Dis/placing political illiteracy: the politics of intellectual equality in a South African shack-dwellers’ movement
The production and abandonment of surplus people also depends on rendering them as improper political subjects. In the prevailing political discourse, poor people’s struggles are deemed less than political through notions such as the idea that all protest is related to the pace of “service delivery” or accusations of violence, as well as often explicit characterizations of dissenting people as ignorant. Such discursive moves imply and reinforce a conception of the poor black majority as unable to think and practice their own politics; that is, as politically illiterate group of people.
by Anna Selmeczi, 2010
While deeply sympathetic to David Harvey’s commitment to a politics that can move to a new and more just order this paper, based on the experience of a period of immersion in the shack dwellers' movement Abahlali baseMjondolo, asks if Harvey’s commitment to scaling up the level of political action, alongside a project of political education, risks removing politics from the grasp of the people who are currently struggling, with a considerable degree of success,to restore their right to political speech and imagination.
South African shack dwellers' movement Abahlali baseMjondolo have just announced that Thuli Ndlovu, their Chairperson in KwaNdengezi has been assassinated. As the statement below indicates there had been serious threats against another comrade, Ndabo Mzimela, but the hammer of oppression fell elsewhere. The Marikana Land Occupation has been attacked by the ANC since this statement was issued. It seems that the Land Invasions Unit stood back and let the party members do the work. A women who tried to resist was attacked and injured with a spade.
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