●XENOPHOBIC ATTACKS – SOUTH AFRICA – SHACK DWELLERS STATEMENT

24May08


STOP PRESS! Cape Town Xenophobia refugees need: food, cloths, blankets, water
LINK – WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP [Sunday 25.5.08]
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The shack dwellers speak out. An insight into the outbreaks of violence and unspeakable brutality – the issues and what they are having to deal with day to day and what they say needs to be done to stop it.

I have extracted bits from the Statement on the Xenophobic Attacks
in Johannesburg of the – Abahlali baseMjondolo [The South African Shack Dwellers’ Movement]

“….Let us be clear. Neither poverty nor oppression justify one poor person turning on another……..must be opposed, stopped and brought to justice. But the reason why this happens in Alex and not Sandton [super affluent white/black? area] is because people in Alex are suffering and scared for the future of their lives. They are living under the kind of stress that can damage a person………”

“….. Yesterday we heard that this thing started in Warwick and in the City centre. We heard that traders had their goods stolen and that people were being checked for their complexion, a man from Ntuzuma was stopped and assaulted or being ‘too black’. Tensions are high in the City centre. Last night people were running in the streets in Umbilo looking for ‘amakwerkwere’. People in the tall flats were shouting down to them saying ‘There are Congolese here, come up!” This thing has started in Durban. We don’t know what will happen tonight…..
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[Credit:Abahlali Basemjondolo]
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“…..We hear that the political analysts are saying that the poor must be educated about xenophobia. Always the solution is to ‘educate the poor’. When we get cholera we must be educated about washing our hands when in fact we need clear water. When we get burnt we must be educated about fire when in fact we need electricity. This is just a way of blaming the poor for our suffering………we want to go to university, we want water and electricity – we don’t want to be educated to be good at surviving poverty on our own. The solution is not to educate the poor about xenophobia. The solution is to give the poor what they need to survive so that it becomes easier to be welcoming and generous. The solution is to stop the xenophobia at all levels of our society. Arrest the poor man who has become a murderer. But also arrest the corrupt policeman and the corrupt officials in Home Affairs…….. move beyond making statements condemning these attacks. We suggest, with humility, that now that we are in this terrible crisis we need a living solidarity, a solidarity in action. It is time for each community and family to take in the refugees from this violence. They cannot be left in the police stations where they risk deportation….”

LINKFull Statement
It’s helped me to understand a little of what is going on in the townships – a real insight into what the issues are and what shack dwellers are having to deal with – it’s so hard to imagine what it must be like to have absolutely nothing, trying to survive from day to day.

For further information or comment please contact:
ABAHLALI BASEMJONDOLO – THE SOUTH AFRICAN SHACK DWELLERS’ MOVEMENT
c/o Mr S’bu Zikode
Kennedy Road Development Committee
PO Box 26, Umgeni Road, Durban4098, South Africa
Tel: (27) (031) 269 1228
Fax: (27) (031) 269 3749
Cell: (27) 083 547 0474

LINKXenophobia And The Black On Black Violence In Johannesburg? What The Bleep Is Going On In South Africa?

LINK – Angry African on the Loose [About: Angry African]

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Let us extinguish the flames of hatred with a flood of dialogue.” – Daisaku Ikeda

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