On Thursday 22 October 2020, Mam Fikile Ntshangase was assassinated in her home in front of her young grandson. Her crime? She was a leader who had resolved to stand with her community and say NO to the expansion of the Tendele coal mine in Somkhele, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. In her words: “I cannot sell out my people. And if need be, I will die for my people.”
She is one of the three land and environmental activists which Global Witness estimates die every day as they defend their lands, forests, water and, ultimately their lives. Beyond killings, activists confront other forms of repression – threats, intimidation, assault, abductions and arson attacks. And community women regularly face sexual harassment and rapes by private security, police and the military.
Chega! Tosha! Sokwanele! Enough is Enough!
In the past few weeks, a wide range of African organisations have come together under the banner ‘Rise Against Repression’. Through this platform, they aim to remember, make visible, and honour the environmental and land rights activists AND communities, with a focus on women, who have died or faced repression because they say NO!
From November 10 (the day on which the Ogoni 9 from the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) in Nigeria were hanged for resisting oil extraction in their territory) to December 10, they will work collectively to shine a light on repression against environmental defenders in Africa.
How to get involved?
- Share a brief 300-word-max testimony together with a photo, video, poem, song, or collage (be creative!) of an activist or community that has faced repression for defending their land and environment.
- Upload testimonies here: https://bit.ly/2TS9foi and, if you experience any challenges, submit directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Share testimonies and stories on social media using the hashtags:#RiseAgainstRepression & #AfricansRiseAgainstRepression!
A collection of testimonies that shine a light on African activists and communities who face repression for defending their very rights will be launch on December 10, 2020 –International Human Rights Day – as we make the common call to ‘Rise Against Repression!’ Read some of those testimonies below.
READ & SHARE powerful testimonies of activists and communities whose resistance in the face of repression and harsh reprisals inspires us all. Access a share pack here: shorturl.at/xPUV3!