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No Justice, No Peace: A Year of Struggle

category southern africa | anarchist movement | opinion / analysis author Friday December 11, 2015 15:36author by Tokologo African Anarchist Collective - TAACauthor email tokologo.aac at gmail dot com Report this post to the editors

Editorial of Tokologo #5/6

Welcome to the first double issue of Tokologo, combining issues 5 and 6. This marks our third year of publishing by the Tokologo African Anarchist Collective and its study circles.

2015 has been a turbulent year. On the one side, the horrors of attacks on immigrants and foreigners continue. In April, attacks broke out, mainly in KwaZulu-Natal, spurred directly by Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini's inflammatory statements. One of the big failures of the 1994 transition was that much of the old Bantustan/ homeland apparatus remained in place, with the continuing power of chiefs and kings. Again, in October, this time spurred by rumours and the taxi associations, there were riots in the Eastern Cape.

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We disagree with the idea that the attacks are simply a matter of hate and fear ("phobia"). Working class and poor people get drawn into these attacks because they are desperate for jobs, money and housing, and because they are told, day in and day out, that the "foreigners" are taking these from them. This is clear from the articles in this issue. Of course, riots allow looting and venting of frustration, an illusion of power. The idea that the attacks are just criminal activities is too simple. They clearly target certain groups. And the idea that the attacks are some "Afrophobia" coming from a bad attitude is also mistaken. Asians like Bangladeshis are also attacked.

It is the ruling class that misleads poor people into these attacks: it's divide-and-rule and must be stopped. On the other side, great displays of the power and potential of the working class. In Grahamstown, the Unemployed Peoples Movement tried to stop the violence. Meanwhile, many neighbourhood-based struggles continue, including this year in many Coloured townships. The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (NUMSA) is now expelled from the Congress of SA Trade Unions (COSATU), and is looking at building an alternative that will help link these up. But how and for what? NUMSA is divided, sometimes speaking of a movement for socialism, sometimes a new union federation of "rebel" unions - and moderate non-COSATU unions, like the Federation of Unions of SA (FEDUSA). And sometimes NUMSA hints of forming a new workers party.

The NUMSA-initiated United Front is growing. It has at least 300 affiliates. It has approached the university and technikon student movements to propose a national student summit. But it is not simply a NUMSA front, it has its own dynamics, and has not adopted NUMSA's Marxism- Leninism. And privately, militants in the UF complain of NUMSA not providing the support people hoped.

Meanwhile the clock is ticking. Hard choices need to be made.

As will be clear from articles, we are completely opposed to the idea of forming a new workers party, whether on a radical or a moderate ticket. Elections and state power cannot free the working class. Only direct struggle, self-managed bottom- up movements, and direct worker-community control of the means of production and force, and self-administration, can change society - rather than lead to a new elite taking power. This is the lesson of South Africa since 1994, and of Ghana in 1957, when it became the first independent state in West Africa, as our articles show: don't vote, organise counter-power from below!

We are for the UF, we are for NUMSA, but we call for a programme of working class autonomy and anarchist- communism. Because there is no way Africa can recover from its bleeding state, and be a place of dignity and equality and development for its working class, poor and peasant masses, without a radical break with the post-colonial state, the political and economic ruling class, and imperialism.

And let us be clear: fighting for working class/peasant power does not mean ignoring issues like women's oppression, imperialism or racism. As we explain in the article on women's oppression: you can only unite the masses to change society by fighting all forms of oppression and division; but you can only end all forms of oppression and division by building working class/peasant counter-power and counter-culture to make a real revolution that changes society completely.

In October, COSATU, then NUMSA, held mass political strikes against "corruption." This is a worthwhile demand, but corruption is built into the system. The system needs to go. The problem is not a few corrupt politicians and capitalists. It is a system built on the theft of the means of life, land, time, raw materials and equipment from the working class, of daily theft by exploitation, of endless attacks on the people by the blue-garbed army of the rich (police), and of attacks through unemployment, bad services and misery. Even if every politician and capitalist was "honest," these basic crimes remain. So to end corruption, end the corrupt capitalist/ state system!

The student movement also showed massive power. Earlier this year, the movement was quite a small one, centred on issues of racism and transformation at a few elite universities: UCT, Rhodes, Stellenbosch, the University of the Witwatersrand. The demands were a mixed bag, as were the movements, and the focus was on (the very important) issues of affirmative action, symbols and language. Left currents pushed for inclusion of workers' issues like outsourcing - the reality is the vast majority of our people will never, in the current system, go near a university except as a cleaner or a driver. But government budget cuts to universities, which cause rising fees, provoked an explosion bringing in tens of thousands.

New layers came in, blacks and whites joined together, there were massive confrontations and showdowns with police. For much of 2014 and 2015, media coverage has focused on the elite universities, on groups like the Black Students Movement at Rhodes and Rhodes Must Fall at UCT. These campuses and groups are very important. But what became clear in 2015 was the historically dominant student formation, the left-wing SA Students Congress (SASCO), remains central. And that black working class students, poorer campuses, and campus workers, were setting the pace.

A small victory: a fees freeze nationally. On some campuses: workers will be insourced. But the crisis is not over. To win free education requires confronting the state. To fund it: R70 billion at least, because the rising fees are driven by neo-liberal budget cuts. In the early 1990s, R8 of R10 spent at "Rhodes" University came from the state, and today it is R5. Meanwhile numbers have doubled. The lost R3 is made up with spending cuts, rising fees and low wages. The problem is not, as some student movements think, a few bad VCs running the varsities and techs, but is part of neo-liberal crisis-ridden capitalism, based on pay-more- get-less, promote-the-rich and loot-the-public. So the fight is a fight against the state and the capitalist class.

But it is more than fees. Driving the pressure for getting into university is mass youth unemployment, driving the fear of rising fees is the growing difficulty accessing university. SA's problems will not be solved with bursaries, but with mass job creation for useful work, a massive overhaul of the failed schools system in the townships, a massive increase in access to techs, and more universities, more techs, training people to reconstruct the country on the lines of socialism-from-below, giving everyone what they need, as human beings - not wages based on the job you do or don't do. For now: we fight for free education for the working class and poor and for a Workers' and People's Scientific University, not a "world-class university" or an "African university."

This means fighting for a new society: anarchist-communism, which rips up the apartheid legacy, the state and capital, and puts power in the hands of the working class and poor. We stand in a long tradition, and our heroes come from all places: see the article on cde Bill Andrews, previous issues having looked at comrades like Bernard Sigamoney and T.W. Thibedi. This is what we stand for: please see our documents in several languages, African as well as English, and if you agree, JOIN WITH US. CONTACT US. ATTEND OUR POLITICAL SCHOOLS. READ OUR MATERIALS.

Related Link: http://zabalaza.net/2015/11/25/double-issue-5-6-of-toko...able/
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Southern Africa | Anarchist movement | en

Tue 28 Feb, 19:34

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zacflogo.gif imageZACF Reply to the Misrepresentation of the ZACF by American Journalists and on the Schmidt Affair 09:46 Fri 19 Feb by Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front 39 comments

19th February 2016 The following is the official statement of the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF) of South Africa on the controversy that erupted around Michael Schmidt, a South African activist, several months ago. It follows a careful collective discussion process and research and comes several weeks after the last installment in a series of articles claiming to be an expose of Schmidt. As we are also committed to a number of ongoing workshops, activities and publications, our time was limited. It has two main aims: to outline our position on the claims made for, and against, Schmidt, and to respond to a number of false statements that have been made about the ZACF in the course of the developing Schmidt affair. The statement opens with an executive summary, followed by a much more extensive discussion. The statement was collectively crafted and issued by the ZACF: www.zabalaza.net Questions and requests for comment should be addressed to zacf@riseup.net with a clearly-identifiable subject line (Please note that we will not be responding to questions, queries or claims from people using pseudonyms or otherwise concealing their identities. Organisational affiliation, if any, should please be stated). * Please note that a much earlier draft seems to have leaked online, labelled “Consolidated ZACF statement v18.docx” at 84kb, dated 22 December 2015. Our documents go through a process of collective writing and criticism and fact-checking, so THIS version (the one you are reading now) is the correct one, with significant changes from earlier versions. All previous drafts are made null-and-void by this final version and have no standing whatsoever, and we will not enter into discussion of such drafts.

orbituaryofousilawrencezitha.gif imageOrbituary of Ousi Lawrence Zitha 15:03 Mon 01 Sep by Nobyhle Dube 0 comments

Comrade Lawrence was born on 7 July 1969 in Kliptown before moving to Ceza in KwaZulu-Natal. He attended Ceza Primary and Nghunghunyone Secondary, matriculating in 1986 with exemption (excellent at that time).

headerzab.gif imageAnnouncing the new Zabalaza website 15:37 Sun 10 Apr by Zabalaza.Net tech crew 0 comments

We, at the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF), are pleased to announce that the new Zabalaza website, Home of Southern African Anarchism, is now online.

speaker.jpg imageSouth African anarchist speaks in Ireland 22:32 Thu 29 Oct by Cathal 0 comments

October 26th the Cork branch of the Worker’s Solidarity Movement hosted a talk by South African anarchist and ZABALAZA Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF) member, Jonathan. The ZACF is an organisation of anarchist individuals from South Africa who identify with the communist tradition within Anarchism. The front is organised around the principles of theoretical and tactical unity, collective responsibility and federalism. Their activities include study and theoretical development, anarchist agitation and propaganda, and participation within the class struggle.

Authors' presentation imageReport on the Johannesburg launch of Black Flame 18:58 Tue 13 Oct by Jon 0 comments

Around 120 people, from seasoned anarchist militants and trade unionists to students and professors came together at Wits University in Johannesburg on Wednesday 7 October 2009 for the launch of “Black Flame: The revolutionary class politics of anarchism and syndicalism”, the first of a two volume series on anarchist history and theory by Lucien van der Walt and Michael Schmidt. The room was filled up so fast and so quickly that latecomers had to find space on the stairs - one of the biggest launches at the university in years. [Nederlands]

textReport on Red & Black Forum on the Economic Crisis 21:57 Tue 15 Sep by Jon 0 comments

On Saturday 12th September the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF) facilitated a Red and Black Forum - or popular education workshop - at a hall in the Sebokeng Municipal Hostel in Sebokeng township, about 50 kilometers south of Johannesburg.

textNew Zabalaza Postal Address 17:10 Wed 04 Jul by Jonathan 0 comments

Due to the franchise closing down, the ZACF has a new postal address.

zab_logo.gif imageAfrican anarchism website redesigned 19:43 Fri 24 Nov by Michael Schmidt 6 comments

We are pleased to announce the redesign of the ever-popular Zabalaza website, the world's premier portal for news, analysis, history and theory on class-struggle issues on the African continent.

textZACF - southern Africa, Congress 2005 23:41 Tue 29 Nov by Michael (International Secretary) 1 comments

The ZACF's second full Congress, which is the decision-making body of the Federation, consisting of all members, will be held in Johannesburg over the weekend of December 16 & 17

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The Zabalaza Books site has just been updated with a good number of substantial new articles.

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In South Africa, the black working class majority is gripped by the rough hands of its ruling class, made up of a cold combination of black state elites and white capitalist elites, who choke the very life out of her. blazing but blinded. In days like these it is important to remember our heroes, our champions of past years, to remember the stories of Ma Josie Mpama, who wanted nothing more, than to see the working class mature, to explode like landmines under the feet of the oppressive system that has spent centuries trampling over us. The other day, while deep in thought, I felt the room grow more still, filled with clarity. The voices of Lucy Parsons, Josie Mpama and other heroes pierced my very being. Their voices reminded me of the dream, the obtainable goal. To remember that we, the working class billions, can be more than what we are now, that we can awake, from our half-life, that we can be more than the shares and stocks that the system has nailed to our backs.

imageReclaiming Our Global Past: Why South Africa is Not "New Terrain" for Anarchism/Syndicalism, and How... Apr 18 by Warren McGregor 0 comments

A Presentation at the St. Imier International Anarchist Conference by Warren McGregor (ZACF), August 2012.

imageWhere to, South Africa? Aug 17 by Tina Sizovuka 0 comments

Editorial from issue number 14 of the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front's journal, Zabalaza: A Journal of Southern African Revolutionary Anarchism.

imageZabalaza: A Voice for Organised Anarchism in South Africa Nov 06 by Jonathan Payn 0 comments

The Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front, or ZACF – Zabalaza meaning ‘struggle’ in isiZulu and isiXhosa – is a specific anarchist political organisation based in Johannesburg, South Africa. It is a unitary organisation – or federation of individuals, as opposed to a federation of collectives – whereby membership is on an individual basis, by invitation only. This is because we have seen – through our own experience, as well as that of global anarchism historically – that we can accomplish more as an organisation, and be more effective, when our members share a certain level of theoretical and strategic unity, and collective responsibility.

textThe Black Bloc: A Disposable Tactic Jun 29 by Zabalaza 0 comments

Usually masked - to prevent identification and as protection against the teargas used by the repressive forces - and dressed distinctively in the traditional anarchist colour of black, the so-called "black bloc" has provided anarchism with its greatest public profile since the mass protest movements of the late 1960s. But this is a class war and we need to be flexible in our tactics and change swiftly where needed in order to keep the enemy off balance. For now, it is time to drop the black bloc tactic, go unmasked in daylight, and blend in with the workers. Since they are prepared for the black bloc, we need new approaches that will catch them off-guard.

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imageZACF Reply to the Misrepresentation of the ZACF by American Journalists and on the Schmidt Affair Feb 19 ZACF 39 comments

19th February 2016 The following is the official statement of the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF) of South Africa on the controversy that erupted around Michael Schmidt, a South African activist, several months ago. It follows a careful collective discussion process and research and comes several weeks after the last installment in a series of articles claiming to be an expose of Schmidt. As we are also committed to a number of ongoing workshops, activities and publications, our time was limited. It has two main aims: to outline our position on the claims made for, and against, Schmidt, and to respond to a number of false statements that have been made about the ZACF in the course of the developing Schmidt affair. The statement opens with an executive summary, followed by a much more extensive discussion. The statement was collectively crafted and issued by the ZACF: www.zabalaza.net Questions and requests for comment should be addressed to zacf@riseup.net with a clearly-identifiable subject line (Please note that we will not be responding to questions, queries or claims from people using pseudonyms or otherwise concealing their identities. Organisational affiliation, if any, should please be stated). * Please note that a much earlier draft seems to have leaked online, labelled “Consolidated ZACF statement v18.docx” at 84kb, dated 22 December 2015. Our documents go through a process of collective writing and criticism and fact-checking, so THIS version (the one you are reading now) is the correct one, with significant changes from earlier versions. All previous drafts are made null-and-void by this final version and have no standing whatsoever, and we will not enter into discussion of such drafts.

imageOrbituary of Ousi Lawrence Zitha Sep 01 Tokologo African Anarchist Collective 0 comments

Comrade Lawrence was born on 7 July 1969 in Kliptown before moving to Ceza in KwaZulu-Natal. He attended Ceza Primary and Nghunghunyone Secondary, matriculating in 1986 with exemption (excellent at that time).

imageAnnouncing the new Zabalaza website Apr 10 ZACF 0 comments

We, at the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF), are pleased to announce that the new Zabalaza website, Home of Southern African Anarchism, is now online.

textNew Zabalaza Postal Address Jul 04 Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation 0 comments

Due to the franchise closing down, the ZACF has a new postal address.

imageAfrican anarchism website redesigned Nov 24 ex-ZACF (South Africa & Swaziland) 6 comments

We are pleased to announce the redesign of the ever-popular Zabalaza website, the world's premier portal for news, analysis, history and theory on class-struggle issues on the African continent.

more >>
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