Friday August 07, 2009 22:39 by Jon – ZACF
Activists Reclaim Jozi Streets for Soccer
Half a dozen anarchists, including members of the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front, participated in a Reclaim the Streets inspired six-a-side soccer ‘tournament’ this Sunday 2nd August in Newtown, Johannesburg. They were invited to form an anarchist team by the organisers.
The soccer tournament was part of the Recess: Street Credit cultural event and art exhibition which coincided with the annual Khanya College Winter School. The tournament took place on Henry Nxumalo street in Newtown, under the M1 highway – just a few hundred meters away from the Johannesburg Central Police Station – when activists and soccer enthusiasts cordoned off the road with plastic tape and started playing.
According to a call to participate in the event, the tournament was “intended to disrupt the normal flow of traffic in the square, hijacking the street for creative and political intentions. The teams have been carefully selected, a minor representation of a larger socio-political body of organisations and collectives”, intending to “bring together a variety of cultural and socio-political activists, for reasons of networking, political engagement and having fun”.
Unfortunately not all of the eight teams invited to participate in the event turned up, but the Siyaphambili Youth Project and the Circled-A Team were present, together with two other teams. The whole atmosphere of the tournament was against the 2010 World Cup, which is seen by many as the sole preserve of the rich. The SYP team even had the letters to make up “FUCK 2010” painted on the back of their teams shirts.
The Circled-A team lost 5-3 to a team of youngsters, the fourth and fifth goals being scored in the last two minutes when the anarchist team was looking for the winner (and then equaliser). The Circled-A team could perhaps have done better but some of the Soweto-based anarchists expected to play on the team were unable to attend because they could not raise the necessary transport money in time.
There has been talk of turning this into the start of a social movements six-a-side league.