Tag Archives: Kalk Bay Books

QA 57. “Need I remind anyone, again?”

armedstrugglefistBetween 1987 and 1990, my husband Rob and I ran a safe house for the liberation movement in apartheid South Africa. We were part of what we would later learn was named Operation Vula, short for Vul’indlela (“Open the road” in Zulu). Its aim was to infiltrate exiled leaders of the African National Congress/Umkhonto we Sizwe back into the country to help co-ordinate the different streams of popular resistance within the country – trade unions, civics, students, armed units and others – and to open a secure channel of communication between the leadership inside the country, in prison and in exile.

This was the time of State President PW Botha, he of the wagging finger and brutal states of emergency. With the townships locked down by the military, Vula operatives would need access to hideaways in the white suburbs, but any white South African who was trustworthy enough would already be known to the regime. The operation thus required white internationals who could come into the country, set themselves up as immigrants, rent a house and blend into the neighbourhood to provide camouflage for underground activists. With a couple of twists of fate, a couple of fairly low-key anti-apartheid activists in Vancouver got the call. We said yes. Continue reading

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Archives of The Bus (#JWTC2014 Archives of the Non-racial)

Photo: Naadira Patel

Photo: Naadira Patel

Did you miss the bus?

Do you miss the bus?

Here are two next-best things.

My talk at Kalk Bay Books about my trip and the ideas that grabbed me is here.

And the documentary film by Tjasa Kancler and Kirk Sides, featuring interviews with many of the participants, speakers and organisers, is up on Vimeo here.

QA 30. Philosophy Café: Community in conversation

It’s Tuesday night, and I’m just home from a philosophy café. I have hosted these monthly gatherings since I started my philosophical counselling practice in 2002. This year, we’ve been generously offered space in the lovely village bookshop, after hours – a perfect setting for conversation.

We were thirteen this evening: some regulars, a couple of people who have been scarce for a while, and a few first-timers. Someone started by saying how appalled he was at Hillary Clinton’s televised reaction to the death of Muammar Gadaffi. Celebrating like a vindictive child who’s won a game of tiddlywinks! What have we come to?

Where did we go from there? Continue reading