Justice for Marikana

On the day of the 6th anniversary of the Marikana Massacre, August 16th, there was a protest and vigil for the victims outside South Africa House in Trafalgar Square.

People held up posters with large photographs and brief details of those killed. As well as the 34 shot by South African police as they ran away as a demonstration was dispersed, there were other workers killed during the course of the dispute.

The use of force by South African police against the strikers was encouraged by Lonmin, including Cyril Ramaphosa, one of its directors and now President of SOuth Africa, who described the dispute where the strikers were faced by 800 police as a ‘dastardly criminal act’ requiring ‘concomitant action’.

Lonmin has long avoided its responibilities towards the workers at Marikana, failing to provide them with proper housing and other facilities as well as paying low wages. The company is a subsidiary of the notorious Lonrho, originally founded by imperialist and white supremacist Cecil Rhodes, and the vigil organisers describe it as perserving “its colonial legacy as the corporate face of racial capitalism.” Having avoided any compensation for 6 years, Lonmin is apparently getting ready to cut and run, selling the platinum mine to Sibanye-Stillwater.

The vigil and other events earlier in the week were organised by the Marikana Solidarity Collective which includes members of Marikana Miners Solidarity Campaign, the Pan-Afrikan Society Community Forum, London Mining Network and Decolonising Environmentalism. There was drumming and speeches from activists including trade unionists from the UK and overseas before a vigil which began with African singing in which the names of the murdered miners were each read as their photographs were held up.

The photographs, along with flowers, were then laid in front of the gates of South Africa House.

More pictures at Justice for Marikana vigil


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