How do we protect our freedoms in the context of a dispensation (government) we have chosen?

The events of 21 March 1960 were not random. They were the result of careful mobilising and a combined effort aimed at achieving a specific goal. In this case, fighting pass laws. What this combined effort did achieve was to push the government of the day to declare a state of emergency on 30 March 1960. However, on 13 April 2011, we watched as a group of police beat Andries Tatane to death during a service protest in Ficksburg and on 16 August 2012, South Africans stood by and watched as police opened fire on a group of strikers.

Reflecting on what Human Rights Day means, Activator Nqaba Mpofu writes, ‘While the events of this day also mark a fundamental attack on the pass laws of the apartheid system, the public today has a further challenge of devising peaceful yet effective means of demonstration. Maybe it is safe to admit that we as the youth, and as a nation, have been playing a waiting game in many areas pertinent to our rights.’

What happened to that spirit of solidarity of 1960? How do we protect our freedoms in the context of a dispensation we have chosen? Join ACTIVATE! in a Twitter interview with Janet Jobson on 04 April from 12pm to 1pm #ActivateEngage 

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21 March – not just another holiday

Human Rights Day is not just another holiday. Many lives were lost, literally, while fighting inhumane laws and the right to freedom. What makes this day remarkable is that through combined effort, South Africans were able to put pressure on the apartheid government as a voice that could no longer be suppressed.