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Historical Flashbacks: The Freedom Charter

MaddStone

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I was reading some old news archives and stumbled upon the Freedom Charter.Havent read in a while, but think a glance at it, now and again should be a regular practice for us all, government included.......to realise where we've come from and where do we still need to go.Met someone who was present on that day in Kliptown.Had some interesting stories to tell. :)


The Freedom Charter

Adopted at the Congress of the People, Kliptown, on 26 June 1955

We, the People of South Africa, declare for all our country and the world to know:

      that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white, and that no government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of all the people;

      that our people have been robbed of their birthright to land, liberty and peace by a form of government founded on injustice and inequality;

      that our country will never be prosperous or free until all our people live in brotherhood, enjoying equal rights and opportunities;

      that only a democratic state, based on the will of all the people, can secure to all their birthright without distinction of colour, race, sex or belief;

      And therefore, we, the people of South Africa, black and white together equals, countrymen and brothers adopt this Freedom Charter;

      And we pledge ourselves to strive together, sparing neither strength nor courage, until the democratic changes here set out have been won.

The People Shall Govern!

      Every man and woman shall have the right to vote for and to stand as a candidate for all bodies which make laws;

      All people shall be entitled to take part in the administration of the country;

      The rights of the people shall be the same, regardless of race, colour or sex;

      All bodies of minority rule, advisory boards, councils and authorities shall be replaced by democratic organs of self-government .

All National Groups Shall have Equal Rights!

      There shall be equal status in the bodies of state, in the courts and in the schools for all national groups and races;

      All people shall have equal right to use their own languages, and to develop their own folk culture and customs;

      All national groups shall be protected by law against insults to their race and national pride;

      The preaching and practice of national, race or colour discrimination and contempt shall be a punishable crime;

      All apartheid laws and practices shall be set aside.

The People Shall Share in the Country's Wealth!

      The national wealth of our country, the heritage of South Africans, shall be restored to the people;

      The mineral wealth beneath the soil, the Banks and monopoly industry shall be transferred to the ownership of the people as a whole;

      All other industry and trade shall be controlled to a**ist the wellbeing of the people;

      All people shall have equal rights to trade where they choose, to manufacture and to enter all trades, crafts and professions.

The Land Shall be Shared Among Those Who Work It!

      Restrictions of land ownership on a racial basis shall be ended, and all the land re-divided amongst those who work it to banish famine and land hunger;

      The state shall help the peasants with implements, seed, tractors and dams to save the soil and a**ist the tillers;

      Freedom of movement shall be guaranteed to all who work on the land;

      All shall have the right to occupy land wherever they choose;

      People shall not be robbed of their cattle, and forced labour and farm prisons shall be abolished.

All Shall be Equal Before the Law!

      No-one shall be imprisoned, deported or restricted without a fair trial; No-one shall be condemned by the order of any Government official;

      The courts shall be representative of all the people;

      Imprisonment shall be only for serious crimes against the people, and shall aim at re-education, not vengeance;

      The police force and army shall be open to all on an equal basis and shall be the helpers and protectors of the people;

      All laws which discriminate on grounds of race, colour or belief shall be repealed.

All Shall Enjoy Equal Human Rights!

      The law shall guarantee to all their right to speak, to organise, to meet together, to publish, to preach, to worship and to educate their children;

      The privacy of the house from police raids shall be protected by law;

      All shall be free to travel without restriction from countryside to town, from province to province, and from South Africa abroad;

      Pa** Laws, permits and all other laws restricting these freedoms shall be abolished.

There Shall be Work and Security!

      All who work shall be free to form trade unions, to elect their officers and to make wage agreements with their employers;

      The state shall recognise the right and duty of all to work, and to draw full unemployment benefits;

      Men and women of all races shall receive equal pay for equal work;

      There shall be a forty-hour working week, a national minimum wage, paid annual leave, and sick leave for all workers, and maternity leave on full pay for all working mothers;

      Miners, domestic workers, farm workers and civil servants shall have the same rights as all others who work;

      Child labour, compound labour, the tot system and contract labour shall be abolished.

The Doors of Learning and Culture Shall be Opened!

      The government shall discover, develop and encourage national talent for the enhancement of our cultural life;

      All the cultural treasures of mankind shall be open to all, by free exchange of books, ideas and contact with other lands;

      The aim of education shall be to teach the youth to love their people and their culture, to honour human brotherhood, liberty and peace;

      Education shall be free, compulsory, universal and equal for all children; Higher education and technical training shall be opened to all by means of state allowances and scholarships awarded on the basis of merit;

      Adult illiteracy shall be ended by a ma** state education plan;

      Teachers shall have all the rights of other citizens;

      The colour bar in cultural life, in sport and in education shall be abolished.

There Shall be Houses, Security and Comfort!

      All people shall have the right to live where they choose, be decently housed, and to bring up their families in comfort and security;

      Unused housing space to be made available to the people;

      Rent and prices shall be lowered, food plentiful and no-one shall go hungry;

      A preventive health scheme shall be run by the state;

      Free medical care and hospitalisation shall be provided for all, with special care for mothers and young children;

      Slums shall be demolished, and new suburbs built where all have transport, roads, lighting, playing fields, creches and social centres;

      The aged, the orphans, the disabled and the sick shall be cared for by the state;

      Rest, leisure and recreation shall be the right of all:

      Fenced locations and ghettoes shall be abolished, and laws which break up families shall be repealed.

There Shall be Peace and Friendship!

      South Africa shall be a fully independent state which respects the rights and sovereignty of all nations;

      South Africa shall strive to maintain world peace and the settlement of all international disputes by negotiation - not war;

      Peace and friendship amongst all our people shall be secured by upholding the equal rights, opportunities and status of all;

      The people of the protectorates Basutoland, Bechuanaland and Swaziland shall be free to decide for themselves their own future;

      The right of all peoples of Africa to independence and self-government shall be recognised, and shall be the basis of close co-operation.

      Let all people who love their people and their country no say, as we say here:

THESE FREEDOMS WE WILL FIGHT FOR, SIDE BY SIDE, THROUGHOUT OUR LIVES, UNTIL WE HAVE WON OUR LIBERTY
Don't Hate, Rather Debate" - Mykh-ill Angel-oH

的知 not a star, and I don稚 want to be a star. Stars fall. I知 an entertainer, a performer" - Bernie Mac


MaddStone

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Just some background History:

AJ Luthuli (banned ANC president at time), message to the Congress of the People:
 "Why will this a**embly be significant and unique? Its size, I hope, will make it unique. But above all its multi-racial nature and its noble objectives will make it unique, because it will be the first time in the history of our multi-racial nation that its people from all walks of life will meet as equals, irrespective of race, colour and creed, to formulate a freedom charter for all people in the country."

 On 25 and 26 June 1955, 3 000 delegates representing the Congress Alliance - a coalition of the African National Congress, the South African Indian Congress, the Coloured People's Organisation and the Congress of Democrats - descended on Kliptown, a Soweto suburb. The aim of this "Congress of the People" was to articulate an alternative vision for South Africa's future - one that would counter the oppressive policies of the apartheid government.  The end-result was the Freedom Charter - a document containing ten clauses specifying the human-, political-, social- and economic rights that would be striven for.

On the second day of the Congress, police dispersed the meeting. However, in subsequent years millions of South Africans and most anti-apartheid parties and organisations ratified the Charter.

Decades after the Charter's adoption, many of the ideals it enshrined are still reflected in the country's democratic Constitution, most patently in the Bill of Rights.
Don't Hate, Rather Debate" - Mykh-ill Angel-oH

的知 not a star, and I don稚 want to be a star. Stars fall. I知 an entertainer, a performer" - Bernie Mac


afterbirth

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Quote from: "MaddStone"

     
      The national wealth of our country, the heritage of South Africans, shall be restored to the people;

      The mineral wealth beneath the soil, the Banks and monopoly industry shall be transferred to the ownership of the people as a whole;

      All other industry and trade shall be controlled to a**ist the wellbeing of the people;

     
           The courts shall be representative of all the people;

                 There Shall be Work and Security!

     
    The Doors of Learning and Culture Shall be Opened!

            There Shall be Houses, Security and Comfort!

           Rent and prices shall be lowered, food plentiful and no-one shall go hungry;

            Slums shall be demolished, and new suburbs built where all have transport, roads, lighting, playing fields, creches and social centres;

      The aged, the orphans, the disabled and the sick shall be cared for by the state;

           
THESE FREEDOMS WE WILL FIGHT FOR, SIDE BY SIDE, THROUGHOUT OUR LIVES, UNTIL WE HAVE WON OUR LIBERTY


all seemingly forgotten by the present government!
we can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light
--Plato


solarman

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Quote from: MaddStone
Just some background History:

AJ Luthuli (banned ANC president at time), message to the Congress of the People:
 "Why will this a**embly be significant and unique? Its size, I hope, will make it unique. But above all its multi-racial nature and its noble objectives will make it unique, because it will be the first time in the history of our multi-racial nation that its people from all walks of life will meet as equals, irrespective of race, colour and creed, to formulate a freedom charter for all people in the country."

Azanian Souljahs,

it is straight forward to me that the "freedom Charter" was just an official sell out of the people. Obviously this land(southern african region, geographically) does not belog to all who live in it, but to those indegenous to it!
The colonists who hide behind labels such as "Liberals" are clearly articulating to the peple of how to strive for complete freedom, the ANC was and is still is the "scape goat" of this ignorance.

Izwe lethu will never be ours until we govern ourselves in a Roman- Dutch law free enviroment!

Aluta Continua
Mathintela


SolitaryNative

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Why is it that that approach was successful then?  You speak as if you could have freed us from the state before, with its guns, bombs and gas.

I say long live this document.  In memory of those black (all over Africa), white (Lesotho, SA, Canada, Zimbabwe, Botswana) Indian (Ditto) and coloured (for SA purposes) who put themselves and their blood behind that movement and actually got us somewhere.

The reason the struggle was so intricate and genius was that the approach you are advocating was brutally allayed by the end of the fifties and sixties.  Only the subsequent broad based movement really go us going.  I often agree with you but not this time.

And f*** a liberal.  Believe it or not there are still some of us lighter Africans that are a little more Slovo than Leon.  And will stay that way irrespective of ignorance from whites, or anyone else.

Shap


afterbirth

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Quote from: "bornenbled"
white (Lesotho)


wtf? 8O
we can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light
--Plato


SolitaryNative

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Places where cats were murdered by the state and their mpimpi a** bitches.

Is tf..


afterbirth

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Quote from: solarman
Quote from: "MaddStone"


Izwe lethu will never be ours until we govern ourselves in a Roman- Dutch law free enviroment!

Aluta Continua


just to humour you: what other legal system do u propose we revert to?
we can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light
--Plato


afterbirth

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Quote from: solarman
Quote from: "MaddStone"


Izwe lethu will never be ours until we govern ourselves in a Roman- Dutch law free enviroment!

Aluta Continua


just to humour you: what other legal system do u propose we change to? & why exactly do u have a problem with this roman- dutch law system?
we can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light
--Plato


afterbirth

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Quote from: "bornenbled"
Places where cats were murdered by the state and their mpimpi a** bitches.

Is tf..


still don't understand... pls break it down to me slowly.  was it white cats who were murdered there or was the killing done by white peeps? (in which case i'm even more confused)
we can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light
--Plato


SolitaryNative

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Sorry chap I'm slathering.  Just making mention of some of the localities where white "sympathisers", "organisers" and freedom fighters were murdered.  Not to mention in SA.

Its the whole entitlement thing. We are only born once in a sense into our context.  For me to tell someone who's father died at the hands of the state that he has no right to be here because he is white, and accept the son of an askari because he is black is unacceptable to me.

People also think that Africa without whites will be some utopia where everything is glorious.  Humans aren't like that and we need to be a bit more realistic.  I often find that those who lost or did the least in the past are the most seemingly revolutionary now as they have no practical experience of the cost of things.  Those who lost the most are the most interesting as they see things from a human perspective.  As Biko himself said, and I do not purport to quote, the new SA will have no minorities and majorities, just people.  Him I agree with.  He knew what he was talking about.

It cannot be that we do not remember where we come from, unless that was under a bed or in front of KTV.