Jan. 31 (GIN) – Police this week evicted over a hundred protestors organizing a summit on jobs, housing and land, while highlighting claims of income inequality in South African society.
The “occupiers” had been setting up their summit on the Rondebosch Common in a wealthy suburb of Cape Town.
Under the banner of Communities for Social Change, organizers said they had gone through the application procedures, but were denied permission for the so-called ‘illegal gathering.”
Organizations included Passop, Proudly Manenberg, Gugulethu Anti-Eviction Campaign, the South African NGO Coalition and the South African Council of Churches.
Freedom of Expression Institute’s Na’eem Jeenah, said Cape Town had a history of denying citizens the right to assemble. Writer Christopher McMichael said it was “indicative of police response to the Occupy phenomenon throughout the world.”
Of 41 who were arrested, charges were later dropped except for organizer Mario Wanza who will return to face charges in March. Speaking to supporters, Wanza said: “Our struggle is just, all we wanted to do was to go to public land to make decisions about our future.”