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southern africa / imperialism / war Tuesday January 09, 2007 15:49 by Lucien van der Walt & Michael Schmidt
Southern African anarchist-communists would normally see the former British colony of South Africa as acting as a sub-imperialist power on behalf of the big capitalist powers and its own capitalist ruling class in the region, a sort of regional policeman as it were: if British interests in Swaziland are threatened by the democracy movement, we are sure that South African military might will intervene (as it did against Lesotho in 1998) to shore up the Swazi elite.
But the international scene is changing and today we can chart the rise of the People’s Republic of China as one of Africa’s most powerful kingmakers, whether backing the genocidal regime in Khartoum, or embarking on large-scale building projects including the new Luanda airport (in exchange for 10,000 barrels of crude oil a day) and the Number One Stadium in Kinshasa, a city that with its giant gold statue of a fat, Mao-like Laurent-Desire Kabila is looking like a city on the Yangtze River instead of the Congo (the DRC's mimicry of the Chinese national flag, before adopting a new flag this year, was too obvious to miss).
A woman is dead as a result of the injuries incurred from her torture, by the Swazi police, for being married to a member of the Peoples’ United Democratic Movement
This appeal for international solidarity with Swaziland comes after 16 pro-democracy activists were arrested in December after a spate of firebomb attacks. There charges have now been upgraded to High Treason. They are awaiting their sentences of possible death or life imprisonment.
We radicals and revolutionaries in South Africa and worldwide must remember that the people of Swaziland aided South African freedom fighters during the anti-apartheid struggle and now it is time to repay the favor.
Everyday the people of Zimbabwe pray that some miracle will save the country from degenerating into the curse of Malawi under Kamuzu Banda; Harsh brutal rule under a ruthless, insensitive, self-enriching dictator who lacked even the decency to die on time. Conversations are dominated by the talk of the Tsunami in reference of the devastation on ordinary peopleís lives caused by the government's so called "Operation Murambatsvina" [Sweep out the Trash] which is nothing but a senseless and callous attack on poor people of the townships.
The country is reeling under a massive economic crisis resulting from failed IMF/ World Bank neo-liberal economic policies that the government adopted under the Economic Structural Adjustment Program (ESAP) of 1990. Unemployment is widespread, now estimated at 80%. The formal sector continues to shrink with companies folding down everyday resulting in massive job loses.
Today the people of Swaziland are so completely downtrodden that the youth are starting to speak of going for guerrilla training and taking up the armed struggle. But that path is the road to disaster, as clearly shown by the ANC-lead state's military invasion of the constitutional monarchy of Lesotho in 1998 in order to crush a pro-democratic mutiny. The revolutionaries among SWAYOCO's youth must start building counter-power in Swaziland by forming horizontal links with like-minded groupings in the region, especially in South Africa, who have more members and resources to assist them. They must start building secret rank-and-file members' networks within SWAYOCO, PUDEMO, SFTU, SFL and the suspended unions, and within social groupings of the working class, peasantry and poor, whether of women, or high-school children.
South African anarchists analyse developments in Zimbabwe in the struggle for freedom. How did ZANU-PF defeat the popular mobilisations of the past decade. How did the MDC which was built by unions, students and township fighters, became a moderate party so that direct action - which had turned the tide against Mugabe - was now on the backburner and all efforts were to be concentrated on elections?
Sun 26 May, 16:13
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