PADKOS NO 63
Yesterday and last night, tensions were at fever pitch in many parts of Pietermaritzburg, the South African town where the Church Land Programme has its office. The tension results from a chilling upsurge in hatred, threats, and looting directed against people who live here but who come from other countries of the global South and the African continent. Our city is not alone in this and the scourge of xenophobia is effectively, a national one. (For a thoughtful reflection on the national picture, check out this fairly recent feature from Al Jazeera.) In this serving of Padkos, we share two brief pieces from the last couple of days that we have been particularly closely involved with:
- first is a piece from Bishop Rubin Phillip that appeared in The Post Newspaper this week;
- second is a statement from an emergency meeting of concerned people, including a number of us from CLP, late last night.
Also attached are posters so that you can start printing them and getting them wherever you are.
Suggested “instructions” are pretty straightforward:
* print out multiple copies on yellow sheets of A3 or A4 paper or card
* get them up and visible wherever you are
* ideally take photos once they’re up and share those too
* PACSA and CLP could be places where people who can’t print their own can come and get copies. Posters are available at CLP.
We are asking people to use yellow fabric or yellow ribbons to express their rejection of xenophobia in Pietermaritzburg. This is part of a campaign to show that the majority of people in this city are appalled by the current threats and violence against foreign nationals living in our city. As the Freedom Charter says: South Africa belongs to all who live in it.
The colour yellow is associated with friendship, happiness and hope; which is what we wish for our city.