Democratic Left: Call for Suppot of 18 July 2012 Picket Against Homophobic Violence & Killings

The Democratic Left Front (DLF) expresses its full solidarity with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and inter-sexed people in South Africa. We can no longer keep silent about the alarming increase in the numbers of LGBTI people who are victimised daily in our townships, informal settlements, inner cities, rural villages and other parts of our country. LGBTI remain oppressed by the deep-seated homophobia that is prevalent in our society despite the constitutional promise of equality, non-discrimination, freedom of association and freedom of expression. At its most tragic, the homophobia has recently seen rapes and murders scores of LGBTI people. We are extremely concerned at the silence of government and poor investigative work by the police.

The DLF fully endorses and supports the 67 Minutes of Shame: LGBTI Anti-Hate Crimes Picket and Vigil. This 67 Minutes of Shame will mark 67 minutes on Mandela Day to protest against the silence of the ANC and demand action against hate crimes and violence. We call on all activists, progressive organisations and others in Gauteng to join the protests planned for this coming Wednesday as follows:
11h00-13h00, a protest, at the Library Gardens, in Johannesburg: this protest will hand over a memorandum to the ANC Secretary-General, Gwede Mantashe.
18h00-20h00, a political and commemorative vigil, at the Women’s Jail, Constitution Hill

These protests are organised by the Forum for the Empowerment of Women, and various other LGBTI activists and organisations in Gauteng. The organisers ask those who come to bring a blanket, a candle, flowers, anything you wish to bring to remember our fellow LGBTI friends and loved ones, killed over the past years. These protests are important to highlight the obligations and duties of government to protect LGBTI people against the violation of their rights.

The DLF will be an active part of these protests. The DLF regards homophobia, heterosexism and the oppression of LGBTI people as directly originating from the misery, squalor, ignorance and reactionary ideologies that are generated by the inequities of capitalism and neo-liberalism. In South Africa, this is worsened by the increasingly failing, corrupt, inefficient and neo-liberal state led by the ANC. The rise of social conservatism under the Presidency of Jacob Zuma has also reinforced backwardness and retrogressive notions of culture, gender and sexual identity. The DLF calls for sustained mobilisation against LGBTI oppression linked to overall social justice struggles that hold government accountable to constitutional equality, and that challenge capitalism, neo-liberalism, gender oppression, corruption, and inefficiency in the state.

ENDS

FOR COMMENTS, CONTACT:
Mazibuko K. Jara — 083 651 0271 (mazibuko@amandla.org.za)
Brian Ashley — 082 085 0788 (brian@amandla.org.za)
Vishwas Satgar — 082 775 3420 (copac@icon.co.za)