Press Release by the Landless People’s Movement
On the 26th March, the day before we, the LPM youth, were to have our march to demand that our councilor step down, the JMPD prohibited us. The reasons the police gave for this were that we are violent and unruly and that they “know” us. They referred to a march organised by the Gauteng LPM that happened in 2002 when we refused to leave Mbaziama Shilowa’s office. This march, we explained, was not organised by the youth. Regardless, they said they didn’t have the time and manpower to plan a safe and peaceful march and that if we carried out the march, they would be “hard” on us. We took this to mean that they would arrest us over the weekend and also brutalise us by beating us and shooting us with rubber bullets. The government will not meet with us, and now we believe they are even working with the police to suppress our right to express ourselves openly by marching. There is a real problem in our democracy when the government and the police have time to suppress and brutalise us, but not to help us publicly express the demands that we feel will improve our futures.
The above picture shows the LPM youth in Protea South preparing for the march the day before they were told it was prohibited. Read the rest of this entry »