The Great EFF Mass Protest March

2015-10-27 15:56

We have seen the jihad launched by university students across the country last week. And today, this Tuesday, with EFF mass protest action across Gauteng we witnessed something that is even staggering in terms of sheer appeal, high level organizing that made the mass protest march very peaceful.

The City of Johannesburg was swimming under the blockbuster red sea of EFF juggernaut supernova protest march. The protest march in terms of its reach, depth, creativity and scope was unprecedented. The atmosphere was livid.

It was a 16 kilometres long walk of raw passion.

One lady who participated in the march expressed her personal exuberance as follows:

"I was just out there in the red sea of thousands and thousands of people, holding hands with strangers. What a sensation I felt! I felt like I belonged. I was so excited – so inspired. A young guy whispered in my ears "this is history, this is history". I smiled and wiped my face with a comfort cloth. I just wanted to become part of something beautiful".

EFF is an explosive big tent protest movement that has surely energised people on the grassroots. It encapsulates the raw passions of grassroots communities from all age groups but on the main it is powered by youthful energy and dynamism. Members and supporters are passionate, emotive in their participation. But there are not from Mars - these are simple ordinary folks, Jabulani, Sipho, Themba, Mpho, Tebogo, embracing a cause that they believe in.

There has been a false theory that has clouded our view and the surging of the EFF. We base the premise of our analysis of the EFF on the charisma of Julius Malema as the leader. But it seems every person involved with EFF brings some spark of charisma. The charisma seems to be evenly spread across the members and the supporters.  And when they gather there is a national sensation.

The movement has no baggage and no cronyism. That makes it exciting for every person to participate freely.  Passion and exuberance defines participations. Within those passions are aspirations and hopes.

The grand meeting place for the EFF protest march was central Johannesburg - the Mary Fitzgerald Square , the cosmopolitan cultural mecca of South Africa.   The Square is thus named  after Mary Fitzgerald. A woman considered to be the first trade unionist in the country.

Just a brief overview bio of Mary Fitzgerald so as to contextualise the great EFF march. In 1912 and 1913 with a burst of enthusiasm Mary Fitzgerald led arguably the first major protest march in South Africa - leading the miners in front.

With the miners increasingly organised through her efforts there was a need for a communication. Mary Fitzgerald  founded and edited the radical publication known as The Voice of Labour. She used  the publication as a vehicle for confronting capitalism as expressed through financial institutions.

Mary Fitzgerald further organised burial societies for the Black miners who were dying in large numbers due to poor working conditions underground. The workers were working under appalling conditions, with mine accidents and deaths ever accumulating.

The EFF mass protest march included in its key demands freed education from crèche to university. That is the currency of the time that has caught the national conversation since last week.

Early in the morning people across Gauteng, from townships such as Soshanguve, Mamelodi, Soweto and so on started self organising - sporadic small groups coalescing on street corners waiting for the transport that they organised and paid from their pockets. This notwithstanding that majority are poor and live in conditions that should not exist in the 21st century.

By about time going to noon tens of thousands of people were on the move, flooding the streets in central Johannesburg- self organising themselves.

Today some people tend to consider mass marches, sit-ins, demonstrations as scary, unruly and out of fashion, so mass protests on the scale of EFF should be denounced.  I invite those who suffer this fixation to realise that genuine change is made from bottom up – people feeling the pain expressing it in its raw form.

We can consider what was achieved last week by #FeesMustFall movement. If there was no such protest march to Parliament and the Union Buildings students could not have forced the hands of the authorities for 0% increase in university fees in 2016. Through sheer swarm intelligence the students outfought and outbeat the authorities and emerged victorious.

Who can forget what happened in Cape Town? The swarm intelligence that went into the conception, planning and execution and ultimate storming of Parliament; the thoughtful, meticulous reading of the police movements by students and then launching a push: outsmarting, outflanking the armoured police and soon within a few minutes they were knocking on the doors of the National Assembly. It was a victory for them.

Today’s bad economic conditions (with the growing ranks of the poor) are undermining the very idea of progress and prosperity.

A sense of history demands us moving away from being fiction makers and start addressing in a sober - sobering practical reality, the worsening conditions of people on the ground - the masses are steeped in grim lives, trapped by poverty and depression.

As a nation we tend to equate countless promises with achievement. After piles of promises made we go into a spree of premature celebration, as if just by making those promises achievement is made. And that is where we are with  persistent waves of uprisings, at the ward level, community level, and national level.

A country, like a person, cannot leave on luck perpetually. Luck and chance can only carry a person or a nation so far. As of now we have exhausted our stock of luck.

News24 Voices Terms & Conditions.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

AB praises selfless skipper

2010-11-21 18:15

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Cluster Financial Manager

Cape Town
Network Finance
R950 000.00 - R1 000 000.00 Per Year

Reporting Accountant

Cape Town
Network Finance Professional / Prudential
R310 000.00 - R360 000.00 Per Year

IT Manager (contract)

Cape Town CBD
Communicate Cape Town IT
R330 000.00 - R458 000.00 Per Year

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.