Anyone following the news should know about the recent ‘Occupy Rondebosch’ protest which took place, and may still be taking place, on the 28th of January.  The reasons for this protest were to ‘raise awareness’ of the lack of housing and jobs in SA. Now, you should already know my opinions on these types of protests but if you don’t, I will repeat them.

Protests and legislation are mutual things; protests are used to fight legislation, legislation is used to create reasons for protests to happen – but this protest, like many others, is trying to be different. This protest is for the frequently mentioned problems of ‘jobs’ and ‘housing’ and was not formed to fight legislation or oppression. This protest is a protest for action, not law, but action. Now, that is what annoys me. These protesters demand that the government give them houses and jobs, but don’t at all think that with the energy they are using to organize these political endeavours, they could be doing something productive…like getting a job or a house.

These people, for some inexplicable reason, believe it is the government’s responsibility to give them free (yes, free) houses and to pull jobs out of a hat to hand out to them without any effort on their parts. Well, you could understand to a degree why they think they are owed something, with all the empty and half-baked promises the ANC made when they first came into power, but that has become beside the point. People have to start realizing that it is not the government’s responsibility to give you stuff, jobs included. If this protest really was about job creation, they would be protesting employment restrictions and BEE, not trying to coerce the state into giving them handouts.

It is obvious that the people running and attending this protest, like practically all of the Occupy Movement, have no knowledge of real economics or sociology. They blame the ‘white’ elitists for their plight (ignoring that many of the people attending the march are white elitists) and it is that fact alone that proves they know nothing of the subjects mentioned earlier. As has been proven on hundreds of occasions, you cannot become rich fairly without serving your fellow man . People need to stop blaming the successful and instead start trying to replicate them. Only the immature blame the fortunate for their own misfortune. Yes, I just called an entire population, immature – bite me.

The Occupiers state that they want housing; well, they must work for it. Instead of protesting for houses, they should protest the legislation that prevents employers from employing them so they may earn the money to gain houses. This is not even a question of money; resources have to come from somewhere and the organizers of this don’t even fathom that if they are to gain something without working, someone else will have to lose something while working. Does that sound fair?

No, no it doesn’t. These people talk about being mistreated but under their rule, the lazy would flourish.  Society was designed so that people need to sweat if they want to gain anything. This meant that things had value – that life was worth living. When something is taken, society is damaged.

Surprisingly however, berating the protest is not the reason for this article, but actually a condemnation against the ones who stopped it. Just a quick Google search or glance at the news will show any person that the manner in which the protest was broken up was anything but practical or at all clever. The method employed by police to break up this protest was anything but appropriate and the person who ordered them to undertake the mission needs to retake sociology.
This cause is obviously flawed, many of its protesters are obviously violent maniacs – but that doesn’t justify police action. In fact, if I was the state, I would let it happen. Even if I was an autocratic state, I would let it happen. What is better than allowing your own enemies to shoot their allies and make themselves look like total idiots?

But no, the state in all its wisdom had to go and shoot themselves in the foot. They had to go and beat up some protesters to aid the law; they had to go and give a flawed cause the moral high ground. Those arrested at this protest, if let be, would have proven themselves to be just as damaging to the cause if left alone, but no, the police had to go and turn them into political martyrs, had to go and turn a defective cause into a justified act of civil disobedience.

This protest, if left alone, would have fizzled out. This cause would have been forgotten and the basic freedom of expression would have been upheld. Now that there has been this crackdown however, the cause, no matter how stupid, has become ‘the good guys’. The police will always be remembered by many this day as the oppressors while others will remember them as the idiots who justified a cause which should have been allowed to destroy itself.

I do not write this to support the cause, I do not write this to support the police – I write this as I think there is no justification for police brutality but also no justification for being an idiot. By cracking down on this movement, the state has signed their own death warrant. They have lost already; through their actions, they have done the only thing which would allow this movement to gain momentum. All we can hope is that if the state does fall, the Occupiers don’t take charge.

Read More:

http://www.iol.co.za/capetimes/it-s-occupy-rondebosch-common-1.1220883

http://www.csc.za.net/takethecommon/

 

 

Nicholas Woode-Smith is co-founder of the Rational Standard and its Technical and Marketing Director. He is a student at the University of Cape Town, with majors in Politics, Philosophy and Economic History. He is the youngest council member of the Institute of Race Relations in history and the Regional Director of Southern Africa for African Students For Liberty. He also writes science fiction – prominently, the Warpmancer and Cape Zero series.