Unemployed People’s Movement Press Statement
Marikana Massacre Memorial Service in Grahamstown
A memorial service for all who fell in the Marikana Massacre will be held in the Anglican Cathedral in Grahamstown on Thursday 30 August 2012 at 4:00 p.m. People of all faiths and people with no faith are all warmly invited to join the event. It will be held under the banner of a shared commitment to a just peace.
Bishop’s Ntlali will conduct the service and Dr. Barney Pityana will address the congregation. There will also be a speaker from Marikana, and we are hoping to also be able to arrange the attendance of a speaker from Ficksburg, where Andries Tatane was killed in 2011, and a speaker from Abahlali baseMjondolo in Durban where the movement was attacked in 2009.
We will light one candle for each of the striking miners who fell to the police bullets in Marikana.
Following the service we will march on the Grahamstown police station to express our concern about growing police violence. We have agreed that we will sing ‘Amazing Grace’ outside the police station in view of the long association of the song with social justice going back to the civil rights struggle in America and the international anti-slavery moment
As the UPM we feel strongly that the churches have an important role to play in the struggle for social justice. At this difficult and dangerous time in our country’s history the prophetic voice and a real commitment to social justice is urgently required. We warmly welcome the position that they have taken on this massacre. As a movement we also feel strongly that the Commission of Inquiry that has been set up by the President is compromised from the start by its links to the state – the same state that has been repressing independent organisations for years. We are hoping that the South African Council of Churches will throw its weight behind the independent commission of inquiry. We are also calling on the state to immediately release all the strikers that are currently in detention. The media have revealed that they are being subject to beatings and torture in police custody and it is now imperative that they must all be released immediately.
The memorial service has been arranged by the Unemployed People’s Movement, a group of progressive academics, Students for Social Justice and Bishop Ntlali. The Bishop’s office will release a statement with the full programme tomorrow.
For more information please contact:
Ayanda Kota, Unemployed People’s Movement 078 625 6462
Simone Levy, Students for Social Justice 076 437 2614