Monday, April 28, 2008

UnFreedom Day

A belated post on South Africa Freedom Day

"...On Sunday it will be Freedom Day again. Once again we will be asked to go into stadiums to be told that we are free. Once again we will not be going to the stadiums. We will, for the third time, be mourning UnFreedom Day. Since the last UnFreedom Day we have been beaten, shot at and arrested on false charges by the police; evicted by the land invasions unit; disconnected from electricity by Municipal Security; forcibly removed to rural human dumping grounds by the Municipalities; banned from marching by the eThekwini City Manager; slandered by all those who want followers not comrades; intimidated by all kinds of people who demand the silence of the poor; threatened by new anti-poor laws; burnt in the fires; sick in the dirt and raped in the dark nights looking for a safe place to go the toilet...

...In our movement we have often said that we are not free because we are forced to live without toilets, electricity, lighting, refuse removal, enough water or proper policing and, therefore, with fires, sickness, violence and rape. We have often said that we are not free because our children are chased out of good schools and because we are being chased out of good areas and therefore away from education, work, clinics, sports fields and libraries. We have often said that we are not free because the politics of the poor is treated like a criminal offence by the Municipalities while real criminals are treated like business partners. We have often said that we are not free because the councillors are treated like the people's masters instead of their servants. We have often said that we are not free because even many of the people who say that they are for the struggles of the poor refuse to accept that we can think for ourselves...

...But freedom is more than all of this. Freedom is a way of living not a list of demands to be met. Delivering houses will do away with the lack of houses but it won't make us free on its own. Freedom is a way of living where everyone is important and where everyone's experience and intelligence counts..."

From PAMBAZUKA NEWS - Full article at link

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