About

The Centre for Law & Social Justice

Writing Rights is a campaigning website and blog. It is a project of the Centre for Law and Social Justice (CLSJ).

Aims

The Centre for Law and Social Justice (CLSJ) was formed in 2009 by Zackie Achmat and Gavin Silber, and works as a virtual centre with associates who are activists and activist intellectuals. We aim – in a modest way – to build a different tradition in knowledge, language and practice that is based on a rich history of progressive thought and practice but moving beyond it to practical application.

Writing Rights encourages engagement on a direct and sustained basis with matters that include promoting regional economic integration; rigorous contemporary political and economic analysis; building 21st century social, labour and political movements and cultures (based on the history of progressive movements such as the labour, civil rights, feminist, lesbian and gay traditions).

The CLSJ encourages critical analysis of social, economic and political events and history with the aim of using evidence, activism and law to promote social justice.

Objectives

The CLSJ:

  • Promotes social and civic engagement of all people living in South Africa based on knowledge and evidence to realise the rights in the Constitution and to uphold international human rights law.
  • Supports struggles for social justice in South Africa through legal and policy literacy, advocacy and litigation.
  • Promotes engagement with Southern Africa, Africa and the world on issues pertaining to social justice on the basis of human dignity, freedom and social equality.
  • Institutionalises critical and progressive knowledge of history and political economy.
  • Current Context

    Currently, our political activism in South Africa is based on community struggles for safety and security, equal education, health and HIV, opposing hate crimes and promoting LGBTI equality. Writing Rights promotes critical analysis of the government, political parties, corporations and other agencies in South Africa

    International solidarity is indispensable to all our work. Writing Rights and the CLSJ supports the struggle of the Palestinian people for an independent, sovereign state based freedom, equality and dignity for all people. It supports the right for the state of Israel to co-exist with Palestine on the basis of freedom, equality and dignity as well as domestic and international rule of law. As an activist website we pro-actively campaign for mass non-violent struggle to end the Occupation and apartheid in Israel. We also support economic, political, sports and military sanctions against Israel. We also support targeted academic and cultural boycotts against those who support the Occupation and Apartheid in Israel by refusing to condemn its war crimes and crimes against humanity. Freedom for the Palestinians is part of the struggle for democracy and social justice throughout the Middle-East. We expose and vigorously counter anti-semitism and Islamophobia.

    Across South Africa, the Southern African region, the African continent, and the world, there is a strong desire to engage with politics in order to improve society and address the systemic inequalities in wealth, health, education and social services.  Simultaneously, there is a deep scepticism of representative politics, its institutions and elected representatives.

    Writing Rights wants to contribute in a small but meaningful way to promoting active citizenship through knowledge and organising.

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