Save our Sacred Lands: Billionaire developers linked to Bezos’ Amazon have taken over sacred indigenous land in Cape Town, South Africa. Help us fight back!
The Sacred Land
Cape Town – The site where Amazon is building its African headquarters is located in the middle of four suburbs, Observatory, Salt River, Maitland and Ndabeni. It is a floodplain at the confluence of the Liesbeek and Black Rivers and sacred ancestral land of the Indigenous Khoi and San people. In 1510, this land hosted the first battle in Southern Africa against European colonizers, where the Khoi heroically defeated Portuguese general Francisco de Almeida at the Battle of Salt River. It is also where the Dutch colonial forces led by Jan van Riebeek first stole land and cattle from the Indigenous Khoi people to set up farms, forcing the Khoi out of the new Cape Colony. Soon after, the Dutch colonizers set up the first frontier using a hedge that they grew along the Liesbeek River. In 1901, this same piece of land became the first Apartheid boundary between White and Black South Africans when colonial authorities used the outbreak of the bubonic plague to remove Black residents of Cape Town to the first township of Ndabeni. As the site of the first colonial bloodshed and resistance, this site is of historical importance to all people of Southern Africa, especially the Indigenous Khoi whose ancestors were custodians of the land for millennia. Now the Amazon developers want to destroy this ancestral land and steal it for themselves, building a massive campus at the confluence of the Liesbeek and Black Rivers.
The Indigenous Khoi tribe known as the Goringhaicona, backed by 22 other San and Khoi groups from across Southern Africa, have been fighting a veritable David versus Goliath battle against Amazon, the wealthy developers, and their crony friends. The counter-campaign has sought to attack and delegitimize the struggle of Indigenous South Africans for their ancestral land. Anonymous websites have been set up to defame Khoi leaders, flyers have been put in mailboxes with misinformation on the struggle, and the developers have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on lawyers to hijack Indigenous organizations and destroy local civic groups challenging the development.
It is the judicial attack – a new divide-and-rule tactic – that has been most effective. It has sought to commandeer the legal standing of the Goringhaicona and its leadership.
The Fight Back
But the Goringhaicona and their allies are fighting back on the streets, in the media, and at the courts. In order to regain the tribe’s legal and political standing, we need to raise USD $15,000 this month to cover legal fees and maintain the popular campaign against the developers. With this money, we will be able to strengthen our organizing efforts and continue the fight.
Donor match (x2)
A generous donor will match the first $5,000 that we raise to help us reach our goal of $10,000! This money will go straight to the Save Our Sacred Lands campaign to cover essential costs and legal fees.
For more information visit Save Our Sacred Lands on Instagram.
"While colonialism in its formal sense might have been dismantled, the colonial state has not. Many of the problems of democracy are products of the old colonial state....the rise of a new ruling class who are content with mimicking the colonial masters."
-- Aimé Césaire