Occupy South Africa is Coming

Tomorrow.

Oh dear:

The Occupy Wall Street movement seems to have defied many of its early critics, with tens of thousands of people still supporting those camped out at New York’s financial centre and the heart of US capitalism a month after the protests started.

It has since spread to over 70 cities across the globe.

South African “occupations” are planned to begin on October 15, with protests organised for Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, East London and Grahamstown.

The movement has been supported by many high profile activists, such as Naomi Klein and Slavoj Zizek, but has also been criticised for mainly appealling to a privileged few, given the fact that much of the activity was organised and publicised over the internet and through social networking sites.

Like many anti-capitalism and anti-government protests that have gone before, the crowd’s profile has been scrutinised. Are these the people who really should be protesting? And, if not, are those who have a voice allowed to speak for the voiceless?

It is certainly a complex issue, and one that perturbs both those who support such movements as much as it is cited as a problem by those who do not. But it seems that, perhaps because of widespread media coverage of the event, the demographics of the Wall Street crowd, and those participating in similar actions around the world, is changing.

Those expecting the crowd to be made up of bored white kids in faded Rage Against the Machine t-shirts and a library of Michael Moore DVDs would probably be surprised by the diversity (in terms of age, class and race) that is reflected.

And the issues that are being raised are broad enough to affect people from all walks of life — the “99%” the movement claims to represent does not have one face…

Read on here.

A directionless mob if ever I have seen one. For what it’s worth, here is their ‘Mission Statement':

From the 15th of October we want to see people flood into South African cities’ allocated spaces, (see links at top) set up general assembly points, public educational areas, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy the public spaces in front of the allocated focal points – not the buildings themselves. 15 October is only the beginning, the start of the occupation, so to those who say: “It is too short notice!” – let your people know and join in as soon as you can. The date of the 15th was decided worldwide – not locally. We are in Unity with all the people on this planet who has said: “Enough is Enough”. We have just woken up in our masses and realised – Hey – we are being controlled by corruption and greed – something is wrong with this picture. The 1% of people who own and control everything and who are trying to keep the masses enslaved and asleep has to know that we see through their game. We do not have the answers yet – we’ll work on it together to restore a fair and humane society flourishing in freedom. All we definitely agree upon is that something is not right.

As I said, directionless. Soon to fad into oblivion.

 

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About Fr Stephen Smuts

TAC Priest in South Africa.
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2 Responses to Occupy South Africa is Coming

  1. Irenaeus says:

    As long as they follow local laws regarding proper assembly and protest, I see no problem with these protests. They’re displaying their frustrations which is understandable given the state of the world economies. What will become of this? Who knows? If it’s done properly, meaning legally and non-violently, more power to them; they will soon find out if anything like this will serve their goals.

  2. David Cherry says:

    The number one demand of Occupy Wall Street is the re-establishment of the Glass-Steagall principle (as in the U.S. Banking Act of 1933). The Glass-Steagall principle is that commercial banks, which loan money for farms and factories, cannot engage in speculative activities (no trading in securities, no derivatives); and so-called “investment banks” (a euphemism for gambling casinos) cannot also be commercial banks. This law was on the books until 1999. At that time, the speculator’s bubble of paper values was in danger of bursting, and the speculators had to get their hands on the money in commercial banks, so they brought bone-crushing pressure to bear on Congress and President Clinton and got the law thrown out (by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act) in the name of free enterprise. The U.S. and world economy have gone steeply down hill ever since, especially since President Obama decided that his most important duty was to reward the speculators with bailouts that would enable them to continue their death-dealing activities. (Legitimate debts need to be sorted out from debts incurred for speculation. The latter can just be cancelled.) There must be no bailouts! Any social upsurge that understands this much (and, there is much more to be understood) is not likely to fizzle out any time soon.

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