For the RWA the story of Mandela is a story of struggle that started in the rural village where land and rural livelihoods was at the foundation of his life experience. Mandela’s life was a struggle for many freedoms! But his story and struggle is not the only journey for freedom.
South Africa also inspired Ghandi to lead a long march against colonialism. Then in 1954 women undertook the historic march against apartheid! Women from across South Africa marched on the 9th August against the pass laws. All these struggles and many others inspired our campaign and proposal to launch the campaign for the Long March to Freedom.
It is also a campaign that wants to say we also need: “freedom from landlessness, freedom from poverty, hunger, freedom from violence and oppression”.
The decision to launch the campaign on 21st March is to coincide with Human Rights Day so that we as the RWA can make the link between the right to food, land, women’s rights and human rights and dignity.But the launch is only the beginning of the campaign.
This procession through Cape Town is also about solidarity between rural women, struggles of farm dwellers, forest workers, landless and small producers.
In addition, it will also be a moment to connect with the poor in the townships and build bridges with those fighting for decent work and food. We will be building solidarity with those who say no to rising food prices, to GMOs and the corporate capture of our food system.
This is a significant moment because on the 21st March the RWA (South Africa) will not only launch the campaign for land but it will bring together hundreds of rural women from across South Africa presenting popular organisations and NGOs in a common platform.