“Could I request a 5am wake up call please?”
“Certainly Miss Mc Mahon have you an early flight to catch?”
“No I have a very important meeting with Premier Zille”
DEAFENING SILENCE…….”5am it is mam”
I spent part of Thursday helping Maxine at NU to paint a banner ‘YOU CAN NOT LEAD THIS STRUGGLE, SEE YOU IN COURT” that residents from Woodstock and Sea Point were planning to hang outside Helen Zille’s house (she is the head of the Western Cape Government by the way lives in a mansion and doesn’t have to worry about being evicted anytime soon). 6am there was a crowd of around 20 at the NU offices all willing to be late to work in order to have their point heard loud and clear!
The energy and the enthusiasm of the crowd for it to be stupid o clock was unbelievable singing and dancing outside Zille’s house,so much so she (along with her husband in his dressing gown and slippers) came out and joined in!! Well ok that’s a slight exaggeration, she wasn’t singing ‘reclaim the city’ like us but she let us finished before addressing Sheila and Elizabeth two of the occupiers of the Helen Bowden Site. They spoke of how they are living without electricity or water, they are infested with rats and cockroachs and merely asked time and time again “MaMa Zille how long until you build affordable housing for those like us who need it”…… Like our ministers back home she couldn’t answer and instead chose to ramble about money and subsidies and irrelevant nonsense in my opinion, none the less the men and women remained dignified and respectful, credit to them!
I left to meet Mike, acting director of Treatment Action Campaign back out in Khayelitsha to hear of the truly amazing work TAC are doing throughout Cape Town and beyond. Established in 1998 they were initially established to campaign for the access to treatment for AIDS. However, Mike explained how they work throughout all kinds of community groups and schools providing education and practical support around HIV. In 2005 TAC helped established a rape crisis centre and Mike also explained the SJC,EE,NU were as he describes “all the babies that came from TAC, we housed them first and helped them grow, TAC is the mother”. Again like all the organisations I have met here a short piece in a blog does not do them the slightest bit of justice….Truely amazing activism/activists….
I left for the airport again like last time really sad, i did not want to go home I wanted to stay and follow through with the likes of Charnelle and her court case, with Sheila and Elizabeth and their occupation. i did however, miss my baby girl and when i rang her to say it was one more sleep until she seen me she asked in all earnest “that is great mamai, did you fix it out there did you get everyone a house?”……. if only Lu… if only….