SA activists in George Floyd protest outside parliament – ‘lockdown turned our people into scared sheep’

Activists protest outside parliament in Cape Town on Wednesday over the murder of American George Floyd. Image: Esa Alexander
Activists took to parliament on Wednesday in protest over the death of George Floyd, who died at the hands of Minneapolis police in the US recently. 

Protesters, organised under the banner of the Black Solidarity Campaign, brandished placards while passing motorists hooted in solidarity. Mzimasi Sibeko, the convener of the campaign, said the death of unarmed civilians in the hands of authorities was not unique to the US.

He said the recent death of Collins Khosa, of Alexandra, Johannesburg, who allegedly died after being assaulted by soldiers was a painful reminder of the “Marikana massacre”.

“We are here today to show our support to African-Americans who are being killed by white extremists in the US,” said Sibeko. “We are also standing in solidarity with the families of South Africans who have allegedly been killed by authorities during the lockdown, people like Collins Khosa and many others who are in prison today.

“We also want to urge South Africans to unite and fight this scourge and heavy handedness. The lockdown has turned our people into scared sheep who can’t come out and stand up to state abuse. Americans are standing up against the abuse following George Floyd’s death. This has sparked worldwide action. We don’t want these efforts to be in vain, they must not only stop the killing of black people but transform their lives for the better.”

Activist Mzimasi Sibeko said the campaign was open to everyone appalled by the death of black people at the hands of police.
Activist Mzimasi Sibeko said the campaign was open to everyone appalled by the death of black people at the hands of police. Image: Esa Alexander

One of the protesters, Dean Shuttleworth, said: “I am here to show support and solidarity. Being a white person here is important. We want to say that what is happening in America, and here, is not acceptable.”

Jessica Boswell echoed Shuttleworth’s sentiments.

“I believe all humans are equal and should be treated as such. Violence should not be the answer,” said Boswell. “We should just stand together and remember that we are all one. We fully support this campaign.”

BY PHILANI NOMBEMBE

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