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Were the South African police justified in gunning down the striking miners?
In South Africa striking miners armed with spears and machetes hacked two police officers to death. Days later in retaliation the police opened fire on the protesters killing 34 and wounding approx 70, Were police actions justified in order to stem further unrest?
People working for a couple dollars a day got angry about the wealthy poeple making millions off them. This always resullts in the wealthy owners killing some of the workers to put them in their place.
There were a dozen major killings of workers in the U.S. from 1900 to 1933. The Army even attacked WWI veterans and their families, when they asked for their VA benefits. I'm not sure how many families were killed.
The way you frame the question puts the workers at fault. I disagree. I think people have rights.
To me, that police line looked disorganized and unprofessional and seemingly had no clear rules of engagement. It was a mistake that it ever even came to that. For a labor dispute they should have sent in a labor negotiator, not a line of poorly trained officers with assault weapons, but bullets and humans are cheaper than platinum.
Take a look back through American history, to see how the early labor movement here was treated by the government. You will find that South Africa is currently going through much the same, though the specifics may be different.
As far as can be determined, the police took every measure they could to break up the protests without resorting to lethal tactics. In this case, they were charged by a group of miners holding weapons. The police simply had, if their testimony can be believed, no other choice. It was an act of self protection.
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