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"I'll remember your face, you fucker."

category southern africa | repression / prisoners | press release author Monday February 09, 2009 17:34author by Wits University Student Coalition on Palestine - Wits University, Johannesburg Report this post to the editors

Wits University students harassed by heavily armed SAPS uniformed men.

"I'll remember your face, you fucker" were the parting words of inspector Pretorius as he sped away from a group of more than thirty university students who had been harassed and assaulted by Pretorius and his SAPS uniformed colleagues for at least two hours. Students of Wits University and the University of Johannesburg, carrying paper placards and painted banners, were traveling by bus to a COSATU rally at the South African Zionist Federation where speeches were to be delivered. The COSATU rally formed part of a campaign of nationwide actions in support of the people of Gaza under the banner "Free Palestine, Isolate Apartheid Israel".

Heavily armed, uniformed SAPS men in unmarked BMWs forced the bus to come to a halt on Louis Botha, in Johannesburg, blocks before its destination. Using physical force, shouting in an aggressive and violent manner and intimidating student representatives with guns, they demanded the bus turn back to the university campus. Failure to comply, they insisted, would result in all students being arrested. For two hours students endured unrelenting threats and harassment, assault and offensive language with no response to calls for compromise or explanation. Finally, two officers with shotguns boarded the bus of unarmed tudents, the officers had additional ammunition and a "pistol whose name is Peter" [according to inspector Pretorius] and forced the bus to return to Wits University campus. The SAPS uniformed
men made it clear that they were ready to use their weapons against the group of students. In fact, when a student remarked that the SAPS dressed members will probably 'moer' (severely beat up) the students to teach them a lesson, inspector Martiz, simply nodded his head and grinned in agreement.

Students (including a unity of members from Wits branches of the ANCYL, YCL, SASCO, PSC, YID, Amnesty International and Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front) chanted and sang at the SAPS uniformed men as they were "escorted" back to campus: "This is not 1976!", "We do not want those guns on our campus!" and "Boycott Apartheid Israel". In a symbolic gesture the students retreated to the back of the bus leaving rows of space between them and the shotguns. Upon arrival at the University a demonstration was held on the corner of Yale and Empire roads, which grew over two hours with much support and cheer from peak-hour passer-bys.

Students are disgusted and angered by the brutality of the the SAPS dressed security men. There is no justification for the violent and intimidating threats made against a group of unarmed youth traveling from a university campus to a peaceful rally. This only strengthens the resolve of South African students to remain steadfast in our campaign of solidarity with Palestinians who resist Israeli occupation daily. Furthermore, these tactics of intimidation, obviously influenced and encouraged by the Zionist lobby in SA, will not deter the students. "We are motivated most recently by the SATAWU dock workers who continue to refuse to offload Israeli goods and the growing success of the campaign to 'Free Palestine and Isolate Apartheid Israel'" said Mbuyeiseni Ndlozi, one of the Wits students.

For further Information, contact:
Mbuyiseni Ndlozi 073 133 3012
Natasha Vally 082 660 0723
Muhammed Desai 084 211 9988

author by Warren - ZACFpublication date Tue Feb 10, 2009 13:57Report this post to the editors

I was on the bus that was forcibly pulled over and harassed and intimidated by these police bastards. The metro/city police were informed of the protest (as per regulations), but have been on strike. SAPS (South African Police Service) reservists were then called up and given strict instructions by the Zionist Federation not to allow the bus through! The article is not in any sense an over-exaggeration. We were threatened with physical violence and the only reason we decided not to get arrested together was because we had a few internationals with us who had no visas and we were not prepared to risk them. At the protest itself, we received reports from comrades there that a bus was violently attacked (bricks thrown at) by the pro-Zionist protest there. The police also created a barricade preventing our people from getting back to their cars! A few scuffles broke out, but thankfully no one was injured.

Despite the best attempts of the Zionists and the police fascists under their oppressive, capitalist thumb, our resolve has been strengthened! We, like the many Palestinians under siege, will not be kept silent! We, like the many Israelis and others around the world, will continue to show solidarity with our brothers and sisters suffering under ILLEGAL occupation!

Our actions are symbolic and to some might seem futile, but what we can say is that we are at least doing something! Palestinians, and all others around the world experiencing oppression, you do NOT struggle alone!

IN SOLIDARITY
Warren

Related Link: http://www.zabalaza.net
author by WORLD_GUARDIANpublication date Tue Feb 10, 2009 23:31Report this post to the editors

Yes, It was years ago! The AKT - Transport Workers Union of Finland, under its chairman Risto Kuisma launched the first organized boycott of trade with Apartheid. Imagine - even the popular KAP BRANDY disappeared from the State alcoholic beverage shops!

It was Finland, in the 1980s, and the message spread to the world. Next it sprerad to Sweden, Norway... and the rest is history.

So, thank you people of COSATU and SATAWU!

Together we can change the world - with or without Barack Hussein Obama - YES - WE CAN!

The task of abolishing the Zionist Occupation of the remaining 23% of Palestine is ours. May trade unions accross the world cooperate to make our only earthy a better place for humans.

The time has come to stop Israel's aggression against the Palestinians. As long as Israel
imposes SIEGE on Gaza, and disregards UN resolutions, we should boycott Israeli trade!

Time to act!

 
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