Galvanised by the arrest of 130 community health workers in June, while peacefully protesting their dismissal, activists gathered on Sunday night and Monday morning in Bloemfontein, asserting their right to demonstrate and demanding that the ailing Free State health system be turned around. GREG NICOLSON speaks to the Treatment Action Campaign’s General Secretary Anele Yawa for the low-down.
“Our decision to embark on a campaign of civil disobedience is not taken lightly. However, attempts at addressing the Free State health crisis through meetings and letters has failed. We are therefore left with few other options,” said a Treatment Action Campaign press release on 9 July. “This sit-in signals the start of a campaign of civil disobedience in the Free State. We stress that this will be a non-violent civil disobedience campaign and that we will not stand for the damaging of any property by our members.”
That night 130 activists were arrested while protesting peacefully in Bloemfontein, throwing civil society organisations into immediate action as they were detained for 36 hours, and in the process galvanising support around the campaign to fix the Free State health system.
On Monday, the activists rejected a deal that would have seen the charges…
Source : Daily Maverick