Do Unto Others focuses on the Middle East, (nonviolent) social movements, and how I make sense of my place in the world. I'm currently based in Cairo, Egypt doing peacebuilding and community development.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Must-read on Lonmin massacre

I had the opportunity to visit Marikana, two hours outside of Johannesburg, approximately one week after the massacre of 34 miners at the hands of South African police. I've written a bit about the visit for organizational purpose and unfortunately my ability to provide new thoughts or analysis is worn a bit thin.

But before I offer anything (which I'll do in a later post), I find it vital to read one piece. Daily Maverick reporter, Greg Marinovich, spent two weeks in Marikana, trying to figure out how 34 miners were killed. Information gleaned from eyewitness testimony and from good ol' PI work led him to believe that approximately 12 people were killed when they moved towards police (however, according to many accounts they were running away from tear gas and rubber bullets fired from behind them), and somewhere around 14, or more, miners were killed in cold blood by police. They were targeted and summarily executed; murdered as revenge for police officers slain several days before. Marinovich's piece should make its way around blogospheres and twitter feeds, and should inform reporting by international media. If it interests you, Marinovich wrote a follow-up piece after again visiting Marikana and gathering more information.

Secondly, there was a statement released by a number of civil society organizations, including Centre for the Study of Reconciliation, where I am working, that addresses a number of the issues surrounding this incident and the government's response. An excerpt:

We stand for the interests of the poor and marginalised and believe our Constitution’s greatest strength is its promise of equality and the advancement of the political, social and economic rights of the poor.

The Marikana massacre is a defining moment in our history and cannot be allowed to pass without establishing the full truth, ensuring justice and providing redress for the victims and their families.


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