250 arrests at Jo'burg.

Matthew X profrv at nex.net.au
Sat May 15 05:39:59 PDT 1999

Two Hundred Fifty Arrests Welcome WSSD

On Wednesday, August 21, over 4000 people with the Landless Peoples 
Movement (LPM) and National Land Committee marched peacefully to the office 
of the premier of Gauteng province. The marchers wanted Gauteng Premier 
Mbhazima Shilowa to sign a memorandum of commitment to stop forced removals 
in Thembelihle, and to end the brutal campaign of terror being waged by the 
notorious "Red Ants" security company and the police against poor and 
landless people in the province.
More than 100 landless people and land activists were arrested around 6 
p.m. in the first signs of the South African government's crackdown on the 
fundamental Constitutional right to freedom of assembly in order to prevent 
protests and demonstrations during the WSSD. Among the arrested was NLC 
coordinator Andile Mngxitama [ audio | video ]. More were arrested on 
August 22 outside the jail while protesting in solidarity, including LPM 
media liason and SA IMC member Ann Eveleth who was subsequently ordered 
deported. Anyone found wearing an LPM T-shirt outside the prison was 
summarily arrested.
On Friday, August 23, 77 of those arrested were released. One of those 
arrested, who was two months pregnant, had a miscarriage on Thursday 
evening after her jailers ignored repeated calls for assistance. This 
crackdown began in earnest on August 17 when veterans of the anti-apartheid 
struggle were arrested in Cape Town boarding a train to Joburg. According 
to Mngxitama, "the agenda of Sandton is the agenda of the multinational 
corporations, that land must be sold as a commodity, that water and energy 
must be privatized. They have been losing legitimacy, and now they are 
trying to get new legitimacy through the United Nations. We are saying no 
to Nepad, no to the World Bank, no to market-led land reform."
More information about the WSSD can be found at a Special Edition Report 
(pdf) by Africawoman, in previous coverage of the WSSD [ August 24 | August 
23 | August 19 | August 1 | July 25 ], and in italiano [ W$$D: la 
privatizzazione dello sviluppo sostenibile | Movimenti soziali | Rio + 10 = 
- risore + capitale ].

[ South Africa IMC | National Land Committee | Landless Peoples' Movement ]

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