Friday, June 14, 2013

South Africa: Youth in Struggle

From Martin Legassick in South Africa

14 June 2013
Abahlali BaseMjondolo Movement Youth League Press Statement

AbM Youth League: Building Tomorrow's Leaders Today

On June 16 South Africa will be commemorating the youth of 1976 who lost their lives in Soweto struggling for Justice, Freedom and Democracy. Today's youth will be told to obey today's leaders in order that we should show proper respect to those who lost their lives in 1976. But the reality is that what the youth of 1976 struggled for has not been implemented as they have wished.

The beauty of Freedom and Democracy was supposed to be everyone.

Today it is for the rich. Rich people are getting the multi-racial education and the poor still have the third-rate education which back then was known as Bantu Education. Rich people get jobs. They have cars. They have nice houses. They can get married and move on with their lives. They are safe.

This is Freedom to them.

The poor have to survive as we can. We go in circles and not forward.
We live in shacks. We live in shit and fire. We are evicted. We have no safe
and easy transport. The police treat us as criminals. They beat us if we try
to organise. If you are young and poor you are treated as a threat to society
and not as the future of society. Hector Peterson, Chris Hani, Steve Biko and other comrades who died for our Freedom and Democracy did not die for this. We do not respect their sacrifice by accepting that this is Freedom.

For many of the youth it is too painful to face reality. Some people just
enjoy the night clubs and watching movies. For some of the youth night clubs and moves are Freedom. Others are using drugs to cope with the pain of their lives. Some of us have given ourselves the courage to stand together by being together in struggle. With this strength we can see clearly.

The reality is that for us as the youth of the shack dwellers, the youth of
South Africa, the youth who sees beyond the Night Clubs and movies, there is no Democracy and Freedom other than the Democracy and Freedom we create for ourselves in struggle. Freedom and Democracy is not just about voting. It is not about being in nice fancy places. It is about being able to think, and do things for yourself. It is where there is nothing for you without you. It means being able to take responsibility for your own life and your own future. It means building a society in which everyone counts. It means sharing land, wealth and power.

We are the youth of today. We want to continue where Hector Peterson and
others have left from. This is how we should respect their sacrifice Tomorrow is ours so therefore we need to brighten it today. The struggle continues.

As the Abahlali baseMjondolo Youth League we will be having our Annual General Meeting in our Movement Head Quarters on 16 June 1976. This will be the time for the youth to choose its own leaders for another year. On June 17 we will be having our Soccer Tournament.

We are Building Tomorrow's Leaders Today!!!

For more information please contact:

Bangeni Gumede: Abahlali baseMjondolo Youth League (079 977 1723)
Bandile Mdlalose: Abahlali baseMjondolo General Secretary (071 424 2815)
Mazwi Nzimande: Abahlali bseMjondolo Youth League President (031 304 6420)

No House! No Land! No Vote!
Everyone Counts 

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