|Six musicians and activists who were in a meeting to prepare for a public protest demonstration were violently attacked by unidentified aggressors. The episode was just one of more violent attacks on musicians and other activist during the days that lead up to the demonstrations of 10 March 2012.
By Chici Vieira, Freemuse’s correspondent in Angola
The beating went on for about five minutes. None of the aggressors said a word. Then two of the musicians managed to escape out of the door, where they found another six men waiting. After a few more minutes, the attackers left the spot as sudden as they had arrived and disappeared in cars without number plates.
The episode was just one of more violent attacks on musicians and other activist during the days that lead up to the demonstrations of 10 March 2012. On the day of the demonstration, a small group of about 30 people gathered peacefully in the Luanda suburb Cazenga, and were met with more violence from unidentified aggressors. The police was present at the spot, but did not intervene.
Several rappers were badly injured, among them Luaty Beirão, also known as “Brigadeiro Mata Frakus”. One opposition party leader, Filomeno Lopes Vieira from the Democratic Bloc, was also badly hurt.
Musicians, activists and sympathisers expressing their condemnation of the events at, among others, the blog club-k.net are not in doubt that the violence was ordered directly from the presidential level.
32 years in power
Recently, the president appointed Suzana Inglés, a former leading MPLA member, as head of the National Electoral Commission to secure free and fair elections. Critics say that she is still closely engaged with the MPLA and the opposition has threatened to boycott elections if she is not replaced. The 10 March manifestation had as a specific objective to demand the removal from office of Suzana Inglés.
Musicians lead the protests
One of the most famous Angolan rappers is MCK, who just released a new album with the title ‘Proibido Ouvir Isso’ (Listening to this prohibited). He said to Voz de América that Angolan hip-hop is “a new tool for political participation that has brought back to life the revolutionary spirit of the music from the 1970ies, which was music against the colonial repression.”
According to the Angolan journalist Victor Vunge, who knows the hip-hop milieu from the inside, these musicians have played a protagonist role in organizing and mobilizing for the protests during the last year. They primarily use the internet and one of Angola’s few independent radio stations, Radio Despertar, to spread their music and messages, to mobilise and to document the attempts at silencing them.
State of the Nation
The lyrics include statements such as:
“The worst weapon in Angola is the disease of corruption
See the video here:
Small movement – growing sympathy
The movement is still limited to a few hundred activists who show up at demonstrations, but sympathies seem to be growing as the responses of authorities become more repressive. Hence, the latest wave of violence in Angola have been strongly contested by civil society organisations, opposition parties and even by individual characters from cultural and political life who are usually not very critical. All state directly that they are in no doubt that the government is behind the attacks.
Photo from youtube video
Music video with Tribo Sul
Place a link to this page on your Facebook profile
|Related reading on freemuse.org|
Burma: Conscripted for Karaoke
Promoting the Burmese governments National Convention, three famous singers; Khin Maung Toe, Ringo and Htun Aeindrabo are singing a jingle on Myanmar TV—but something is not right. Expressionless, the three gaze at their scripts and sing blankly, even though the song is short and repetitive. The singing zombie trio in concert. News indicates that these musicians were conscripted into singing and possibly blackmailed by authorities.