'We cannot breathe in an anti-black world'

2016-07-13 15:31
Kimberly McClure, deputy public affairs officer of US consulate general, accepts memorandum. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

Kimberly McClure, deputy public affairs officer of US consulate general, accepts memorandum. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

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Cape Town – Black people are still in a fragile state after the killing of Ficksburg resident Andries Tatane and 34 mineworkers at Marikana, Black Solidarity Action (BSA) said on Wednesday.

BSA spokesperson Pastor Xola Skosana said they had marched on the US consulate in Steenberg on Wednesday morning after an all-night vigil reflecting on the state of blackness.

The group of about 50 people, who held posters at the main entrance, stood with oppressed black people internationally and noted the violence perpetrated against them.

Around 15 public order police officers held a line in front of the building.

Skosana made mention of the Tatane and Marikana shootings.

"We are very fragile as we stand here right now. We cannot breathe in an anti-black world. We are being killed left, right and centre," he said.

"We want to make it very, very clear. Every black person that dies in America affects all of us."

They held up posters that read "Stop killing blacks", "Black pride", "Black power" and "Bring back my people".

'We are prepared to defend ourselves'

They demanded that the United States withdraw from South Africa until the killing of black people stopped.

Another demand was that the consulate tell the US government to release four people arrested in Detroit for social media comments made over Micah Johnson.

Johnson killed five police officers during a #Blacklivesmatter rally in Dallas last week.

Consulate public affairs official Kimberly Mcclure accepted the group’s memorandum.

She said the issue had quite a bit of significance, both personally and professionally.

"I want to thank you for taking the time to have this conversation with us. We hope that this moment today will be just the first step in our having this conversation here in Cape Town," she said, before returning inside.

Skosana said the consulate had eight days to assure them there would be no more unnecessary killings.

"If that persists, of course it is upon us... we will no longer fall for the dominant narrative of peace and reconciliation," he said.

"We are prepared to defend ourselves by any means necessary if we must do that."

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