Monday, August 20, 2012

Striking & grieving miners ordered back to work

People around the world are horrified & rendered speechless by the massacre of 34 South African miners last Thursday. Eighty-seven other miners were injured & their families not informed how severely or if they were dead or arrested. Imagine how the community must be reeling from this barbarism & from grief! South African President Jacob Zuma declared a week of mourning but what the hell good is that when Lonmin mine owners ordered the 3,000 surviving strikers back to work today under threat of dismissal!? Why didn’t the government move in troops to force Lonmin to back down? But it only gets worse from there, exposing even more the governments utter depravity as thugs for multinational corporate predators. Court proceedings began today for 259 miners arrested on charges of murder, attempted murder, & assault. Under neoliberal predation, there’s no time for grief & no delay in scapegoating the victims of violence. Though the media still can’t get the facts of the story straight (today Reuters reported one of the ten people killed prior to the police massacre was a union shop steward who was “hacked to death”), they do have the propaganda against the miners all lined up & they’ll repeat it til the cows come home & everybody thinks it’s fact. It’s all about miners “armed with spears, machetes & handguns” & the battle between the unions, & “memories of apartheid-era violence”. Let’s cut the crap! The machete & hacking thing is to evoke white supremacist garbage about African “savages”, the unions (although extremely culpable in this massacre) do not run the cops, & this isn’t about apartheid violence--it’s about neoliberal violence that treats working people like chattel. “You work so very hard for very little pay. It is almost like death,” said one striking miner. The great strength of South African working people is that they fought a long, relentless battle against apartheid; they have experience in struggle & may not be the people to mess with. This may be where neoliberalism in Africa meets its Waterloo. We need to find ways to support our brothers & sisters in the gulag of South African mining & those now being prosecuted for crimes committed by Lonmin & the South African government. (Photo of protesting family members by AFP/Getty Images)

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