March 21st was declared a day of commemoration to foster a culture of human rights enshrined in our constitution. These very rights are now under threat, as deaths that can be attributed to the police have increased exponentially over the past few years. The brazen killing of striking miners demanding the right to negotiate wages and the failure to prosecute one single office has allowed the police to continue to act in a brutal. The Marikana Support Campaign has joined hands with the United Front, the Right To Know Campaign and many others to transform March 21 into a day of action.
This marks the beginning of a new phase for the support campaign where we join hands with the widest array of forces possible to demand accountability and ultimately justice. Following our belief that justice delayed is justice denied we will use March 21 to demand the report that is to be handed over to President Zuma at the end of this month be published no later than the end of April. During April we will outline what findings the final report of the commission will need to assert if Justice is to be done.
We urge all those who understand that the real culprits of the massacre are those police that ordered the shooting and those that fired upon the miners, the politicans who sanctioned the the use of live ammunition, and last but not least senior Lonmin management to get into campaign mode and support our call to protest on the day. What you decide to do is in your hands, but please do something.
Activity can take many forms. It may simply mean organising a screening of Miners Shot Down. It could be holding a meeting where we invite one or two persons to address the meeting about the role of the police over the past years. Please see the submission to the Farlam commission attached. It could be that you organise a vigil or picket of the police station.
Please see the list of activity, whatever you are doing please inform us so we can do our bit to bring attention to it and put you in touch with people who maybe able to assist. At present we have 25 actions that we know are taking place. We hoping that this can double to 50 over the next days. We plan to send out a comprehensive list of activities by this coming Thursday.
The campaign kicks-off with a picket outside the US consulate in Sandton on Wednesday 18 March to highlight police brutality against Afro-American communities will move through the country; touching major cities like Cape Town and Johannesburg.
The action will also take place in small towns such as Thabong in Welkom; Whittlesea and Peddie in the Eastern Cape. The actions will focus on how ordinary people can reclaim their rights; the issue of police brutality; a demand for justice for Marikana miners; xenophobia as a form of abuse; the rendering of crime and justice institutions such as the Hawks, Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) and National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) dysfunctional; and the growing undermining of the right to privacy and freedom association by intelligence operatives.
The form of action for the week will be varied; ranging from night vigils, human chains around targeted police stations and setting of tombstones for 44 people who have been killed by the police during protests since 2004.