PRESENTED TO THE STATION COMMANDER OF VOSLOORUS POLICE STATION
29th OCTOBER 2010
As members of the Vosloorus community and those involved in work against discrimination, we address you today with serious concerns. Within the last month 12 people were arrested and brought to this station. During their arrest, they were threatened and homophobic comments such as “there are no lesbians in Vosloorus” were made. We are here today to say that there are lesbians in Vosloorus. The abuse of power and the ignorance of the law has not only happened once at this police station. Last year, lesbians were beaten up by police officers and many of us live in fear. We do not believe that the police are there to protect and help us. It is the job of the police to uphold the Constitution. We are here to say that police should be protecting our rights and not discriminating against us.
We will not accept police violence and brutality against anybody. It is not only lesbians and gays that are often brutalised and unfairly treated by the police but also homeless people, immigrants and many other marginalised people in the community. We know that this is not only happening at this police station, but also throughout the country. It is illegal to arrest us, to punish us for being who we are. It is illegal to use force against us. It is illegal to discriminate against us. Us being here today is us standing with all those who face police brutality throughout the country.
Many are scared to go to the police to report violence as they fear being victimised again. We should all feel comfortable to come to the police station to lay any charges without any fear.
We call on the police to join us as partners and not perpetrators. We guarantee that our communities will be safer if everyone in the community feels safe. It is up to the police to uphold the constitution. To guarantee that no-one is unfairly treated for any reason. This includes sexual orientation, HIV status, gender, disability, nationality, race and class.
We will continue to mobilise in the community, to stand up and make our voices heard until such time as the police become partners in our struggles against discrimination.
1. An end to police brutality
2. An access to justice for all people
3. An end to police homophobia
4. That we can openly and freely love who we want to love
5. That a full investigation be carried out as to why the Vosloorus Police Station has become notorious for homophobia and violence
6. That the police do not abuse their power
7. That the police at this station prove that they are taking steps to address the concerns of the community.
8. That the police partner with the community against discrimination and not discriminate themselves
9. That the police uphold the law of the land enshrined in the Constitution
10. That police do not engage in secondary victimisation. We should feel comfortable to access police services and justice no matter who we are.
Presented by community members of Vosloorus and partner organisations
Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), Lesbian and Gay Equality Project (LGEP), 1 in 9 Campaign, Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW)
For further information call:
Sibongile 074 471 6318