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Pretty Graphic Violence in South Africa - Video - Coming soon to a town near you?

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by John Gault, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. John Gault

    John Gault clackamas county Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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  2. Sincere

    Sincere Between Cascadia and Jefferson Active Member

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    This is not so out of the ordinary for a 3rd world country with a police/paramilitary state that works for large industry.

    They shoot union organizers down in South America and Southeast Asia too, all the time. They kill priests and nuns who try to help organize the people against the Multinational Corporations too.

    What you see here is a strike being put down with automatic fire by well-funded police.

    What you see here is Global Capitalism in action.

    (They used to do this in the US too, Pinkertons, cops and national guard cutting down laborers trying to get a fair shake)
     
  3. Bigfoot

    Bigfoot Clack Co. OR Well-Known Member

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    So they went all Kamikaze on em. You have to go to 1.20 to see the large crowd rush the police line. The police fell back and opened up.

    From what I've read there is a power struggle between the established union and a rising union so they went on strike away from the mine. Many were killed including two police officers so they closed the mine. Several thousand strikers were lined up against the police protecting the mine.

    I'm a union guy Sincere and you are correct in your history but I don't see how the strikers gave the police a choice here.
     
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  4. Sincere

    Sincere Between Cascadia and Jefferson Active Member

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    Yeah, I watched the whole video. I saw the "rush" if you will. Something tells me they weren't running in for the "close kill", they knew the police had guns.

    I guess I'd need to know more about the specifics of the strike, but in general I question why the police were there in such force with automatic weapons in the first place. Were they protecting scabs trying to get into the mine?

    South Africa has an incredibly ugly relationship with mining, and guess who benefits? It ain't those workers getting murdered, nor the ones who live. It's people continents away in boardrooms and private jets.

    Were the two unions in the middle of a fight? The article makes it sound like they were lined up in a picket, so again, what were the police doing their in full force other than to violently smash down the people rising up.
     
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  5. Bigfoot

    Bigfoot Clack Co. OR Well-Known Member

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    No the mine was closed. No scabs that I read of.

    Several miners hacked to death, two police included, thousand of strikers lined up. Are you aware how violent S.A. is? The police better have their best equipment on hand.
     
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  6. chemist

    chemist Beaverton OR Well-Known Member

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    I kind of hate to agree with you, Sincere, since there's so much abuse by unions in the US now, but people forget about the citizen workers who fought and DIED for our 40-hour work week.

    Let's add South America to the list: Coca-Cola runs a semi-private army in Colombia that flagrantly executes anybody who tries to organize.
    FRONTLINE/WORLD Fellows . Colombia: The Coca-Cola Controversy . PBS
     
  7. Sincere

    Sincere Between Cascadia and Jefferson Active Member

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    Gotcha.

    Yeah, I'm well aware of the levels of violence is SA and the continent as a whole.

    Youtube "Louis Theroux Johannesburg South Africa", I'm sure you'll find it interesting. Theroux is a rad British video-journalist who immerses himself into whatever story he's doing (he lived with the Phelps for a month when he did a story on their psycho-church). In the South Africa episode he covers the phenomenon of private security groups who operate in Johannesburg, a big element in the phenomenon is the utter corruption and inconsistency of the S.A. police force.

    The S.A. police don't care about the countless murders all over their country, but are ready to come to the mine's full force. Why is that?
     
  8. chemist

    chemist Beaverton OR Well-Known Member

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    That bit toward the end of the video is horrifying - the way the charging rioters melt away under withering fire. It seems that even though the police are not taking casualties, they resort to 'firing for effect' rather than aimed fire.

    I can't imagine what would've possessed those rioters to charge a crowd of armed men - but then mobs are anything but rational.

    South Africa's murder rate is astonishingly high.
    List of countries by intentional homicide rate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    It's much higher than the rate in Mexico or Ethiopia, and approaching the number for Colombia, which is the only other murder-crazy country that approaches 50 million total population.

    They've still got a ways to go to catch up to Hugo Chavez' worker's paradise!
     
  9. Grunwald

    Grunwald Out of that nut job colony of Seattle, WA Well-Known Member

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    Nice lefty sentiment but not exactly accurate. The huge part of the problem is that there is a new union on the scene called Association of Mine and Construction which is challenging the historically dominant National Union of Mineworkers. There is a lot of social issues down in SA.
    Additional problem for the workers is an active contract which they are breaking all the while the price of platinum is pretty depressed meaning that the mining company is unlikely to give in to their demands.
    Then there are POLITICAL ties between one of the unions and current government.
    Here's a little more in depth news than you likely to get from the worthless US media:
    BBC News - South Africa's Lonmin Marikana mine clashes killed 34
     
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  10. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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    Pretty broad brush you're spreading that tar with there Sincere.
    And to the OP, that's a pretty sanitized version of the video.

    I was astounded by the one I saw on CBS news last night, but considering that workers/strikers armed with pipes, spears, sticks and machetes charged a police line, I'm not surprised it ended the way it did.

    At least 12 dead in South African miner protest - CBS News Video

    and another:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19289392

    The strikers have been armed and refusing to move for some time now.
    When it came time to move them out, they chose to charge a line of cops armed with automatic weapons instead.

    Now, I have no doubt that the people are oppressed, but there is more than one "union" involved, and much of the violence has been between the two respective union's members.

    When the cops are placed there to restore order, and a group chooses to charge them, armed with clubs, knives etc., what does one expect will happen?
    Should the cops just stand there and be beaten, stabbed etc?
    If the cops were in riot gear and clubbed the charge down with batons would that be acceptable?

    The rioting strikers left the cops no choice.
    This is clearly a case where discretion on the part of the striker's leadership would have prevented the slaughter.

    To claim that this is an example of "Global Capitalism in action" is disingenuous at best, and THE perfect example of downright inflammatory socialist rhetoric.
     
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  11. 9mmguy

    9mmguy Portland, OR Member

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    It should be mentioned that there had been casualties prior to Thursday, including police killing miners, miners killing miners, miners killing security, and miners killing police (c.f. South Africans outraged by police killing of 34 striking miners - latimes.com). So, as tragic as Thursday's events are, the police violence did not come totally out of the blue. I don't want to pass judgment on either side, but it is pretty understandable that both sides were extremely on edge.
     
  12. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer Portland Completely Out of Ammo

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    Sounds familiar.
     
  13. gallogiro

    gallogiro Willamette Valley Active Member

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  14. gallogiro

    gallogiro Willamette Valley Active Member

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    Sounds like it's not a peaceful protest.