In recent days the shack settlements around Johannesburg have been torn apart by appalling violence against foreign born squatters. More than 20 people have been killed and many more raped, wounded and left homeless. This press statement from Abahlali baseMjondolo, the militant shack dwellers movement with more 30 affiliated settlements in the cities of Durban, Pietermaritzburg and Pinetown, responds to the horrific outbreak of anti-foreigner violence and notes the culpability of the state.
Wednesday, 21 May 2008
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement
Abahlali baseMjondolo Statement on the Xenophobic Attacks in Johannesburg
There is only one human race.
Our struggle and every real struggle is to put the human being at the centre of society, starting with the worst off.
The poor of Motala Heights, affiliated to Abahlali baseMjondolo since 2006, are fighting a bitter battle against eviction against a local gangster business man and the local state. There have recently been death threats and threats of arson and the local cops are acting as the gangsters' enforcers.
Freedom Day, 27 April, is the major national holiday in the civic religion of post-apartheid South Africa. The poor are usually herded into stadiums to be lectured on their good fortune by their leaders while the rich head for the malls. This year, for the 3rd time, Abahlali baseMjondolo will be hosting an UnFreedom Day. Heresy is alive & well....
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Release
Monday 21 April 2008
Abahlali baseMjondolo to Mourn UnFreedom Day Once Again
Time: 9:00 a.m., Sunday 27 April 2008
Venue: Community Hall, Kennedy Road Shack Settlement, Clare Estate, Durban
Abahlali baseMjondolo has long sought to politicise fire & shit: to show that people suffer fires because electricity is refused, to show that people suffer diarrhoea because clean water is refused. This press release responds to the active and of course armed withdrawal of electricity from the Kennedy Road settlement in February 2008.
Friday, 15 February 2008
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Release
City Escalates Its War on the Poor
Mass Disconnections from Electricity at Gun Point in the Kennedy Road Settlement
Press release of Abahlali baseMjondolo in the run up to a march on the mayor of Durban to protest his refusal to supply electricity to the shack dwellers' settlements.
[b]On 28 September 2007 around 3 000 Abahlali baseMjondolo members marched on the mayor of Durban, Obed Mlaba. In previous Abahlali baseMjondolo marches mock coffins were carried and local councillors symbolically buried as a rejection of their top down party authority over bottom up people's power.
Article based on interviews with South African shack dwellers about their views of what constitutes 'democracy', stressing the need for those in struggle to set their own agenda rather than have it set by professional activists.
A commitment to justice and democratic governance requires that we listen carefully as much as we speak loudly and act decisively.
This is a longer version of an article by Richard Pithouse first published in Voices of Resistance from Occupied London in October 2007. It gives a useful basic overview of Abahlali baseMjondolo from its founding in early 2005 to late 2007.
Since 2004 South African cities have been convulsed by a series of municipal revolts organised from shack settlements. They have most often taken the form of blockading roads with burning barricades and have generally targeted municipal party councillors. Across the country many of the more militant settlements have refused electoral politics and declared 'No Land, No House, No Vote'.
Abahlali baseMjondolo press release in response to media confusion between Abahlali and the World Bank sponsored NGO Slum Dwellers International (SDI), critiquing mainstream development discourse. A press release from SDI is also provided.
[b]Slum Dwellers International (SDI) is a global NGO strongly supported by the World Bank, USAid and the Gates Foundation. In South Africa the state, which is highly repressive to shack dwellers and their organisations, has a formal partnership with SDI.
Six activists from the Abahlali baseMjondolo in court on murder charges have been released with all charges dropped.
Abahlali baseMjondolo began in the 7000 strong Kennedy Road shack settlement and it is here were the state has concentrated repression. One year and one week ago six key activists in the settlement were arrested on a trumped up murder charge (the same tactic was used against the Landless People's Movement in Johannesburg the year before).