||During preparations for the Anti-War Coalition (AWC) march earlier this
year, in the light of discussions focusing quite substantially on the need
for us to develop links with COSATU and 'working class issues', I proposed
that we make one of our key themes, 'An Injury To One Is An Injury To All'.
I thought, at the time, that this was quite a clever way of using an old
struggle slogan, coming from COSATU, to highlight the fact that we see our
individual struggles as movements making up the AWC, and our united front
against the war against Iraq, as part of a common struggle against
neoliberalism and capitalism; COSATU is part of this struggle <#_ftn1> .
In a banner-making session, I started painting the slogan, with a silhouette
of the COSATU logo next to it, onto a piece of yellow fabric. I was joined
by a fellow comrade from the APF, who helped me make sure that the logo
resembled the original quite closely. We worked from an old COSATU poster
and spoke about the problems around prepaid meters that were being faced by members of the APF. With the red and black paint giving the yellow banner a real '80s 'COSATU-feel', the comrade picked up a paintbrush and added to the banner, in green paint, the words 'izinyoka' ('snakes'). Not quite understanding this move, I asked him why he had done this, and explained
that it was my understanding that we were trying to show how common our struggles are with COSATU's. He laughed and shook his head, arguing that he saw COSATU as no more than 'izinyoka'. He said something like, "They call us izinyoka when we are reconnecting electricity, but they are really the snakes because they lie to the people telling us we are going to get jobs and free services if we vote for the ANC. But then we are left unemployed and expected to pay for services that we need. How can we say that we are fighting together?"