Abahlali baseMjondolo Condemns Xenophobia

Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu (A person is a person through/because of other people)

Unyawo alunampumlo (A person is a person whenever and wherever they find themselves)

These are African proverbs that encourage the spirit of humanity.

Borders were created by those who colonised us in order to divide and control us. We were further divided by the creation of fixed ethnicities. Today elites continue to try and actively divide the working class and impoverished people on the basis of nationality and ethnicity.

Our politics is rooted in the land occupation and our struggle. If you are a participant in a democratic struggle you are a comrade in that struggle. It does not matter which country or province you come from. Our politics is that of gathering people together, forging community, and building the power of the oppressed. Those who try to lecture us that our neighbours who have proven to be comrades are our enemies because of where they were born or what language they speak are in fact our real enemies.

Since our movement was first formed we have always opposed all forms of xenophobia or ethnic discrimination. We have always called on all progressive forces to shelter and defend people that come under xenophobic attacks. We have always worked to build a movement in which everyone can feel at home and have the dignity they deserve. We are proud that we have members and leaders from different provinces and countries in our movement who have upheld the just cause.

The xenophobic actions targeted on foreigners residing in Soweto and Zeerust are disgraceful and everyone must vehemently condemn this injustice and we propose that this condemnation translate into concrete forms of solidarity.

Let us not allow our minds to be colonised for we fought against colonialism during the armed struggle. Let us understand clearly that our oppressors, including the ANC, want to divide impoverished people and the working class in order to keep us weak. Let us build the democratic power of the oppressed in struggle.