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(en) South Africa, Johannesburg, Anarchist arrested in Motsolodi

Date Mon, 26 Sep 2005 12:39:57 +0300


An anarchist member of the Sowetan Motsoledi Concerned Residents Association was
arrested 2 weeks ago following an open discussion with a local ward councillor.
The member confronted the councillor about lack of amenities and was accused by
other members of the MCRA of being an instigator. He was then arrested on charges
of threatening a councillor. The Association then went on to tell the community
that anarchism was now illegal in South Africa and that anarchists in the
community should be treated as dangerous subversives. The member was released
the following day and all charges were dropped.
Ironically, the same member was one of the founders of the MCRA:
In 2002 an anarchist group calling themselves the Black Action Group, frustrated
by empty promises of housing and services made by the ANC in 1994, opened a
library & free space and started a sustainable food garden as a means of coping
with poverty and educating the community. The project hit set backs from the
start as members of the ANC accused the group of subverting the community and
challenging the authority of the post apartheid government. Anarchists and
activists were threatened and the garden was abandoned. Members continued to
organise by running the library and working together with Zabalaza Anarchist
Communist Federation to establish a community forum.

The MCRA was founded early in 2005 and hit similar setbacks, but by August it
was well established and had a core committee of about 30 activists (about 4
of were anarchists or non authoritarians) from the community with a view to
bringing about real solutions to the township’s problems. However, some members
of the MCRA still insisted that local government, and in particular the ANC, had
a place in Motsoledi while the anarchist members argued that experience has
shown that voting changes nothing and it was up to the community to help itself.

Following the arrest, all anarchist members have left the MCRA and are now
rebuilding the food garden and expanding the library with a view to educating
the community on self sustainability.

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