‘End The Lockdown Mzanzi’ group begin ‘small acts of disobedience’
The group administrators have decided that the time is right for members to begin acting out against lockdown laws, fine or no fine.
With a sense of necessity compelling immediate action, the administrators of a controversial Facebook group who seek to organise a “mass movement” where citizens defy lockdown laws and head back to work have called for action to take place immediately.
Michael Southwood, administrator of the 112 000 member strong #EndTheLockdownMzanzi group, published an announcement on Friday 15 May asking them to begin opening up their businesses and “filling the streets”.
Call for disobedience
The South African spoke to Southwood on 13 May, and he said that the point of the mission was not to defy lockdown laws but rather to encourage members to take back their liberty.
Which, under the circumstances, is essentially the same thing.
On Friday, he said that smaller towns were already showing that the opening of businesses was possible, with many store owners re-opening their doors.
“I’ve noticed that in the smaller towns a lot more non essential businesses have begun opening and I want to suggest that everyone begins doing the same.”
“Let’s aim for Monday [18 May] and over the weekend talk to as many people in your town as possible who are also in business and arrange for staff to come in and let’s begin working. This is mostly for the smaller towns, but if you can get going in the suburbs with a network of other people, then do it.”
He said that those who participated could be risking a fine, but said that they simply must not pay it.
“There is off course a chance that you will get a fine, but there is no way this system will be able to prosecute all of us, so take the fine and don’t pay it.”
“I also want to encourage those of you at home to begin getting out of your houses and onto the streets, walking and driving, we want to see the streets full, just make sure to take shopping bags with you and use that as your excuse. Let’s fill the streets with people going shopping all day.”
“Remember this is an act of mild civil disobedience and we can get fined for doing it, don’t pay the fines.”
‘Farming community must stand together’
He called on the farming community to galvanise and present a united front that could “take over the world”.
“And you farmers have to start standing together and you have to start hiring people together. You are far too divided,” he said.
“I tell you now, if the farmers could stand together, they would take over the whole world.”
He also called for an end to the public tipping-off police about other people’s defiance of lockdown laws, essentially warning that “snitches get stitches” and that once the lockdown ends, such behaviour would make community engagement awkward.
“And stop snitching on each other to the police, the lockdown is soon over and then you will look your neighbour again,” he said.
‘Fear receptors controlling us’
He said that the lockdown was taking a toll on people’s perception of the world, warning that citizens are lulling under mass control.
“We have been under lockdown now for 50 days. The impact of this on one’s mind cannot be described. We have subconsciously started accepting this as normal, and our fear receptors have begun to totally control us.”
“This is the reason I am suggesting a small act of disobedience disguised as ‘shopping’. We need to slowly retrain our minds to understand what normal looks like again and we have to consciously start getting ourselves ready for when we end the lockdown, otherwise we won’t be able to do it.”