Protest until justice is served for George Floyd, say Concerned Africans

Activists protest outside parliament in Cape Town on Wednesday over the murder of American George Floyd.
Activists protest outside parliament in Cape Town on Wednesday over the murder of American George Floyd.
Image: Esa Alexander

The Concerned Africans Forum (CAF) says protests and activism must continue until justice is served in the wake of the brutal death of US citizen George Floyd.

Floyd was murdered on May 25. A video showing police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on his neck went viral, resulting in outrage across the world.

“As CAF, we thus pledge solidarity with all those who are engaged in a struggle for justice and peace in the US and across the globe; and we encourage and support their civic activism until justice prevails.

“We also express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of George Floyd and hail his martyr’s death which, among others recently, has served to ignite the flames of outrage at persistent racial victimisation and police violence,” said the forum.

The forum's contributors include several political heavyweights, and its members include: Mongane Wally Serote, Anthoni Van Niekerk, Max Boqwana, Barney Pityana, Garth le Pere, Siyabulela Gebe, Oscar van Heerden, Sheila Sisulu, John Tesha, David Monyae, Essop Pahad, Richard Smith and Aziz Pahad.

Floyd's killing prompted protests across the world calling for justice. The organisation said the protests had been expressions of frustration with injustices perpetrated against African Americans which have not been properly addressed for centuries.

“As the worst affected country in the world, the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the hardships faced by ordinary Americans by eroding already fragile community social support systems, and further condemning millions into destitution and engendering a state of collective anxiety and despair,” lamented CAF.

The protests have in some instances led to violence. In Minneapolis, a police station was set alight.

“We note that in the course of the protests, there have been levels of outrage that have led to arson, looting, and other forms of violence. While we caution utmost restraint by the police and national guard, we express our understanding of such actions since they are related to a power system that is intolerant and unresponsive to the cry of people who have been wounded by racism and violence by agents of the state.

“It is very difficult for anyone else to judge the conduct of those who experience such brutality and injustice as a way of American life,” said CAF.

“We wish it to be known that as Africans, we have our roots in the struggle for liberation and human dignity against colonialism and the odious apartheid regime; and therefore, valued it when nations and countries stood with us in solidarity,” the forum added.

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