At 2:00 p.m. today the Unemployed People's Movement will hold 'The Trial of the Politicians' at the occupied people's space in Ward 88, Umlazi.
The Umlazi Occupation is ongoing and the ruling party has made a number of significant concessions with regard to councillor and the ward committee. Negotiations have also been opened on various issues relating to housing and other urgent matters.
We are very aware that these concessions have been forced by sustained and committed struggle from below and from the left in the face of repression and intimidation. It is now necessary to take the struggle to the next level. Defeating the councillor and the ward committee was a good start. Forcing the most senior politicians in the city to take us seriously was a good start. We have started to taste victory. We have built our confidence and our struggle skills. Strong connections have been between comrades in Umlazi and in other parts of the city like Wentworth and Siyanda. Now we need to move up to the next level. We need to remain organised, to strengthen our connections with other struggling communities and to develop our analysis of the system that we are confronting as we move forward to the next level of struggle. We need clarity about the causes of the problems that we face and about how we can build the power of the poor to make real changes from below. This will require constant discussions amongst ourselves as we move forward. Today we will hold 'The Trial of the to Politicians 'to give us such an opportunity for collective discussion and reflection.
The politicians say that they are working for the people and that we must trust them. But what we all see is that, starting at the very top and continuing to the very bottom, they are using the state to enrich themselves and their families and not as a tool to transform society. We see that millions of people are without work, without land, without housing and without access to decent education. We see that things are getting worse and not better. We see that there is a massive rebellion of the poor across the country and that where every people organise they face repression by the police and party members. This is also getting worse and not better. When we look at the politicians we see a predatory elite eating the wealth of society and repressing the people but always doing all this in the name of the people.
This will be a people's court. We will closely examine the evidence against the politicians on the basis of our own experiences of this society and then the people will be asked to pass judgment on the politicians. The politicians are always passing judgment on the people and tomorrow the tables will be turned. There will be no holy cows. It will be an open and honest discussion.