Saturday, 16th of August 2014 marked two years since the Marikana Massacre. To commemorate the date many events were held across South Africa as well as internationally signifying the continued and growing support for the Marikana Justice Campaign.
The largest event was a commemoration rally held on the 16th at the Marikana Koppie. The rally was attended by over 10 000 people including mine workers, community members, political party representatives, activists, and media. During the course of the day artists performed and a play was put on to commemorate the fallen. Various speakers then addressed the crowds, including representatives of the widows, the injured, and arrested miners . The event was extremely successful and a proved to be a moving testament to all those who fight for justice for the slain Marikana miners that the struggle continues to grow.
Other events included a site inspection of Wonderkop organised by Sikhala Sonke. The Women of Marikana, and widows of the murdered miners spoke to the 200+ attendees. The speakers explained that the quality of life has not improved at all in the settlement. The event showed that 2 years after the massacre nothing had been done to improve living conditions or to make reparations.
In Johannesburg, a picket was organised outside the Johannesburg Central Police Station. Over 100 people attended the picket from various organisations. The picket served as both a commemoration of the 16th and a call to action against police brutality. A smaller picket was held at the Tsakane Police station. A March from the Jabulani Mall to the Jabulani Police Station was held in Soweto. The 150+ attendees handed over a memorandum at the police station. A photograph exhibition, with a book and panel discussion (Justice, Redress and Restitution: Voices of Widows of the Marikana Massacre) was held at the University of Johannesburg with over 80 people in attendance, including students and the UJ deputy vice chancellor.
In Cape Town, the African Arts Institute hosted several activities during the week leading up to the anniversary. These activities included projecting images onto buildings, a performance procession, renaming streets in the Cape Town CBD, street theatre sketches, dressing statues as miners, and banner drops across the city. On the 16th a Vigil was held at the Rondebosch United Church and Sikhala Sonke organised a morning of solidarity where second hand goods and food were collected for distribution to Marikana workers and families.
The “We are all Marikana” protest took place outside parliament on the 15th of August. The protest started at parliament and then moved to the Cape Town Grand Parade where a mass candlelight vigil was held. The protest was supported by several unions, civil societies and NGO’s. A copy of the film was handed to the police station commander who undertook to show it to his colleagues. On the following day 2000 people participated in a “We are all Marikana” march in Phillipi. The march ended with a picket outside the Phillipi police station.
Several screenings of MSD were hosted to mark the anniversary of the massacre. Johannesburg screenings included: Germiston Central Police station, Wits University, The Bioscope Independent Cinema, and Constitution Hill. In Cape Town screenings were held at: University of the Western Cape, University of Stellenbosch, Community House in Salt River, The Labia Cinema, and the University of Cape Town. In Durban screenings were held at the International Plaza arcade, and Live the Venue, where a solidarity benefit concert was also held. In Bloemfontein a screening was hosted at the University of the Free State. Internationally screenings were held in Dortmund, London, Moscow, Vienna, and several screenings in the Philippines The film was also broadcast by a variety of carriers, including: Community TV and Al Jazeera. The free-to-view version of the film gathered over 10,000 views while posted on Youtube.
The number of events, and participants that commemorated the Marikana Massacre show that the movement is growing both locally, but also internationally and that the miners of Marikana will not be forgotten.