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EoP v WiP NWO negotiations are documented at MILED Clerk Notice.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Soccer as a Tool of Oppression: World Cup 2010: We Don't Need it!: “F**K The World Cup!”






Black Perspectives (APDUSA Views & Uhuru News) opposed to the 2010 Soccer World Cup:

The World Cup! We Don't Need It!, PoliticsWeb
Taxpayers will pay dearly for this act of national prostitution destined to bequeath a clutch of expensive, white elephant sports stadiums. Health, education, police and local government infrastructure budgets will continue to suffer. This is a new form of colonialism - never mind the Chinese, Sepp Blatter's FIFA has got here first with commodified sport on a grand scale. And to keep visitors safe, a new form of apartheid will have to be erected to protect them from the violence that prematurely ends the lives of 30 000 South Africans every year.

The ANC has effectively nationalised football and badgered the population with endless propaganda about the World Cup; to such effect that even mild criticism has been suppressed. The media has bought into the myth of nation building through sport (the mystique of the 1995 rugby world cup victory is constantly invoked) and any dissent from this view is equated with treason.
“F*** 2010 World Cup!”: Soccer being used as a weapon to cover oppression, Uhuru News
This 2010 will remain in memory as an extremely fancy dress parade that we were allowed to perform in with a vuvuzela as our soundtrack.

The end goal is to oppress us, and our so-called black government has come to the parade with blacks as a commodity. They are passing the test. We are helping them help us. This blatant truth is our public secret. It is these shared open secrets that uphold the social and political bodies that benefit from the silences about black life.

We fall silent, feed on denial and turn a blind eye to the repulsive state of affairs. To succeed in being soccerised is to sell out.


Boycott 2010 World Cup: Truth & Justice; or Secession?

The World Cup: We Don't Need It!

Christopher Merrett, Politics Web
11 November 2009


Next year's Football World Cup is a classic example of international capitalism in action. FIFA is one of several branches of the sports department of globalisation, each of which wields the political and economic power of a small nation. It has hired South Africa as a theatre upon which to stage a highly lucrative media event and already departed with the profit.

The Cup is about a great deal more than sport, the crowds simply part of the backdrop - the cost of their tickets is almost irrelevant. But the political dividends for the ANC are significant and the nation's new elite will be disporting itself in front of the world's cameras. The rest of the country will be enjoying a long holiday and the brief opportunity to forget South Africa's enormous burden of socio-economic problems.

There is no evidence from previous mega-events, or South Africa's current circumstances, that the World Cup will deliver any major benefit. Politicians traditionally lie about the projected economic and social outcomes of such events in order to requisition the resources required for their own political ends. The best guess is a pitiful 50 000 jobs and growth of 0.94% of gross domestic product. The World Cup was never intended for the benefit of township or suburban residents.

Taxpayers will pay dearly for this act of national prostitution destined to bequeath a clutch of expensive, white elephant sports stadiums. Health, education, police and local government infrastructure budgets will continue to suffer. This is a new form of colonialism - never mind the Chinese, Sepp Blatter's FIFA has got here first with commodified sport on a grand scale. And to keep visitors safe, a new form of apartheid will have to be erected to protect them from the violence that prematurely ends the lives of 30 000 South Africans every year.

The ANC has effectively nationalised football and badgered the population with endless propaganda about the World Cup; to such effect that even mild criticism has been suppressed. The media has bought into the myth of nation building through sport (the mystique of the 1995 rugby world cup victory is constantly invoked) and any dissent from this view is equated with treason.

Contrast the recent uprisings over service delivery in several townships and it is clear which option the government has chosen in response to the politicians' classic dilemma over bread or circuses. But an imposed national consensus will not outlast 2010. In 2011 the cosy relationship between nationalist politics, corporate wealth and media and sporting globalisation will no longer have even a circus to offer a suffering people.

This scenario should be no surprise to anyone familiar with the history of South African sport in the dying days of apartheid. The South African Council on Sport (Sacos) had operated as the internal wing of the anti-apartheid sports struggle since 1973.

While its roots lay in the principles of the Unity Movement, members came from different political backgrounds and Sacos was determinedly non-aligned. Although its aim was to transcend tendencies in the overall interest of sport, it contained more than a trace of Black Consciousness in its encouragement of self liberation.

It rejected compromise with racist sports bodies through an unswerving commitment to the double standards resolution and to the international boycott. But its main strength lay in community development and, from the early 1980s, support for strikes and other local struggle issues. Discipline was harsh, but members were expected to adhere rigidly to principles.

The position of Sacos was uncontested - the ANC gave general support to the boycott, but had no detailed policy or consistent engagement. Sacos was particularly concerned about the context in which sport was played - political, social and economic rights - and above all the shared humanity of sportspeople.

For a while sport provided one of few areas of South African life (others were faith-based organisations and the universities) in which the divisive intentions of the apartheid regime could be challenged effectively. And because apartheid was, strictly speaking, rooted in legislation, short-term, irregular use of space proved hard to control even given South Africa's bureaucracy. By the time the government had turned to illegality, sport was the least of its worries.

The apartheid regime had begun to unravel following the 1976 Soweto Uprising, but the national State of Emergency declared in 1986 marked a new crisis point. Amongst liberation movements the prospect of imminent power meant that principle was sacrificed to pragmatism.

The weaknesses of Sacos - insufficient penetration of the African townships and a tendency to dogmatism - made sport a soft target for the ANC. Its client, the National Congress on Sport (NSC), emerged in early 1988 with a message about a mass-based sports organisation, but pledging recognition of Sacos as the authentic anti-apartheid sports body.

The NSC, it was agreed, would organise the unorganised in areas where Sacos had traditionally been weak such as rural communities; and in the townships where the government's National Security Management System (NSMS) had proved hard to crack. Sacos recognised the NSC, but its trust was ruthlessly betrayed.

NSC innuendo (about organisations ‘purporting' to be non-aligned) and rhetoric predominated and it was soon apparent that this was an arrangement of bad faith and power politics in which Sacos members were cynically recruited. The NSC reneged on its original undertaking and became a home for two kinds of opportunist: those anxious to establish a future within what they shrewdly assumed would eventually become the new political establishment; and pragmatists keen to achieve rapprochement with the old white sports establishment.

Conflict arose over the continued boycott, between regions (Sacos remained relatively strong in the Western Cape), and amongst sports codes (cricket and road running proved fertile ground for the NSC). It took Sacos a year, a year that was to prove fatal, to declare the NSC a rival organisation.

The NSC was simply part of the cultural desk of the ANC. It had little substance other than the promotion of a particular political party. Its leading lights included names, then largely unknown, that would later become famous - Gwede Mantashe and Kgalema Motlanthe from the National Union of Mineworkers (affiliated to Cosatu); Valence Watson, Makhenkesi Stofile, Ngconde Balfour and Danny Jordaan from Sacos-affiliated sports codes; and Smuts Ngonyama and Jakes Gerwel.

The ANC was interested in political power - sport was simply a useful tool to that end. Sacos was ruthlessly sidelined, abandoned by its external partner the South African Non-Racial Olympic Committee (Sanroc) whose president, Sam Ramsamy, flourished under the new order. Dennis Brutus appropriately described Sanroc as gutless. The principles of Sacos were dismissed as unrealistic and hardline. South African sport was to pay for this - and continues to do so to this day.

It was offered cynically, on a platter, to the white community for two reasons: as compensation for the loss of political power; and as insurance to underwrite cultural identity (along with guaranteed religious freedom.) The moratorium was tossed into the dustbin, unity was fast-tracked and sport handed over to the business interests that would quickly commodify and package it for lucrative profit.

These were the same capitalists who had sponsored the mercenary tours of the 1980s in defiance of World opinion, the United Nations and the anti-apartheid struggle.

With time, as the ANC's need for the rainbow nation myth wore off, sport was used to pursue other objectives. Under the regime of Thabo Mbeki, racial nationalism was advanced by a new form of apartheid in the form of quotas. And after he gave way to the post-Polokwane generation, the agenda became more clearly fixed on ANC political interests as the antics of Leonard Chuene (athletics), Irvin Khoza (football) and the relentless promotion of the World Cup demonstrate.

In many codes sport had become totally subservient to the pursuit by individuals and interest groups of power, influence and wealth.

‘No normal sport in an abnormal society' was the famous Sacos dictum. Since the fall of white nationalism it has largely been forgotten, but contemporary events suggest that it should be re-examined. Extremes of wealth indicate that South Africa remains one of the most abnormal countries in the World.

The fate of sport since the silencing of Sacos nearly 20 years ago has been one of relentless political and commercial exploitation. Sacos believed that sport belonged first and foremost to communities and their people. Now, in no small measure because of ANC cynicism and opportunism, it is little more than a packaged commodity.

And perhaps the worst aspect of the loss of the Sacos legacy is the fact that its sharp socio-political analysis is no more. Scarcely a word is raised in protest or criticism. The unholy alliance of party political and corporate power has persuaded South Africans that commodification of sport is a natural and acceptable state of affairs. It is an appalling outcome to a process of liberation.

This article by Christopher Merrett first appeared in APDUSA Views, November 2009: A Noble Cause Betrayed – Commodification and Politicisation of SA Sport by the ANC

Christopher Merrett is a well known and highly respected intellectual who has an enviable track record of being a leading libertarian. He is an administrator at the University of Kwazulu Natal. His latest book is “Sport, Space and Segregation” published by the KwaZulu-Natal University Press.

» » » » [APDUSA Views (PDF), via Politics Web, via ILuvSA]





“F*** 2010 World Cup”

Soccer being used as a weapon to cover oppression


Blackwash, Uhuru News
Published Sep 25, 2009


So enveloping, so ever present, the shirt of the fan. A child soldier in Sierra Leone (hardly ten years old) was captured in a television documentary with a blue number seven Chelsea shirt with the name of Lampard on the back. A Somali “pirate” with a Manchester United shirt was also seen walking in chains on a cargo ship after a failed attempt to reclaim African marine space. Such is the power!

The beautiful game of soccer, poetry in motion, returns to Africa — this time as a spectacle to entertain and make money. Soccer is not just a game with two teams of 11 players. It is not just about goal scores. This poetry in motion is a game that is brought out of deprivation. You need not buy special bats, rackets, complicated nets and the likes. A game essentially requires large numbers of people participating, a field and one ball.

This draws crowds of poor communities towards the game because with some imagination a soccer ball can be made out of plastic bags, the goal posts out of two stones and any dirt area can serve as a field.


Soccer forms part of a culture in poor African communities

Historically, black people are the poorest in South Africa, and this remains so. It follows then that the players, as well as its sport lovers, will be largely black. This is no secret to communities, the government and big business. And with the 2010 World Cup coming to our shores, it is important to tone down the vuvuzela blasts, silence the festive ululations and put down the big dark sunglasses for a moment. This is so that we can pay attention to the state of our soccerised land and what it means for the black majority in this country.

Soccer creates not just the black players and fans but entertainment. Who can deny the entertainment value of Pule ‘Ace’ Ntsoelengoe or the Maradonas of this world? Who can deny the entertainment of the soccer masses singing particular tunes in honour of individual players, a particular team or soccer in general? The entertainment is not exclusive to those who watch professional games at the stadium but also includes those who play and cheer at home, on the streets and in local drinking holes.

In this way, soccer also produces a culture. There are chosen greetings, songs, symbols of teams and the likes that must be learnt. A halfway decent Orlando Pirates fan will buy a t-shirt, a key ring, paint their house in the colours of the team, watch the games or at least listen to it.

They may have grown up in a particular community or gone to a certain school on the road to being a soccer lover or a fan. For others it is a chance love for a certain team or a great love that introduced you to the game. This creates the fantasy of a soccerised community, a bonding place outside reality where one has friends and enemies because of the competitive nature of the sport. It is not just the teams that compete but the fans as well. Soccer is Generations, Scandal, Days of Our Lives and The Bold and the Beautiful. It is the news, Jika-Majika and Cheaters all in one.

It has a partly honorable and partly heartbreaking routine. There are the great tragedies and the greatest moments. Soccer renders the service of moving the feelings of the public. Soccer produces those moments where adults readily cry tears of joy or beat each other up over a score.

For 90 minutes or more, one can be entertained and not have to think about the reality that they live. In this way, it acts very much like a narcotic drug such as opium. A narcotic is a drug that relieves pain and slows the body’s central nervous system (your brain and spinal cord). A narcotic may do a number of things. It may numb your senses. It can cause a little sleepiness in one person while putting another in a coma.

Narcotics also produce material and mental thieves; thieves who would take their last food money for an addiction. This can only happen if one essentially lies to self about the situation that will arise when food is needed. A person will know that they are in a kak situation but would rather not face it just yet.


Anything that keeps us from organizing for freedom is a problem

Soccer, being a choice drug of the masses, screws up our brains by keeping us away from thinking, planning and organizing to change our situation. It basically makes us spineless people who fear to challenge the big lie that has been force-fed on us as a collective truth. That obscene lie of our rainbow times that makes blacks the ultimate undesirables who must be exploited for the greater benefit of our oppressors.

This big lie makes as if it is natural for blacks in this country to build the stadiums that make the profits for a white minority. This white privilege is maintained of course with the help of the hired help who are given tenders and crumbs in exchange for a blanket suffering of blacks in this country.

This is not a secret because the visible scars of oppression mark black bodies in every other social, political and economic space. Soccer is then a useful tool in focusing our energies towards making a success of a “black” sport that has enjoyed little legitimization in the past. Was this same black sport not used in the 1970s in order to make the world believe that all was well in our “separatist” arrangement? We take such pride in our ability to have black sports that we are oblivious to the fact that it makes us complacent and lazy for our own liberation.

The black condition currently is a disaster zone. We have arrived here because of organised brutalization to create South Africa’s white modernity. Our country’s relative development is harvested from violence against blacks and sustained on the same logic and practice.

Soccer is more than just mental thievery. We know that soccer also instructs how the material conditions of blacks are. We know that soccer is largely about those money-grabbing gangs that operate efficiently from the sweat of black labour. It produces different lines of business. Why else would a bank want to sponsor a soccer tournament if there are no profits for it?


The 2010 Soccer World Cup will bring no relief for oppressed African masses

The 2010 Soccer World Cup is a great thing for big business but we are told the soccerised nation will benefit greatly. Radio stations, billboards, newspaper articles and television interviews tell us as much. Our politicians, teachers, Fifa and Danny Jordaan say so. Even your local cell phone giants are in on this feeling. This great Messiah that is 2010 will cement our arrival to what they call a global village.

The 2010 Cup is sold as a signifier of a fundamental cementing of South Africa’s arrival to whiteness. What it will also cement is the business as usual art of creating more and more anti-black and anti-poor tactics.

We will arrive in this village with our hardworking red ants who paved the way by evicting black bodies from property so that we can have our fancy stadiums. We will get there with our efficient BRT transport system that whooshes past matchbox houses that have been built to hide the filth of a squatter camp.

The global village will shake hands with the judges that sign eviction orders for blacks to be dumped into a squatter camp so that a golf estate can be built for foreign tourists. This blatant truth is our public secret. It is these shared open secrets that uphold the social and political bodies that benefit from the silences about black life. We fall silent, feed on denial and turn a blind eye to the repulsive state of affairs.

2010 will only do what the soccer industry has been practicing in South Africa for a long time. It will continue to put money in the pockets of Coca Cola and other big businesses (FIFA, of course, being the top beneficiary). The spotlight now is on South Africa being able to trade this commodity in the market. They are doing well so far for all the construction companies, financial institutions and those who own private property.

The security industry is thriving because the “crime-infested barbarians” must be kept away from the fearful tourists. Even some black South Africans are convinced that any measures necessary must be used to protect the white foreigners. Have you noticed how the government has increased its calls to the police to “shoot to kill” in recent months? And we know these are niggers they’re ordering to get killed.

So, we are open for business. We mimic what the Baas does with specific care. All of a sudden, we can take tourists on tours around our favorite taverns, and with the hope of money at the end of the deal. The 2010 deal is (from the biggest fan right down to those who feel indifferent about soccer per say) an opportunity for making money, caring much less about what soccer and 2010 mean for our daily struggle. A struggle that involves being able to confront the ingrained idea that black South Africans and Africans in general are imposters who must be tolerated and taught “the way.”

Nothing, not even the irritation of coming from having to share space or buses with tourists after your Mavis duties are up is beyond the reach of logic of money and profits. So the very thing that oppresses us in general also organises further oppressions within the black community carried out by other black people.

So we are not innocent by standers, we are agents of white supremacy by failing to fight it at all levels. We understand white supremacy to be at the very foundation of the world capitalist system yet we will open our homes for profit, wear the leopard skins for the benefit of colonialists who love to see us perform our native rituals, and serve our pap to the tourists at high prices.

We will blast our vuvuzelas, blowing hard as if our lives revolve around it because it does. We will be the BEE types then lead to large black masses who have been hanging on to this dream of it belonging and jumping to the capitalists and therefore anti-black practices. This is a wonder because even the BEE types bayanya in true rainbow nation style.

But even the peanuts we will earn from exploiting the so-called benefits of 2010 will not in any way change our situation — a situation that is needed for white capitalist interests to thrive. Evidence, from Latin American countries that have hosted world cups and other such mega-events, shows that in general these spectacles do not help the conditions of the poor. They are not useful measures to bring about the development that we have been lied to about because they tend to be anti-poor.

Does accepting that soccer robs us both mentally and materially mean that to succeed is to fail? If to be black is to bring your body, voice and labour to the soccer field for a minority to hold control over resources, ideas, and culture right down to how you spend your free time? If to be a soccer fan is to put a stamp on a society that organizes itself around the daily exploitation of a black majority while watching the FIFA types moving on with the circus show, bags bulging with cash?

Then it is time we re-imagined soccer and our future engagements with the sport. Because it seems that nothing is as common in South Africa as the repacking and the reselling of practices that are against the black and the poor. South Africa will still face its fundamental challenges that no amount of soccer tactics will have helped.

This 2010 will remain in memory as an extremely fancy dress parade that we were allowed to perform in with a vuvuzela as our soundtrack.

The end goal is to oppress us, and our so-called black government has come to the parade with blacks as a commodity. They are passing the test. We are helping them help us. This blatant truth is our public secret. It is these shared open secrets that uphold the social and political bodies that benefit from the silences about black life.

We fall silent, feed on denial and turn a blind eye to the repulsive state of affairs. To succeed in being soccerised is to sell out.

» » » » [Uhuru News]


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