Whilst attending a community meeting last night (5 Sept 18) organised by Bishop Lavis Action community (BLAC) as SAFTU we were inspired by these communities in taking up the fight against gangsterism. We heard firsthand the effects that Gangsterism and crime, such as the scourge of drugs,  has on the community.

Community residents relayed the fears that children and parents have regarding the safety of their kids. Children are now being kept indoors and not allowed to play outside any longer for fear of shootings or being kidnapped.

The residents were clear that the state was dismally failing them and lambasted the local DA councillor for not playing any meaningful role in addressing the lack of services in their community. They have in fact challenged the councillor to standby them in their intended protest on 12 September to shut down Bishop Lavis.

The community of Bishop Lavis under the leadership of BLAC have vowed to shut down Bishop Lavis on the 12 September 2018 by peacefully protesting at all the entrances into the area on the day between 5am and 10 am.

As SAFTU we support the call by Bishop Lavis as we recognise the struggle of Bishop Lavis and other working class communities against crime as a struggle of SAFTU as well. Workers belonging to SAFTU are not robots as if that when they clock out at work they go into a box waiting for the next day to start work ( Although the bosses would want to believe this) no they live in these communities and are subjected to these criminal elements and social ills confronting the poor and working class and as such they have an interest in ensuring a safer community for them and their families..

SAFTU calls on all our members in these communities to support the action of the 12 Sept in Bishop lavis and surrounding areas. We also call on the bosses of workers living in these areas to allow the workers to participate in these actions without any reproach.  It is not only in their interest to see to it that workers are able to get to work safely and thereby not disrupt their production process but it is the morally correct thing to do as a boss to show that you do care about the safety of the workers and their families working for you.

For those bosses who put profit before the safety  of workers we will expose and campaign against them. 

As SAFTU we will be mobilising our members and their families to stand side by side with the communities of Bonteheuwell, Bishop Lavis, Kensington and any other working class community in their fight against crime. The community has recognised that this is a fight and the actions of the 12th cannot be a once off event but should be seen as a start of a rolling mass action campaign. They also recognised that the communities should be united and not just individual communities but must link up with all communities confronted with these problems.

We call on the police to show restrain and not to repeat what has happened in Bonteheuwel where peaceful protesters were shot at and tear gassed for protesting against crime. The irony of the matter is that he community was protesting against rampant crime of which part of the problem is the police who in some instances collude with these criminals, are not visible and the lack of adequate police resources in these communities and these are the very issues the community want addressed. The irony was not lost on the community who noted that there were never any police around when gangsters run rampant through the streets shooting indiscriminately. But let the community have a peaceful protests then you have more police than protesters, you have more than enough police resources and you have police firing indiscriminately at the protesters with rubber bullets and teargas. 

The actions of the politicians in this regard has also not gone unnoticed in these incidents such as the actions of the DA Councillor, Angus Mckenzie,  in Bonteheuwel who it is said played an active role in having the police fire on the protesters in Bonteheuwel. 

Forward to the # shutdown against crime, #Take back our communities,  #Workers /community alliance

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