“We Are All Turkish Democrats”: Solidarity from South Africa

“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

South Africa: “Where is the Freedom Charter?”

Frontlines ed.:  This heartfelt question from the streets of South Africa, on the disappearance of the Freedom Charter–a central organizing and motivating set of concepts of the historic anti-apartheid struggle–brings to mind this poem by Langston Hughes, written six decades ago in 1951: 


By Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?
      Does it dry up
      like a raisin in the sun?
      Or fester like a sore—
      And then run?
      Does it stink like rotten meat?
      Or crust and sugar over—
      like a syrupy sweet?
      Maybe it just sags
      like a heavy load.
      Or does it explode?

The Shackdwellers Movement in the Western Cape continues the struggle

Where is the Freedom Charter?
Lindela S. Figlan

Before the government can use its muscle to pass the Protection of Information
Bill, let me ask a question. It is a very good question and all those who are
unhappy have got this question in their mind. Where is the Freedom Charter?

I remember that when I was still young, the comrades used to make me understand
it line by line. We were expecting our government to implement what is in the
Freedom Charter. But is this society the free society that we were fighting
for? If the answer is yes then why are the people that we are referring to as
our leaders deciding to ignore the Freedom Charter? Continue reading