‘Occupy South Africa’ prepares for Saturday

By Rebecca Davis 11 October 2011

It was only a matter of time before the “Occupy” movement, which began in New York and has spread to other US cities, hit South Africa. The "occupation" is scheduled for Saturday 15 October. By REBECCA DAVIS.

Somebody somewhere has declared Saturday 15 October World Revolution Day and South Africa is not exempt. “Occupy Cape Town” wants to see “20,000 people flood into Cape Town CBD, set up beds, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Cape Town Parliament Gardens”. Durban wants to hit the City Hall, and the Johannesburg faction is heading for Exchange Square. So what’s this all in aid of?

On the Facebook events pages they’ve set up, they write: “Like our brothers and sisters in Wall Street and in Egypt, Greece, Spain and Iceland, we plan to use the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic of mass occupation to restore democracy in South Africa”. The organisers continue to say that the various “Occupy” events fall under the ambit of the umbrella movement of Operation Ubuntu, a “leaderless resistance movement with people of many colours, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%”.

On their website, a forum post by one “Joe Hani” gives more insight into their concerns. He suggests as slogans for posters, “Cities in solidarity with townships” and “We are all Andries Tatane”. “Joe Hani” cautions: “We should remember that the essence of these occupations is a rage against where the capitalist system has brought us”.

In a country where we can all take our pick of which protests we’d like to attend on any given weekend, they may struggle to get the numbers for which they’re hoping. Their website currently has only 52 members signed up. DM

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