Simple thoughts on a better world


The banks weren’t set up to serve the people, they were set up to serve the banks.  The people serve the banks in a banking system.

The country with the most might is the most powerful country, untouchable unswayable impenetrable.  The most might is ensured by the most money.  The biggest army needs the biggest economy, and then they begin to support each other, the army and the economy.

The system is not designed to be anything other then a cyclical support system for this industry, a monetary system whose biggest investor is the military industry: more money means more war means more money.  This system is not designed to improve the lives of the poor, or to eradicate poverty.  That would ultimately spell the end of the system.  It would be suicidal for the system to take away the need for anyone to accumulate capital, as the system needs that motion of money to maintain its cycle.  Eradicating monetary poverty would have to mean establishing a system that didn’t cycle around monetary wealth.

When a poor man wants to succeed he thinks about becoming rich, accumulating wealth, capital gain, each step of which involves investment in the banking system, a system that is set up and maintained by the banks.  The banks control capital on behalf of themselves and the rich minority, together forming the upper tiers of the system.  So each move by a poor man to become a rich man ultimately further enriches those in control of that investment, in control of the capital.  The move that the poor man makes is ultimately made to benefit the banks.  The gap between rich and poor is maintained by the poor investing in becoming rich.

If the poor could break out of the monetary system, in which they exist as poor, and establish a system of sustained survival that was not dependant on accumulating money, then they would fall out of the category of “poor” and break free from its associations i.e. the self-inhibiting and disempowering feeling of worthlessness. Worthlessness is related to definitions of worth and in a monetary system that worth is defined by material aquisition of items deemed valuable by the same system.  “Valuable” again is defined by value and value, outside of a monetary system, is an arbitrary concept, or at least a concept that can be personally defined.

If our ideas of worth and value, of success and failure, can be re-examined and recreated so that they don’t imply money or material gain, then we will have taken a
crucial and concrete step towards eventual emancipation from this system of capitalist consumer control.

I’m willing to work on it, utopian as it might seem, coz if there’s one thing the majority of us agree on, it’s that a better world is possible.

Fresh Rap Lyrics: Hused Whut (Who said what?)

[Listen to the track]

Be the strange man maintain a main plan / to put the can in the hands of the kids and / let them loose on Babylon’s buildings / I fill them with fire / Learn to burn up the Evil Empire / from the spire to the steeple / Conspire with common people / how the leaders and the people are no longer equal / From Osama to Obama / same dirt different hands / The CIA playing the same game as the Taliban / to keep the people stepping in line / Don’t let them see that Guantanamo Bay’s the frontline / not Afghanistan / Reverse the flow / see a whole new attitude / when they’re ducking drones on Pennsylvania Avenue / The Lords of War / them in control of the store / wanna hold the core’s what the war’s for / HUA! / People believe we’ve got a right / to hit Haliburton with a pre-emptive strike / Who are / the ones to kick back the canister? / Slingshot the rock! Slingshot the rock! / Understand me man / I’ve got an active hand / I want to throw up “peace” / while they throw up “gang” / but I stand my ground against a Mafia crowd / that wanna scam a common man like the Turin Shroud / with belief that’s baseless like nothing but the highs / Heaven sounding better than those shitty lives / So they guard the Gods and never answer when / I ask “Your God’s so great? Why’s he need you guarding him?”

Flipping the script…

Flip the script / Hused Whut? / See the situation shift / Hused Whut? / Gonna speak till they come slice my tongue from me son / Hused Whut?

Nobel Peace Prize? Ja well No fine / We gave it to De Klerk to clean Apartheids grime / with a whitewash / We might watch history’s course / and ask F W who controlled the Third Force / in Thokoza / 92 to 94 / Destabilize with your township war / See the white man never have to give back lands when Mandela got the magic that’ll wash those hands / Don’t say that! Don’t play that! The man’s a Saint! / Yeah in Hollywood maybe / but back home he ain’t / He’s just a a man / despite what they’re trying to sell you / Voetsek! He’d be the first to tell you / Pull him out dust him off / It’s election year / Defend his legacy and put your X right he / Madiba / His party / Shaya izandla / His body in Qunu / His spirit in Nkandla? Hhayi hamba! / If he’s alive despite his grace / he’d knock the head off the shower and then he’d spit in the face / to leave it dirty like spy tapes and arms deals / See the pictures never pretty when the truth’s revealed

Flip the script / Hused Whut? / See the situation shift / Hused Whut? / Gonna speak till they come slice my tongue from me son / Hused Whut?

What’s the story? What’s the big idea? / Got a shit load of unanswered questions here / but they don’t want hear that / don’t want to see that / All these Beliebers and twerk jerking brats need to catch fat slaps / Line them up / They all need to learn the real meaning of a wrecking ball / Shut down the Jol / Send them home to mummy / They won’t need those teeth while they’re sucking a dummy / If I’m sounding crummy it’s because I’m pissed! / They like licking their lips from all the ass they’ve kissed / They want to come act wise / They never question why it’s some plastic prize in these advertised lives / Now the pigs in control like its 1984 / George Orwell woulda been thrown from the fourth floor / Ring the alarm in the Animal Farm / is why they locked down Snowden and Assange / Telling us to “Calm down kids, who said? What does he know?” / kicking up a storm in your cuppacino…

Flip the script / Hused Whut? / See the situation shift / Hused Whut? / Gonna speak till they come slice my tongue from me son / Hused Whut?

I to I: no pats on the back from blacks.

I shouldn’t expect any kind of thanks (props) for rationalizing the obvious: I am a white-skinned man that is part of a global society that privileges me. I am a product of a history. I cannot escape my skin. Any discomfort I feel with any of this cannot be blamed on anyone else.

I cannot be blamed for being privileged, only for acting privileged, in a manner that: dehumanizes others; disadvantages others; degrades others; exploits others; disempowers others; or harms others. While this might seem obvious, it’s in the unpacking of just how embedded whiteness is in the global structures that maintain inequality, poverty and social injustice, that the pill takes on a truly bitter taste.

As Samantha Vice has written about white people, “We have an enduring need to think well of ourselves, so it is deeply uncomfortable to be told we should feel ashamed of ourselves.”

I am trapped in my skin, but my trap comes with comforts not afforded to others in a similar situation. If ever my skin disadvantages me, I have avenues of recourse, escape or redress that are not afforded to others. This nullifies any real disadvantage I consider myself to be in.

My recent work “I to I” with Kat Francois, didn’t teach me anything new about race. What it did teach me was to approach my understanding from a different angle. I learned to stay silent for just long enough to catch myself thinking. I learned to try to use that moment to examine the position I was in, in relation to the move that I was about to make. So I didn’t learn anything new about race, I just began to examine it from a position that tried to remove what I thought I already understood.

For the first time, I managed to consciously look in, to not hide away from the many truths about my skin.

I discovered how I felt deprived of any real pride in my ancestry.

I was honest about loving Hip Hop for giving me some sense of legitimacy, for letting me feel like I wasn’t the same as “other white people”.

I went from being angry at Kat for lack of a more nuanced understanding of South African society, to defending her against white people who thought that I’d “Let her off too lightly”, back to being angry again, angry with myself for trying to defend her unnecessarily. That was her point, “Don’t speak for me, you’re just doing what you always do.”.

Not a day goes by now where I don’t argue with her in my head. That was the gift of her performance. I have a constant character in my brain that I can butt heads with without either of us bruising too badly. At some level, I feel that I also provided a kind of foil for her, a white skin that she could spar with, who wasn’t going to retreat to any of the safe spaces with the jump-in jump-out nature of most critical white race engagement. She still has a lot to learn about the differences between whiteness in South Africa and in the UK, but she is sharp enough to know that they exist. I’m no expert on them either.

I got very depressed over the two-week period of producing this work, but I’m glad that we got to be truth-seekers and truth-speakers together.

I’m still pretty angry, but I’m learning to listen hard, to my own thoughts, before acting on them. It’s making it increasingly harder to pick up a pen again, but for the first time in a long time, I’m in no rush.

I to I: how the hell to tackle yourself.

In October of last year I asked Kat Francois if she would be keen to come out to Durban (South Africa), to create a theatre piece with me, to “butt poetic-heads together” live on stage.

Our topic would be race-relations between a Black European African Woman and a White African European Man. Neither of us knew what we were in for. Props (respect) must go to Kat and her fella Rob (photographer poet) for agreeing to work on this, and to my partner in all things life, director Karen Melissa Logan. The four of us dove head-long into the process of producing this work. We are all still surfacing. Again, none of us knew what was coming.

I have been unpacking my “whiteness” for a little over a year now. Writing and co-creating two shows, “YOBO” and “I to I“, both dealing with notions of what it might be to be white in this world, has left me properly spinning. At various points this year I have stopped trusting my work to the point of mini-breakdown. Thankfully I have not been alone. Truly. Karen and I have been fully on this quest together and much must be said for having a partner with enough energy to stash her own shit so she can shoulder some of mine.

The beauty of “I to I” has been to allow me to put it all on stage in the company of another artist who has both provoked me to a point, but also stood with me through what has undoubtably been the most real catharsis I have experienced in my 10 plus years as a professional performer.

I have only just begun to break it all down.

I expect to be doing so for the next long while.

The only thing that I can say for one hundred percent certain that this show has taught me…is to moisturize.

Here is a poetic piece that never made it onto the stage. Most of this show was about the process anyway, so in a way it had its day.


I’m not looking for that pat on the back from a black and I’m sure as hell not gonna end up another whining white guy / I’m gonna get by by getting the balance just right / gonna coast like a ghost / grey / unseen / slipping in between the cracks in the scene / the gaps in the scenery of this fractured society / Or so I thought I would / but it can’t happen / not with a mouth like mine built for rapping / not when I come equipped with a tongue and an intellect set to rip a sizable hole in anything you might respect / when I’m ready whenever you are with a pen for whoever you are to spit hard talking blood letting waiting to get beyond sweat / I will spit fuel to fire fools in my trajectory so expect of me that I will kill it with an ability from within the cranial cavity / dismantle dogs who would battle me leave ’em lacking an’ looking for missing parts of their anatomy like been decapitated by the words that I’ve stated.

Back then I thought that this gimmick gave me some legitimacy.
Like now I can walk freely through situations like “If you don’t know, act like you know.”
But I’m an actor, professional, so I can spot that dishonesty.
And I’m angry.
Angry at being told to turn that tongue on me.
You’re telling me I need to turn that tongue on me?
Why? Why me?
Why do I have to stand on the white side of history? Why can’t I move to the right side of history?
All I wanted was to tackle some serious subject matter.
I didn’t want to be the subject matter to tackle.
Set myself up as a bag at tackle practice AND I’m the player AND I’m the coach screaming at me like “attack this”!

How the hell am I supposed to tackle myself?

Lemme tell you where I’d rather be.
I’d rather be comfortable. Blissful existence to the point of ignorance.
I’d rather be where I can jump in and out as I please.
I’d rather be where if it doesn’t suit me I can choose to leave.
That’s where it’s at.
But it’s not where I’m at.
Lemme tell you where I’m at.
I’m at a point where I’m ready to fuck myself UP, knock myself the fuck out!
So sick of being conscious: Angry man being told he’s got nothing to be angry about.
Conscious, of how I’ve caught myself posing like all these punches I’ve been throwing have a point.
Instead of blunt punches. Blunt, like a glove. Soft.
So I’m angry, and it’s time that I’m taking the gloves off,
Like okay history, have it your way:

SWING “Why do white people get to be ignorant but I don’t?”
SWING “Why do black people get to feel pride but I won’t?”
SWING I never thought I had all the answers
SWING I never thought I’d learned all the lessons
SWING but I was so certain that I was asking the right questions
SWING and maybe I was
SWING but I was never asking them of myself
So now I’m shadow boxing acting like its good for my health but I’m swinging at air because there’s nothing. SWING Fucking. SWING There.

Except me. Try as I might I can’t beat myself. I can’t beat myself enough to discolor this skin I’m in. It’s in me. It is me.
The only black parts of me, are my shadow, and my history.
All I can do is swing.
All I can be is angry.

Photo by SLOETRY

The YOBO Report Part 1: White back at you

It’s 5am and I’ve been up since 3 because I can’t stop thinking about being white.

I’m not trying to BE white.  I am white.  I’m trying to figure out what that means, or what it means to me anyway.

I have been trying to figure it out for the last year, ever since my wife and I pitched our idea for a new show to the Grahamstown National Arts Festival for inclusion in their 2015 Solo Theatre program.

I have never obsessed over a piece of work to the level that I took it to with this show.  I know this because I wasn’t alone.  My wife, the greatest wonder of my life, also happens to be my director and the co-creator of “YOBO: You’re Only Born Once”.  This made it very hard to leave our work at the office so to speak.  Actually, that never happened.  Not even once.  In the final two months of pre-production we agonized over every aspect, more so than with any of the other work we have produced together, because we knew that this one was going to take us to some as yet undiscovered places in our personal journeys as theatre-makers.

Iain ‘Ewok’ Robinson performs in YOBO: You’re only born once in the Thomas Pringle hall in Grahamstown on 8 July 2015; at the 2015 National Arts Festival. Robinson’s spoken word and poetic lines are used to tell the story of a solitary white South African man, discovering his position in a post-apartheid SA and realises the contemporary issues we face that link to our history. (Photo: CUEPIX/Niamh Walsh-Vorster)

Iain ‘Ewok’ Robinson performs in YOBO: You’re only born once in the Thomas Pringle hall in Grahamstown on 8 July 2015; at the 2015 National Arts Festival. Robinson’s spoken word and poetic lines are used to tell the story of a solitary white South African man, discovering his position in a post-apartheid SA and realises the contemporary issues we face that link to our history. (Photo: CUEPIX/Niamh Walsh-Vorster)

Hold on a minute.  What the fuck?  I sound like I’m trying to publish an article in a journal here.  If you want to know, we broke our intentions down like this, and critics have written about the show here, here and here. 

I’m over that though.  I’m blogging so that I can get some shit off my chest. 

Cut the kak: YOBO has forever twisted my guts into knots that are both a painful strain and a pleasure to massage away.  This show freaked me out, and I wrote the sucker.  I wanted the artistic glory of creating something that would provoke and challenge, and then to a degree it did, and I freaked out.  I realized that I wasn’t as ready to handle genuine real responsive and responsible critique as I had made myself out to be.  The show had people on their feet, both in ovation at the end AND in exiting during the performance.  I didn’t know how to handle it.  I’m still figuring it out.  That’s why I’m writing this.

I set out to script pieces that honored the work of authors and writers I had discovered in my digging the depths of WHITENESS.  Digging the depths is the wrong way to describe it actually.  Whiteness isn’t deep.  It’s on the surface.  It isn’t buried, it’s exposed, it’s evident, it’s even obvious.  So obvious that it is beyond observable and has become invisible, invisible in the way that it has manufactured itself as “normal” (making everything other than white, well, “other”).  As it turns out, this invisibility trick isn’t that clever really, because it only seems to work properly on white people.

What is clever about it is the way that it manages to hide (pause for dramatic effect) by being seen.

I met a street artist once who told me that he used to bomb bridges during peak traffic times (Bomb with paint, not bombs.  It’s a graffiti thing).  The more obvious the act the less people seemed to construe it as anything other than somehow sanctioned, or at least much harder to question.

That’s whiteness.  It’s so in your face that it is your face, so you can’t see it.  Unless you look in a mirror, but even then, it’s white like light so it reflects back into your eyes and you have to look away or it hurts.  Either that or you freeze.  Paralysis.  Oh Deer me.  Like a bright light right in your eyes, so all consuming that you can’t look away.  You can’t see anything else.  So you start to forget that anything else exists.  So you’re shocked and unsettled by the notion that anything else exists that isn’t this light.  The light is the primary focus and everything else is the periphery, or if you will, everything else is the margin.

Apparently, according to the critics, some people watched the show and had to look away, or in the case of the theatre, walk out.  I know, I heard them.  I couldn’t see them though.  The light was in my eyes.  That’s what happens when you are on stage, the centre of attention, always in focus.  You don’t see anyone else.  They’re in the blackness, you’re in the light.  You’re aware that they are there, but you can ignore them easily.

I used to do this thing in performance where in order to shake my nerves I would blur my own vision so that I didn’t focus on the audience.  I could look at them without actually seeing them.  It’s a neat trick.  It works both on and off the stage, you just keep your eyes white open.

So, the show.  It’s about how whiteness is an addiction, a comfortable habit that won’t be broken until the addict starts to suffer, to suffer enough that they are desperate to do something about it, anything to break it’s hold.  Some addicts never get to break free, they keep reaching out but all they ever get to grab onto is more net, another hook, barb-wire that cuts them back into their prison of unsustainable highs.  Whiteness is about getting high and trying to stay high.  Strangely enough, this is where whiteness stops being about race and starts to become more about a shared savage survival instinct in all animals, definitely in humans (you know the story about the Mom monkey that stands on the baby monkey to escape the heat?).  We all want to be at the top, and no one wants to be knocked down.

White people don’t see it, but we suffer from a superiority complex bred into us from centuries of imperial cultural conquest of those our ancestors deemed “other”.  We understand this, but we don’t really see it or know it, like we don’t really own it.  It’s like the difference between SAYING sorry and FEELING sorry.  I had to capitalize those words because I have decided that I can’t speak softly about this issue anymore.  White people, especially white artists, that have chosen to have this conversation need to recognize that choice as part of our privilege and I don’t think we can placate ourselves or others anymore by waiting to feel comfortable before diving into this white hole of self-reflection.

So this is me, diving in, the first part in a series of however many it takes as I keep coming white at you.

Peace be the journey, education be the destination, knowledge be the train, the track and every station.

Dealing with some New Brand Of Dad

"Art director" Phyf and main Dad Audiophile 021 talking Ninja Turtles and nappies.

“Art director” Phyf and main Dad Audiophile 021 talking Ninja Turtles and nappies.


“Aight listen! Ye inna position te make a difference if you stop look an listen an make it ye main mission…”

The New Brand Of Dad project is all about how having kids makes us want to be better.  Better artists, better humans, just better overall.  Better at life really, while still working on its personal definition.  The New Brand Of Dad project is about how our little kids have pushed us to make sense of things, letting us strip away all the petty shit and focus on what is really important in our lives.  Having a kid seems to bring that into a fairly sharp perspective, and quickly.  No lie, having a kid is like adapt or die.

Look, before I start getting too motivational speaker on the reader, just to let you know that NBOD isn’t anything new as such, in that it is an album of music recordings, rap and beats, Hip Hop at our finest.

What is new is the perspective that has guided our approach.  We are producing the album from the perspective of being new to the parenting game, while being longtime in the music making and performance game.  This project is about prioritizing quality in the way that we work.  This is about legacy, and longevity, and making a mark that we will always be be proud of.  The ideas contained in this project are timeless, but the production is setting a higher standard that we aim to promote, develop and progress beyond.

It makes sense then that we would want to set the highest standard possible, so that any progress made would be taking us to a new level, just like the commitment to being a good parent.  You have to be able to adapt if you are going to raise your kid right, because that little life is in constant development.  The kid you knew yesterday is the one that you learned about today, and will become a new kid tomorrow.

To raise kids you have to be ready to raise yourself.

The dads involved in this project know all about not dropping the ball, about not compromising your craft, about taking yourself seriously enough to risk and to roll with the possible punches.  It seems like that’s what being a dad is all about.  You don’t always see things coming so you can’t always be prepared.  All you can do is commit yourself to the process, and when you do trip up or stall for whatever reason, quality of character is what pulls you through.  Hip Hop is the same.  It’s all about the recovery.  When breakers slip or MCs tongue stumble, the way they turn that into part of the routine or the rhyme is how you can identify real skill.  Kids are like that, they don’t have all the control so you have to be there with them, to help them recover so that they can discover.  That means you have to be on point, more then you ever thought possible.  You have to find plenty extra energy.  You have to take more time or at least maximize the time you have in making sure you make the best move possible in the moment.

Look, again, this is all pretty obvious stuff if you are even a slightly positive person that drinks coffee and gets busy on a serious level of attack when it comes to life.  It’s just having a kid makes it seem less like a mission and more like a purpose.  This album is about having a clear purpose.  Like we want our kids to have a quality life, we want the listener to have a quality experience.  Our kids are teaching us about perspective, and we want to put these lessons into practice.

NEW BRAND OF DAD is due for a JULY 2014 release.  Like us on Facebook, follow us on twitter, stay tuned and keep practicing that perspective…

rubble of lives

East Jerusalem story

I heard a story today, about East Jerusalem.  It’s about a family, a Palestinian family of Islamic Arabs, that want to build a home.

This family goes back generations, maybe 6 or 7, back into the histories of this land and this city.  Jerusalem is their home, they have known no other. This family wants to build a home, or at least an addition to their family house.  This house that they have lived in for years is on land that they have occupied for centuries.  Like any modern home owner in any city in the world, they pay rates to the municipality to reside on that property.  The young children are getting older, bigger, and the family is expecting a new baby soon.  They want to extend their house, so they apply to the municipality for the rights to do this.  They wait, months go by.  5, 6.  Then a year.  Then two years, then six, then ten.  There is no response to their application.  The children are all much, much older now, the baby born is already almost a teenager, the house has long outgrown them and still they hear nothing.  They cannot wait any longer, so they build an extension without the necessary permit.  When it is complete, they move the furniture in, followed by the family.  Life carries on in this new space, 5 months, 6 months.

Then it happens.  One night the family wakes up to the sound of heavy machinery maneuvering just outside their home. They are surrounded by large demolition vehicles and security forces. It is dark and the only lights are the strong beams from these machines, and the torches of soldiers, armed, some of them masked, who give the family only a short time to evacuate whatever and whoever they can, before the machines start to tear down their home. The destruction is not solely leveled at the new extension, only recently added on, but on the entire home. By the time day breaks and the machines lumber away, it is over. Nothing is left standing. What furniture they managed to move in the terror and the darkness stands exposed, scattered randomly where it fell when rushed from the house. The rest lies in amongst the rubble of the home. “This was an illegal house.” they are told again and again by the bland faced soldiers.

The property is still subject to tax, and if the family does not pay, they will be expelled from East Jerusalem.  They must continue to pay the rates that are due on the rubble of their former life.  There is a final rub here, a last official stamp that marks them as the second class citizens they have become.  The city will not cover the cost of the machinery hire.  The demolition vehicles that performed this operation are legally attached to the home owner who transgressed the city permit laws.  They must pay for the hire of the machinery that destroyed their home.  If they do not, they will be forced to leave.

This is just one story, from one day, from one family in East Jerusalem. There are many, many more.

Boycott Apartheid Israel.  Free Palestine.

rubble of lives


[ ]

BRICS that don’t build.

Durban (my home base) is a city with a history of protest and revolutionary thinking. The man who founded the ANC (the majority party in our current self-styled government of liberation) was from here, and successive leaders of that original organization of unity have been based here. The Natal Indian Congress that coordinated and conducted effective passive resistance stay aways and go slows and such civil disobedience, was based here. Gandhi began to develop his legendary ideas of ‘satyagraha’ by acting together with the civil society movement of Durban. Our International Convention Centre has welcomed on many occasions variously foreign leaders, diplomats and captains of big business, and on as many occasions has had to build barriers against communities and social movement members who gather outside that cathedral of capital to let their voices be heard.

It’s on this old battleground for civil and human rights that a fresh fight is forming.

Brics from below

This fight will be one that unites many communities into a single entity, as we collectively acknowledge a clearly defined ‘enemy’, recognizable to us all in it’s various shifting forms, from government and capital collusion, to brutal policies of forced removal, to environmental destruction. Together with this oncoming wave of fresh marginalization of our civil society voices, and it’s building brutalization of the poor and disenfranchised, the way is most certainly being paved for the type of high-level corporate corruption we have grown so used to in our young democracy.

“Capital B to the R to the I – C – S / 5 letters suggest who writes the cheques / but never checks the Rights / so the peoples lives are economically blocked by some Capital lies…”

B R I C S stands for Brazil – Russia – India – China – South Africa. These five countries are defined in money talk as “emerging economies”, which basically means that up till now they haven’t been allowed to eat at the big table with the traditional leaders of the global economy. These “emerging economies” are seen to pack significant weight in import and export capital and what opportunities they offer others in terms of infrastructure development both at home and abroad. Now, with this growing power, they are more interested in working with each other (economically speaking) then with the ‘old guard’ (the USA, the UK, the EU) who have been scrambling to maintain any credibility/superiority through the last few years of managing a financial crisis that might have been avoided.

That’s what BRICS is: a group of new heavy-weight economies that want to start doing business with each other to create a collective fresh big swinging dick on the Global playground.

“Maite tells us not to criticize / coz they’re bringing us a BOOM like ‘industrialize’ / but we don’t want more construction, corruption and drama / eyes still wet from the tears of Marikana…”

Economists, politicians, government planners, and other such people whose careers are based solely on legitimizing this sort of international gamesmanship, will call up all kinds of verifiable figures and concrete facts together with clear government sanctioned policies of implementation that will lend massive credence to the notion that this is collective is going to “benefit” all of the countries involved.

Here’s where it get’s tricky, sticky and straight-up bull-shitty: isn’t a country largely defined, not by it’s global economic standing, but by the well-fare, the wellbeing, of it’s people? Can a country even be said to exist, if it’s natural resources (again, NOT it’s economic resources), it’s actual natural beauties and environs, no longer exist? Can there be any “benefit” in asking a people who’s lives, even in the last twenty years of “freedom”, are largely defined by continued hardship and a struggle to access even the most basic of human rights (shelter and dignity), to sacrifice on behalf of an unseen entity like ‘the economy’?

If the answer to the first question is yes, and to the second two is no, then how is it that the South African government, thought its parastatal TRANSNET, in an apparent attempt to punch above it’s economic weight and justify its standing in this arrogant acronym (BRICS), would sanction the expansion of the Port of Durban in an effort to make this city the “Gateway to Africa”, if that means the displacement (forced removal) of 6000 South African citizens, the destruction of a series of natural African eco-systems, an increase in the already rampant and chart topping pollution of the Durban South Basin, and the undermining of a local manufacturing market that employs thousands?

“It’s just another power BLOC / fokkol change / 99% playing in a 1% game…”

When the Occupy movement grabbed the worlds attention in 2011, when they moved to shut-down Wall Street in New York, when they camped outside St Pauls in London, inspiring multiple synonymous movements around the world to take up fresh arms, the common paradigm was of a world where 99% of the population worked and in many cases slaved for the benefit of the 1% few.

BRICS has set itself up as a clear case of the operation of the mechanics of maintaining this absurdly weighted percentage paradigm. While the biggest ‘players’ in this game, the leaders and ministers of these countries who are in control of ‘international cooperation’ (foreign policy) together with their private capital counterparts, continue to meet to discuss the easiest ways to ensure the quickest and most effortless profits, the people on the ground that will be directly affected by any moves made “on their behalf” are consistently excluded from this policy making process.

Unless of course they decide to find alternative routes to reminding those at the top that the foundations tend to crack, that the base starts to get shaky, when the people decide that movement is necessary.

Once again, Durban plays host to just such a social civil society movement: The South Durban Environmental Alliance . This movement, that is built from below by real “human bricks”, while operating in protest to the Port of Durban expansion, is in effect operating in protest of ANY type of traditional top-down political play that seeks to make pawns of a people while the Kings breathe easy.

This meeting took place today. Don’t worry if you missed it. It won’t be the last, not by a long shot.

BRICS from below Durban action

[Follow @BricsFromBelow to link with a growing movement of eThekwini communities mobilizing against this juggernaut]