Black Looks - Including an African LGBTIQ+ Archive

Social Movements, South Africa

Questions of loyalty in movement building

How can loyalty become a threat to social movements and how can it be a source of strength? How should movements respond to threats and how do we nurture and build on loyalty from within? What does it mean for the poor? S’bu Zikode, the President of Abahlali baseMojondo, addresses these questions at the University of Chicago which is part of a speaking and solidarity building tour in the US.

The churches and friends of Abahlali all over the world, including here in the United States of America, have rallied to our support in most difficult times. After the shack fires that have taken many lives of our children and parents, after flooding, after beating by the police and politicians, after violent attacks etc. We thank you for all that. If it was not for your support we fear we would not still be surviving. When the poor ask for what is basic to life we are taken as a threat to society by many rich people. The most basic and humble demands are shown to the world as if they are the work of criminals, third forces and people who can’t think and who are violent. For this reason it is very important for the survival of our struggles that we can build alliances with people who are willing to testify to the world that it is not the organised poor who are a threat to society but that it is the system that makes some people to be poor and others to be rich that is a threat to society.

In “Against the Grain” S’bu goes into more detail about the formation of Abahlali and the constant struggle against local police and the South African state.

Below is an interview with Grit TV including excerpts from the film “Dear Mandela