14 July 2016
Abahlali baseMjondolo press statement
Evictions at gun point continue at the Kennedy Road settlement
We have faced many evictions in the city of Durban since our movement was formed in 2005. Almost all these evictions have been violent, unlawful and criminal.
We have stopped almost all these evictions through organised resistance, mass protest and action in the courts. When the state has attempted to change the law to make it easier for them to evict us we have defeated them in court. In 2009 we won against the “Slums Act” at the Constitutional Court. Last year we also won against the “blanket order” sought by the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Human Settlements. The “blanket order” was intended to authorise mass evictions and to prevent the occupation of at least 1 568 properties in KwaZulu-Natal. Continue reading
by Herman Wasserman, Tanja Bosch & Wallace Chuma, The Conversation
Poor communities in South Africa feel that their voices are not heard and their issues not taken seriously by the media.
This is clear in the findings of an international research project on the role of media in conflicts arising from transitions from authoritarian rule to democratic government. It focused on four countries – South Africa, Egypt, Kenya and Serbia.
The study shows that in all four countries, citizenship conflicts are frequently reduced to judicial factors. The media’s approach to conflicts is to look at them from the perspective of rights rather than cultural factors.
In South Africa, rather than wilful distortion or neglect on the part of journalists, the findings expose systemic problems underpinning news agendas and coverage. Continue reading
by Anna Selmeczi, Foucault Studies
Intrigued by the so-called “rebellion of the poor,” this paper traces back the current South African concern with popular protest to its reconfiguration during the last years of the apartheid order. Focusing on the discourse around grassroots resistance in the mid- to late-1980s, I begin by showing how, in juxtaposition to an ideal notion of civil society, popular mobilization had been largely delegitimized and the emancipatory politics of ungovernability recast as antidemocratic by the first few years of the post-apartheid regime. In deploying particular notions of violence and culture, this discursive shift, I suggest, fed into reconstructing the ungovernable subject as the racial other of the new South Africa’s citizenry. The second part of the paper mobilizes Foucault’s genealogy of liberalism to draw parallels between this process and the liberal effort to resolve the potentially conflicting principles of governing the economic subject and the subject of rights within the realm of civil society. Finally, via the postcolonial critique of liberal notions of civility and their rootedness in racial thinking, I suggest that civil society secures the governability of the population through rendering the potentially disruptive freedom of the people as the excess freedom of the racialized other.
Tuesday, 03 November 2015
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement
The Struggle Continues: A Road Blockade, Two Comrades Shot
The struggle continues after our successful celebration of our ten year anniversary at the Curries Fountain stadium.
Road Blockade in Sisonke Village
Yesterday the Sisonke Village Abahlali branch (Lamontville) took to the street and blockaded the road after a long wait for a ward councillor to respond to their demand. The community of Sisonke have been in the area for fives years without water, electricity and toilets. Instead they have faced constant illegal and violent evictions. The local leadership of AbM have tried to have meetings with the ward councillor and wrote letters to her but she never responded. Continue reading