Report: S26 in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban

Patrick Bond pbond at SPAMwn.apc.org
Sun Oct 1 11:23:43 MDT 2000


Fellow internationalist activists!

Apologies for the late report and crossposting... The first note
below comes from a stalwart activist, Dale Mckinley
(drdalet at wn.apc.org); the second is a compilation of press clips; the
third is the list of Jo'burg events.

Momentum is terrific, with great consciousness-raising having been
achieved. Most of today's SA Sunday newspapers acknowledge the
futility of Trevor Manuel's approach and the inevitability of more
confrontations with activists. And World Bank Bond Boycotts and
Citibank protests (partly in relation to reparations demands for
past lending damage) are now moving to advanced planning stages. Stay
tuned, and join us, if you are in the neighbourhood!

(Anglo American Corporation is the largest corporation in Africa,
and, dating to its mining origins 150 years ago, was the most
systematic abuser of apartheid-era AND post-apartheid race, gender
and class power...)

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
From:          "Dale T. McKinley" <drdalet at sn.apc.org>
Subject:       Re: Write up on events at S-26 demo and Anglo-American
- for your lists
Date:          Sun, 1 Oct 2000 17:29:37 +0200

September 26th demonstrations in Johannesburg -
What really happened and what really counts.

As part of the global September 26th protests against the IMF and
World Bank, activists from numerous South African political, union and
community organisations held a rally and march in Johannesburg. The
rally took place in the heart of Johannesburg from late morning and
the hundreds of participants and observers witnessed a colourful and
lively anti-capitalist 'festival' that included much toyi-toying,
poetry, music and several speeches by activists representing
organisations that included: the Socialist Party of Azania; Campaign
Against Neo-Liberalism in South Africa; Earthlife Africa; Soweto
Electricity Crisis Committee; Keep Left; the Pan Africanist Congress;
the Anti-Privatisation Forum; COSATU and many others from across South
Africa's progressive/left.

After the rally, hundreds began marching through downtown
Johannesburg, accompanied by street puppets, a maze of political
banners and colourful placards decrying the oppression and injustice
of the IMF and World Bank. The demands/rallying call of the
participants was to SHUT DOWN both of these imperialist institutions,
to cancel the apartheid debt and for the SA government to abandon its
GEAR economic policy that is slowly killing the workers and poor of
South Africa and the Southern African region.

The march proceeded to various government buildings in the city
(Departments of Health and Local Government) where particpants did the
famous toyi-toyi and handed over memorandums outlining the demands.
The last stop of the march, which had taken place in a peaceful and
festive manner, was the Head Quarters of SAs largest capitalist
conglomerate - Anglo-American. When partipants attempted to enter the
foyer of the building to deliver the memorandum, Anglo-American
security guards attacked participants with teargas and truncheons. The
attack by the security guards at Anglo-American was of their own doing
and was an offensive action that was completely out of bounds and
created (not surprisingly) a very volatile situation. Most of the
protesters inside at the time were overcome by the teargas and in the
pandemonium that followed one protester was slightly injured and a
glass door smashed. Some of the protesters made it clear to the
security guards that if they continued with their unwarranted and
ofrensive behaviour, they would fight back. After a tense standoff,
Anglo-American management arrived and were duly lambasted by the
protesters who then left peacefully.

It came as no surprise that the national print and visual media
reported widely on the protest the following day, with many reports,
not surprisingly, offering a sensationalised verison of the entire
protest focusing on the 'violent' conflict at Anglo-American.

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
SOME OF THE MAIN PRESS REPORTS ON S26 ACTIONS ACROSS SA:

________________________________________________
Beeld     27/9/00

Violence at Anglo HQ

Thami Nkwanyane

Violent demonstrations against the International Monetary Fund and the
World Bank were held at Anglo American's head office in Johannesburg
on Tuesday. Protesters burst into the foyer of Anglo's head office.
Windows were smashed, and security guards responded by firing pepper
gas to protect the group's employees.

Anglo's management was caught completely off guard and were initially
unaware of what the protest was about. Only later, after the clashes
between the security guards and the protesters did they find out that
the opposition was in fact against the IMF and the World Bank, and not
against Anglo. From the library gardens, the protesters also marched
to the Gauteng departments of health, housing and finance, where
memorandums were handed over to senior officials.

In Cape Town too, a smaller number of protesters raised their
objections against the IMF and the World Bank at the American
consulate. The group of about a hundred protesters - including
members of the Western Cape Jubilee 2000 branch - amidst a strong
police presence, shouted slogans like "Away with the IMF", "World Bank
corrupt" and "Scrap all third-world debt" outside the consulate.

The protest looked as if it might get out of hand when a group of
protesters gathered on the steps in front of the entrance to the
consulate at about 1 o'clock and threatened to enter the building.
About 15 policemen armed with plastic shields intervened to stop them.
For security reasons, the American consulate refused to allow an
official to receive the memorandum outside the building. Jubilee 2000
provincial secretary Phelisa Nkomo read the memorandum to the
protesters before she handed it over to Mrs M B Lenard of the
consulate inside the building.

"We support the hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world
who are making use of this opportunity to protest against the World
Bank and the IMF - of which America is the protector and benefactor.
We say the World Bank means nothing but increasing poverty for us,"
Nkomo said. But Anglo accepted the document from more than 300 members
of the 26 September Collective - an organisation of anti-privatisation
and globalisation organisations.

The Collective, which held a similar march in Durban, called on
Finance Minister Trevor Manuel and the World Bank's Mamphele Ramphele
to break their ties with these organisations. Jubilee 2000's Ibrahim
Rass said it is important for the fight against these organisations to
take place on the local level so that people would be aware of
something that will make them poorer and poorer. Most of the speakers
called for the IMF and the World Bank to be closed down since they
make the rich richer and make the poor struggle.
http://livenews.24.com/News24/Finance/Companies/0,1466,2-8-24_917768,
00.html

________________________________________________
Daily Dispatch    27/9/00

SA groups back Prague protesters

JOHANNESBURG -- Representatives of civic associations, the South
African Municipal Workers' Union and the South African Communist Party
were among 150 protesters sprayed with pepper gas when they tried to
force their way into the offices of Anglo American here to hand over a
memorandum yesterday afternoon.

They were protesting against World Bank and International Monetary
Fund policies which they argue are not benefiting developing
countries.

The joint annual meeting of the IMF and World Bank opened in Prague
yesterday to massive demonstrations at the venue where finance
officials from 182 nations are meeting.

According to SACP spokesperson Claire Ceruti, protesters marched
without incident from Library Gardens just after noon to the
Department of Health where they handed over a memorandum to the
Gauteng district health services chief director, Dr Refik Bismilla.

The memorandum outlined their objection to the World Bank's R1,4
billion health care loan to the South African government.

Protesters then marched to the Local Government Department to hand
over a memorandum rejecting the government's Growth, Employment and
Redistribution policy and the iGoli 2002 restructuring plan, which
they say are influenced by IMF and World Bank policies.

Anglo American spokesperson Anne Dunn said security officials stopped
protesters when they tried to force their way into the foyer of the
offices at about 2.40pm.

Dunn said protesters were sprayed with "pepper fog" after they had
assaulted security staff.

Ceruti admitted that protesters tried to "push their way into the
building" but denied they had been aggressive.

She said a protester received a blow to her head during the scuffle.

An Anglo American executive accepted a memorandum once the group had
dispersed.

"Although members of the media had been briefed to be present during
the protest, Anglo American had no prior knowledge of the planned
action, nor the fact that it would be requested to accept a petition,"
Dunn said.

Ceruti said World Bank and IMF policies encouraged countries to cut
back funding from national government to local government.

"We want government to provide funds for local government through
company tax, as many of them got rich as a result of apartheid."

She said Anglo American was targeted for the protest because like
other multi-nationals such as Coca Cola and Nike, "they are pushing
their priorities on weaker countries". Earthlife Africa and the South
African Students' Congress were among the protesters. Police said they
had no presence at the march as they had not been notified.

* In Cape Town yesterday, about 100 members of the Western Cape
branch of Jubilee 2000 staged a picket outside the American Embassy on
the foreshore, calling for the cancellation of all the debt owed by
developing countries. The protest was part of countrywide
demonstrations against the World Bank and IMF, coinciding with the
meeting of the two institutions in Prague yesterday.

The action was supported by the Congress of South African Trade
Unions and the South African Municipal Workers' Union, as well as
members of the Islamic Unity Convention and other religious
organisations. Cosatu's regional secretary Anthony Dietrich said
yesterday's action would not be the last. "It's just the beginning. We
will be back and we will fill up the streets." -- Sapa
http://www.dispatch.co.za/2000/09/27/southafrica/ABACK.HTM
___________________________________________________

Daily Mail and Guardian    27/9/00

IMF policies spark violent clashes

OWN CORRESPONDENT, AFP and AP, Johannesburg | Wednesday

SECURITY guards at the Johannesburg offices of mining giant Anglo
American sprayed about 150 demonstrators with pepper spray as they
arrived to protest IMF and World Bank policies. Their protest came as
several hundred like-minded demonstrators clashed violently with
police in Prague as the two financial institutions held a general
meeting in the Czech capital. Company representative Anne Dunn said
security guards stopped the protesters when they tried to force their
way into the foyer of the building and sprayed them with pepper spray
after they assaulted security staff. A glass door at the company's
downtown offices was also smashed. Claire Ceruti, spokeswoman for the
South African Communist Party, one of the organisers, said one
protester received a blow to her head during the scuffle. She said
Anglo American was targeted because like other multi-nationals, such
as Coca Cola and Nike, "they are pushing their priorities on weaker
countries". An Anglo American executive later accepted a statement
from the protesters. In Prague, police are on guard outside the
convention centre after demonstrators succeeded in disrupting the
annual meeting. Under coloured banners and in a festive mood, marchers
defied a police ban and set off from downtown Prague for the centre,
1,5km away. The IMF and the Bank have been attacked for imposing harsh
conditions on poor countries that borrow from them, conditions that
force local authorities to divert resources away from health,
education and the environment. Delegates were trapped briefly inside
the centre during the riot. SA Finance minister, Trevor Manuel, who is
chairman of the summit, said it was "a pity that it has descended into
violence" but added it was unclear what the activists were seeking. "I
know what they're against but have no sense of what they're for,"
Manuel said. http://www.mg.co.za/mg/za/business.html#imf
_____________________________________________ Cape Times    27/9/00

Anglo teargasses anti-capitalist protesters

September 26 2000 at 09:55PM

By Eric Ntabazalila

Anti-capitalism protesters in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg were
involved in heated exchanges with police on Tuesday, as they
demonstrated against the meeting of the World Bank and the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) being held in Prague in the Czech
Republic.

Fellow-demonstrators on Tuesday hurled cobblestones torn from
Prague's historic streets and torched police with Molotov cocktails as
they made good on vows to besiege the annual meetings of the World
Bank and IMF.

A march in Johannesburg nearly got out of hand when protesters were
teargassed and a glass door was shattered at the headquarters of Anglo
American Corporation.

The marchers handed memoranda to government representatives at
government offices and then went to the Anglo American headquarters in
Main Street.

'A crowd of aggressive protesters made an unauthorised entry' When the
marchers tried to make their way into the building, they were sprayed
with teargas in the foyer.

A woman suffered minor injuries when she bumped her head against the
wall. The outside of the building was sprayed with graffiti.

Anglo American said: "A crowd of confrontational and aggressive
protesters made an unauthorised and forced entry into the foyer of the
building. The protesters assaulted Anglo American's security
personnel, and to protect its employees and to prevent further access
to the building, pepperfog spray was released inside the building."

The Johannesburg march was one of several worldwide to highlight "the
damage caused by the organisations to the poor".

Speakers condemned the South African government for its adoption of
the Gear (Growth, Employment and Redistribution) economic policy,
saying it enriched a few black elite and led to job losses.

'Africa faces a number of critical challenges' Among the
organisations which took part were the SACP, PAC, Socialist Party of
Azania, Workers' Organisation for Socialist Action and other groups
affiliated to the Anti-Privatisation Forum.

Trevor Manuel, the finance minister, was dismissed as a sell-out by
speakers.

A representative from the Workers' Organisation for Socialist Action
said: "The ANC government has made many promises, but has fulfilled
very few. Inequality and poverty has increased and rural communities
are all but forgotten. In some instances, we are even struggling to
prevent the new state from reversing some of the gains made by the
democratic government under apartheid."

Manuel said Africa faced a number of "critical challenges" as the
continent with the most catching up do in growth and development.

He said projected African growth rates were insufficient to raise per
capita incomes, and its share of world trade and foreign direct
investment were "miniscule".

Growth rates of five percent were required simply to stop the number
of poor in Africa from increasing, he said, and seven percent annual
growth would be needed to achieve the goal of halving severe poverty
by 2015. He contrasted these goals with projected growth for 2000 for
the continent of 3,5 percent.

In Cape Town, a US embassy representative who was expected to receive
a memorandum from Jubilee 2000 protesters outside the embassy angered
the crowd when he refused to come out, saying he feared for his
safety.

The group of about 100 protesters were forced back by police clad in
riot gear.

Anthony Dietrich, Jubilee 2000 Western Cape spokesperson, said the
time had arrived for poor countries to begin to raise their voices and
organised labour should help to strengthen that voice.

Gwebinkundla Qonde, the Western Cape SACP general secretary said
policies formulated and implemented by the IMF and World Bank were
causing unbearable damage to economies of developing countries.

"These damages lead to the impoverishment of millions of people and
have left economies of Third World countries ruined and incapable of
stimulating growth and development in a sustained way," said Qonde.
http://www.iol.co.za/general/newsview.php?click_id=79&art_id=ct200009
2621550 3905J140892&set_id=1
________________________________________________

The Mercury   26/9/00

Municipal union to join privatisation protest

September 25 2000 at 08:40PM

By Venilla Yoganathan

Municipal workers will be among scores of activists expected to take
to the streets of Durban on Tuesday to protest against privatisation
and other "threats of globalisation" as the city's political leaders
meet to finalise plans to corporatise the city's transport authority.

The series of national protests are designed to coincide with
demonstrations this week by the anti-poverty group, Jubilee 2000, in
Prague, where World Bank and International Monetary Fund leaders are
meeting.

The 120 000-strong South African Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu), one
of Cosatu's strongest affiliates, will also join forces with health
workers and community groups at the anti-privatisation summit in
Johannesburg on Wednesday.

In Durban, municipal workers who have threatened to rally against the
ANC in the municipal polls if the government continues with its
privatisation plans, will march from the city hall at noon.

'They are responsible for the worst atrocities' On Wednesday, Jubilee
2000 will stage a march to the Reserve Bank offices in West Street in
support of the Prague demonstrations and call for a cancellation of
third-world debt and the reorganisation of financial and labour
markets worldwide to assist poor countries.

"These institutions are responsible for some of the worst human
atrocities, including privatisation, which puts the very services for
basic survival out of the reach of the poor," said Samwu's national
spokesperson, Roger Ronnie.

The steady build-up against privatisation, certain to be a major
issue in the local government elections later this year, has also
caused division within ANC ranks in the Durban metro council, which
has adopted in principle to privatise the city's transport authority.

Some within the ANC's ranks, including its alliance partner, the
Minority Front (MF), are opposed to privatisation of municipal
services, saying it would lead to greater disparities between rich and
poor.

"We are not a first world country; we cannot have first-world
solutions," said one ANC member.

The MF's Visvin Reddy added that it was not in the interests of the
majority of the metro's residents to opt for privatisation.

Durban Transport, however, was saddled with an accumulated deficit of
R80-million that was expected to increase when the national government
withdrew its transport subsidies.
http://www.iol.co.za/general/newsview.php?click_id=13&art_id=ct200009
2520400 8189P621278&set_id=1

________________________________________________ SAPA    27/9/00

NGO COALITION TO PICKET IN DURBAN ON ECONOMIC ISSUES DURBAN September
26 2000 Sapa The SA National Non-governmental Organisation Coalition,
which is to picket on socio-economic issues in the Durban city centre
on Wednesday, has added its voice to the call for government to treat
people infected by HIV/Aids and come clear about the link between the
HI virus and Aids.

"We note the growing impact of HIV/Aids on the country and failure by
government to provide resources for HIV prevention, treatment and
care," Sangoco president Mercia Andrews said in a statement on
Tuesday.

"We call for immediate provision of affordable treatment for people
living with HIV/Aids; for government to affirm the link between HIV
and Aids; measures to reduce mother-to-child transmissions and
measures to address the immediate and long-term needs of children
orphaned by Aids," Andrews said.

Andrews said that the government's adherence to neo-liberal policies
and structural adjustment programmes - as recommended by the World
Bank -had increased levels of inequality and poverty.

These policies called for an investor-friendly environment in which
the state played a limited role in the economy, she said.

"This has meant cuts in social expenditure, deregulation of labour and
financial markets, trade liberalisation, tight monetary policy and the
privatisation of state assets.

"Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs) have a strong record of not
only failing to eradicate poverty, but most importantly of causing
poverty themselves."

Many countries had been forced to implement these policies as part of
the globalisation of the world economy.

"In the past few years we have witnessed a number of struggles
directed against these institutions... as we meet here in Durban,
thousands are gathering in Prague from September 26 to make the
meeting of the IMF and the World Bank unbearable," said Andrews.

In addition to debt cancellation, restitution and reparations,
Jubilee 2000 had also called for an end to SAPs and the closure of the
IMF and the World Bank.

"It is to those voices that we are adding to reject the anti-poor
policies of fiscal austerity, debt repayment, privatisation, trade
liberalisation, labour market flexibility and deregulation of
financial markets."

Sangoco was calling for improved social service delivery and an end to
cuts in government social spending, which had led to deteriorating
living standards.

This included the need to speed up the process of delivering social
welfare grants to their intended beneficiaries and increasing child
support grants from R100 a child per month to R250.

"The past few years have witnessed a decline in real terms of amounts
allocated for old age pensions, children grants and disability grants
due to fiscal austerity by the government.

"We call for a developmental approach to social security that views
expenditure on these issues as an investment rather than a cost."

Land reform and rural infrastructural development should also be
speeded up, Sangcoco said.

Increasing food prices were also putting more pressure on the poor and
the coalition called for price controls and exemptions of basic
foodstuff from Value Added Tax.

Sangoco said the Job Creation Fund and the Umsobunvu innovation were
emergency interventions and should not be substitutes for job-creating
macro-economic policies.

"We therefore call for an alternative policy framework that puts the
interests of the poor and working people before profit."


------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
REMINDER OF ALL THE MAIN JO'BURG EVENTS LEADING UP TO S26

An Open Invitation to Participate in the
S26 Week of Action Against the World Bank and IMF
Including:

Sat, S23: Anti-privatisation Summit
Sun, S24: World Bank, TNCs, Poor Governance and Corruption
Mon, S25: Soweto Roadshow
Tues, S26: Anti-World Bank and IMF Rally

On September 26, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) will be starting their meeting in Prague. They will not meet in
peace. Hundreds of thousands of people will gather in Prague and in
countries across the world to protest their policies.

The September 26 Collective has organised a week of action in
Johannesburg, including educational and cultural activities,
culminating in a march against the World Bank and IMF on the opening
day of their meeting. The activities are being organised to highlight
the damage these institutions have caused for working people and the
poor in South Africa and throughout the world:

· The World Bank and the IMF made loans to prop up Apartheid
· They have been instrumental in GEAR, pushing wage restraint and cuts
in social spending · World Bank policies have put land, water, housing
and education out of reach of the majority · The World Bank is pushing
privatisation of local government, including Igoli 2002 and 2010 ·
World Bank and IMF structural adjustment has wrecked people's lives
across the world · They refuse to cancel the debt, thereby keeping
countries' economies under their control

KEEP LEFT
The World Bank, IMF, WTO, poverty and AIDS

This public meeting will explore the links between the World Bank and
IMF structural adjustment policies, poverty and HIV/AIDS, as well as
that between the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the unaffordable
price of HIV/AIDS drugs. It will be addressed by LefaTlhame of the
Treatment Action Campaign When: 1.00 pm, Wednesday 20 September Where:
ID Macrone Room, 2nd fl, Student Union Building, Wits University

Earthlife Africa
TNCs and Toxic Waste; the WTO and Food Insecurity

Chris Albertyn, Groundwork, will talk on the Transnational Corporation
(TNC) Thor Chemicals and mercury poisoning. He is passing through
Johannesburg on his way to Prague to take part in the discussions on
the ecological debt the North owes to the South. Richard Worthington
of Earthlife Africa will talk on the WTO, genetic engineering and the
big international seed monopolies depriving small farmers of their
livelihoods. When: 5.00 pm to 6.30 pm, Thursday 21 September Where:
AIDC Offices, 3rd fl Cosatu House, 1 Leyds St, cnr Biccard Street,
Braamfontein


The Anti-Privatisation Forum
Anti-Privatisation Summit

The Anti-privatisation Forum is a coalition of organisations opposed
to privatisation, notably the Igoli 2002 and Wits 2001 plans, and
calls on residents, workers, women, youth and students to come to the
summit to organise against privatisation. The Summit will be addressed
by Roger Ronnie, SAMWU General Secretary. When: 9.00 am till 4.00 pm,
Saturday 23 September Where: Senate House Basement 5 (SHB5), Wits
University

The Campaign Against Neo-liberalism in South Africa
World Bank, TNCs, Poor Governance and Corruption

The World Bank and IMF are trying to blame the wreckage caused by
their policies on the poor governance and corruption of governments in
the South. A closer examination takes us to the home of poor
governance and corruption: the international financial institutions
and transnational corporations. Stiaan van der Merwe, Transparency
South Africa, will open the debate on poor governance and corruption;
Greg Ruiters, politics lecturer at Wits University, will talk to
corruption in the big international monopoly water companies and
George Dor, CANSA, will give an update on World Bank and international
dam company corruption in the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. When:
9.00 am till 5.00 pm, Sunday 24 September Where: 10th fl, Cosatu
House, 1 Leyds St, cnr Biccard Street, Braamfontein

The Soweto Electricity Crisis Committee
Soweto Roadshow Against the World Bank and IMF

The s26 Collective will do a roadshow in Soweto and stop off to meet
with Soweto residents organised by the Soweto Electricity Crisis
Committee at Diepkloof, Orlando East and Pimville. Discussions will
focus on the impact of World Bank and IMF policies on the daily lives
of residents.  When: from 9.00 am, Monday 25 September

The s26 Collective
People's Rally for Global Social Justice

There will be a programme of activities, including music, drama and
poetry, to be followed by a march. Programme of activities: 11.00 -
1.00, Tuesday 26 September Where: Library Gardens, Johannesburg March:
1.15 Where: Library Gardens, past Anglo American, Standard Bank,
Gauteng Department of Finance, to Civic Centre

The S26 collective is composed of people active in SASCO (National,
provincial and Wits), Jubilee 2000 (national and provincial), SADTU,
NEHAWU, Earthlife Africa, Movement for Democratic Change (Zimbabwe),
SACP (National and Jhb Central), SAGDA, Swaziland Solidarity Network,
Campaign Against Neo-liberalism in SA, Treatment Action Campaign, Keep
Left Network, SACHIB, Human Rights Committee, Democratic Socialist
Movement and Wosa Soweto.
Patrick Bond (pbond at wn.apc.org)
home: 51 Somerset Road, Kensington 2094 South Africa
phone:  (2711) 614-8088
work:  University of the Witwatersrand
Graduate School of Public and Development Management
PO Box 601, Wits 2050, South Africa
work email:  bond.p at pdm.wits.ac.za
work phone:  (2711) 717-3917
work fax:  (2711) 484-2729
cellphone:  (27) 83-633-5548





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