Saturday, May 8, 2010

Ach Shame, Another Warrior Dies

Sheena Duncan, a leader of The Black Sash, has died. A small number of the least likely warriors, middle class white South African women, took up civilian, non-violent action against the inhuman machine of the Apartheid Regime in South Africa. These women (as mentioned in my post of 3 Jan 2009 in memory of my mother, Shirley Singer), stood vigil demonstrating against the pass laws requiring non-whites to carry their identification papers with them at all times (gee, sound familiar?), against "forced removals, detention without trial, inequality and repression. Then, at last, the transforming years of the 1990s brought the organisation back to constitutional issues once more, celebrating the prospect of a Bill of Rights and arguing for the right to administrative justice to be included" (see the link to Black Sash history above). These women refused to bow to the authorities, stood still while being pelted with rotten tomatoes by unsympathetic whites, and used their position of white-skin-privilege to campaign for the rights of their fellow countrymen and women.

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