In the western world we think of witchcraft as ugly, old, warty women who fly around on their brooms sticks and use magic. We often think of movies, like Snow White or The Wizard of Oz. In Snow White, the witch is after a girl’s youth, while in Dorothy’s case, her red ruby slippers. The girls always have something the witch wants, and the witch will kill in order to get it. Our culture has fantasy versions of witches.
In South Africa witchcraft is portrayed differently, as they actually believe that witchcraft is a real thing. It is associated with democratic and material goods. When any sort of being has power and doesn’t use it in the right way they often are labeled as witches. Older women are mostly accused of this. Because older women are portrayed as wise and powerful, other people (mostly younger men) think that they have something up their sleeve. These people believe that witches could transform young men who passed away into zombies, and that they would force the zombies to work under them, making the zombies lose all their knowledge of self. “… During the state of emergency in the eighties, hundreds of people changed personalities, stopped seeing their families, turned into zombies.” The fear the people felt triggered the young men to go around killing the older women to stop this transformation from happening.
While all of this was going on, there were no actual zombies or witches involved. Instead, the secret police were responsible for the terror, as they were the ones that would capture the people and torcher them. They would force them to work for the state and to leave their families. Because this was all a secret, the people needed someone to blame for the events. These massive killings didn’t spring from witchcraft, rather from fear of each other. The society started falling apart and people started killing one another. “A hunger for violence emerged out of the dark “forest” and came into the “town to eat,” and in “turning the people against each other, making children to kill their own mothers.”
Protesters Rip Out Fence at Refuge in Oregon
In Princeton Oregon, there were a group of men who occupied a federal wildlife refuge and escalated their defense of the federal government. There was a rancher who was kept from grazing cattle on publicly owned land. The group of men wanted to protest by cutting the fence, which held back the rancher from grazing his cattle. The federal government responded by condemning their actions. “ The occupiers, who called themselves the Citizens for Constitutional Freedom and are mainly from outside Oregon, have presented themselves as Robin Hood types, stepping forward to defend rural ranchers against the federal government.”
This wasn’t the first incident that has happened in the area. In 2001 and 2006 a father and son were put in prison for setting fires that spread to federal land. The father said that the fire was to prevent wild fires from happening in his crops. Unfortunately their lawyer denied their involvement in the take over of the wild fire.
The groups of protesters were angry with the government for not giving them rights to the public property, and felt they were being taken vantage of. Therefore they kept on taking the fences down to show their disagreement.