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Hand Off Abahlali-they heard us LOUD and Clear

Hand Off Abahlali-they heard us LOUD and Clear

Photo by Dara Kell

To PTH members, ESCR-Net, Poverty Initiative members,NY Anti-Evictions members and NESRI interns, thank you for your support in this afternoon's "Hands Off Abahlali" action. Our action was a huge success and we proved a small group of well organized protesters can send a strong message.

We were a huge success  because;

  • we let it be known from the outset that we were not there to be violent.

Even though NYPD had two separate helicopters flying over the consulate they soon realized it was a waste of resources and time. The unmarked police cars were there for naught. And when we were approached by police in uniform the conversation was cordial.

  • Our messaging was on point. We knew details of the situation and everything from our signs to the flyers being distributed were on point.
  • We didn't get upset when two members of the group were turned away when they attempted to go upstairs and deliver information to the the consulate staff.
Hand Off Abahlali-they heard us LOUD and Clear

Photo by Dara Kell

In the end, South African Consulate General George Monyemangene and another staffer came outside and had a 10 minute conversation with Dara Kell (producer of the /documentary Dear Mandela) and myself. We explained our demands and that we would continue to shine a huge spotlight on what is happening at Cato Crest and how Ababhlali is being treated by the South African authorities. We voiced our displeasure with the killing of a 17 year old girl by the South African Police Serviceand we asked for an immediate cease of all attacks on Ababhlali, it's members, folks in the Cato Crest Settlement and all defenders of the human right to housing.Dara gave all staffers a copy of the film Dear Mandela and offered to come and speak about the film. Finally, we assured the Consulae General that all sign on letters and petitions would be delivered to the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights in Geneva and we would send copies to his office.They thanked us for bringing to their attention promises made to the people of South Africa that are not being fulfilled and our concerns would bought to the attention of all authorities addressed in the letters, petitions and op-ed pieces. Good work everyone and thank you.Stay tuned for photos. interviews and video to be posted soon.

Housing is a Human Right!

Robert Robinson

Take Back the Land-Leadership Committee

and USACAI convener

PO Box 762

New York NY 10272

office: (212) 253-1710 ext 319

mobile: (646) 509-9986




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