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South Africa

South Africa: BDS campaign declare success in Woolsworth boycott

Activists and organisers from the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) Campaign in South Africa have announced an end to the two year long #BoycottWoolworths campaign. The #BoycottWoolworths campaign was launched in August 2014 by a wide cross section of groups, and called for the complete boycott of Woolworths due to its Israeli trade relations. The organisers believe the campaign has achieved several goals, and have announced the end of the blanket boycott of Woolworths to broaden the campaign to now target all Israeli products in any store in South Africa.

Exploitation minière, sexes et militarisme en Afrique

Samantha Hargreaves de WoMin – alliance africaine abordant les sujets des sexes et de l’exploitation minière – parle avec Andrew Dey de WRI sur le lien entre les sexes, l’industrie minière et le militarisme en Afrique, et du travail de ce nouveau réseau pour y faire face.

Expliquez-nous votre travail – qu’est-ce que WoMin, quand cette alliance a-t-elle été formée, et qui fait partie de votre réseau? Quels sont les enjeux critiques sur lesquels vous travaillez?

Samantha: WoMin a été lancée en octobre 2013. Nous travaillons avec environ 50 organisations dans quatorze pays en Afrique du Sud, Afrique Orientale et Afrique Occidentale. La plupart de nos partenaires travaillent sur des problèmes relatifs à la terre, aux ressources naturelles, à l’industrie minière, à la justice écologique et climatique et aux droits des femmes. Notre travail avec les organisations pour les droits des femmes est généralement plus difficile puisqu’elles se focalisent davantage sur les problèmes de sexe « traditionnels » tels que la violence contre les femmes, l’éducation et la santé des femmes et des filles. Seul un faible nombre se concentre sur l’environnement, la terre et d’autres questions de justice économique.

WoMin Southern African women and coal exchange. Photo: Heidi AugestadWoMin Southern African women and coal exchange. Photo: Heidi Augestad

Tear gas by remote control: report

Tear gas by remote controlTear gas by remote controlA new report exploring the development of the use of remote control technology to deliver tear gas and other 'riot control agents' (RCAs) has been released by the Remote Control Project, the Omega Foundation and the Bradford Non-Lethal Weapons Research Project.

Richard's Story

Return to Conscientious Objection: A Practical Companion for Movements

Richard Steele, from South Africa, was imprisoned three times in the 1980s for his anti-apartheid activism. During that decade he was caretaker of Phoenix Settlement, Gandhi’s original ashram outside Durban, then worked for the International Fellowship of Reconciliation, also based in Durban. He was an activist in the End Conscription Campaign anddescribes this experience and his experience as a white man conscientiously objecting to the regime of apartheid.

On the 25th of February 1980 I was sentenced by a military court in Pretoria to 12 months in military prison for refusing to submit to compulsory military service. I was 23 years old, and had just finished a BA degree in Psychology and English, and a postgraduate teaching diploma at the University of Cape Town.

Afrique du Sud : Frontières, Militarisme d’Etat, et Xénophobie

Christopher McMichael

La politique officielle du gouvernement d’Afrique du Sud en ce qui concerne les frontières et l’immigration utilise la langue des Droits de l’Homme et ouvre les frontières de l’époque coloniale en Afrique. Mais la réalité est plus autoritaire et brutale- les migrants économiques et les demandeurs d’asile, en particulier en provenance d’autres pays Africains, font régulièrement l’objet du harcèlement violent de la police, et sont illégalement empêchés d’accéder à des services essentiels tels que des hôpitaux ou sont envoyés dans des maisons d’arrêt. Les représentants officiels de l’Etat sont réputés pour leurs belles paroles sur la sécurité aux frontières et ne cessent de faire des déclarations dramatiques sur les menaces de l’étranger envers la patrie Sud Africaine, des trafiquants internationaux de drogue aux braconniers de rhinocéros.

SOUTH AFRICA: Conscription could return

There are reports that conscription could return to South Africa in 2016 – there has been no conscription in the country since 1994, when the first multi-racial elections took place. According to 'City Press', plans are being finalised for a youth programme that would see young people over the age of 18 sent for military training. According to the website BusinessTech, the ANC-led South African government has claimed that the programme is designed to “combat youth unemployment, instill discipline, patriotism and volunteerism.”

For more information, see News24.com, 'The SA Army wants you(th)', July 2015: http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/The-SA-army-wants-youth-20150725

Businesstech.co.za, 'Army conscription may return to South Africa: report', July 2015, http://businesstech.co.za/news/general/94301/army-conscription-may-return-in-south-africa-report/

Notre police est militarisée et a besoin d’être cadrée

Laura Pollecutt

Pendant les années d’apartheid, les discussions se poursuivaient dans chaque camp et hors du pays, au sujet de la sécurité des institutions d’État et de leur fonctionnement dans une démocratie à venir. Ces débats s’intensifièrent durant les années où l’apartheid agonisait.

The Kwerekwere are stealing our jobs! Instead, stop the wars…

Terry Crawford-Browne

Terry Crawford-Browne is a former international banker who became a peace activist during the 1980s. He lives in Cape Town.

Renewed xenophobic violence in South Africa has appalled the world. The violence is directed at black African refugees, not white beneficiaries of the past apartheid era, yet reminiscent of the apartheid era, the response of a bewildered government is to send the army into affected townships, rather than address the root causes of massive migrations in Africa.

The Guardian newspaper reported in England “with every outbreak of xenophobic violence, the refrain is the same: ‘the kwerekwere (foreigners) are stealing our jobs. Shops are torched. Streets are barricaded... Mobs hound Somalis, Mozambicans, Zimbabweans, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis from their homes and businesses.”i

War profiteer of the month: Providence Equity Partners

Providence Equity Partners is a global private equity firm focused on media, communications, education and information investments. Providence Equity Partners have a history of profiteering from war, including owning the company U.S.Investigation Services, which trained the violent and secretive 'Emergency Response Unit', an Iraqi paramilitary security organisation.

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