Mkhuseli “Khusta” Jack is from South Africa and Oscar Olivera is from Bolivia; they come from different continents but they share one common story: they both challenged injustice and won.
In 1985, Khusta helped end racial apartheid by organizing a consumer boycott in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Fifteen years later, in 2000, Olivera played a key role in a resistance movement that stopped the privatization of water in Cochabamba, Bolivia.
These two struggles, years and continents apart, are a testimony of the power of strategic organizing and non-violent civil resistance.
This year, Khusta and Olivera met in Mexico at the School of Authentic Journalism. A group of scholars and professors from the school produced a video with their stories, which was recently released by Narco News TV.
Young and energetic, Khusta led an economic boycott of downtown white-owned businesses in Port Elizabeth to leverage black people’s demands for better treatment -humane treatment by the apartheid government of South Africa.
In the dizzying heights of Cochabamba, Bolivia, in 2000, Oscar Olivera together with others waged a popular resistance that came to be known as the Cochabamba Water Wars- a struggle against the privatisation of Bolivia’s water; including its rain water.
Both men mobilised, they rallied their people to take a stand, they stood their ground. They took a risk; their activities were daring, after all they were dealing with life and death matters. But what choice did they have? Was a life without water a choice? Was a life without freedom, dignity and justice a choice? And so they sacrificed; not only their time and energy but their lives; and they both won.
Mexican blog Hazme el Chingado Favor [es] posted a short commentary encouraging their readers to share the video:
Este video no es una comedia como las otras que hemos hecho, pero creemos tanto en su mensaje que estamos motivados para compartirlo con todo el mundo y quisieramos pedir su apoyo con su difusión. El tema del video se explica por si solo.
This video is not a comedy like the others we've done, but we believe in its message so much that we are motivated to share it with the world and would like to ask for your support in spreading it. The theme of the video is self-explanatory.