Statement on attempts to evict the Workers Library & Khanya College
Wednesday 30 June 2004
PUBLIC STATEMENT Wednesday 30th June 2004
THE JOHANNESBURG CITY COUNCIL AND ITS AGENCIES CONTINUE UNABATED WITH THEIR WAR ON THE CITY’S POOR AND WORKING CLASS
THE APF WILL COME OUT IN FULL SUPPORT TOMORROW TO DEFEND THE WORKERS LIBRARY & KHANYA COLLEGE FROM EVICTION
The 22 community organisations affiliated to the Anti-Privatisation Forum will be out in full support tomorrow (Thursday 1st July) to peacefully defend the Workers Library and Khanya College from eviction by the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) and the Johannesburg Property Company (JPC) - both of which are corporate agencies established by the ANC-controlled Johannesburg City Council. The Workers Library and Khanya College have been unstinting in their principled and practical support for the struggles of the poor and working class and this is why they are being targeted in a politically motivated and illegal eviction.
It is crystal clear to the APF that the JDA & JPC have been given the green light by the ANC politicians and officials who run our city, to evict the Workers Library and Khanya College precisely because they have supported the very community organisations, social movements and organised working class formations who have been at the forefront of fighting the City Council’s neo-liberal, corporate developmental agenda since the introduction of IGOLI2002. They have done so, despite repeated attempts at engaging the City Council and its agencies in dialogue.
This latest outrage is part of a long running campaign in which the City Council and its fat-cat politicians want to turn Johannesburg into a ‘world class’ home for the rich and powerful. Over the last several years, the various agencies of the City Council have gone about illegally evicting poor people in the inner city without any due process or plans for alternative accommodation, have constantly harassed hawkers simply trying to eke out a living, have treated the homeless as if they were pieces of rubbish and have unleashed the police and the courts on those engaging in legitimate dissent and protest. Simultaneously, they have failed to act against criminal and absentee landlords, cosseted corporate capital, gentrified entire sections of the inner city and wasted hundreds of millions of rands on grandiose projects that benefit only the privileged few.
The APF will not stand by and watch silently as this latest attack on organisations of the poor and working class proceeds apace. We will stand side-by-side with our comrades from the Workers Library & Khanya College (and from other social movements and community organisations) in the ongoing and historic battle for the heart and soul of our city.
JOIN US TOMMOROW FROM 8:30AM AT THE WORKERS LIBRARY (52 JEPPE STREET, NEWTOWN)
JOHANNESBURG BELONGS TO THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN IT!