Tag: march

Activists march at ‘elitist’ World Economic Forum in Durban – Business Day

Activists march at ‘elitist’ World Economic Forum in Durban – Business Day

by NCE MKHIZE – Business Day

On Wednesday, scores of activists marched through Durban to protest against the “elitist” World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa, as well as corruption in SA and on the continent.

Under the banner of the People’s Economic Forum, marchers demanded their voices be heard as the forum kicked off with a discussion about finding solutions to the challenge of inclusive growth.

There was a heavy police presence during the march to Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre where delegates, including African heads of states, government officials and captains of industry are converging for the three-day forum.

Marchers sang freedom songs and carried placards decrying the effects of corruption, the looting of African resources, as well as rising poverty, the lack of water and sanitation, and decent housing.

They also denounced preliminary nuclear energy agreements reportedly signed between SA and Russia, but which were set aside by the Western Cape High Court earlier this month, citing a lack of public participation.

Desmond de Sa, a prominent Durban environmental campaigner, said they decided to take their march to the WEF on Africa as they wanted those discussing the future of the continent to take the issues affecting the poor into consideration. He said that the conference was nothing but an elitist gathering aimed at helping the rich to make money at the expense of the poor and marginalised.

“We are marching today to tell the leaders that they cannot take decisions about us without consulting us. We are saying that all these big projects that they are discussing must benefit the poor. At the moment, all the big projects are benefiting the few,” De Sa said.

Sbongiseni Mhlongo, an activist from Inanda, said they wanted to show the leaders that their job is not to enrich themselves and their families but that they are elected to serve the poor: “We want to tell presidents like [President Jacob] Zuma they cannot continue like everything is normal. Our people are poor, our people are unemployed and very soon they will revolt against them. There is a crisis out there and they need to act and act urgently.

Ben Thomas, an activist from Uganda, said: “It is a pity that we are not invited to attend WEF on Africa and influence the policies that affect our everyday lives. Africa is poor because its people are not consulted. Big business [is] benefiting and profiting because our leaders are colluding with them. They are profiting from our resources because we don’t take a stand.”

by NCE MKHIZE – Business Day

Protest ahead of World Economic Forum opening in Durban – City Press Article

Protest ahead of World Economic Forum opening in Durban – City Press Article

Paddy Harper for the City Press

A small but enthusiastic group of protesters has marched through the centre of Durban ahead of the official opening later today of the World Economic Forum on Africa 2017 by President Jacob Zuma.

Several hundred marchers, led by a wide range of community and environmental organisations, had earlier participated in the People’s Economic Forum taking place at the Durban University of Technology involving civil society organisation opposing the holding of the gathering in the city.

The WEF meets in Davos, Switzerland, each January and later in one of the main regions and this year brings together about 2 000 delegates from governments and multinational corporations, for the Durban meeting.

Protesters, among them members of the Association for Rural Advancement and the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA), carried banners and placards calling for a more equitable international economic order.

They sang struggle songs and chanted anti-capitalist slogans while gathering in small numbers at the City Hall before making their way past the US Consulate to the International Convention Centre, where the WEF meeting is taking place.

Addressing the marches, SDCEA chairperson Desmond D’Sa said that international capital, led by US President Donald Trump, was responsible for the ordinary residents of Durban and other cities around the world being excluded from the economy and being denied the right to land and jobs.

“In our communities we are being denied our rights to live in a clean environment. We know that the multinationals are polluting our communities and destroying the areas we live in.

“Here in the ICC we have the leaders of the US, some of the worst polluters on the planet,’’ said D’Sa.

D’Sa said that civil society needed to “watch out” for the deals being concluded at the WEF which were aimed at enriching multinational corporations and oppressing working people by making the basic commodities, like food and accommodation, unaffordable.

“We need to unite and stop these people from denying us our rights,” D’Sa said.

D’Sa said the people of South African had overthrown the system created by the National Party to oppress black people and now needed to fight against the legay of Donald Trump, “a racist who hates anybody who is not white.”.

Paddy Harper for the City Press

WEFAfrica17: ‘Delegates not welcome’

WEFAfrica17: ‘Delegates not welcome’

Arthi Gopi – African Independent

Durban – Durban civil society groups have called for WEF Africa delegates to leave the city – saying they were not welcome.

Hundreds of residents from across Durban, calling themselves the People’s Economic Forum (PEF), gathered at the space known as “Speakers Corner” adjacent to the Durban ICC to present a memorandum to WEF organisers.

Local community activist, Desmond D’Sa, of the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance, one of the organisers of the forum, said it was time for people to stand up.

“The WEF is clearly on an arc of human and ecological destruction. No dressing up of the WEF Africa with a civil society co-chair can disguise the roles of other delegates who are contributing to climate change in Africa,” he said.

He called for “people over profit”.

He said companies found to be corrupt must pay compensation for their destructive presence on the planet. A heavy police presence secured the site.

A representative from finance minister Malusi Gigaba’s office, Monale Ratsoma accepted the memorandum and said he would make sure the WEF and South Africa delegates would it.

Media Release: People’s Economic Forum March on the World Economic Forum, WEDNESDAY 3 MAY, 9 AM

Media Release: People’s Economic Forum March on the World Economic Forum, WEDNESDAY 3 MAY, 9 AM

 

On 3 May at 09h00 there will be a People’s Economic Forum march from Durban City Hall to the US Consulate and then to the International Convention Centre where 2000 selected business and business economic elites will be meeting for the World Economic Forum on Africa to shape policies, negotiate trade deals and make investment decisions that benefit themselves at the expense of all us.

With South Africa amongst the most unequal countries in the world, due to overwhelming power by rich elites and multinational corporations, we must support a genuine Radical Economic Transformation which rejects corporate-centric mega-projects, pro-rich economic policies and anti-environmental deals such as-

* the 2010 World Cup which still drains tens of millions of Durban ratepayers money every year that should be used for water and sanitation systems, schools, hospitals, education, housing, roads, electricity, environmental investments and public space;

* the secret nuclear energy agreements that the Zuma regime illegally signed with Russian, US and Korean salesmen;

* the Medupi and Kusile power-plants, funded by the World Bank, which are the world’s largest coal-fired generators now under construction, thus contributing to climate change, as well as being cesspools of corruption and local ecological devastation;

* the National Development Plan’s two main mega-infrastructure projects, to export 18 billion tonnes of coal via Richards Bay with a new R802 billion rail line and associated infrastructure, and the R250 billion Dig Out port and port-petrochemical expansion here in South Durban.

 

The WEF on Africa will also be attend by South African and African political elites who talk Radical Economic Transformation but make deals with big business that benefit themselves at our expense. THE PEOPLE’S ECONOMIC FORUM MARCH is an opportunity for people who are opposed to state capture, corruption and looting of state resources by political and economic elites to enrich a few at the expense of the rest of us. It is a chance to say “No!” to the Trump regime’s trampling on climate, women, Muslims, people of colour and world peace.

The purpose of THE PEOPLE’S ECONOMIC FORUM MARCH is for people, organisations, communities, movements, campaigns to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with corruption and looting in South Africa, in the rest of Africa and across the world, by self-interested and self-serving political and business elites.

Secondly, the march is an opportunity for people to demonstrate against the rising poverty, inequality, food prices, cost of education; lack of water, electricity, housing, sanitation; and to show their support for a government and economy that serves the needs and interests of people rather than a privileged few.

Lastly, the purpose of the march is for We, the African people who are not invited to attend WEF on Africa and influence the policies that affect our everyday lives, to show our power and have our own meeting on the streets of Africa.

THE PEOPLE’S ECONOMIC FORUM MARCH will start at 9h00 at the City Hall and proceed via the US Consulate to the International Convention Centre and end at Speaker’s Corner on Braam Fischer and Walnut Road at 12pm. From 12pm to 3pm at Speaker’s Corner, there will be an “unwelcoming party” for the looters and polluters of Africa and their supporters who will be arriving at The Durban ICC for the WEF on Africa. Everyone is welcome to join the march at 9am at City Hall and the rally at 12 pm at Speaker’s Corner to show show that the power of the people is greater than the self-interested, elite group of people in power. People can bring their friends and colleagues, flags, banners, posters, drums and other musical instruments, food, snacks, water and wear purple for people power.