19 April 2015
Johannesburg - The recent xenophobic attacks that have gripped South Africa have shamed the country, and sent shockwaves far beyond our borders. The attacks present a picture of South Africans to the world that suggests we are barbaric, violent and murderous. Representatives from social justice networks, trade unions, NGOs and the corporate sector have met to agree upon an appropriate response to these events, and to show solidarity with foreign nationals targeted in the violence and who remain at risk.
On Thursday, 23 April 2015, thousands are expected to march in Johannesburg in a spirit of unity to show the world that there is another South Africa, which welcomes migrants regardless of economic status or race and appreciates their contribution to our society. This South Africa is non-discriminatory, compassionate, welcoming, respectful of diversity and committed to the advancement of human rights and social justice. The People's March Against Xenophobia invites the media to a press conference where key leaders from the coalition of faith--‐based organisations, trade unions, NGOs and corporate South Africa will speak out against xenophobia alongside people directly affected by the violence. They will rally support for unity among principled South Africans standing in solidarity with the mainly poor foreign nationals, migrants and refugees of colour under siege.
Speakers will include:
• Migrants, refugees, women and young people affected by the violence
• Zwelinzima Vavi
• Pregs Govender, Deputy Chairperson, South African Human Rights Commission (invited)
• Prof Adam Habib, Vice Chancellor, University of the Witswatersrand
• Bishop Paul Verryn
Press Conference details:
When: Monday 20 April 2015
Where: SECTION27, 5th Floor, Braamfontein Centre, 23 Jorissen Street, Braamfontein
For more information please contact:
--‐ Marc Gbaffou, African Diasporan Forum - 083 514 7367 |e: firstname.lastname@example.org
--‐ Ngqabutho Mpofu, SECTION27 - 061 807 6443 |e: email@example.com
--‐ Moira Campbell, Corruption Watch - 083 995 4711 | firstname.lastname@example.org
--‐ Borrie la Grange, Doctors Without Borders/MSF Southern Africa - 083 287 5294 |email@example.com
WHEN: Thursday 23 April at 13:00
WHERE: Meet at Pieter Roos Park(Hillbrow) and march to Mary Fitzgerald Square(Newtown)
STOP XENOPHOBIA. STOP THE KILLING & VIOLENCE. STOP THE LOOTING. START BUILDING COMMUNITIES FREE OF POVERTY! MARCH IN SOLIDARITY AND FOR SURVIVAL.
The attacks against foreigners in KwaZulu Natal, Johannesburg and other parts of our country are shameful. If we close our eyes, or turn away, we bring shame on ourselves. The attacks present South Africans to the world as a barbaric, violent and murderous nation. We are not. Our march will show another South Africa to ourselves and the world. We are the country of Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and all people who gave their lives for freedom. In our freedom struggle we had vital help from our sisters, brothers and comrades throughout Africa and the World. In 1994 we voted for peace, not war. We have the fairest Constitution in the world - that protects ALL who live here.
We link arms with our sisters and brothers from other countries who live with us here in South Africa. We are proud our extended family transcends national borders, languages, cultures and religions - because we need each other, because we are one! We will march to celebrate our solidarity with everyone from other countries living amongst us - particularly the poor, people seeking refuge, and political and economic migrants who have come to our country to try and survive. We will march to show our deep concern and solidarity to all poor communities where chronic unemployment, inadequate housing, rising crime and bad schools have become the norm. We will march to appeal to people who live in poor communities not to resort to violence. Do not to be distracted by blaming people from other countries who are also poor. The poor of the world must unite!
We will march to expose employers who play one group of workers off against another in order to maximize their profit. They are part of the problem right across our Africa. Workers, do not to be fooled: recognize that it is only by uniting workers and communities within and across national borders that a real challenge to poverty, pay and conditions can be fought and won.
International solidarity helped end apartheid. Likewise, we must build unity within and across our national boundaries. Our struggle against all forms of oppression continues. Authorities must listen to our pleas, and improve and protect our communities and respond positively.
We are all human beings. We must be treat one another with respect, and live our lives in dignity. It is time for all good people to come together. We are the majority. We reject division, and it is time for real change! Don't turn away. Don't make excuses. Join us! Come from your school, workplace, union, your church, your university, your business, your community. Take three hours to march for life, dignity and equality. Together, let us show the world and our countrymen and women that another South Africa exists - where solidarity defeats xenophobia!
About the People's March Against Xenophobia
People's March Against Xenophobia is an emergency coalition convened to confront the horrors of xenophobia in South Africa, taking a stand to denounce the violence and embrace unity.
We endorse the message that no--‐one is ‘illegal' and call on all people living in South Africa to unite against unemployment, inadequate housing, rising crime and bad schools, instead of turning against people seeking refuge in the country for political and economic reasons. The coalition includes the Africa Diasporan Forum (ADF), CoRMSA, faith--‐based organisations, social movements such as the Treatment Action Campaign, Equal Education, Right2Know Campaign and Awethu!, trade unions such as FAWU, NUMSA, SACCAWU, SAFPU, SASAWU, CWU, PAWUSA, as well as the organisations; SECTION27, Corruption Watch and Doctors Without Borders.
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