The last few weeks have seen the Egyptian population hold a (mostly) peaceful protest to oust the dictatorship ruling their country and to call for a more democratic government.
Sure, there were a few sporadic instances of violence, but considering the sheer number of people involved, those are negligible…. and it worked. Due to their peaceful protest, Mubarak has stepped down and they will (hopefully) be having democratic elections in the next few months.
Theirs is an example that I wish we could emulate in this country.
We’ve also been having demonstrations in South Africa this week… union action… a strike. This protest is not about freedom, democracy or liberty… it’s about money. So you would think that we would be at least as well behaved as our Egyptian friends who were quite literaly fighting for their future. Right?
There has been massive violence, with people being dragged out of their cars and beaten. It’s sickening and frankly makes me ashamed. Is a few extra rand a month really worth turning into a howling barbarian for?
It seems that every time a large trade union strikes in South Africa, we have looting, violence and mob rule. It’s crazy… if the unions can’t control their members, then they should not be allowed to strike… the right to strike does not (or rather, should not) cancel out the rule of law.
Maybe the new Lead SA initiative of a bill of responsibility will work. I hope it does. We in South Africa need to stop shouting about our rights and start realising that those rights also come with responsibilities… and not rioting, not looting and not beating the crap out of your countrymen are definately on that list!
Anyway… enough ranting… I love this country… and I know others do too. It’s only a few idiots who always seem to ruin things. So I’m going to put out a call to the striking union members (not that I think they read my blog): If you see someone at your rally that is about to do something illegal or immoral: jump on him! kick him in the head! you will get far more support from the public if you show that you can actually hold a peaceful protest.
“I contend that non-violent acts exerts pressure far more effective than violent acts, for the pressure comes from goodwill and gentleness.” -Mahatma Gandhi