Tips and Suggestions for the October 15 Occupations in South Africa
These are tips and suggestions for all planning to Occupy on October 15 and thereafter. They are my personal thoughts only.
A. While the inspiration for these occupations came from international movements, our protests, demands, posters etc should reflect our particular South African grievances and not just immitate NY or London slogans.
Two slogans I would personally love to see are “Cities in solidarity with townships” and “We are all Andries Tatane”
B. We should remember that the essence of these occupations is a rage against where the capitalist system has brought us and is not for example a “bring the dalai lama to SA” protest or a R2K protest and not a “Lets give the DA a try” protest. Its against the system itself and our local statistics should be highlighted, for example:
– We have the second widest class divide in the world.
– 40% of our people are jobless.
– 10% of the wealthiest South Africans earn 50% of the wealth.
– Poorest 50% of those with jobs earn 6% of the wealth.
Also the link between the economic system and the social problems of SA should be highlighted and again the statistics speak for themselves;
– Average of between 16,000 to 18,000 South Africans murdered per year. This per one year figure for example is higher than the total civilian and allied death toll combined in the entire ten year war in Afghanistan! The root cause of this is not a lack of police but rather a system that breeds social diseases when it creates poverty and a class imbalance.
– 1 in 4 South African women have been raped.
– One quarter of South Africans are HIV positive.
– The totally inhuman township lifestyle the majority of South Africans are forced to live in as a result of this system.
– The totally unacceptable flourishing of the drug trade in all major cities.
C. These are meant to be peaceful events but civil disobedience should be encouraged seeing as these are ‘occupations’ and yes arrests are a possibility. The ‘peacefulness’ of the occupations should not dominate the actual grievances of the people.
D. Another fact that should be highlighted and again is a result of the capitalist system and its increasing aggressiveness is the fact that South Africa has turned into a police state. My statistics may be slightly off but I believe 3 times the amount of people killed in police custody at the height of apartheid (1985) were killed in police custody in 2010. Here I would like to add that if the police do get violent then please try to capture it on video and post to YT and FB immediately. We are all Andries Tatane.
E. Do not allow any political figures from any major parties to be put on a pedestal and hijack these events. It was sad to see how the DA managed to hijack the R2K protests for example.
Use the opportunity to:
F. Learn about other alternative systems and ideas. Just because one is anti-capitalist doesn’t mean they are communist.
G. We should reflect on our cultural bias outlook: Why were we driven to occupy straight after the Americans started but not straight after the Egyptians started?
H. We should reflect on our class outlook: Why were we driven to occupy straight after NY, Boston, Madrid took action but not after the poor in our own Ficksburg or Tafelsig took action?
Thats all I can think of now and some shorter tips:
1. Bring at least three other people with you.
2. If there are homeless people in the area let them join you at your camp.
3. Bring a tent.
4. Be ready to take as many photos as possible and if possible capture videos.
5. Dont’ be discouraged by small turnouts, tweet, FB and phone call your people to join straight away.
6. Bring guy fawkes masks, theyre really cool (though they may be illegal, not sure) 🙂
Yours in struggle,