The Reverend David Russel, an Anglican priest banned from preaching and placed under house arrest by the South African government for his outspoken comments supporting Blacks rights, says Blacks in South Africa face a legitimate struggle against a racist regime.
GV EXTERIOR: Crossroads Squatter camp, children playing, and women seated outside shanty. (2 shots)
CU PAN: Reverend David Russel entering shanty and sits talking with black women, as chickens walk across hut floor (2 shots)
CU: Reverend Russel speaking and continues speaking over shots of people doing their tasks in camp (7 shots)
RUSSEL: "I of course believe that this whole banning legislation is thoroughly immoral and it is a violation of any civilised human law, and so I have no inner moral conscience about disobeying that banning order. One takes the consequences obviously when one is caught. I think that it is legitimate for people who have been oppressed over generations who have tried absolutely every other means as I think one can show very clearly from the history of a body like the African National Congress, how they have knocked with incredible patience at the door over many years to say "Please hear us, please give us legitimate channels for protest, legitimate channels for change, democratic means". And these have been systematically and ruthlessly cut off, and leave people no alternative. So that I think it can become legitimate when people's lives are being torn apart, people are dying of malnutrition people are having their education butchered with impact and consequences on the future of their children for years to come. It my home is attacked I think it is a legitimate, ethical position to defend my home. My personal position is one that I don't feel called to take up arms myself, but I do believe that the stance of many blacks is a legitimate one to feel that they have a right to defend their own livelihood against this violent regime int he way that many people are opting for today."
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Background: The Reverend David Russel, an Anglican priest banned from preaching and placed under house arrest by the South African government for his outspoken comments supporting Blacks rights, says Blacks in South Africa face a legitimate struggle against a racist regime. Mr. Russel made the remark in an interview on Sunday (16 December) only two weeks after he caused a sensation when he arrived for the opening of the Anglican Synod in Grahamstown in open defiance of the government's restriction orders.
SYNOPSIS: The five year ban, imposed in October 1977 during a government crackdown on anti-apartheid protest, confines Mr. Russel to his local magisterial district of Wynberg and bars him from attending gatherings. He must also stay at home after 6 p.m. and at weekends.
Mr. Russel first drew attention to the plight of thousands of black Africans by living on their small monthly allowance of 6-dollars -50. For his defiant stance he is to appear in court in January, a summons which is expected to draw widespread protest. On Sunday, Mr. Russel explained his attitude.