Group walks through the Cape CBD to protest Amazon development at River Club site
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Cape Town - A walk was held on Youth Day from Bo-Kaap and through the streets of the CBD to protest against colonialism, neo-colonialism and gentrification.
Khoi and San groups, activists and the public joined the Walk of Resistance at the Iziko Bo-Kaap Museum and to sites of colonial era statues along Adderley Street.
The Walk of Resistance was also against the development at the River Club site that would house ecommerce giant Amazon. The site is considered a sacred floodplain due to its cultural, spiritual and historical significance to the Khoisan.
At the statue of Jan Christian Smuts outside the Iziko Slave Lodge, A/Xarra Restorative Justice Forum chairperson Tauriq Jenkins called for the removal of colonial statues, that the Khoekhoegowab language be made compulsory at all schools in the province and a national language, and for the repatriation of sacred human remains and objects.
At the statue of Jan van Riebeeck in Adderley Street, anti-apartheid activist Reverend Allan Boesak reiterated calls for an effective Truth and Reconciliation Commission of the San and Khoi.
“We had a truth commission without the truth, a reconciliation without reconciliation, because you cannot have reconciliation without reparation, repair, restoration of the land – restoration of our dignity, of history, of the future of our children that now lies in tatters because of what happened, also in the last 27 years.”
Chairperson of the Observatory Civic Association Leslie London handed more than 53 000 objections to the River Club development to city councillor Matthew Kempthorne for mayor Dan Plato.
Khoebaha Olifant Korana said: “How, in a society that is supposed to be free can we have companies like Amazon coming into our free spaces, consolidating their presence and their greed on what is the most sacred to us?
“It is not our collective memory and our history that is represented in those spaces. It is the very essence of creation, our fauna and flora, our rivers that is connected to that memory. It is a full, whole person spiritually that cannot be segregated.”