Metro police back down on ban on World Cup marches

Johannesburg’s metro police have backtracked on their refusal last week even to meet organisers of a march next Thursday intended to protest against enduring education inequalities. They met the organisers and approved the June 10 march on Wednesday this week.

The Mail & Guardian reported last week that police had declined to meet the organisers because no gatherings would be allowed during the 2010 Fifa World Cup. More than 30 local and international organisations, including the Public Participation in Education Network, Cosatu, Idasa and the NGO, 1Goal, which Fifa president Sepp Blatter co-chairs, have combined for the march.

The march intends to draw on Fifa’s objective that the World Cup should leave a lasting legacy in combating the inequity of 72-million children worldwide who are out of school.

Following the M&G‘s report last week, it emerged that metro police had also refused to meet the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and the Anti-Privatisation Forum (APF).

The TAC had applied to converge on the United States embassy in Sandton on June 17, where it intends to hand a ­memorandum to US Vice-President Joe Biden about the decrease in G8 financial commitments to HIV/Aids.

The APF’s Dale McKinley said it took a lawyer’s letter to change the metro police’s decision not to meet the organisation about its intention to march on Soccer City on June 11, the first day of the tournament.

The TAC’s march was also approved on Wednesday this week.

But the APF has to meet the police again on Friday because of “concerns about the APF’s route”, McKinley said.

David Macfarlane

David Macfarlane

David Macfarlane is currently the Mail & Guardian's education editor. He obtained an honours degree in English literature, a fairly unpopular choice among those who'd advised him to study something that would give him a real career and a pension plan. David joined the M&G in the late 1990s. There, the publication's youth – which was nearly everyone except him – also tried to further his education. Since April 2010, he's participated in the largest expansion of education coverage the M&G Media has ever undertaken. He says he's "soon" going on "real annual leave", which will entail "switching off this smart phone the M&G youth told me I needed".   Read more from David Macfarlane

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