Today in 1893, Mohandas Gandhi committed his his first act of civil disobedience.
Settling in to his first-class seat as the train to Johannesburg, a white European affronted at a ‘coolie’ sitting in first-class summoned the guard who warned Gandhi that he would be forcibly removed unless he voluntarily left the carriage. Gandhi refused and was pushed off the train and his luggage flung on the platform of the Pietermaritzburg Railway Station in Natal. After a cold night spent in the station’s non-European waiting room he decided to remain in Natal to assist the Indian community of sugar plantation workers.
‘The Mahatma put our city on the world map. When he was kicked off that train at Pietermaritzburg Station, out of that humiliation, a freedom fighter was born, and he became one of the most profound and gallant leaders in the world.’
Deputy Mayor Zanele Hlatswayo at the unveiling of a bust of Gandhi outside Pietermaritzburg Station in June 2005
#230 Struggles for Truth ● The Arab Spring 10 years on ● The origins and legacies of US conspiracy theories ● The limits of scientific evidence in climate activism ● Student struggles around the world ● The political power of branding ● Celebrating Marcus Rashford ● ‘Cancelling’ Simon Hedges ● Latest book reviews ● And much more!
And you choose how much to pay for your subscription...
Andrea Sandor explores how community-led developments are putting democracy at the heart of the planning process
D Hunter's 'Tracksuits, Traumas and Class Traitors' is an exploration of working-class struggle and strength, writes Liam Kennedy
Jake Woodier reviews a new documentary film that brings heist aesthetics to a story of debt activism
‘Radical federalism’ should do more than rearrange the constitutional furniture, writes Undod’s Robat Idris
Proudly 'anti-woke' posturing is just the latest government attempt to memorialise white supremacy. Meghan Tinsley reports on the politics of commemoration
Government demands for public sector ‘neutrality’ uphold a harmful status quo. For civil servant Sophie Izon, it's time to speak out