The Socialist 29 August 2012
Con-Dems win gold for hypocrisy!
Notting Hill carnival-goers support Lonmin miners
Socialist Party members joined thousands of Londoners at the Notting Hill carnival on Bank Holiday Monday, campaigning for solidarity with South African Lonmin mineworkers.
The excitement of the carnival didn't prevent a steady flow of people, particularly from Caribbean and southern African countries, from approaching the stall.
Clearly the memory of the anti-apartheid struggle and the role the miners played in that period still resonates with people who became politically aware in the 70s and 80s. Many people we spoke to on the stall were quick to point out the similarities between the behaviour of the old regime towards workers' struggle and the massacre at the Lonmin mine where at least 34 miners were shot by police.
Two South African workers described how little the African National Congress (ANC), the ruling party in South Africa since 1994, had done to change the day-to-day lives for the majority of people there.
Although some people we discussed with saw the struggle as a battle between white mine owners and black workers, other carnival goers were well aware of ex-trade union leaders and ANC apparatchiks being on the board of the mine company.
There was wide support for the Socialist Party's call to nationalise the mines and use the enormous mineral wealth of the country to raise the living standards for South African workers.
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