Q. Ann Garrison: My question is why do you, in South Africa, choose to gather under the Occupy banner, since you seem to be the only African protest group who does? Congolese are protesting all over the world and in Congo, but Friends of the Congo, here in the U.S., seems to be the only group that has tried to connect Congo and Occupy.
A. Joe Hani: “The Occupy Banner was chosen as an expiremental tactic after its rallying success was witnessed in the US and with movements such as the M-15 movement in Spain and the Tahrir Occupiers. However we are still in the early stages of Occupy South Africa and are yet to see it becoming the confrontational movement we had hoped. This I personally believe is due to mainly middle class participation until now. While we will continue to push Occupy and take inspiration from events in Oakland, NY, Madrid, Cairo and Athens, it must be said that the real local inspiration for Occupy South Africa was the township uprisings witnessed across South Africa over the last few years against South Africa’s neo-liberal government (ANC + DA). Beyers Naude, Limpopo, Ficksburg, Tafelsig, Khayelitsha and many other townships across the country have become fed-up and therefore more confrontational with the state. My feeling is that the real spark towards change will come from the townships and Occupy South Africa will move forward keeping the township struggles in mind”.