The Right2Know Campaign is marching to Parliament today (Wednesday 27 October) to demonstrate popular opposition to the Protection of Information Bill, which will fundamentally undermine hard-won constitutional rights including access to information and freedom of expression.
The march departs from Keizersgracht Street at about 11am and will proceed to Parliament, where speakers including Cosatu’s Tony Ehrenreich, Professor Kader Asmal, Archbishop Thabo Magoba, author Andre P Brink, M&G editor Nic Dawes and representatives from community
organisations will press the demand that the Bill be withdrawn or fundamentally redrafted. A memorandum will be handed over to Secretary to Parliament Zingile Dingani at 1.30pm.
The Right2Know Campaign is a civil society coalition formed to stop the Bill in its current form. Over 350 organisations and 10 000 individuals have signed onto its founding statement: “Let the truth be known. Stop the Secrecy Bill!”
The impact of last week’s Right2Know march to parliament, that saw thousands of South Africans come together to voice their opposition to The Secrecy Bill, reverberated loud and clear among the members of the the ad hoc committee on Protection of Information bill.
Organisations endorsing the Right2Know statement include the Alternative Information Development Centre, Amnesty International, Black Sash, Ceasefire Campaign, CIVICUS, Democracy Development Programme, Diakonia Council of Churches, Earthlife Africa, Freedom of Expression Institute, Gay & Lesbian Network, Idasa, Institute for Security Studies, Open Democracy Advice Centre, M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism (amaBhungane), National Welfare Forum,
Palestine Support Committee, Professional Journalists’ Association, Section27, South African History Archives, and the South African
National Editors Forum as well as various social movements including Equal Education, Social Justice Coalition, Social Movements Indaba,
Treatment Action Campaign, and the Unemployed People’s Movement.
Individuals endorsing the statement include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nadine Gordimer, Prof Kader Asmal, Zakes Mda, Dr Max Price, Prof.
Jonathan Jansen, Zackie Achmat, Prof. Njabulo Ndebele, Pieter-Dirk Uys, Mary Burton, Mazibuko K Jara, Andrew Feinstein, Richard Spoor,
Andre Brink, Terry Bell, Laurie Nathan, Pierre de Vos, Max Du Preez, Paul Graham, Pippa Green, Prof Hoosen Coovadia and Breyten Breytenbach.