Taking a stand at home

2016-05-03 09:54
Telling the world that they are putting South Africa first near Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Rondebosch were from left, Zarina Richardson with son Uzzi and daughter Amaarah, Glenn Robertson, Geoff Jacobs and Martin Myers.

Telling the world that they are putting South Africa first near Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Rondebosch were from left, Zarina Richardson with son Uzzi and daughter Amaarah, Glenn Robertson, Geoff Jacobs and Martin Myers. (Gary van Dyk)

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Tired of the turmoils of the political situation in South Africa? On Freedom Day last week Wednesday there was a new form of protest on the streets of the Peninsula, and other parts of the country, where you could voice your feelings.

Started on Facebook, the South Africa First Forum called on people to take to the streets if they were unhappy with the state of affairs in government.
Patric Mellet, who is part of the working committee, was excited about the initiative that introduced a new way of protesting.
“It took protest to people’s neighbourhoods instead of the norm of holding protests in the form of marches in city centres,” he says.
“This gives opportunity for much more people to engage in protests over much wider areas and indeed to more easily mobilise people more quickly especially if there is a strong organised command centre.
“It personalises protest and allows for creativity and ownership. It can be replicated across class and colour barriers or rural-urban divides. Most importantly we proved that it works.”

Mellet added that through using electronic communication technology, scenes from the protests in the form of videos and photos instantly were relayed across the country and the world.
“Whereas only a limited audience was reached by marchers in city centres, pickets were witnessed by thousands across the Cape Peninsula who were awakened to see that people just like themselves were vocal and taking a stand.
“The neighbourhood picket approach can now be awakened across South Africa to make bigger and bigger impacts.
“People simply join others in a central place in their own neighbourhoods where there is high visibility and passing traffic.
“We reach as many people if not more than political parties bussing people into large stadiums without incurring the expenses that they do.”

Mellet explained that the forum was started by committed and passionate South Africans who have made big and small contributions in the struggle against apartheid.
“Our objectives remain democracy, non-racialism, non-sexism and freedom,” he explained.
“We are deeply concerned at the direction in which the current leadership of the African National Congress, government and parliament are taking our country. As the working committee we are committed to the ideal of placing our country, constitution and people first.”
On Facebook, Zarina Richardson, who picketed in Rondebosch, says it was so empowering to have a voice and a platform to show that she cared about the situation in the country.
“It is vital for the younger generation to understand and experience firsthand what it means to be defenders of the constitution and being born “free” comes with an awesome responsibility.”
For more information about the forum go to www.facebook.com/groups/1579761445667820/.

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