Protestors plan to disrupt antiracism Conference

Johannesburg- South Africa (PANA) -- As many as 15,000 protestors could descend on Durban's venue of the UN World Conference against Racism starting at the end of August.
Activists from different groups including Jubilee 2000, the Treatment Action Group and a group sympathetic to the cause of Palestinians are among those planning the action.
The Congress of South African Trade Unions has indicated it may use the occasion to protest against privatisation and accompanying job loses.
Since 1995 nearly one million jobs have been lost in South Africa.
On Wednesday AngloGold, South Africa's biggest gold mine said it was closing two of its shafts and shedding about 5,000 jobs.
The Durban conference has attracted wide interest from many sectors wanting their concerns on the agenda.
Even the local Apostolic Church has made demands that discrimination against religions be placed on the agenda, as it feels other churches have discriminated against it over the years.
Fears that the United States would pull out of the summit were removed Thursday after a preparatory meeting in Geneva to review contentious issues on the agenda agreed to remove the wording objected to by the US and Israel.
The US had threatened that it would withdraw from the summit if Zionism is equated to racism and if African nations called for reparations for slavery.
The US stayed away from the UN conference on racism in 1978 and also skipped the subsequent one in 1983 over the same issue.
With the US back on board, fears that South African taxpayers would have to foot the R100 million bill to host the summit may begin to subside.
The host nation has only received about R10 million from donors so far.

01 august 2001 23:50:00

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