THIRTY YEARS OF STANDING FOR LIFE AND LIBERTY

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THIRTY YEARS OF STANDING FOR LIFE AND LIBERTY 1“Does not wisdom cry out and understanding lift up her voice?” She takes a stand on the top of the high hill, beside the way, where the paths meet. She cries out by the gates, at the entrance of the city, at the entrance of the doors.”

 

Proverbs 8:1-3

For over thirty years Africa Christian Action has been standing for Faith and freedom, campaigning for Life and Liberty throughout South Africa. This last Sunday we experienced serious police harassment at our Life Chain.

 

Creative Banners, Posters and Placards

Much work, creativity, prayer and planning go into organising these outreaches at one of the busiest traffic intersections in Cape Town. Banners, posters and placards are designed: abortion kills babies. Abortion is the ultimate child abuse. A person is a person, no matter how small. Abortion is not a human right; it is human sacrifice. Abortion is our national sin. God will not bless a country that kills its own babies. Compassion is always an option. Take my hand, not my life. Abortion is murder. Life begins at conception. “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.” Proverbs 31:8. “Now Choose Life so that you and your children may live.”  Deuteronomy 30:19. Abortion does not make you unpregnant. It makes you the mother of a dead baby. Adoption – loving option. Choose life! Babies are a blessing. In God’s court, abortion is murder. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Well-designed posters, banners and placards communicating these and other messages were prepared. 10,000 leaflets were printed. Volunteers were mobilised to confront Capetonians with these facts.

 

THIRTY YEARS OF STANDING FOR LIFE AND LIBERTY 2At the Gateway to the City

Volunteers from far and wide, from many churches and families, some travelling great distances, come to participate in the annual Life Chain between the Cape Town International Conference Centre and the entrance to the Waterfront. Buitengracht Street traffic island is an ideal venue for these Life Chains.

 

Mass Literature Distribution

With sixteen well-trained literature distributors, we can easily distribute 5,000 leaflets in an hour. We hoped that we would be able to distribute between 8,000 to 10,000 leaflets and Gospel booklets during this Life Chain. As motorists approached the traffic intersections, the colourful banners and posters and different people lining the sides of the road with placards and posters always create great interest and people wind down their windows and eagerly receive the literature we have to distribute to understand more about the issues we are making a stand for.

 

THIRTY YEARS OF STANDING FOR LIFE AND LIBERTY 3Good Calm Weather in the Cape of Storms

After a freezing cold winter, we could not have asked for a more pleasant day for our Life Chain. There was no wind, no rain (and in Cape Town wind and rain are fairly common), many people were arriving early and everything looked set for an excellent Life Chain outreach.

 

Large Police Presence

However, when we arrived, we were surprised to see a large police van already parked on the traffic island. There were also a surprising number of metro police and traffic police vehicles at the venue.

 

Where is Your Permit?

Different security and law enforcement personnel approached our leaders wanting to see our “permit.” While, actually, in South Africa, you do not need a permit because the Bill of Rights in the South African Constitution guarantees our rights to demonstrate and distribute literature: “Section 17: everyone has the right, peacefully and unarmed, to assemble, to demonstrate, to picket and to present petitions.” In addition, under Section 16: “everyone has the right to freedom of expression, which includes: (a) – freedom the press and other media; (b) freedom to receive or impart information or ideas; (c) freedom of artistic creativity …” However, we always inform the City of Cape Town traffic department of our planned Life Chains and marches to Parliament. In response we had received notification that this event was “permitted.”

 

THIRTY YEARS OF STANDING FOR LIFE AND LIBERTY 4Harassment and Interference

Barely 30 minutes into our Life Chain a traffic officer, J. Brand, started to interfere and instructed our literature distributors to cease and desist. He also ordered our banners removed from the pedestrian walkway over Buitengracht Street. I was walking around the 6,700 square metre traffic island in Buitengracht Street, greeting each of the participants when I was summoned to meet with this traffic officer. He informed me that it was illegal to distribute literature to passing motorists!

 

Unprecedented

I pointed out that we have been conducting Life Chains in Cape Town every year, for three decades. The Life Chain is an international event, always held on the first Sunday of October and we had never had any problems with either our banners being displayed or our literature being distributed.

 

THIRTY YEARS OF STANDING FOR LIFE AND LIBERTY 5Double Standards

Officer Brand informed me that our posters could be “a distraction” for motorists and “cause accidents.” To this I replied that in over 30 years of conducting Pro-Life events, no accidents had ever happened at any of our Life Chain events. In fact, as there are many billboards, advertising posters on lamp posts and all manner of potentially distracting advertisements on the sides of buildings, not to mention trucks. It seemed unreasonable to single out Pro-Life posters at a Life Chain, which after all, would only be up there for two hours.

 

Moving Goalposts

Traffic Officer Brand informed me that he was not interested in debating the matter, but instructing me that we had to remove our banners from the pedestrian bridge and stop all literature distribution at the traffic lights. At this point our literature distributors were coming to join us, confused at having been instructed that they were to cease.

 

THIRTY YEARS OF STANDING FOR LIFE AND LIBERTY 6Safety Concerns

I asked why we could not distribute our Pro-Life literature at the traffic lights. Officer Brand replied that he was concerned for the safety of our people and he would hold the Convenor responsible for any accidents that occurred.

To this I responded that we had always insisted and I had just reiterated in my instructions to the assembled Pro-lifers beforehand that all distributors were to be alert to any potential dangers from traffic. For those holding placards and banners to be behind the railings on the island and for those distributing literature, to only do so when all traffic was stationary and to immediately get out of the road when traffic began to move again.

 

Inventing New Laws

Nevertheless, Officer Brand said that he could not allow any literature distribution at traffic lights as it was illegal! This statement was extraordinary as it is extremely common throughout South Africa, every day of the week, to have hawkers, marketing teams and others frequently distributing literature at traffic lights throughout the country. Why was our Pro-Life protest today being singled out for this? One of the principles of the Bill of Rights is that rules were to be applied evenly.

 

Threats

The traffic officer said he was not interested in debating these issues, he was issuing and instructions which he expected to be obeyed, or he would hold the convenor criminally liable for any violation!

 

THIRTY YEARS OF STANDING FOR LIFE AND LIBERTY 7Track Record

We pointed out that we have a 30-year track record of being law-abiding people. We have never thrown a stone, never broken any windows and have never even left any litter before at our protests or marches. In fact, at this Life Chain, we had some people specifically tasked with plastic gloves and black plastic bags, picking up litter in order to leave the place better than we found it. Our Life Chains consist of mothers, fathers, families, ministers, missionaries and law-abiding people. People in wheelchairs and mothers with prams, are hardly a threat to society! We are friends of law enforcements and through our preaching and teaching, seek to be positive and constructive in blessing and building up the community.

 

Obstruction

However, Officer Brand refused to talk to us and walked away. We did not see him again. The SAPS, Metro Police and Traffic Police contingent remained, with several Metro Police vehicles obscuring part of our Life Chain by parking alongside our protestors in Buitengracht Street. The police remained until our time was up at 4:00pm and our people dispersed after hymn singing and prayer.

 

THIRTY YEARS OF STANDING FOR LIFE AND LIBERTY 8God’s Word Will Not Return Void

Despite this harassment and interference, our team of distributors managed to distribute over 2,700 leaflets and Gospel leaflets before the traffic officer began to order our people to stop.

 

Videos, Photos and Radio Programmes

To view of the video of the confrontation at our Life Chains, click HERE

For photos of the event, please visit the Africa Christian Action Facebook page.

To hear the latest Salt & Light radio programme on: Thirty Years of Standing for Life & Liberty, click here

To listen to the radio interview on From the Frontline: When Authorities Abuse, click here.  

 

“Who will stand up for Me against the workers of iniquity? Who will rise up for Me against the evil doers?” Psalm 94:16

 

National Alliance for Life Conference

To view the presentation I gave to the National Alliance for Life Conference on Saturday 2nd October 2021, click here

To view the Power point presentation prepared for the National Alliance for Life Conference, click here.

To listen to the sermon audio of the presentation given to National Alliance for Life, click here.

 

If you faint at the day of adversity, your strength is small. Deliver those who are drawn toward death and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, surely we did not know this, does not He who weights the heart consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?” Proverbs 10:12

 

Dr. Peter Hammond
Frontline Fellowship
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
Tel: 021-689-4480
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www.FrontlineMissionSA.org
www.ReformationSA.org
www.LivingstoneFellowship.co.za

 

 

 

Christian Action P.O.Box 23632 Claremont 7735 Cape Town South Africa info@christianaction.org.za - 021-689-4481 - www.christianaction.org.za
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