I am all for people expressing their views and concerns on things that do not sit well with them.

I am all for people marching in protest to express and clearly show their discontent, provided the marches and campaigns are peaceful and drama free. But also we have to bear in mind that one can complain up to so far. I am of the belief that if you do not like something, you have to work hard to try and change it. If however your attempts and efforts in pursuing the change, take their toll on you, leave you depleted and lethargic, whether emotionally, physically or spiritually, then it is better to throw in the towel and shift focus. Not because you have lost the battle, but because fighting, to a point is really not worth the pain and suffering, and one’s peace of mind and sanity always should come first.

“This past week, the one-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, the protest in New York City that prompted what is now known as the “Occupy Movement,” came and went. Beginning on September 17, 2011, protestors camped out in Zuccotti Park for weeks in New York’s Financial District. Around the world, other Occupy events and protests began to sprout up as well, giving rise to a global dialogue about economic inequality, as well as counter-protests by those who disagree with the Occupy Wall Street message”

Reading the excerpt above, my eyes were immediately opened to a very similar “uprising” currently taking place at the local front with my neighbors, South Africa. Platinum mine workers put their tools down in protest against little salaries they earn. And while their unions were in negotiations with the mine administration, outside in the streets, workers that wanted to go to work got victimized and even killed.

 The problem for me arose where they started intimidating and even killing colleagues who were willing to go to work despite the strike. And also where they plotted and actually killed law enforcement officials who were trying to instill some order and calm amongst the “marchers”. In the end ,some 34 strikers or so got killed by the police and South Africa was all over the world news for the apparent ruthlessness of its police.

The strike spread to more mines around the country, with people resorting to using violent acts of intimidation to get their way. In a sad turn of events (over and above lives being lost), mining operations around the country, across the entire mining spectrum were brought to a halt and the economy held at ransom. This cancer has inevitably spread to other sectors of business where hardly weeks later, the transport sector also joined in the violent protests, with protesters resorting to setting trucks and other big Lorries on fire.  Goods cannot reach their intended destinations, leaving people scrambling for the little left of the commodities, fuel and food to mention a few.

Now is this really a way for  people to voice and raise their concerns? And what good is going to come out of the destruction they are causing? As it is, the country’s precious stones exports have come to a standstill. South African gem stocks in the stock exchanges around the world are plummeting leaving the economy in a dire situation, what will happen next is only left to the imagination.

I understand and sympathise with the miners, for the apparent meager salaries they earn, for the high risk jobs and difficult conditions they work under, but there are more constructive and peaceful ways of achieving their goals, of getting heard, but I doubt this is it.

Advertisements