Saturday, April 22, 2006

unFreedom day

A dozen years on, it's time for irony, not celebration: April 27th in Durban, South Africa.

Abahlali BaseMjondolo, a terrific new squatter community organization, has joined with several tenant groups to lead a day of mourning for the new South Africa. As the groups explain in their press release:
The first democratic elections were held in South Africa on 27 April 1994. The promise of that day was equality, a vision that all South Africans might be able to share the country’s wealth, that all would be equal under the law, that all would have inalienable rights. That day is commemorated as "Freedom Day", and its memory celebrated in a national holiday each April 27th. As years have gone by, the hope has turned to bitter irony. Twelve years after the first democratic elections, the gap has increased between the rich and the poor!

What are we fighting for?
Decent Houses for All in the City
Free Basic Services
Basic Income Grant for All
Unconditional access to all resources of this land
Rights for All informal workers
A health, clean environment
Equality for All, including all vulnerable groups (women, children, sick/disabled).

What are we against?
Forced Relocations
Water and Electricity Cut offs
Lying Politicians
State Repression, police brutality and impunity
Land Theft

The unFreedom day festivities will begin at 12 noon at St. John’s church on Rippon Road in Claire Estate in Durban, S.A.

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