Many shall be called, but the few shall be chosen

21 January 2009

Thursday 22 January 2009 by Nic

The Radical Youth Network (RYN) supports the call made by many organizations to find new creative ways of dealing with the situation in Zimbabwe. We further call upon all South African youth to stand up against the human rights violations that are taking place in Zimbabwe - if we are not part of the problem then let’s try to be part of the solution.

RYN would, however, like to register a concern about the solidarity bandwagon that prioritises the involvement of prominent individuals while activists from especially the social movements are sidelined. When the SADC Heads of States met in in Sandton last year, the Southern Africa People Solidarity Network (SAPSN) organized a counter conference and participated in a march against the Head of States meeting. A speaker from the Social Movement Indaba (SMI) was only allocated 3 minutes to speak despite the fact that she played a critical role in bringing many organizations from communities around Johannesburg to be part of the conference. Luminaries from the trade unions and the civil society jet-set received more time and attention as if they are important than others.

This insult was repeated at today’s press conference organized by the Save Zimbabwe Now (SZN) through CIVICUS and the Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg. Those who came late to the press conference including Graca Machel were given preference for just their prominence and the pliant chairperson of the day, Nomboniso Gasa, cut one person from the list of speakers - the same person who was sidelined during the SAPSN meeting.

The RYN is dissatisfied with this ongoing disease where activists from social movements will be treated as less important while others get preference. Solidarity is indivisible and efforts to demonstrate solidarity are muted to create a spectacle. The world is faced with serious challenges which require us all to unite and be one.

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