Police Fire on Striking Mine Workers

On Thursday, August 16, police opened fire on striking mineworkers at the British-owned Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana, South Africa. Forty-five mineworkers were killed in what the South African press called a “bloodbath that recalls the worst massacres of the apartheid epoch” (Business Day). The mineworkers, together with their independent trade union, had been demanding a substantial monthly wage increase and improved working conditions. “We live like animals,” asserted one of the strikers who, like thousands of others, lives in a hut without running water.

Singing the songs of the struggle against the apartheid regime, the wives of the miners also came out into the streets, demanding that the South African government, led by the African National Congress “stop shooting our husbands and sons!” On August 18, Julius Malema, former leader of the Youth League of the ANC, declared, “Even under apartheid there never was such carnage.”

Trade unionists and human rights activists are mobilizing at South African embassies worldwide to demand an immediate halt to the repression of the strikers and the return of management to the negotiating table to meet the strikers’ pressing demands.


  1. LadyJaneGreen says:

    This brutal, anti- union crackdown is something you think should not happen now in “Free” South Africa. Apartheid-like hate activity is alive and well also in Arizona. Gov.Jan Brewer continues her oppressive crack down on undocumented Latinos and those who harbor them. There is a seige mentality against the poorest and weakest in our society. People of color and their children are being targeted by these bloodless Satanic Bastards.They are Breaking up families, deporting parents and children. Stop and frisk tactics are being misused to deport people who’s only crime is wanting to live and work here. The Mass execution of the South African Miners shows us that even though Nelson Mandela was freed, there is still a long way to go for South Africa in the Human Rights department. It’s almost silly to discuss” Human Rights” in light of what world wide Fascist bullies the us has become. What a Bummer. I always thought as a kid growing up in a pro- fem world, that women in office were bound to improve things. How wrong I was. Jan Brewer and the many “new school” women politicos like her prove that old Spinster-Hag wisdom. “Women have been and still are The Most Effective Enforcers of The Patriarchy!” Sad but
    True. We Must Dismantle The Patriarcal and Brutal Machine that kills those who protest for better living/working conditions.