Below is a press release from the refugee advocacy group PASSOP providing details on a march to Parliament on Saturday, 17 May. If you’re in town, be there!!
Press release from PASSOP
PASSOP (People Against Suffering Suppression Oppression and Poverty) is appalled by the reports of recent xenophobic attacks in Alexandria and Diepsloot. We are appealing to all political parties and social movements within South Africa to address and clarify their stances towards the important issue of xenophobia. Foreigners in townships across South Africa live in fear, much like the Jews during the Nazi Regime. Their homes are vandalized, their stores looted and even their lives are taken. This inhumanity cannot be allowed to continue.
The DHA (Department of Home Affairs) and the police must immediately stop claiming ignorance as to the situation in which immigrants are forced to live in, they are undocumented no illegal by choice. They are being treated like criminals in townships across South Africa. The South African government has failed to document refugees in a timely manner. The refugees should not be punished for governmental shortcomings.
Following the post election violence in Zimbabwe, the number of refugees has only increased while the number of refugees documented by the government is marginal. This is deplorable. We implore the political parties of South Africa to engage in a dialogue about xenophobia and to add this issue to their branch agendas. We demand a quick, efficient police response. Townships where violence and looting has already occurred must be labeled “red zones” by the government, extra police and security be provided to ensure the safety and security of the immigrants living there. These red zone must include Danoon, Worcester, Masipumelela and any other areas which have a history of xenophobic attacks. We demand protection be provided to all refugees, asylum seekers and foreigners living in townships. We also demand that African leaders stop supporting the Mugabe regime.
We are protesting!! PASSOP, COSATU, the SACP, the ANC, C.E.C.A and other organizations will unite in protest on Saturday the 17th of May 2008 to show disapproval of the attacks, and our anger with the Zimbabwean regime which is forcing a mass migration into South Africa.
Marching from Kaisergracht (opposite Cape Technikon) to parliament.
12-00 – 14-00
PASSOP-Braam Hanekom 0832561140
C.E.C.A (Angolan Community)- Pedro Seke 0825129096
COSATU- Mike Louw 0844777104
–end of press release–