Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement of South Africa Youth League Press Statement
We as the youth of the South African nation want to live in peace and dignity regardless of colour or race. We want to live in a society where there is free quality education and everyone can develop themselves to their full potential. We want to live in a society where there is work or an income for everyone. We want to live in a society where the social value of urban land is placed before its commercial value and cities are governed and planned democratically.
We are organizing ourselves under the banner of Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement of South Africa Youth League. We are committed to a radical social transformation. We stand for a bottom up democracy that restores power to the people. It is not just the political system that needs to be democratized. The allocation of land, the planning of the cities and the economy as a whole also need to be democratized.
Millions of young people have no jobs, no income and are not able to study. Many of us are suffering from depression and anxiety. We fear for our future. We fear to disappoint our parents. We fear that we will not be able to provide for our own children. Many young people are turning to drugs to try and help them to cope with impoverishment and desperation.
As a movement we try to offer as much support as we can to all comrades who suffer with addiction.
As the youth we have been able to identify our enemies. Racism is our enemy. Sexism is our enemy. Capitalism is our enemy. Corruption is our enemy. Repression is our enemy. Hatred of the poor is our enemy. The culture of violence is our enemy. Amongst these enemies of our humanity one that is silently killing us as the future generation of this nation is drug abuse.
We all know that drugs are easily accessible by us as young people. There is a general perception that drugs are manufactured in the suburbs by well-to-do people but mostly distributed in the townships and in the shack settlements. We collectively condemn this kind of practice and therefore are seeking a way in which this scourge can be prevented since we all know that drug dependency is very difficult to break away from.
There is also a general perception that some of the police personnel and politicians are involved in drug trafficking. This needs to be seriously investigated. The state health care system needs to recognize the crisis and provide a massive programme of support for all young people struggling with addiction. At the same time real opportunities need to be created for young people.
Therefore as Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement SA Youth League we have decided to hold a Drug Awareness Day where we can be able to receive more in depth information about drugs and addiction and offer our support to all young people struggling with addiction.
Drug abuse is not a ghost enemy. It is concretely manifested in the daily lives of young people in the shack settlements. The people who are profiting from this crisis roam our streets every day. We are living everyday with the results of the addiction crisis and with criminal activities caused by the impoverishment that has been imposed on us by our society.
We are prepared to organize and mobilize against the scourge of drug abuse. For us our youth is part of the political, economic, cultural and social environment of our people. We are not separate from the people. We are proposing an action and strong forces with potential and ability to transform our current crisis reality to build a better life that is free from violence, crime and drugs abuse and holding on to a new human values that reflects our collective commitment, with our comrades around the world, to construct a new paradigm in human society.
In the spirit of those who came before us and fought a good fight in the 1976 Soweto uprising Abahlali Youth League will hold a Drug Awareness Day at the Surat Hindu Hall (Prince Edward Street) on Thursday 16 June from 9 – 3.
We would like to invite all those young people who are concerned about what addiction is doing to the youth to come and gather with us as we say no to drugs in our communities and yes to a fair distribution of land, wealth and power.
Land. Housing. Dignity.
Occupy. Develop. Resist.
Thapelo Mohapi on 062 8925 323
Nandipha Chala on 063 2736 565
Abahlali baseMjondolo office on 031 304 6420
Land & Dignity!