Marikana, Sharpville & Soweto

3 Minutes of Silence, 1pm, August 29th
Solidarity Action With the Marikana LonMine Workers !
Call for National and International Solidarity

2 Poems by Dennis Vincent Brutus


What is important
About Sharpville
is not that seventy died:
not even that they were shot in the back
retreating, unarmed, defenceless

and certainly not
the heavy caliber slug
that tore through a mother´s back
and ripped through the child in her arms
killing it

Remember Sharpville
bullet-in-the-back day
Because it epitomised oppression
and the nature of society
more clearly than anything else;
it was the classic event

Nowhere is racial dominance
more clearly defined
nowhere the will to oppress
more clearly demonstrated

what the world whispers
apartheid declares with snarling guns
the blood the rich lust after
South Africa spills in the dust

Remember Sharpville
Remember bullet-in-the-back day

And remember the unquenchable will for freedom
Remember the dead
and be glad


Remembering June 16, 1976
Student Uprising in Soweto

They are coming back:
through woodsmoke weaving from fires
and swirls of dust from erratic breezes
you will see
ghosts are returning
ghosts of young men, young women,
young men, young girls,
and if you look closely
you will see many of them have torn flesh blood:
and there is blood in the sands of Soweto
the ghosts are coming back
past barking police dogs
through shifting veils of smoke
those who oppose oppression are coming back
demanding dignity
challenging injustice
they return to join new generation
they chant:
resume the fight, resume the fight,
resume the fight ….

(October 2002)

Dennis V. Brutus, South African writer, poet and activist against apartheid, Dennis Brutus obituary, 23. February 2010, Guradian UK.


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