Not on June 16, please

2013-06-18 15:09

I’m all for public holidays. Particularly when they are about events as important as those of June 16 1976. It’s proper that there’s time to take a step back and think on those kind of holidays. Go to a rally. Listen to speeches. And then go drinking.

This year Youth Day passed by almost unnoticed in Durban. It may have something to do with the city being far more interested in the Top Gear festival and the filthy lucre it brings in.

The city had already been handed over to Clarkson and associates four or five days before June 16. For the second year in a row they created their own Green Zone around Moses Mabhida like an army of occupation. Forget about moving in the northern side of the city.

Truth is, any speaker would have been drowned out by the roar of engines. And the ringing of the tills. That is, of course, if the could have bused in any punters to listen. Or could get a public venue.

I’ve spent a fair part of my adult life watching people getting stomped by the cops on June 16. And teargassed. And shot. And then had to write about it. I’ve also spent a fair number of June 16s commemorating those folks who had paid the price for the holiday. That’s the way it.

I’m all for the city holding gigs like Top Gear in Durban. They bring in the cash. Even if the city has to pay them millions to come and make even more millions. No sweat.

But not on June 16, please.

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