‘Thanks for your solidarity’, say released South Africans
We live in Thembelihle, a squatter camp near Soweto. On Thursday 26 February there was a protest about housing and basic services.
Many people in South Africa are tired of waiting and there are a lot of protests.
The police shot at us and 34 were arrested. We were charged with public violence.
The magistrate granted us bail of 1,000 rand each after five days.
We are poor, many of us do not have jobs or an income. Some of us have young children. Six of us are minors.
We would like to thank socialist comrades in Britain who sent money to show solidarity.
Now we have to fight this case and continue our struggle.
Nditsheni Mokhuhulo, Nhlanhla Ntombela, Kabelo Nzuza, Karel Mere, Glen Mhlanga, Farouk Medisone, Emmanuel Sibanda, Nhlakanipho Lukhele, Katey Shabanu, Mothelo Innocent, Mateo Sithole, Leonard Phathi, Senzo Lerotholi, Gift Kokoeng, Boitumelo Leshabane, Nomsa Priscilla Morapeni, Bafana Khumalo, Refiloe Mangau, Molatalane Mobama, Simpehi Grace Thulale, Nandipha Doyana, Mphonyana Ntlateng, Lindiwe Dube, Boipelo Konyane, Phumlani Msengana, Patrick Mabuza, Nomsa Mokoena, Priscilla Nomsa Morapeni, Tebogo Maruping, Daniel Mokone, Pitso Tladi, Xolani Majola, South Africa
Comrades in the Socialist Workers Party raised £700 within 24 hours towards the bail to get protesters arrested in South Africa out of jail.
On 21 March our comrades in South Africa will be holding a day of national action against police brutaity on the anniversary of the Sharpeville Massacre in 1960 when police killed 69 protesters.
This is the same day we will be joining Stand Up to Racism protests in Britain.
The bailed protesters face charges of public violence that could lead to ten years in prison.
They urgently need money to fight these charges and to continue their struggle against state violence and for jobs, houses and services.
We show solidarity in whatever way we can. Get your trade union branch to make a donation if possible or donate any money you can.
Bridget Parsons, Birmingham
Support this policy
I find it surprising that the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) does not include support for a “citizen’s income” as one of its policies.
“Citizen’s income” is “an unconditional, automatic and non?withdrawable payment to each individual as a right of citizenship”. It has been adopted by the Green Party, as well as by Syriza in Greece, Podemos in Spain and the Cosatu union in South Africa.
The left should embrace the policy. It is not a panacea, but it will help transform the lives of ordinary people for the better.
Fight canal evictions
Canal & River Trust (CRT) is planning to bring in a new policy for boaters without a home mooring on 1 May. This would see them refusing to re-license all boats that don’t move “far enough or often enough”. They haven’t stated how far is far enough.
CRT’s policy is effectively proposing to evict thousands of live-aboard boaters without home moorings from its waterways.
Last week about 100 boaters joined a National Bargee Travellers Association legal meeting in London. Many seemed ready to fight for their homes.
Marcus Trower, Deputy Chair, National Bargee Travellers Association
Sign the petition online at: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/boats-are-homes-prevent-the-eviction-of-boat-dwellers
Causes of child abuse lie within capitalism
Media coverage of child sexual abuse such as the Jimmy Savile atrocities and various recent “paedophile rings” has been insufficient.
Of course, it’s horrible that children have been abused. And it’s shocking that authorities covered up the abuse.
In a capitalist world where we are objectified and turned into mechanised units of labour, people can become estranged from their humanity and unable to see sexual partners as human beings. And people can become locked into sexual feelings by an early sexual experience.
If someone was abused when they were young and helpless, they can grow up to be turned on by young helpless partners.
Solving the problem means protecting children, as well as understanding where abuse comes from.
Susie Helme, North London
Palestine solidarity at Glasgow Uni
The Israeli ambassador to Britain Daniel Taub spoke at Glasgow University on Monday of last week.
Students were only told there was a “high profile” speaker and that we had to register in advance.
A protest was organised when students found out who it was. I tried to attend the meeting, but even though I had registered, people on the door said my name was not in the list.
I study human rights at the university and I am shocked that it invited such a person in such secrecy.
People are dying in Palestine on a daily basis. This is against human rights.
Solidarity with Palestine!
Pinar Aksu, Glasgow University
Labour is finished here
I went to Labour-controlled Barnsley Council’s budget meeting and saw every single councillor vote for cuts.
They voted to raise the council tax by
1.9 percent. This will hit the poorest people in our community.
They also voted for all the children’s centres to be closed, and all the mental health resources.
Labour is finished in our town.
Julie Ingram, Barnsley
Anglers need tidal lagoons
Anglers have expressed concerns about the new tidal lagoon power plants. They are worried about fish migration.
I’m a passionate angler myself and I don’t see these lagoons as a problem.
If we don’t adopt renewable energy technology like these lagoons in the near future we may not have much of a planet left, let alone migratory fish.
Gary Maclachlan, Greenock
Miners could have won
Last week marked 30 years since the end of the Miners’ Strike. I was active throughout the strike as a Socialist Workers Party member.
The strike started full of confidence in the power of the union.
But the TUC failed to support the strike.
We could have won if we had any support from them and the unions around the country. But support action was restricted to organisations such as ourselves.
Neil Constant, Plymouth
Domestic abuse help
I have created an easy to digest guide on the legal protection available for anybody experiencing domestic abuse.
I thought that it might be something you would be interested reading. It is at lakerlegal.co.uk/infographic/legal-protection-from-domestic-violence
Lilly Watson, London