Stiffkitten blog August 19, 2012
Global week of action for democracy in Swaziland
Swaziland’s democratic movement will hold its Global Week of Action, which has become the biggest campaign for democracy in Swaziland, between September 3 and 7 – in the wake of the several weeks of protests by Swaziland’s public sector employees.
According to a press release from one of the many Swazi organisations that have pledged to participate in the event, the Foundation for Socio-Economic Justice, they are “demanding a Swaziland that is socio-economically and politically empowering to all Swazis.”
The thousands of marchers in the two previous years that the event has been held were met by riot police firing teargas and rubber bullets, and several of the foreign participants were rounded up, detained, man-handled, and deported.
And this year’s week of action will almost certainly be marred by police violence, says Swaziland United Democratic Front coordinator Wandile Dludlu. “The regime is definitely going to strengthen its smash and crush policy, but we are going to try our best to minimize the effect of brutally as much as possible by trying to bring huge numbers and employ strictest crowd control marshals. But of course that won`t guarantee violence free march.”
This year’s campaign, which is coordinated by the Swaziland Democracy Campaign, is to include marches, seminars, workshops and a people’s summit within Swaziland itself, and a range of meetings and demonstrations in countries around the world.
The democratic movement hopes that they will be able to reach segments of the Swazi population in areas that haven’t been reached before. “We hope for increased participation of new towns like Piggs Peak and Mankayane which have never been invaded before,” says Wandile Dludlu. “We also aim to produce a people’s charter framework as an immediate outcome of the global week which will help moving forward in unity.”
For further information please contact:
Inside Swaziland: Wandile Dludlu, SUDF, +268 76111676 and Mary Da Silva, SDC, +268 76030076
In South Africa: Stephen Faulkner, SDC, +27 82 817 5455 and Philani Ndebele, SDC, +27 76 942 3565