Mine unrest spread in South Africa as police and security guards fired rubber bullets and tear gas Monday [September 3, 2012] at sacked gold miners attacking former colleagues trying to get to work, injuring four miners, according to the owner of the mine.
The mine's business associates previously involved relatives of Nelson Mandela and President Jacob Zuma and was the same place where firebrand politician Julius Malema, an avowed enemy of Zuma, last week pledged to make the nation's mines ungovernable.
The mine unrest reached a bloody climax on Aug. 16 when police shot 112 striking workers, killing 34 of them, at a platinum mine at Marikana, northwest of Johannesburg. The state violence was reminiscent of apartheid days and has damaged the government's image. Government officials held a press conference to try to control the fallout.Please note that the media characterizes the striking miners as the attackers, despite they are the ones that end up shot, and often dead. A golden dawn event?
***Aurora was bought two years ago by a group including Zuma's nephew and a grandson of anti-apartheid-icon Nelson Mandela. The two allegedly never paid for the mine but stripped it of most assets and now are being sued by liquidators. They have failed to honor court orders that they pay tens of thousands of dollars to miners thrown out of work.
"The 1927 murders were recklessly perpetrated by a police force in the pay of the governor of the state of Colorado. The machine gunning of striking coal miners was orchestrated by a small but powerful segment of the business community and was encouraged by lurid editorials against immigrant workers in Colorado's daily papers. The citizens of Lafayette burned those papers in the street as a sign of their agony and their sense of betrayal. Lafayette wanted justice; Denver simply wanted coal," writes a memorial site.
The striking workers were carrying no weapons, only three American flags, for, needless to say, the cry against them was that they were not Americans. "Keeping America American" is not a new saying.
Popular strike leader Adam Bell stepped forward and asked that the gate be unlocked. As he put his hand on the gate one of the rangers struck him with a club. A sixteen-year-old boy stood nearby holding one of the flags. The banner was snatched from him, and in the tug-of-war that followed the flagpole broke over the fence. The miners rushed toward the gate, and suddenly the air was filled with tear gas launched by the police. A tear gas grenade hit Mrs. Kubic in the back as she tried to get away. Some of the rangers hurled rocks and clubs and the miners threw them back. The miners in the front of the group scaled the gate, led by Adam Bell's call of "Come on!" Bell was pulled down by three policemen. Viciously clubbed on the head, he fell unconscious to the ground. A battle raged over his prostrate form, the miners shielding him from the rangers. Mrs. Elizabeth Beranek, mother of 16 children and one of the flag-bearers, tried to protect him by thrusting her flag in front of his attackers. The police turned on her, bruising her severely (police admitted to using clubs in the skirmish. ***Three machine-guns had been installed at the mine and miners later claimed their ranks were decimated by a withering crossfire from the mine tipple— a structure where coal was loaded onto railroad cars— and from a gun on a truck near the water tank. John Eastenes, 34, of Lafayette, married and father of six children, died instantly. Nick Spanudakhis, 34, Lafayette, lived only a few minutes. Frank Kovich of Erie, Rene Jacques, 26, of Louisville and 21 year old Jerry Davis died hours later in the hospital. The American flag Davis carried was riddled with seventeen bullet holes and stained with blood. Mike Vidovich of Erie, 35, died a week later of his injuries.***Newspapers printed a statement from an uncomfortable Governor Adams that the machine-guns were mounted before and after, but not during the shooting, at which time they had been placed in storage at his personal request. Citizens of Lafayette were so enraged at what they described as lies in the press that they burned stacks of newly-delivered newspapers in the street.
"Flaming Milka," Colorado's rebel girl wore bright red clothing, engaged in physical confrontations with men, and led hundreds of toughened miners in protests against murderous conditions in the coal fields.
Should we watch mines and locations with the name Aurora, even ones full of fertilizer, for awhile? To which one could say, in a moment of expressive awareness, a contemptuous acknowledgment of the obvious: