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Thursday, 22 August, 2002, 20:34 GMT 21:34 UK
SA land rights activists arrested
Anti-globalisation demonstrators in Barcelona in March 2002
South Africa is bracing itself for a protest blitz
Police in South Africa have arrested at least 77 people campaigning for landless people's rights in the run-up to next week's World Summit on Sustainable Development.

In a related case, an American land rights campaigner was arrested when she tried to visit the detainees at a Johannesburg police station.

The authorities say they intend to deport the woman - Ann Eveleth - for immigration offences.

The arrests followed a demonstration in the city on Wednesday, attended by about 2,000 people.

Those detained say it is the first sign of a crackdown by the government to prevent protests during the summit, for which tens of thousands of delegates have begun arriving in Johannesburg.

Anti-globalisation

A police spokesperson, Charmaine Muller, said Ms Eveleth's arrest was not linked to Wednesday's demonstration.

Anti-globalisation groups have also warned that they plan to "shut down" the UN summit in Johannesburg.

"It is our aspiration to shut them down," Trevor Ngwane, the leader of South Africa's Anti-Privatisation Forum (APF), which claims to have some 20,000 members, told the French news agency, AFP.

"If we can get the numbers, that is what we will do."

Correpondents say activists from the landless peoples movement, to anti-globalisation protestors and environmental pressure groups are expected to join forces to mount one of the biggest demonstrations seen in South Africa on 31 August.


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06 Aug 02 | Africa
30 Jul 02 | Science/Nature
15 Jul 02 | Science/Nature
04 Jan 02 | Americas
13 Jun 02 | In Depth
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