Ten Fundamentals on the coming South African Uprising

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1. The state in its entirety (legislative, judicial and executive) is an illegitimate cooercive authoritarian entity that must be completely eradicated. All calls to continuing bonds towards the state must be confronted whether these calls come from the media, trade unions, clergy, your father or best friend.

 

2. All product of the earth in South Africa belongs to all who live in it and control of the means of production must be an immediate goal of the people. Immediate distribution of these resources and essentials among all the people (starting with those most in need) should be an immediate goal of the revolution.

 

3. Any foreign intervention must be challenged and confronted whether it be from nations in the East or West or whether it come from the United Nations or African Union.

 

4. Inhumane crimes such as hard drug trafficking, murder and rape should be dealt with by the people and the weak should be protected by their neighbours. The state entity called the ‘police’ should be ended. As Emma Goldman stated: “The most absurd apology for authority and law is that they serve to diminish crime. Aside from the fact that the State is itself the greatest criminal, breaking every written and natural law, stealing in the form of taxes, killing in the form of war and capital punishment, it has come to an absolute standstill in coping with crime. It has failed utterly to destroy or even minimize the horrible scourge of its own creation.

 

5. The essence of the revolution will be the people who find themselves in South Africa and racism or xenophobia should not play a role. The only criterion should be whether a person shows animosity towards the uprising by siding with the state. In this event any person has the natural right to self defence.

 

6.  A culture of self free from state manipulation education should be promoted and encouraged.

 

7.  The people should cultivate in ourselves before the uprising good characteristics such as boldness, bravery, steadfastness, patience, respect for women and the elderly, softness towards children and animals, good manners, admitting and recognising shortcomings and mistakes etc.

 

8. Remember that one who lacks something cannot give it to another. Revolution begins with ones self.

 

9. We should share and learn from other uprisings in terms of methodology and ideology so as to avoid mistakes others have made and to shorten the road to liberty as much as possible.

 

10. A society that can bring the most to all the people in terms of sustenance, clothing, housing, knowledge, security, harmony and leisure should be our common purpose and none should be given authority to do this on “our behalf”.

25.04.2012

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Interview Revistatag.com.br magazine in Sao Paulo, Brazil on the Occupy South Africa movement. Interview done by Regiane Folter.

 

1. First of all, what’s ur full name and what’s your function in the movement Occupy South Africa?

 

A1. I am known as Joe Hani and my role is restricted at the moment to participating in online organizing and creating and sharing awareness media material such as our short videos produced by Winds of Change Media.

 

 

2. When did the Occupy start in South Africa? And who took this idea to your country?

 

A2. The first countrywide occupation took place on October 15th 2011 in 5 cities simultaneously. The event started with online Facebook events set up and the idea took on a life on its own from there.

 

3. In which aspects Occupy South Africa is similar to Occupy Wall Street? And what are the differences about them?

 

Occupy South Africa is nowhere near the size and consistency of Occupy Wall Street yet. But the similarities lie in the general anti-capitalist theme of both movements as well as the recognition that the movement is against all corporate political parties. Unlike the assumption of some, our anti ANC stance does not mean we are pro DA. This was proven in the ‘Battle of the Common’.

 

4. How does Occupy South Africa organize itself? Do you use internet and social medias a lot? 

 

Organizing in the beginning relied a lot on the internet but as the movement developed the organizing shifted primarily to on the ground organizing with the internet being used to facilitate.

 

5. How do you act in South Africa? In how many cities?

 

The first South African occupation was held simultaneously in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, Grahamstown and East London. Since then the core participants in each city have developed Occupy according to their local circumstances. Occupy Durban has all but died out and I hope it will be revived soon. Grahamstown have a dynamic alliance between the Unemployed People’s Movement and Students for Social Justice of Rhodes University. UPM has also over the last few months met with the few but very determined activists of Occupy East London and are working on ways to spread the idea throughout the Eastern Cape. Johannesburg have set up a Drillhall where they gather on weekends to discuss creative ideas to combat the system. But the most active of the cities has been Cape Town. Late January 2012 Occupy Cape Town together with more than 20 poor community organizations took part in an occupation of a common public piece of land in a wealthy area of Cape Town and the mayor of Cape Town ordered a heavy police crackdown on the people which resulted in the aggressive arrests of 42 people including old women with sicknesses. This was all caught on camera and proved once again that the DA is no less an anti-poor authoritarian party than the ANC. As a result of this event, Occupy Cape Town developed into the ‘Taking Back the Commons’ Movement which is very active in Cape Town and surrounding areas. This Friday they will be holding a Guerilla walk to commemorate UnFreedom Day which is officially known as Freedom Day, but we say that none of us are free until all of us are free.

 

6. What are the most important ways that OSA is using to send its message?

 

Through meetings, networking between groups, online through websites, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, as well as articles written by activists in the conventional media.

 

 

7. Is OSA getting any results? Are you reaching your goals?

 

Id say in Cape Town and in the Eastern Cape it is moving forward at a good pace. I encourage those in Gauteng to organize bold events that will actually confront the state.

 

8. What are the most difficulties that Occupy South Africa face?

 

Lethargy, refusal of some to let go of their political allegiances whether it be to the ANC or the DA, Trade Unions schizophrenic attitude to the people vs. the state scenario etc and a few others. The government however is doing a good job at ensuring that more and more people are taking an anti state stance.

 

9. What are the opinion of the population? Are they joining the movement?

 

Personally, I am not interested in all South Africans ‘Joining Occupy South Africa’ and this will not happen. This is so because there already exists an uprising of the poor in South Africa in townships across the country which is growing in momentum, size and radicalism. Professor Peter Alexander called this the “Ring of Fire” uprising which is closing in on the big cities and he among many others including myself predicts that this will eventually lead to a Tunisia style total and complete revolt.

 

10. Do you think that the Occupy movements are going to change the present democratic systems?

 

A.10 Occupy, Take Back the Commons, Take Back South Africa, UPM, the township movements and many other groups in South Africa will all contribute to challenging the so called democratic system yes. It is not a matter of if but when, and not only organized groups but the suffering masses will definitely rise-up, its inevitable. My message to Jacob Zuma and Hellen Zille is that your time is running out. You are oppressors and we are oppressed and when the day of confrontation arrives it will benefit you to remember that we the people of South Africa are the sons of struggle, we came from her belly and we drank from her breasts and we will not stop until Anglo-American leaves our land and until all of you are tried for your crimes against the people of South Africa.

 

11. Which others movements does Occupy South Africa respect?

 

A.11 Any movement that strives for the liberation of mankind. Personally I respect the movements that toppled the dictators in North Africa, the Greeks and Spaniards, The Yemeni’s and my most heartfelt respect and awe goes out to the brave people of Syria standing up to the oppressive regime of Bashar. They will go through trying times ahead when the East and the West tries to feast off their struggle so I encourage them to maintain the purity of their struggle and to remember that victory is merely an hour of patience.

WE ARE ALL KINGS!

Posted: June 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

WE ARE ALL KINGS – by Joe Hani

26-01-2012

This Friday January 27th, people from the poorest communities in Cape Town, South Africa will be leaving their homes to take part in a long march towards beautiful green open spaces in an area of the city called Rondebosch Commons.

There a peoples summit involving more than twenty community organizations will be held to reflect on the dire state of affairs the majority of Cape Townians find themselves in. This state of affairs is in fact shared by the majority of South Africans. It is a state of affairs many of you outside of South Africa are unaware of. So I am writing this article to tell you a bit of what the real South Africa is like.

All are aware that a great non violent leap was made in 1994 when the Apartheid regime came to an end and South Africa held its first ‘democratic’ multi-party elections. But what many of you are unaware of is what happened since Mandela gave his famous “Never Again” speech.

While a symbolic multiracial government was now in power, the neo-liberal capitalist system which was already in implementation decades before was allowed to continue to pick up pace and basically our country was sold to the highest bidder. Corporations from America to Europe through Israel and  Saudi Arabia and all the way East to Japan, China and Australia have a dominant control of our countries resources and property while we the people who were already poor are becoming even poorer. This means what you think it means. It means that those in control of the struggle movements of the past, once they reached power sold their souls to the corporate devil overnight and took their parties with them, with the exception of a few. The South African government with its two dominant parties the African National Congress and the Democratic Alliance passed neo-liberal economic policies over these last 18 years such as GEAR and NEPAD that saw the rich get richer, the poor get poorer and millions lose their jobs.

It may surprise you but today 18 years after 1994, South Africa has the widest class divide in the world. In a nation of 50 Million people, 40% are jobless. Amongst the balance who have jobs, the poorest 50% collectively earn 6% of the wealth while the wealthiest 12% earn 80% of the wealth. South Africa has Africa’s strongest economy in terms of income but has the worlds worst disparity in wealth distribution.

What gets said far too little also is how this greed has a direct effect on our society as a people and it is this that I would like to emphasize. What many of you do already know is how violent South Africa is. It takes a little imagination to figure out the logical source of this violence as science shows that the wider the class divide in a given area the more violent that area becomes. We have the widest class divide in the world and therefore we have the most violent society in the world. While I of course do not condone violence and crime it would behoove anyone concerned to consider the source so that it may be firstly known how to eradicate it and secondly to know who the biggest criminals are. A person initially does not make the decision to first steal except out of hunger or need, a woman does not make the decision to sell her body except out of desperation and a person does not decide to intoxicate themselves with drugs except to escape a bleak reality. And so the more desperate the situation gets the more violent and perverse the acts become.

So while you may have heard of South Africa’s violence it may surprise you to know that over the last six years of war in Iraq, more South Africans died from murder alone than the total number of people killed there over the same period, the biggest warzone of the 21st century. In fact more South Africans are murdered in one year than the total number of civilians and soldiers combined in ten years of war in Afghanistan, the longest ongoing war of the 21st century. One in four of our women have been raped, we have of the worst statistics of violence towards children and of the worst drug related crimes in the world. Besides the corporations that control our resources, we also have mafias and gangs that control many of our neighbourhoods and streets.

So it is with this state of affairs in South Africa as the backdrop that I speak to you about a great revolution that is coming.

It is a revolution of the people that will give no face to corporations and politicians. It is a revolution that is quietly building in the hearts of all South Africans. It is a revolution building momentum with every heartbeat that cries for the plight of the mother who has to take long taxi and train rides across towns and cities to earn bread and milk for her family only to see her son lose himself to heroin pumped through his body or to see her daughter die of Aids or cancer.

It is a revolution growing in the shame a man feels not being able to provide for his children. It is a revolution building among the realization of many that they are working in a non ending cycle of wage slavery even though they are sure that they were born as free men and women.

It is a revolution that gained momentum the moment the first bullet hit Andries Tatane’s chest and the moment the first punch was thrown at Ayanda Kota’s face.

At a time when the South African state police are growing more violent towards peaceful protesters in both ANC and DA controlled municipalities and with a year passed where more South Africans were killed in police custody than in 1985 which saw the peak of Apartheid it is the sentiment of some that  they would question my ‘radicalism’ and the radicalism of those like me. Why not just ask for reform instead of speaking of revolution against politicians and corporations? It is then that I recall a story I heard from Arab folklore that there was once a king who killed a common mans brother. At a time when it was the norm for Kings to kill common people, it amazed the people that the mans brother laid in wait until he one day killed that king. The people then questioned him in obscure logic: How can you kill the King in exchange for his killing of your brother a mere commoner? To which the man replied: “My brother was my king”.

So I say to Jacob Zuma and Hellen Zille that we hold you responsible for the hunger and thirst of millions of South Africans, the heartache of parents losing their children to drugs, the despair felt by the families of every soul murdered and every woman raped in this country. Everyone of them was our King and Queen. Our Queens were Anastacia Wiese and Mikayla Roussouw, young girls sliced to death in the Cape Flats.

The coming revolution will expose you for the corporate tools that you are and the coming revolution will tell your bosses in Anglo-American to pack their bags and return across the Atlantic to where they came from.

And to Patricia de Lille the mayor of Cape Town who has threatened to stop the peoples summit from taking place I say that you are not our Madame and we do not work in your kitchen.

I have come to know many activists across the country and have been inspired by their energy, positivism and their courage and with these inspiring people involved in the struggle I have no doubt that while it may take blood, sweat and tears, that the people, all the people will eventually reach those beautiful green open spaces.

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    • 20-12-2011
      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”. 

A Tale of Five Cities – Summary of Day One of the South African Anti-Capitalist City Occupations

17-10-2011

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1. East London

Five determined souls later to be six stood underneath their beloved Biko Statue and infront of the Imperialists Old Shack. The small group shouted their lungs out for an hour and a half while curious passers by looked on.

Some of the slogans displayed were: “WE ARE ALL ANDRIES TATANE” , “DOWN WITH CAPITALISM”, “CORPORATE POLITICAL POWER STRUCTURES ARE KILLING US” and “TO HELL WITH ANC & DA , Greed, Greed, Greed”

Video:

Thanks to Chloe Menteath for updates.

2. Grahamstown

The initial group of 20  Rhodes University students gathered at the Botanical Gardens at 10am.  After having distributed T-shirts they made their way down to High Street to meet the masses (Unemployed People’s Movement comrades and many others). As they walked down they chanted “Enough is Enough. We want our country back”. While they walked down High Street, they distributed pamphlets which contained information about why the demonstration were happening and why it was necessary.

When they reached the crowd gathered at Cathedral (about 30-40 people) they all merged and sang protest songs for about an hour. Together we marched up and down high street and the louder we sang, the more people from the street joined. People of all races.

On their return to the cathedral, the floor was opened up to the crowd to share their grievances. People from Phaphamani, Vukani and other locations spoke mainly about their need for 3 essentials: electricity, water and housing.

They then made their way to the Makana Municipal buildings and chanted “Amandla, ngawethu! Amanga ngawabo!” Richard Pithouse and Ayanda Kota addressed the crowd and spoke about how although the government officials were not present, they will hear of the events of today. It was more of a symbolic gesture. As was broadcasted, Ayanda Kota and some UPM comrades went into the municipal buildings and threw shit inside to protest the bucket system.

After that activity, the police came and asked us the crowd to leave.

Video:

 

Grahamstown occupiers throw buckets of shit at the entrance of Municipality and shout “This is not our shit” in protest of the one bucket system where families are given a bucket to share instead of a toilet or plumbing.

Thanks to Mbali Baduza for updates

3. Durban:

Durban had  a steady flow of occupiers through the day, and had some really interesting discussions, and the occupiers had the opportunity to inform passers by about the movement. There were some natural arguments about what the movement is directed towards, but a general consensus that diversity should accommodated, and that the movement is about acknowledging a problem. Things were peaceful and spirits were high for the most part. Around 50 people occupied. Discussions were had about the possibility of making it a weekly occurrence into the future and seeking greater cooperation with other civil society groups and grassroot movements. There were children, guitarists and a slam poet.

Photos:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150862952930459.745989.894720458&type=3

Thanks to Sarah dawson for updates

4. Cape Town:

Around 200 attended with people coming and going throughout the day. A hot speaker was set up and speeches were given from occupiers from various backgrounds and ideologies.  Police mingled past but not tried anything. City police stopped people bringing a trailer in and tried to tell a crafter not to sell his wire beaded flowers but the occupiers insisted he be allowed to stay. Was a pretty chilled vibe. At the occupation were members of community organizations from Blikiesdorp and Manenburg, Zeitgesters, Anarchists, and Blackwash members amongst others.

Video:

Great collection of inspirational speeches at Day 1 of Occupy Cape Town – By Herbert Noodledrop

Photos:

– By Jessica Schnehage

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150316100286580.341005.567686579&type=1

– By Christoff Smuts

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150354153708113.360827.524398112&type=1

– By Jodi Allemeier

The Red & Black of Anarchism flying high in front of Parliament – By Jodi Ⓥ Allemeier

Thanks to Jodi Allemeir for updates

5. Johannesburg:

Around a hundred occupiers gathered outside the JSE and gave speeches over a microphone claiming to be of the 99% and they they were very angry with the corporates and the politicians. Police later told the protesters they had to disperse or face arrest. There were problems related to the retreat point also at which point the occupiers decided to disperse and return another day. In attendance were people from Soweto and Thembelihle, the UDF had a prominent presence as well as Zeitgesters as well as Blackwash.

 

Video: 

 

Security Guard apprehending people trying to put up a banner outside Johannesburg Stock Exchange – By Aleksandar Bulovic

Photos:

– By Aleksandar Bulovic

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150353904234131.366037.639044130&type=1&l=cf6b5c9f9e

Notes:

1. The first day generated a lot of heated debates, most prominent among them being: Liberal pacifist attitudes towards the economic problem vs. Radical attitudes. Peaceful demonstration vs. Civil disobedience.

2. A lot of understandable dissapointment came from potential Johannesburg occupiers who planned to arrive later only to find that the initial group had not stood their ground and decided to disperse. It should be noted also that Johannesburg was the only occupation among the five cities ordered to disperse.

3. It is my opinion that a manifesto, a list of demands etc is not a priority at this stage and that the general and broad anti-capitalist theme of the occupations continue until the occupiers presence become more representative of the people of South Africa.

4. There is no such thing as a failure. Day one was never going to be the pinnacle but only the tester. It was a success.

5. Going forward my opinion is that a two pronged approach should be taken: First, people should continue going day by day on their own individual and group inititiative to keep the momentum up. This has happened on the second day already in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg and is planned for the third day as well. Secondly a longer term approach should be taken to involve as many grassroot movements as possible especially township and poor community groups. A second big D-Day should then be called towards the end of the year or early 2012 and simultaneous occupations of the cities as well as the townships/ poor communities should be held. Then real solidarity can be tested between the middle class and the poor. Some organisers like the ones in Durban have already started on these initiatives.

6. I was dissapointed to find that the creator of http://www.occupysa.org has closed his site for personal reasons. Whoever is interested among online admins is welcome to use our site https://takebacksa.wordpress.com to keep promoting the SA occupations.

“The South African” London based Newspaper interview with Joe Hani on the planned October 15 occupations in South Africa. By Angelique Redmond

13-10-2011

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(If any of you guys wanna volunteer to join me in admin on the occupy event pages so that I don’t get all the interview requests, please let me know and I’ll add you)

 

1. What do you hope to achieve with the Occupy South Africa movement?

 

My personal hope is that through this initiative, people who have previously been hesitant to express in open what they are already expressing behind closed doors will be emboldened by the number of people on the streets to express their frustrations openly. Expressing ones frustration is a necessary first step on the road to combating the root of our problem in South Africa which is the control a few rich businessmen and politicians have over our country and our people. It must be said that the poorest of poor in the townships across South Africa have been expressing their anger for a long time and so another hope is that these city occupations will build bridges of hope between cities and townships, between the middle class and the very poor.

 

2. How did the movement originate here in South Africa?

 

It is yet to be seen if this initiative will turn into a movement but the original online calls were made by individuals on the internet many of whom are already involved in existing on the ground movements.

 

3. When you say you wish to restore democracy, please expand on this aim and how this goal will be achieved?

 

Democracy is a word used by politicians to justify their selfish motives with a nice sounding word. In Iraq it was used to kill millions of people. In South Africa we see the fruits of “democracy” in millions of poor, tens of thousands murdered, millions of women raped and the spread of sickness and disease. An embarrassing question posed to the ANC and DA  is: If the majority of people are dependant on a few for wages and work, where then is the equality between all that democracy presupposes exists? There is a symbolic voting system yes but no democracy. South Africa is an oligarchy of the rich and powerful.

 

4. While the event is non – violent, what will happen if the event does become violent or is there is a violent reaction to the event, are you expecting a police reaction?

 

I don’t control the event so I have no say or authority on what happens. I assume though that people will not resort to violence. The real worry is if the state becomes violent as they have been shooting people in the townships throughout the last few years killing some like they did with Andries Tatane and injuring many others. My advice to people attending is keep calm, don’t be violent and let the initiative grow beyond control but at the same time do not allow anyone to quell your justified anger.

 

5. When you say greed and corruption are you referencing specific members of government/ parliament?

 

While it is common knowledge how corrupt ANC politicians are, this initiative is not only meant to address corruption because that would imply that our economic and social problems would be solved if the politicians were not corrupt. Corruption in itself is not the root problem but it is rather the ‘legal’ robbery of South Africa by a few large international and local corporations and this robbery is rubber stamped by government both ANC or DA. Political corruption is only an inevitable result of a corrupt system.

 

6. How long will the occupation last?

 

No end date has been set and the hope is that the numbers and momentum will keep growing.

 

7. What other groups have you got backing you or politicians or similar movements?

 

No politicians support this campaign. So far we have heard of support from the Unemployed Peoples Movement, Students of Social Justice and various community organizations. I hope more and more groups and movements take the opportunity to join the campaign.

 

8. Do you feel that South Africa is ready for a revolution, how is the public support for the Occupy Revolution campaign?

 

The call was only made about ten days ago but when you consider the statistics: 40% jobless (20 million people), and that majority of those who have jobs are living on minimum wage, if you consider that more South Africans will be murdered in the coming year than the number of Palestinians or Afghans that will be killed by war over the next ten years (according to current statistic averages) then my opinion is yes South Africans are ready for revolution. It may only take a spark. The swimmer in the ocean does not fear the rain.

 

9. Is this the first step to a larger campaign and more resistance/ demonstrations against the current climate in South Africa?

 

This is not a first step. The ongoing struggles of Grassroot movements across the country such as Abahlali, the Anti Eviction Campaign, Zabalaza, the anti rape struggles, the anti drug and crime struggles, all these have been going on for years but what would hopefully be unique about these occupations is that they would combine all these different struggles into a comprehensive campaign that recognizes corporations and the state as the source of the problem and not regard them as helpless do-gooders. The main obstacle to a real change lies with the people themselves. Besides the cocaine and heroine widespread among our cities and towns another form of drugs which is until now pacifying us is largely American corporate media. I hope we switch off our televisions and take to the streets.

 

10. What mediums are you using to spread the information and garner support?

 

Online (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube etc) you can visit our sites: takebacksa.wordpress.com or http://www.occupysa.org

 

Also on the ground sporadic initiatives are now spreading in the holding of pre-meets in different cities, pamphlets being printed and distributed and many are trying to organize bringing the people from the townships into the city for the occupations.

 

Finally as a word of inpiration to fellow South africans, I would like to add that should South Africa ever reach its ‘Egyptian moment’ that the South African people would then once again be in a position to inspire others as our people in North Africa have overthrown dictators and are now susceptible to the influence of “corporate democracy” so we may be in a unique position to encourage them to keep up the fight and not bow down to wolves in sheep’s clothing.

 

Thanks

Interview with Joe Hani by the Mail & Guardian newspaper.

12-10-2011

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Hi guys below is the full text of the online interview the Mail & Guardian did with me today. I don’t know if it will be published or if it will appear edited.

 

1. Why the anonymity? 2. Tell me about yourself (what do you do, background, sense of class, age, Male or Female) 

 

I am a South African male. More than that I think does not matter as this movement is not about personalities but rather about the South African masses who suffer under the capitalist system. As an administrator of the ‘Taking Back South Africa’ online campaign, I made a personal strategic decision to operate online anonymously for various reasons. I did not want the focus to be on whether I am black or white but rather on the content of the campaign. Also in the event that should these occupations grow I am not interested in being made a villain by those who may be inclined to do so nor am I interested in being made a hero by those who may be inclined to do so. That being said, neither I nor the Taking Back South Africa campaign are central organizers of this campaign. Various people across South Africa have organized very quickly online and have organized pre occupation meetings on the ground and my contribution to these was minimal. This is a leaderless campaign.

 

3. How do you define your politics?

 

I dont define myself politically, but personally, while on certain matters I am conservative, I believe that as an alternative to the evils of capitalism, non communist versions of socialism should be explored. I have an inclination towards anarchism with some reservations. I also believe in One God but I despise none more than Priests, Rabbi’s and Sheikhs who justify this system in the name of God while knowing full well what its satanic fruits are.

 

4. Has there been responses from social movements – if so, which ones and what sort of solidarity do you expect ?

 

Keeping in mind the short period between the initial occupation call and October 15th, there has been some amazing responses. For example activists from townships in Cape Town have responded to the call, Students for Social Justice of Rhodes University as well as the Jobless Peoples Movement both in Grahamstown have responded to the call and I was pleased to hear from Pastor Xola Skosana that he will be attending the Cape Town occupation. My hope is that eventually all grassroot movements share their energy, organization and insight with this campaign. I would personally love if the good people in Abahlali BaseMjondolo join, if the APF, the AEC and Zabalaza all join in. I can only speak for myself but I don’t see reason why seemingly polarized groups such as Blackwash, Solidareteit or Pagad should not also eventually join. They all have particular grievances which if the bigger picture is contemplated, they would realize that it comes from the same source; Capitalist “democracy”.

 

5. Aside from Twitter, Facebook et cetera, are there any other mediums used to mobilise? Non-digital-methodology? 

 

The campaign started online and since then people have started their own initiatives in making pamphlets, spreading the word in townships etc

 

6. Have you been able to keep tabs on the facebook traffic et cetera and what sort of numbers, acts of solidarity et cetera are you expecting on the day?

 

Our page has grown faster than usual over the last few days as the word spreads and with October 15th being a global day of occupation I expect more and more people to take interest.

 

7. Do you have an updated list of the spaces that will be occupied?

 

Cape Town: Company Gardens next to parliament.

Johannesburg: JSE Exchange square or nearby areas.

Durban: Outside City Hall.

Grahamstown: Outside the Magistrates court.

 

8. Do you plan or expect the occupation to continue past Saturday?

 

I do. The people are fed up with corporations and politicians playing games with their lives and there will come a point of no return sooner or later when people say enough is enough and I hope that these occupations will contribute to reaching that point.

 

9. What do you hope to achieve? What do you think this protest will change in the South African context?

 

No country is more worthy of an uprising against capitalism as South Africa in my opinion. We have the second widest class divide in the world after Brazil, 40% of our people are jobless, the wealthiest 10% earn half of our wealth. As a result of this legal robbery of the resources God gave us in our African earth by corporations such as Anglo-American etc, poverty and despair has spread and so have social ills. Today we have a murder rate which surpasses the worst warzones in the world such as Iraq, Afghanistan or Palestine but we are fondly referred to as “The Rainbow Nation”. On Saturday we say to the government and to the corporates: Do not patronize us, you have our blood, sweat and tears on your hands and while we may have trusted you once before, South Africans refuse to be bitten from the same hole twice.

 

End of Interview

Tips and Suggestions for the October 15 Occupations in South Africa

06-10-2011

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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,

Joe Hani

Our view on voting: 

If the ANC, the DA etc had free will then ‘voting’ 400 into parliament to represent 50 million people might have been a bitter yet a worth a try option.

But considering:

1. Our reality proves that politicians have no capacity to clash with foreign exploitative    corporates with the proof that the most anti capitalist groups , the ANC, SACP and Cosatu have sat in power while South Africa’s class divide was expanding through deliberate policies they themselves implemented such as “GEAR”, “NEPAD” etc…so how would the situation be if the DA, a party with no particular social history and no anti foreign exploitation agenda, if they received the majority votes? What motivation is there for the poor blacks to vote for the DA? simply because they are not the ANC?

2. 17 years of this ‘democracy’ has brought hell on earth for the majority and whether we like it or not people have a limit to how much they will tolerate before actually resorting to direct action the sparks of which we have been witnessing in townships across the country this past year.

3. I personally find it disgusting that basic human essentials such as the right not to live in poverty, the right not to have 18,000 of us murdered every year, the right not to have 1 in 4 women raped etc…that these issues be trivialized into the extremely arrogant phrase “well if you don’t vote you have no right to complain”. Are people voting to be human or not? to live or not? to have dignity or not? Is this what “our rainbow democracy” has become?

4. Based on the above, the aim of our campaign is to demand these rights from whoever is in power, whether it be the ANC, the DA or the devil himself.

We are encouraging people not to vote because we have already reached the stage of awareness that all polititcians are criminals who have a short time left to deliver or to step down in their entirety.

Our campaign is beyond politics. It is about humanity.