As millions express displeasure against President Zuma’s irrational and damaging cabinet reshuffle, OUTA, in collaboration with other civil society organisations, urges the public to make themselves heard on Friday 7 April. Herewith input and suggestions for a peaceful protest.
PROTESTS & GATHERINGS
Many ask why bother to protest, what’s the use, nothing happens. We respond by saying that to protest in one way or another is better than doing nothing. Never underestimate the power of the people.
WHAT TO DO
Organize a “speakers” platform for people to speak or read poetry.
Call on your local artists to perform
Bring your placards, banners, comfortable shoes, sun protection and water.
PLEASE NOTE; Be responsible. Actions must be non-political, non-racist, non-sexist, peaceful and not disruptive.
PRETORIA 7 April – March from Church Square to Union buildings Gather at Church Square from 10am. March will start at 1pm
CAPE TOWN 7 April – Gather outside parliament from noon
ALL OTHER CITIES AND TOWNS 7 April – Gather at City and Town Halls or Community Centres from noon
OCCUPY CHURCH SQUARE from 4 April (ongoing 24hrs per day)Various civil society organisations have set up camp at Church Square in Pretoria from 3 April until further notice. Everyone is invited to join them.
FREEWAY BRIDGE BANNERS Have placards made to depict messages and gather in groups on bridges over freeways during peak hour traffic on Friday 7th from 06h00 to 08h00 and 16h00 to 18h30. After Friday, we suggest the public organize themselves to do this every day for the next two weeks.
UNITE ON SOCIAL MEDIA Download the “Zuma Not My President” badge from outa.co.za and place this as your profile picture on WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook and elsewhere. This will send a message of solidarity by many in society who share this opinion.
Protests are when 15 or fewer people meet to express themselves. These are legal and need no approval/authorization. So one way of getting around the need for approvals is to organize yourselves in small 15 or fewer groups of friends, family, businesses, communities. If there are more than 15, stand in groups of 15, but separate yourselves by a distance of 100 metres.
Gatherings are groups of 16 or more and require certain approval, quick to arrange but normally requires 7 days prior approval. Under these circumstances, we believe your Ward Councilor or City Manager may approve if you approach them as soon as possible.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS ON PUBLIC PROTESTS & GATHERINGS:
Protests are when 15 or less people meet to express themselves. These are legal and need no approval/authorization. So one way of getting around the need for approvals is to organize yourselves in small 15 or less groups of friends, family, businesses, communities. If there are more than 15, stand in groups of 15, but separate yourselves by a distance of 100 metres.
Gatherings are groups of 16 or more and require certain approval, quick to arrange but normally requires 7 days prior approval. Under these circumstances we believe your Ward Counselor or City Manager may approve if you approach them as soon as possible.
The Right to Protest is a constitutional right.
“Everyone has the right, peacefully and unarmed, to assemble to demonstrate, to picket and to present petitions”. Section 17 of Chapter 2, (The Bill of Rights) from the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.
The following guideline “Protesting – Your Rights“ from the Right 2 Know Campaign to ensure citizens who wish to take a stand against the recent decisions by President Jacob Zuma are able to do so in a peaceful, mindful manner.
Our Bill of Rights is internationally admired as a far-reaching affirmation of democratic protest and civil action.
Human Rights do not belong to any arm of government. They belong to people.
It is by concerted citizen action that we hold government accountable to the values and principles of the constitution. The protests against Jacob Zuma’s decisions are ultimately affirmations of justice and human rights, not simply grievances from disgruntled people.
OBTAINING PERMISSION FOR GATHERINGS:
When 16 or more people want to gather, we suggest you follow the formal process to obtain permission from your Ward Counsellor to conduct this gathering. Normally this requires a minimum of 7 days notice but under these circumstances, we believe that many Ward Counsellors will respect your desire and need to protest. It is advisable to elect a leader for your local community march to get the necessary approval.