Road Blockade in Grahamstown this Morning

17 05 2011

Tuesday, Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Five Hundred People Blockade Road in Grahamstown this Morning

This morning five hundred people from eThembeni and Transit Camp in Grahamstown blockaded the N2. The eThembeni people were demanding housing, electricity and water. The Transit Camp people were demanding the completion of their houses. The project has stalled due to non-payment of the contractors.

The road was successfully occupied, fires were lit and posters declaring a refusal to vote were raised. The police, acting with their usual aggression and insults, managed to clear the blockade and put out the fires. When the television crews arrived the police behaviour became less aggressive and it was possible to reoccupy the road. But once they left the people were driven off the N2 and the road blockade moved into Joza where it was broken up again. The protest continued on the pavements until three in the afternoon. There were no arrests.

Aluta Continua.

The statement below was drawn up in a meeting last night but could not be issued until today due to a lack of access to email.

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Solidarity: Standing with the Poor People’s Alliance at the 2010 US Social Forum

7 07 2010

As the World Cup began in South Africa in June 2010, the social movements of the Poor People’s Alliance continue to face off against the governing elite’s escalation of harassment, repression, and displacement.  At the same time, activists gathered at the second United States Social Forum — to bring together U.S.-based movements fighting poverty, racism and oppression, within the States as well as globally.  Some of the poor people’s organizations that gathered in the embattled and resilient, majority-Black city of Detroit for the USSF had met with members of Abahlali baseMjondolo and the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign who visited the U.S. in 2009, finding common cause and inspiration in their creative struggles and visions for a better world.

On June 25 in Detroit, members of the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign, Coalition of Immokalee Workers, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Picture the Homeless, Poverty Initiative, and other movement activists at the USSF gathered to play football — as a solidarity message to our allies in South Africa and their Poor People’s World Cup games happening at the same time.

We are with you!   Aluta continua!   Amandla Ngwethu!

For past examples of New York City-based solidarity statements and actions, see here and here.





Solidarity: Urgent Press Statement on the Right to the City Campaign – 1 Day to go

10 06 2010

Urgent Press Statement

The Right to the City Campaign

Count Down

10 June 2010

Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape, 21 days ago launched it’s campaign ‘the right to the city campaign’ today the world and South Africans are counting few days before the kick off of the 2010 FiFa World cup, also Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape is counting few hours before kick starting it’s campaign.

Part of the aim of the campaign is to build shacks outside Green Point soccer stadium at Cape Town, occupying governmental offices, invading open public spaces within the city and occupying unused hotels, flats and schools within the City.

Tomorrow, the 11th June 2010 is the first day of our campaign, about 100 members of Abahlali baseMjondolo will meet at Cape Town next to Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) at Keizerngracht Street at 10:00 from there we will proceed to where our protest is going to take place.

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AbM: “A Quiet Coup” reviews attacks on AbM

2 06 2010

A Quiet Coup
South Africa’s largest social movement under attack

By Toussaint Losier
Originally published in Spanish at Desinformémonos
An earlier version of this article appeared in Left Turn Magazine

At roughly 11:30pm on September 26th, a group of 30 to 40 men – survivors are still unsure about the actual numbers –surrounded the community hall in Kennedy Road shack settlement in Durban, South Africa. Brandishing sticks, machetes, and automatic weapons and echoing the language of the state-sponsored internecine political conflict that tore through South Africa during the last years of apartheid, the mob launched an attack on a meeting of the Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM) Youth League taking place inside the hall. In the melee that followed, over a dozen people were injured, with four people left dead and the attackers left in control of the hall.

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Solidarity: LPM in Joburg continues to face repression

2 06 2010

The Landless People’s Movement in Johannesburg continues to face repression. A number of its leaders are now in hiding. Police attack in eTwatwa, Ekurhuleni; one person is dead and another seriously injured.

Saturday, 29 May 2010
Landless People’s Movement Press Statement

On Sunday 23 May residents of the bond houses in Protea South, Soweto, attacked the Landless People’s Movement (LPM) in the shacks in Protea South. They went around disconnecting us from electricity and beating those who had been connected to electricity. They tried to burn down Maureen Mnisi’s shack and two people were shot. One died on the scene.
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Solidarity: In the U.S., Wood Co. man forced from foreclosed home

7 05 2010

UPDATE: The Stony Ridge 7 are out of jail and free. All were charged with criminal trespass and impeding police business, both misdemeanors, and released.

STONY RIDGE, OHIO — Wood County Sheriff’s deputies swarmed the home of Keith Sadler Friday morning in an attempt to force him out of the foreclosed property.

Sadler and five others barricaded themselves inside the Stony Ridge home five days ago in protest of his bank’s foreclosure of the US 20 (Fremont Pike) property.  Sadler’s home was sold after he was unable to keep up with the payments.  According to protesters with The Toledo Foreclosure Defense League (TFDL), Sadler exhausted all other options.

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Solidarity: In the U.S., Take Back the Land begins May Month of Action

7 05 2010

PRESS RELEASE
May 3, 2010
For immediate release

http://www.takebacktheland.org

Groups Take Back the Land During May 2010 Month of Action

May 3, 2010- Today, the Take Back the Land Movement (TBLM, http://www.takebacktheland.org) announced a May 2010 Month of Action in direct response to the ongoing economic and housing crisis. The month of action commemorates the 50th anniversary of the first Civil rights era sit-ins in Greensboro, NC. Thousands from across the country will participate in “live-ins” to demand the fundamental human right to housing. Groups in over a dozen cities across the country will move families into vacant government-owned and foreclosed homes, without permission, or physically defend families from eviction and foreclosure.

The objective of the coordinated civil disobedience campaigns is to build a national movement to elevate housing to the level of a human right and gain community control over land.

“We are defending families facing eviction and moving homeless people into people-less homes,” said Max Rameau of Take Back the Land-Miami. “While banks enjoy bailouts, executive bonuses and record profits, human beings and entire communities are suffering. The government does not appear interested in helping poor people, so we have no other choice.”

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Call for solidarity among shack dwellers

2 10 2009

October 01, 2009 Edition 1 – The Mercury
NTOKOZO MFUSI & NOMPUMELELO MAGWAZA

THE leaders of Abahlali baseMjondolo (shack dwellers’ movement) at the Kennedy Road Informal Settlement in Sydenham, Durban, are calling for solidarity and support from academics, churches and human rights groups worldwide in what they say is their struggle to survive in the face of attacks against the movement. Read the rest of this entry »





Emergency Press Release: Abahlali baseMjondolo Attacked in Kennedy Road – People Have Been Killed

27 09 2009

Kennedy Road Development Committee (KRDC) – Emergency Press Release, September 27, 2009

Last night at about 11:30 a group of about 40 men heavily armed with guns, bush knives and even a sword attacked the KRDC near the Abahlali baseMjondolo office in the Kennedy Road settlement. The movement was holding an all night camp for the Youth League but the camp was not attacked but the people at the camp were intimidated and threatened.

The men who attacked were shouting: ‘The AmaMpondo are taking over Kennedy. Kennedy is for the AmaZulu.” Some people were killed. We can’t yet say exactly how many. Some are saying that three people are dead. Some are saying that five people are dead. Many people are also very seriously injured. The attackers broke everything that they could including the windows in the hall. They destroyed 15 houses before launching their attack. They were knocking on each door shouting ‘All the amaZulu must come out’ and then destroying the shacks. As far as we know two of the attackers were killed when people managed to take their bush knives off them. This was self defense.

The Sydenham police were called but they did not come. They said that they had no vans but they didn’t radio their vans to come. This has led some people to conclude that this was a carefully planned attack on the movement and that the police knew in advance that it had been planned and stayed away on purpose. Why else would the police refuse to come when they are being called while people are being openly murdered? When the attack happened one officer from Crime Intelligence was there in plain clothes.

This morning the police arrived under the authority of Glen Nayager and made eight arrests. As far as we can tell only members of the Kennedy Road Development Committee (KRDC) have been arrested. If this is true it indicates clearly that the police are part of this attack on the movement. It also seems that the police are only taking statements from the people that attacked us! Some of the people that they have arrested were not even at Kennedy Road when we were attacked. They were in Claremont for an imfene dance. They do the imfene dance every Saturday. All the people that have been arrested as amaMphondo. These arrests feel to us like the Kennedy Six scandal all over again.

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Solidarity: Workers on Hydro Wine Estate forced to leave farm in 10 days

30 07 2009

Note by AEC: Members of the Anti-Eviction Campaign joined Sikhula Sonke today in their picket of Stellenbosch wine farms that have been treating their workers badly.  We were very horrified by the stories we heard.  The AEC is in full solidarity with the farmworkers and support’s Sikhula Sonke’s action to prevent the continued eviction of farm workers especially when they are bribed to leave their homes.

MEDIA RELEASE – 30 July 2009
Farm workers on Hydro forced to leave farm before or on 8 August 2009
Sikhula Sonke members embark on a stay over at Hydro Wine Estate and Spa, Thursday 30 July 09.

Workers on Hydro were offered R50 000 to leave the farm before the 8th of August 2009. Workers are living in the most appalling conditions and Hydro Management refuse to do something about it. They want people to leave the farm to upgrade the farm houses for tourist accommodation. Read the rest of this entry »








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