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Berlin rally in solidarity with the miners in South Africa

Veröffentlicht am 25.08.2012 Kategorien: ,
Berlin – The Free Workers’ Union’s (FAU) english-speaking section helped mobilise a quick solidarity picket of the South African embassy on Thursday, 23 August, in response to the repression and slaughter of striking mineworkers at the Lonmin mine in Marikana in South Africa.

Berlin. Die englischsprachige Sektion der FAU Berlin unterstützte die Mobilisierung zu einer kurzfristig anberaumten Protestkundgebung vor der Südafrikanischen Botschaft am Donnerstag, den 23. August. Der Protest ist eine Reaktion auf die Repression und das Abschlachten streikender Arbeiter in der Lonmin-Mine in Marikana.

At Marikana, over thirty workers were killed as strikers were shot down by the police using live ammunition. The brutality and the death toll brought back memories of apartheids dark years, but in fact this is how modern South Africa treats its dissent. The ANC and its allies are holding on to power and wealth by any means necessary, and movements challenging it -- be it landless people, the shackdwellers movement, anti-privatisation activists, students or workers wanting to unionise outside the government controlled COSATU affiliated unions -- are met with fierce repression.

The hastily organised picket outside the South African embassy was brief and solemn. A letter of demands was handed to the embassy, and further demonstrations are planned as part of any international calls for solidarity.

The contents of the letter handed over to the embassy are included below:

South African Embassy, Berlin
Tiergartenstr. 18, 10785 Berlin

23 August 2012

To: Rev. Makhenkesi Arnold Stofile
Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa

Many of us grew up campaigning against apartheid in South Africa. Our family members joined pickets, signed petitions, boycotted companies and made donations. Some of us were there, some of us have read the inspiring stories about it.

We are here again sad to see similar scenes of massacre and suffering being inflicted on the workers and poor, not by the racist apartheid government of the old National Party, but by the party which claims to have led the people in South Africa to liberation.

We in Berlin have watched the scenes in Marikana unravelling with disgust. The ANC has always, and continues to claim that it is the ‘party of liberation’ but the mask has slipped, and it has proven once again that we working and poor people can rely on none but ourselves for our liberation.

What is slowly being confirmed from various sources is that it was an ambush – that the mineworkers were deliberately herded with gun shots straight into the line of fire of the other waiting police officers. This also seems to be confirmed by the Al Jazeerra footage. If there is even one shred of truth to this, the reigning party in South Africa should hang its head in shame - shame for the years of broken promises, shame for the families of the dead, and shame for all those who continue to live and suffer in grinding poverty in South Africa while companies continue to make massive profits.

We want to show our support for the workers of the Lonmin mine and the families of the deceased. To that end, we make five basic demands:

- Release of all the striking miners still help captive by the state

- Full compensation to the families of the deceased

- Meet the demands of the workers regarding decent pay and conditions

- All funeral expenses of the murdered paid for by the company

- The removal from service of all police personnel involved in the massacre

Nothing less can only bring the ruling party further into disgrace.

Thank you.



More infos

Abahlali baseMjondolo (South African shackdwellers' movement):
Press release about the massacre [German translation]
Statement [German translation]

Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front statement:
ANC Throws Off Its Mask! Workers Murdered!

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