Oct 03 2018

THE IHRA AND APARTHEID ISRAEL

We are posting three pieces following the Labour Party’s adoption of the IHTA statement on Anti-Semitism. the first is by Moshe Machover, founder member of the socialist Matzpen Party in Israel, who successfully resisted  a joint Zionist and Labour Right attempt to have him expelled from the  Labour Party. The second is by a Shahd Abuslama, a Palestinian artist at Sheffield University. The third is a statement from Radical Independence Campaign’s Edinburgh branch.

 

1. WHY ISRAEL IS A RACIST STATE

Moshe Machover

That Israel is a racist state is a well-established fact. On July On July 19 2018, it enacted a quasi-constitutional nationality bill – ‘Basic law: Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people’ – which has been widely condemned as institutionalising discrimination against Israel’s non-Jewish citizens. As many have observed, this law merely codifies and formalises a reality that long predates it.(1) Continue reading “THE IHRA AND APARTHEID ISRAEL”

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Aug 20 2012

SOLIDARITY WITH THE MINERS AT MARIKANA PLATINUM

We are posting this statement from the Abahlali baseMjondolo (Shack Dwellers) Movement in response to the police killing of at least 34 mineworkers at Marikana Platinum mine, 100 miles north west of Johannesburg on Thursday 16th August. The Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement began in Durban, South Africa, in early 2005. Although it is overwhelmingly located in and around the large port city of Durban it is, in terms of the numbers of people mobilised, the largest organisation of the militant poor in post-apartheid South Africa.

 

Abahlali baseMjondolo are deeply shocked by the murderous cruelty of the South
African police, and those that give the police their orders, at the Marikana
Platinum Mine in the North West. The killing of more than 40 mine workers
yesterday by the SAPS is immoral and brings great disgrace on our country. 
There were other ways and much better ways to handle the situation. Yesterday
will always be remembered as a dark day in the long history of oppression in
South Africa.

We wish to express our solidarity to all the families of the workers that have
been killed and injured. We share your sorrow. You are not alone. We carry our
pain together. Your children may not grow knowing their fathers but they will
not grow alone. We have to care for each other and stand together as we
struggle for a world that puts human beings first and treats all human beings
equally. We wish to express our solidarity to all struggling workers. We face
the same system that makes some people rich and others poor. We face the same
government that refuses to recognise our humanity, which tries to force us to
the margins of society and which represses us when we resist.

The ANC have shown no regard for the people of this country. They are putting
us in transit camps and trying to keep us in bantustans. They are leaving us
to burn in our shacks every winter. They are beating us in the police
stations. They are shooting us in the streets. Millions of us cannot find
work. A government that kills its citizens is immoral and must be opposed by
everyone. A government that kills its citizens has lost all moral right to
govern. What happened yesterday is no different from the killings of the
apartheid government. This is no different to the Sharpeville massacre in 1960
which claimed 69 lives. It is no different to the Boipotong massacre in 1992
which claimed 45 lives.

Millions of people have suffered in their shacks and millions have suffered
with work and without work year after year. Some shack dwellers are also
workers and sometimes shack dwellers are too poor to be workers. But we have
all suffered enough at the hands of the police, at the hands of politicians
and at the hands of the rich. It has always been our call that real freedom
and democracy are still a dream for the poor and the working class. All we see
is politicians enriching themselves by stealing public funds that are meant to
better people’s lives. All we see is that the new government keeps on with
many of the worst policies of the old government. All we see is that our
struggles are criminalised and repressed. The progressive middle classes are
struggling to defend the freedom and democracy that they received in 1994. We
are still struggling for freedom and democracy to come.

More than twenty five people have been killed by the police during protests
since 2000. Tebogo Mkhonza in Harrismith, Monica Ngcobo in Umlazi and Andries
Tatane in Ficksburg are just three of the people that have been murdered in
the streets by the police. Activists have been tortured and assassinated. Our
movement, like the Landless People’s Movement and the Unemployed People’s
Movement, has been attacked in the night by armed men representing the ruling
party. For months after our movement was attacked in the Kennedy Road
settlement in Durban in 2009 the homes of our leading members were openly
destroyed every weekend while the police refused to intervene. Last year Nigel
Gumede, the Head of Housing in eThekwini, publicly said that the ANC was at
war with our movement and threatened to kill S’bu Zikode. Senior people in the
ANC have set a clear tone for the rest to follow. Poor people have been
encouraged to attack and kill each other in the name of ethnicity and
nationality. It is time to say enough. It is time to say no more. It is high
time that all progressive forces join hands to curb this carnage. It is high
time that all progressive forces join hands in a struggle for real justice and
real democracy.

We have to recognise that there is a war against the poor in this country. We
did not want this war but it has come to us. Today no one can deny that a war
is being fought against the poor. The red ants and the police are not here to
serve the people. They are here to drive the poor out of the cities, contain
us in the human dumping grounds and repress our struggles. We have to stop
pretending that the politicians are our comrades when they have chosen to make
themselves our enemies. We have to fight the war that has come to us. And we
have to fight it in a way that puts human dignity and the equality of all
people at the start of our struggle and at the heart of our struggle.

We are aware of the dangers of the South African politic when struggling
citizens demand real freedom and democracy. Activists are living under serious
threats all over the country. We are aware of the time bomb that the shack
dwellers in this country are sitting on. We have always warned, from the time
when we first started to organise, that the anger of the poor can go in many
directions. The dangers that we face can come from how people respond to
oppression as well as from oppression itself.

There is more protest in South Africa than in anywhere in the world. But the
government takes no notice of the people. It responds by militarising the
police. It responds by talking about third forces. The local party structures
send out armed men in the night. The government wants to make the anger of the
people criminal and treasonous. It works behind the scenes to support the
armed men that invade our homes and threaten us and our families. We have to
accept that this government does not care about us. We do not count to it. 
When we ask to be heard we are treated as criminals and traitors.

Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape will march to the National
parliament in Cape Town at 3:00 p.m. this afternoon together with comrades
from other organisations. In Durban we will hold conversations with different
structures of our movement and our comrades in other organisations, as well as
the churches, to plan a way forward. Global Peace and Justice Auckland in New 
Zealand will be marching to the South African embassy in Auckland at 1
Kimberly Road at 2pm today. Our comrades in Cape Town and New Zealand march
with our solidarity.

We all have to stand together. A war has come to us and we must fight it in a
way that makes sure that we never turn into our enemies. We must fight this
war in a way that puts humanity against brutality and never in a way that puts
one brutality against another. Once your struggle starts to make you like your
enemies everything is lost. A politic of war has come to us. We have no choice
but to resist. But we must resist with our own politic which is a militant
people’s politic that starts and ends by honouring the dignity of all people.

 

17 August 2012

 (http://www.abahlali.org/node/9032)

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