Prisoners of apartheid: Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu at Robben Island prison in 1966.
Photo: International Defense and Aid Fund
In the U.S. from Obama on down to all the talking heads trample over each other to praise their version of Nelson Mandela’s life. No one can ignore his rise from a South African prison cell to lead that nation out of apartheid, a necessary first step in the long road towards a new, equitable and just society in that part of the world.
What they avoid is mentioning is the collaboration of the U.S. government in maintaining apartheid, the system that took Mandela to engage in and lead the armed struggle waged by the African National Congress. What is omitted is the fact that U.S. society maintains it’s own version of apartheid, it’s overseas and domestic colonialism, it’s own brand of racial oppression.
What is not mentioned in this hypocritical discourse is the fact that the U.S. holds a long list of political prisoners, most for even longer than Mandela’s 27 years. Free Oscar Lopez Rivera, Free Leonard Peltier, Free the Omaha 2, Mumia Abu Jamal, Free Jalil and Herman Bell. FREE THEM ALL.
— Vicente Alba-Panama via Facebook
Umkhonto We Sizwe (MK) was the armed wing of the African National Congress, which fought against the South African apartheid government. MK was co-founded by Nelson Mandela. It launched its first guerrilla attacks against the racist regime December 16, 1961.