson Mandela: A Hero for the oppressors, A BETRAYER FOR THE OPPRESSED!
The mournings & praises from the imperialists and their agents, are Mandela’s “legacy” of brokering one of the biggest sell outs of the 20th century!
The mournings & praises from the imperialists and their agents, are Mandela’s “legacy” of brokering one of the biggest sell outs of the 20th century!
Fourteen Caribbean nations are to sue European governments for reparations for slavery. The Caribbean Community (Caricom) is bringing lawsuits to the International Court of Justice in the Hague against Britain, France and the Netherlands for their roles in the Atlantic slave trade. They argue that the social and economic legacy of slavery continues to disadvantage them to this day. It’s an interesting case, and it might prompt some reflection about South Africa’s own reparations issues. By REBECCA DAVIS.
Regional Caribbean organisation Caricom, through its British law firm Leigh Day, will seek to make the case in the Hague that through their colonial participation in the slave-trade, Britain, France and the Netherlands essentially contributed towards the stunting of Caribbean development, and now owe 14 Caribbean nations reparations for slavery and an apology.
Exactly how much money they want, and how they think it should be disbursed, is not yet clear. The figure mentioned by several media outlets has been that Britain paid 20 million pounds in compensation to slave-owners in the Caribbean almost two decades after the abolition of slavery in 1834. (The slaves got nothing.) This figure was massive even at the time, amounting to 40% of the erstwhile government’s budget, and would now be equivalent to about 200 billion pounds. Continue reading
Protesters greet Obama, June 28, 2013.
By Patrick Bond, Durban
July 1, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal – US President Barack Barack Obama’s weekend trip to South Africa may have the desired effect of slowing the geopolitical realignment of Pretoria to the Brazil-India-Russia-China-South Africa (BRICS) axis. That shift to BRICS has not, however, meant deviation from the hosts’ political philosophy, best understood as “talk left, walk right” since it mixes anti-imperialist rhetoric with pro-corporate policies.
Overshadowed by Nelson Mandela’s critically ill health, Obama’s implicit denial of a US imperial agenda could not disguise Washington’s economic paranoia. As expressed on June 25 by White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes, “What we hear from our businesses is that they want to get in the game in Africa. There are other countries getting in the game in Africa – China, Brazil, Turkey. And if the US is not leading in Africa, we’re going to fall behind in a very important region of the world.”
Over a century earlier, another Rhodes – Cecil John – explained that very game: “We must find new lands from which we can easily obtain raw materials and at the same time exploit the cheap slave labour that is available from the natives of the colonies. The colonies would also provide a dumping ground for the surplus goods produced in our factories.” Although there is no longer formal slave labour within formal colonies, this sentiment readily links the neoliberal agenda of both the BRICS and the US.
Perhaps embarrassed, Obama himself retracted Ben Rhodes’ confession of inter-imperial rivalry when asked by the White House press corps: “I want everybody playing in Africa. The more the merrier. A lot of people are pleased that China is involved in Africa.”
This must have raised cynical eyebrows, because he added, “China’s primary interest is being able to obtain access for natural resources in Africa to feed the manufacturers in export-driven policies of the Chinese economy.” Continue reading
U.S. President Barack Obama met the family of South Africa’s ailing anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela but faced protests by South Africans against U.S. foreign policy. Obama faced protests by South Africans against U.S. foreign policy, especially American drone strikes.
Police fired stun grenades on June 29 to disperse several hundred protesters who had gathered outside the Soweto campus of the University of Johannesburg, where Obama was due to address a town hall meeting with students.
JOHANNESBURG — Police fired rubber bullets and a stun grenade into a crowd of hundreds of protesters before President Obama arrived at the University of Johannesburg on Saturday.
The crowd quickly scattered as police officers walked up the street pushing protesters away with shot guns.
“I feel my rights are being infringed,” said 24-year-old Bilaal Qibr, who was at the protest. “We can’t protest anymore. Personally, I feel like this is an extension of the U.S.” Continue reading
[This is not the first effort at bringing imperialist "human rights" law against imperialists and the imperialist machinery, and once again it will fail, undoubtedly. But it does have the educational benefit of highlighting the hypocritical "exemption" which bourgeois law grants the international bourgeoisie as a class. Furthermore, the protest campaign against US imperialist foreign policy, while signed onto by the South African neo-colonial (some say sub-imperialist) Tripartite Alliance ruling class, is more a "faux anti-imperialist" fig leaf and a bid for mass confusion and nationalist credibility, than a genuine call to action. It invokes the popular hatred of imperialism, but only for self-serving "populist" ends. See the announcement of the South " to Protest USA Foreign Policy" during the visit of President Barak Obama, below. -- Frontlines ed.]
“The complaint, dubbed the “Obama Docket” encourages South Africa to take seriously its domestic and international obligations and to act against International War Criminals lest they consider South Africa a safe haven and travel here freely with impunity.
In terms of the ICC Act, diplomatic immunity is not a defence and a Head of State is not immune from prosecution for the aforementioned crimes. The Complaint asks for Obama’s arrest when he enters South Africa or the securing of his attendance at a trial by other lawful means.
In the alternative, the complaint requires South Africa as a State Party to the Rome Statute, to refer the case to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court at the Hague to exercise Jurisdiction in terms of the Rome Statute.
The Obama administration’s Drone programme which has resulted in massive losses of innocent lives in Pakistan, Yemen and Afghanistan. The programme is responsible for extra-judicial killings both innocent civilians as well as US citizens abroad. The drone strike policy has continued unabated with total disregard for territorial sovereignty and this is cited as the primary reason that Obama should be investigated and tried for War Crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
The large number of well documented civilian deaths are said to constitute international crimes and the complaint refers to numerous International Reports which have documented evidence on the USA drone policies. Other crimes cited include extra judicial renditions and torture.” Continue reading
“We Are All Turkish Democrats”: a Statement of Solidarity with the Turkish
Abahlali baseMjondolo is a democratic, membership based movement of shack dwellers and other poor people in South Africa. In 2005 our experience of suffering and injustice led us to decided to organize ourselves and to represent ourselves. We are struggling for land and housing as a vital step towards the restoration of our dignity and the recognition of our equality. We have been severely punished by those who want to keep us in our place and we have faced serious repression.
When we have come under attack we have received solidarity from across the world – from Auckland to Istanbul, Nairobi, London and New York. We have stood with comrades facing repression in places like Haiti and Palestine. Today we stand with our comrades in Turkey and with all Turkish democrats.
We keep over movement strong by making sure that it always remains in the hands of its members and that we take forward the struggles that affect people’s everyday lives. We call this a living politics. But we take very seriously the fact that the system that has marginalized and oppressed us here in South Africa is the very system that marginalizes and oppresses the people of Turkey. And we have not forgotten that the first people to be in solidarity with our struggle outside of South Africa were the comrades at Sendika and People’s House in Turkey. Continue reading
Friday 26 April , 2013
Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement SA — Press Statement
Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement SA, a democratic and membership based organization, has held its UnFreedom Day event in Durban every year since 2006. This year UnFreedom Day will be held in Durban and in Cape Town.
UnFreedom Day will be mourned at the eThekwini College, Springfield (adjacent to the Kennedy Road shack settlement) in Durban on 28 April 2013 and at the Sweet Home Farm Community Hall in Philippi in Cape Town on 27 April 2013. The event will begin at 09:00 in the morning in both cities.
We wish to acknowledge all the sacrifices made by many South Africans in the name of freedom and all of the gains that have been won. We also wish to salute all the international communities who fought hard with us to defeat apartheid. But we are sure that this is not the real freedom that so many people struggled and had suffered for. We do not want in any way to undermine the struggles of the past or the real gains that have been won. But who can say that they are really free when they must live without land, without homes, without jobs and without dignity? Who can say that they are really free when they do not have the right to organise freely and safely? Who can say that they are really free when women are not safe? Who can say that they are really free when they are being forced out of the city and taken to human dumping grounds in the middle of nowhere? Continue reading
8 February 2013 BBC News There have been further protests in South Africa, over the high incidence of rape in the country. The demonstrations were triggered by the gang rape and murder of a 17-year-old girl. South Africa has one of the highest rates of sexual violence in the world, with police figures showing that 64,000 cases were reported last year.
Unemployed People’s Movement Press Statement, Wednesday, 27 February 2013
Thandiswa Qubuda was gang raped in the early hours of the 20th January 2013 at the corner of New Town and E Street in Grahamstown. She is 30 years old and the only one surviving in the family. Both her both parents have died and she was living with her aunt.
She was savagely beaten during the rape and is now permanently brain damaged and lying in hospital. Today at 12 noon the Revered Mzi Dyantyi, family members and the Unemployed People’s Movement held a prayer and anointment in her ward.
The men that were arrested after this rape were granted free bail. The rape case was then dismissed and struck off the role because of the extreme negligence and incompetence of the police. The only charge that is remaining is attempted murder. Witnesses have been subject to serious intimidation by one of the accused. One has been taken to a place of safety after been threatened with death by one of the accused. Another has had to flee to Johannesburg. And yet the accused were given free bail! Continue reading
As long as there is no Palestinian state and Israel rules over the West Bank, Israel is a de facto apartheid state, a former top Foreign Ministry official said Wednesday, using a highly contentious term usually employed only by radical anti-Israel activists.
Alon Liel, a former Foreign Ministry director-general and ex-ambassador to South Africa, also called on President Barack Obama to stay home if he didn’t intend to warn Israelis about the dangers of an approaching “apartheid cliff.”
“In the situation that exists today, until a Palestinian state is created, we are actually one state. This joint state — in the hope that the status quo is temporary — is an apartheid state,” Liel said at a Jerusalem conference about whether Israel is or could become an apartheid state. Continue reading
Israel Dropped the Ball on Human Rights, but We Won’t!
by Anna Baltzer, National Organizer, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
October 18th, 2012
|A boycott of Apartheid South Africa’s sports teams proved to be a particularly effective tool in the struggle to end oppression there. At the time, South African teams that had not taken a public stance against apartheid would not be invited by any self-respecting tournament or venue. It should be no different with Apartheid Israel today.|
In the same way that South African teams were, almost all Israeli sports teams are cynically used as ambassadors of an apartheid state. Additionally, Maccabi is sponsored by Ya’akov Shahar, chairman of Mayer’s Cars and Trucks Ltd., the official importer to Israel of Volvo. Both companies are heavily involved in the Israeli occupation, as documented by Who Profits?, an Israeli research project. Israeli sports teams like Maccabi are also notorious for racism and racial discrimination against Palestinians.
As the activists in Minnesota stated: “Love Basketball; Hate Apartheid.”
The Palestinian call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) first made its way into U.S. basketball discourse when the US Campaign learned that legendary player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar canceled participation in an Israeli film festival following Israel’s killing of twelve unarmed Palestinian refugees attempting to exercise their internationally-recognized right of return.
It’s time to slam dunk Israeli Apartheid!
For more information on this and related campaigns, see: http://endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=3293
For background on the international boycott of South African apartheid’s sports, see this video documentary clip, and the articles which follow: Continue reading
Human rights activists in Cape Town have cautiously welcomed a decision by upmarket retailer Wellness Warehouse to pull products from an Israel-based company from its shelves.
The move by Wellness Warehouse came after protests on the weekend by the University of Cape Town Palestinian Solidarity Forum (UCT PSF) and lobby group Open Shuhad Street (OSS) outside the store on Kloof Street.
The approximately 40 protestors demanded that products from AHAVA Cosmetics products be removed from the store.
According to the activists AHAVA Cosmetics has become “a key target” of the international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. They allege the company has violated the Department of Trade and Industry’s recent notice preventing the false labelling of Israeli products manufactured by companies in the Occupied Palestine Territories.
They said AHAVA products were being mislabelled as ‘Made in Israel’ instead of ‘Made in Occupied Palestinian Territories’. Continue reading
Unions representing an estimated 28,000 truckers said poor pay and conditions had prompted them to launch the latest in a rash of sometimes deadly strikes that threaten to spook investors and curb growth in the emerging nation.
Drivers are seeking a 12-percent wage increase for 2013 and 2014, more than the rate of inflation, which stands at 5.0 percent.
Last week President Jacob Zuma said stoppages in the mining sector in the past nine months had cost the economy close to 4.5 billion rand ($534 million, 415 million euros).
Firms in the transport and mining sectors on Tuesday tried to end the standoffs at the negotiating table, although progress appeared to be slow.
Road Freight Association spokesperson Magretia Brown said no deal had yet been reached with transport workers, but talks were ongoing.
Meanwhile Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) workers, who have been on a wildcat strike which is now on its second week, held their first day of talks.
The strike has shut down operations at the world’s top platinum producer.
“We expect Anglo American to come with something on the table and if they are unable to do that, the strike will continue and it will be the start of the (formal) strike,” said Gaddhafi Mdoda, a workers representative. Continue reading
September 16, 2012
SA police halt peaceful strikers’ march
By DENIS FARRELL, Associated Press
RUSTENBURG, South Africa (AP) — South African police halted a peaceful march by striking miners without violence Sunday, a day after firing rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse illegal protesters.
Officers barricaded a main road into Rustenburg, northwest of Johannesburg, and persuaded some 500 miners that their march was illegal and that they should go home.
Sunday’s protesters from Anglo American Platinum mines wanted to march to Rustenburg police station to demand an end to the violence against strikers. Some carried sticks but there were none of the machetes, spears and clubs that have marked previous protests for higher wages.
On Saturday police raided hostels at Lonmin platinum mine and collected homemade weapons. They fired rubber bullets and tear gas to force people into their homes. It was the first police action since officers killed 34 miners on Aug. 16 in state violence that shocked the nation.
The strikes have shut down one gold and six platinum mines, destabilizing the country’s critical mining sector.
Saturday’s show of force follows a government vow to halt illegal protests and disarm strikers. Continue reading
The massacre of the Marikana/Lonmin workers has inserted itself within South Africa’s national consciousness, not so much through the analysis, commentary and reporting in its wake. Instead, it has been the power of the visual images of police armed with awesome fire power gunning down these workers, together with images of bodies lying defeated and lifeless, that has aroused a national outcry and wave of condemnation. These images have also engendered international protest actions outside South African embassies. In themselves these images communicate a politics about ‘official state power’. It is bereft of moral concern, de-humanised, brutal and at odds with international human rights standards; in these ways it is no different from apartheid era state sponsored violence and technologies of oppressive rule. Moreover, the images of police officers walking through the Marikana/Lonmin killing field, with a sense of professional accomplishment in its aftermath, starkly portrays a scary reality: the triumph of South Africa’s state in its brutal conquest of its enemies, its citizens.