The state used much violence against those struggling against apartheid – in Soweto during the uprising of the young. The African National Council won a political solution after over 50 years of struggle. But the struggle of the poor was not. It was the South African unions particularly the miners that led the struggle against apartheid. The miners have been attacked by corporation and the new state of South Africa.
It is the miners and their families who need solidarity from workers political organisations around the world.
Guns versus sticks
South African police opened fire at striking miners at the Marikana platinum mine, killing at least 36 protesters. The incident became the bloodiest industrial dispute in South Africa in the 20 years since the end of the country’s Apartheid regime.
Nine people were killed prior to Thursday’s clashes in a wave of protest in the mining town, located 100 km northwest of Johannesburg. The platinum mine, owned by Lonmin PLC, has been the focal point of strikes and violence since last Friday stemming from wage disputes.
Some 3,000 police massed in the area on Wednesday wearing riot gear and supported by helicopters. Demonstrators were reinforced on Thursday by a group of women pledging to stand by their husbands in their demand for increased wages.
Lonmin announced that the disruption means the company is unlikely to meet its 2012 production targets. Shares in the company tumbled 6 percent following Thursday’s violence, bringing total losses since the outset of the strike to 13 percent.
The miners are reportedly demanding a raise in wages to over $1,000 a month.
(Info drawn from http://rt.com/news/south-africa-mine-violence-862/ and ABC radio national overnight)
Banner photo is from the anti-apartheid era – shown below: