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South Africa takes on the New Apartheid: Climate Change

Updated: Nov 19, 2021 The choice of location for South Africa's most recent, major protest, calling for action against climate change, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, is a very clear indication that these protesters have correctly identified the vested interests responsible for the perpetuation of our climate disaster. This protest is also a vivid demonstration of how South Africans are learning from and following the example of protesters around the world in terms of implementing techniques of disruption of everyday activity, increasingly seen as the best way to get the attention of those who are responsible and those who might be willing to join the fight so that victory will eventually be achieved.

The critical role of South Africa, along with Nigeria, the continent's leading economies, is further underscored by the fact that climate activists now refer to a "climate apartheid" where those with the fewest resources facing the greatest challenges are segregated, distanced from the powerful with the most resources. In this scenario, people of color in the global south will suffer from the most intense droughts, floods, fires and famine, with hundreds of millions facing food insecurity, forced migration, disease, and death, according to the HRC, the Human Rights Council of the United Nations. As described by its representative Philip Alston, the world may be "barreling toward a 'climate apartheid,' where the wealthy pay to escape the fire and famine of climate change while the rest of the world is left to suffer."


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