DEMOCRATIC LEFT FRONT
08 December 2011
Open Letter to eThekwini Mayor and City Manager: Explain use of eThekwini City Resources to Attack Climate Justice Protesters
On Saturday December 3rd, the international day for a climate action march, the 500 strong Democratic Left Front contingent made up of activists from different parts of the country, arrived at the Botha Park Assembly point with its banners demanding: ‘1 Million Climate Jobs Now!' ‘Africa is Burning,Transform the System!' and ‘Listen to the People!'. Our red t-shirts said the same thing. Our activists also prepared their own posters the night before. We had our own marshals and sound system. We were unarmed and intent on acting peacefully.
We were participating in the march to peacefully condemn the ruling elites who are obsessed with profit making market mechanisms as the solution to the climate crisis. Such solutions have not worked, will not work and are taking all of humanity closer to planetary destruction. We were also there to celebrate and amplify the call of other components of the climate justice movements for genuine alternatives like 100% renewable energy,binding and ambitious emission reduction targets, climate jobs, food sovereignty, mass public transport systems, the rights of nature and the indication of climate debt.
On arrival at the assembly point at 9.30amwe were physically attacked by a group of 150 youth. Our posters were torn and our banners were also pulled down. We were also pelted with stones and bottles. In this context we defended and restrained ourselves. The police stood by and watched. (The story of this violence and intimidation was covered in the Mail and Guardian online weekly.)