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southern africa / workplace struggles martedì giugno 27, 2017 23:19 byMandy Moussouris
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Credit: eNCA / Xoli Mngambi

The labour movement has been unable to de-link itself from its archenemy: capital. As its structures bureaucratise, as its leaders become career unionists, as it opens investment companies and pays staff increasingly inequitable salaries, it increasingly mirrors the very thing it is fighting. If the South African Federation of Trade Unions is to meet its promise, it must be fundamentally different from the organisation it was born out of.

A federation will not liberate the class, nor will its affiliates; only the working class can liberate itself and it will never be able to do that as long as there is an implicit belief in a Great Leader/s; as long as the union is seen as a legal service and as long as power and money are centralised. A truly participatory, democratic trade union would be one where the locals/branches of each affiliate control the membership dues collected, where they would use their dues to do work on the ground and put some aside for provincial and national work; where the workers have direct ownership of the means of trade union production (negotiation, representation, mobilisation) and where the extremely loosely used term, democracy, translates into individual worker agency and empowerment to ensure that the base, the majority, the working class, is where true power lies, and that it uses its power to change the world for the benefit of the many.

southern africa / community struggles giovedì giugno 08, 2017 02:20 byJonathan Payn
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Women erecting a makeshift shelter at Bush Koppies. Photo: Lekhetho Mtetwa (ZACF)

The struggle of the black working class majority of Freedom Park, South Africa, is not just for land on which to build housing – although that is obviously a central issue and key demand; nor is it just against the accompanying political and police violence and intimidation. It is a struggle against the injustice, violence and corruption of a system that puts the power, privileges and profits of a few before the lives and wellbeing of the majority.

southern africa / history of anarchism lunedì ottobre 03, 2016 19:07 byZabalaza Anarchist Communist Front
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C’de Bobo at the “Reclaim June 16” demonstration in Soweto, 2009

The ZACF is saddened to learn of the passing away of comrade Bobo Makhoba in Soweto this Thursday 29 September, at the age of 41, after a long illness. He is survived by his son, to whom we extend our deepest sympathies and condolences – as we do to the rest of his family, friends and comrades.

Bobo was a founding member of the ZACF as well as one of the original guerilla electricians for the Soweto Electricity Crisis Committee’s Operation Khanyisa campaign, which illegally reconnected thousands of households’ electricity after it was cut off for non-payment – forcing Eskom, the state electricity utility, to scrap arrears for thousands of Sowetans.

southern africa / miscellaneous domenica settembre 25, 2016 18:22 byLeroy Maisiri
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Pastor Evan Mawarire unwittingly began the #thisflag movement

The last 4 months in Zimbabwe can surely be characterized as an awakening of the Zimbabwean working class, as thousands of these citizens have taken to the streets, responding to Pastor Evan Mawarire’s call: “hatichatya” – we are not afraid. The #Thisflag movement followed soon after. This is certainly a historic time for Zimbabwe; a time of growing labour pains as the country (hopefully) enters a process of rebirth towards a better and new Zimbabwe.

But before we can even begin to talk about a free Zimbabwe and how we would go about getting that, we need to first have a clear and coherent class analysis of the Zimbabwean social and political climate.

Understanding who we are fighting is essential. Zimbabwe without a doubt needs to rid ourselves of the 92-year- old man who thinks the state house is his graveyard. But in the same breath, we must rid itself of the oppressive state system altogether. Swapping a vicious state capitalist manager with another is nowhere close to constituting progress.

See also:

Inside the Zimbabwean uprising

southern africa / miscellaneous mercoledì agosto 24, 2016 16:30 byMC Biko
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Anti-Robert Mugabe protesters in Harare, Zimbabwe

A year and half ahead of the 2018 general elections, the poor and working people of Zimbabwe are up in arms against President Robert Gabriel Mugabe and his ZANU-PF regime which has been in power for 36 years. In the last 3 months Zimbabwe has been shaken by protest actions of workers, informal traders, commuter omnibus operators, and unemployed youths. These actions have occurred at a time when the country is experiencing a liquidity crisis and the ruling party structures are crumbling from within as liberation war veterans, once Mugabe’s staunch loyalists, break ranks from the regime. Meanwhile, the opposition political parties (a myriad of MDC splinter groups and two ZANU-PF splinter groups) are in talks to form a coalition party. The regime has since stepped up its repressive measures in a bid to squash dissent.

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sebokengphoto0042.jpg imageThe Cheap Politics that Destroy Our Communities nov 07 23:24 by Nonzukizo Mute 0 comments

Political fighting has destroyed the peace in Sebokeng township in the Vaal. Politicians are using government resources for private purposes, and parties and factions are fighting over which politicians get the most.

anarchistbanneratantiprivatisationforummarchjohannesburgca2007.jpg imageThe Way Forward for South Africa nov 07 23:19 by Nkululeko Khubisa 0 comments

South Africa is in a mess. That is clear, more than 20 years since the end of apartheid. We have won many things. It was our struggle that beat apartheid laws and the old government. But we are not free yet. Corruption, poverty, job losses, hatred, violence, the apartheid legacy are all part of the mess.

What is the way forward for South Africa? It is struggle by the masses of the people for a better society.

What does that require?

Protest in Freedom Park, south of Johannesburg on 8 May. Photo by: Jonathan Payn (ZACF) imageSouth Africa: Fueling the Fire ott 12 19:58 by Shawn Hattingh 0 comments

Wave after wave of community protests have been taking place in South Africa. People are angry that after twenty years of so-called freedom they are still confined to living in shacks, having to defecate in communal toilets, and having essential services terminated when they can’t afford to pay.

textNote on adherence to international solidarity against the criminalization of poverty and p... ago 28 11:57 by CAB 0 comments

The Brazilian Anarchist Coordination repudiates the cowardly criminalization of South African fighters and social fighters and their persecution.

textDesde Uruguay, solidaridad con los cuatro de Boiketlong ago 16 08:48 by Resistencia Obrero Estudiantil 0 comments

Ante la represión que se desata contra el pueblo sudafricano, desde Uruguay exigimos justicia y la inmediata libertad para los compañeros de Boiketlong y la inmediata aparición con vida de Papi Tobias.

textSolidarity with the Boiketlong 4 from Uruguay ago 16 08:41 by Resistencia Obrero Estudiantil 0 comments

Faced with the repression that is unleashed against the South African people, from Uruguay we demand justice and the immediate freedom for the comrades of Boiketlong and the immediate appearance of Papi Tobias alive, of course.

460_0___30_0_0_0_0_0_b4s_2.jpg image[Appel à solidarité] Les « Quatre de Boiketlong » et la criminalisation de la pauvreté et ... ago 04 20:43 by Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front 0 comments

En février 2015, quatre militant-e-s de quartier [community activists] originaires de Boiketlong dans le Vaal, au sud de Johannesburg, ont été condamné-e-s à 16 ans de prison chacun-e à la suite d’une manifestation locale. C’est une condamnation très sévère et qui s’est basée sur des preuves très peu tangibles. Les « Quatre de Boiketlong » ont été arrêté-e-s et accusé-e-s d’avoir agressé de la conseillère local de quartier (membre de l’ANC1) et d’avoir mis le feu à sa maison et à deux voitures pendant ladite manifestation. Elles et ils ont été jugé-e-s coupables d’agression avec intention de causer de sérieux dégâts humains, d’incendie, de dégradations aggravées et d’atteinte à la propriété. C’est un exemple de la terrible injustice qui est menée contre les militant-e-s de la classe ouvrière noire et cela pourrait avoir de dangereuses répercussions pour les luttes à venir de la classe ouvrière noire et des pauvres en Afrique du Sud, si on ne combat pas cette décision de justice. Les gens doivent être mis-es au courant des faits et des actions doivent être menées pour demander justice et pour combattre la criminalisation de la pauvreté et des mouvements sociaux.

text[Appello di solidarietà] I ‘4 di Boiketlong’ e la criminalizzazione della povertà e della ... ago 04 15:27 by Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front 0 comments

Nel febbraio del 2015, 4 attivisti comunitari di Boiketlong in the Vaal, a sud di Johannesburg, furono condannati ognuno a 16 anni di prigione a seguito di una protesta comunitaria. Si tratta di una sentenza molto severa e la condanna si basò su prove incerte. I 4 di Boiketlong vennero arrestati per aver attaccato, secondo quanto riportato, il locale consigliere distrettuale dell’ANC e aver appiccato il fuoco alla sua abitazione e a due macchine durante la protesta comunitaria. I 4 furono perciò condannati per assalto con l’intento di causare gravi lesioni personali, incendio e danneggiamento volontario della proprietà. Questo è un esempio della terribile ingiustizia perpetrata contro attivisti proletari neri e potrebbe avere pericolose ripercussioni per le future lotte della classe lavoratrice nera e dei poveri in Sud Africa, se non combattuta. La gente deve essere consapevole di ciò e attivarsi per chiedere giustizia e combattere la criminalizzazione della povertà e della protesta.

text[Llamado a la solidaridad] Los “cuatro de Boiketlong” y la criminalización de la pobreza y... ago 04 03:51 by Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front 0 comments

En febrero de 2015, cuatro militantes de Boiketlong in the Vaal, sur de Johannesburgo, fueron sentenciados a 16 años en prisión después de una protesta en su comunidad. Esta es una sentencia muy severa y está basada en una evidencia muy débil. Los cuatro de Boiketlong fueron arrestados por atacar al concejal local de la ANC (Consejo Nacional Africano, partido del fallecido Nelson Mandela) e incendiar su casa y dos autos durante la protesta de la comunidad. Fueron arrestados por daños corporales graves, incendios intencionales y daño intencional a la propiedad. Este es un ejemplo de una terrible injusticia perpetrada contra la los militantes trabajadores negros y puede tener peligrosas repercusiones en futuras luchas de los trabajadores negros y pobres en Sudáfrica si no es combatido. La gente debe ser advertida de estos hechos e iniciar acciones para reclamar justicia y luchar contra la criminalización de la pobreza y la protesta.

b4s.png image[Call for Solidarity] The ‘Boiketlong Four’ and the Criminalisation of Poverty and Protest lug 26 04:50 by Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front 0 comments

In February 2015, four community activists from Boiketlong in the Vaal, south of Johannesburg, were sentenced to 16 years in prison each following a community protest. This is a very severe sentence and the conviction was based on shaky evidence. The ‘Boiketlong Four’ were arrested for allegedly attacking the local ANC ward councillor and setting fire to her shack and two cars during a community protest. They were convicted of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, arson and malicious injury to property. This is an example of a terrible injustice perpetrated against black working class activists and could have dangerous repercussions for future struggles of the black working class and poor in South Africa if it is not fought. People need to be aware of the facts and take action to demand justice and to fight the criminalisation of poverty and protest.

Credit: eNCA / Xoli Mngambi imageSAFTU: The tragedy and (hopefully not) the farce giu 27 23:19 by Mandy Moussouris 0 comments

The labour movement has been unable to de-link itself from its archenemy: capital. As its structures bureaucratise, as its leaders become career unionists, as it opens investment companies and pays staff increasingly inequitable salaries, it increasingly mirrors the very thing it is fighting. If the South African Federation of Trade Unions is to meet its promise, it must be fundamentally different from the organisation it was born out of.

Credits: Ilanit Chernick imageFuelling the fires: South Africa in class war giu 09 19:56 by Shawn Hattingh 0 comments

The hope that the end of apartheid would herald a better life for the oppressed in South Africa has evaporated. Their conditions today are materially as bad as under apartheid - and even worse in some cases. But the upper classes are having the time of their lives. Working class struggles should be intensified and linked, based on self-organising and direct democracy to bring about real change.

Women constructing a shelter on occupied land at Bush Koppies. Photo: Lekhetho Mtetwa (ZACF) imageLand, law and decades of devastating douchebaggery giu 08 02:20 by Jonathan Payn 0 comments

The struggle of the black working class majority of Freedom Park, South Africa, is not just for land on which to build housing – although that is obviously a central issue and key demand; nor is it just against the accompanying political and police violence and intimidation. It is a struggle against the injustice, violence and corruption of a system that puts the power, privileges and profits of a few before the lives and wellbeing of the majority.

textLucien van der Walt – 2017 Statement on Michael Schmidt Affair apr 12 01:52 by Lucien van der Walt 0 comments

On 11 February 2016, I issued an initial personal statement on the Michael Schmidt affair.[1] I completely rejected the irredeemable racist and right-wing statements attributed to Schmidt, which were mainly posted under false names online. They represent positions I have consistently opposed, for decades, to the best of my abilities. I noted problems with his explanation, centred on the claim that his posts and false personas were solely means for infiltrating the radical right for undercover research. I raised serious ethical problems with his actions, including his admitted role in repeatedly frustrating earlier investigations into his actions by myself and others. I also laid out my emotional turmoil over the affair, the gulf between the Schmidt I knew and trusted, a man active in left and black working class circles, and another Schmidt, increasingly exposed.

zuma_gordhan.png imageA South African ruling class brawl mar 31 20:26 by Shawn Hattingh 0 comments

In the midst of gorging themselves through exploitation and corruption, competing factions of the flabby ruling class in South Africa (the ruling class being capitalists, politicians and top state officials) have once again stepped into the ring to take pieces out of one another. In the one corner of the fight is the Zuma faction - comprised of sections of Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) capitalists, top state officials, and politicians aligned to Zuma - while in the other corner is the Ramaphosa/Gordhan faction - comprised of sections of the ANC leadership such as Ramaphosa and Gordhan, white capital and the South African Communist Party (SACP). These factions have recently been standing toe to toe exchanging blows and in the process, metaphorical blood has been spilled: those of a few Cabinet Ministers, including Pravin Gordhan.

460_0___30_0_0_0_0_0_taac_logo_1.jpg imageΤαξική πάλη κα_... feb 26 17:20 by Lucien van der Walt 0 comments

Μόνο μια ριζοσπαστική αλλαγή –μια νέα Αφρική βασισμένη στην ελευθεριακή και σοσιαλιστική ανάπτυξη– μπορεί να σπάσει αυτό τον φαύλο κύκλο. Αυτό περιλαμβάνει τόσο τον αγώνα ενάντια στις αφρικανικές ελίτ, όσο και ενάντια στον ιμπεριαλισμό. Και αυτό με τη σειρά του απαιτεί μια ρήξη με τις ιδέες του «τρίτου κόσμου», που αγνοούν τα ταξικά ζητήματα μέσα στην Αφρική και με τον εθνικισμό, που καλεί σε ενότητα όλους τους Αφρικανούς – μία άνευ ουσίας ενότητα μεταξύ των τοπικών καταπιεστών και των θυμάτων τους. Χωρίς ένα προοδευτικό αριστερό και αναρχικό σχέδιο, οι απογοητεύσεις και η δυστυχία των μαζών απλώς θα καλυφθεί από κενές ιδέες (η «δημοκρατία») ή αντιδραστικά κινήματα (όπως το Boko Haram) και συναισθήματα (ο ρατσισμός και το μίσος προς τους μετανάστες).

educate.png imageWhy Workers’ Education? Why trade unions and what’s next? feb 26 04:39 by Lucien van der Walt 0 comments

In these grim times, both globally and locally, it is important to reaffirm the centrality of workers’ education, and the need for a strong working-class movement. Ordinary people have immense potential to change the world, and steer it in a more progressive direction than that promised by capitalists, populists and the political establishment, writes Lucien van der Walt.

Credits: Daily Maverick image2017 South African Budget Speech: No Pravin, it was not progressive nor redistributive feb 26 03:28 by Shawn Hattingh 0 comments

On Wednesday, the Minister of Finance of South Africa stood up in the circus that passes itself off as a National Parliament and without any sense of irony what-so- ever declared that the South African state’s budget for 2017 was redistributive and progressive. If the Minister was to be believed, therefore, the budget was aimed at making a dent in the substantial class and racial inequalities that exist in the country. To back this up, supporters pointed out that the tax rate on top earners was raised marginally in the budget and people receiving dividends from shares would have to pay 5% more on these in tax. Despite this, one word could sum up the idea that the budget presented was redistributive and progressive: bullshit. Rather the budget presented by Minister Pravin Gordhan was yet again another attack on the working class. What the budget did was to favour corporations at the expense of the poor. In doing so, it remained based on the neoliberal dogma that has defined South Africa’s post-apartheid politics. In other words, the budget was a vivid demonstration of how the state is an instrument and weapon of the ruling class that functions to benefit that class. This can be seen throughout the budget, including how the state plans to raise money and how it plans to spend it.

d01f82389ada4e8fa0d0e0e1c4db3229.jpg imageCrisis within Crisis, Zimbabwe feb 07 16:04 by Leroy Maisiri 0 comments

Bribery and extortion of the piblic police and other officials is to fund the Zimbabwean state. The regime destroyed any healthy form of industry and severely cut itself from its financial feeding source. Now they have employed police, city council and Zimra to become state fund-raisers ticketing for almost everything a citizen is supposed to receive from the state but the state cannot provide.

untitled.png imageWoman in the Robertson Winery strike dic 16 23:19 by Mandy Moussouris 0 comments

In what will no doubt become known as a historic strike, women workers at Robertson Winery have played a key role, both because they form the majority of the striking workers but also as leaders of the strike.

grahamstownriots.jpg imageOne Year after the 2015 Grahamstown Riots against Foreign Traders dic 15 06:59 by Lucien van der Walt 0 comments

A year ago, starting 20 October 2015, around 75 small shops were looted, some burned down, in the eastern townships and downtown area of the small Eastern Cape university town of Grahamstown/ iRhini, South Africa. The attacks targeted Asian and African immigrants, many of them Muslim, and displaced 500 people. These riots were largely ignored by the media.

The text below is a slightly revised revision of a briefing I was asked to write at the time for the local Unemployed People’s Movement (UPM). The UPM played a heroic role in opposing the attacks and assisting the displaced. The text’s general points remain relevant to the working class’s fight against prejudice and racism. And the riots of 2015 should not be forgotten.grahamstown-riots

anclogoonwall.jpg imageIn the ANC’s battle of factions there are no superheroes nov 05 22:47 by Shawn Hattingh 0 comments

The battle between Pravin Gordhan and Jacob Zuma has been presented along the lines of a superhero comic. Gordhan, the hero, is portrayed as the last defence against the rampaging villain, vile Zuma. And like all superhero tales Gordhan the good appears to be gaining the upper hand over Zuma the bad – especially since corruption charges have been dropped and the damning Public Protector’s report on state capture has been released.

marikana_strike.jpg imageΗ ταξική πάλη στη &#... nov 03 16:48 by ZACF 0 comments

Αυτό είναι το δεύτερο κείμενο από μια σειρά κειμένων που θέλουν να εστιάσουν στην διεθνή ιστορική συγκυρία της καπιταλιστικής κυριαρχίας, στην προσπάθειά της να αναδιαρθρωθεί εντός εκτός των αφηγημάτων περί ‘’κρίσης’’. Η απεργία στο Marikana και η εξέλιξή της, η εμπλοκή των κρατικών θεσμών και της αστυνομίας μπορεί, ενδεχομένως, να φωτίσει κάποιες πτυχές της διαδικασίας εξόρυξης υπεραξίας, της εργατικής εκμετάλλευσης και την ιδιαίτερη μορφή που αυτή λαμβάνει στην συγκυρία αυξανόμενης διεθνοποίησης της αξίας.

Source: “South African Labour Bulletin”, volume 40, number 4, pp. 40 imageWorker-Student Alliances: Anarchist Approach Needed ott 30 02:39 by Leroy Maisiri 0 comments

Recent worker-student alliances and activities are lacking in an anarchist/syndicalist approach which focuses on ‘people’s power’ and ‘worker control’. Such an approach is important for radical transformation, writes Leroy Maisiri.

460_0___30_0_0_0_0_0_image.jpg imageΠοίηση ενάντια σ`... ott 26 21:31 by Leroy Maisiri 0 comments

“Επόπτης Mthembu” - Ποίηση ενάντια στην αστυνομική βαρβαρότητα
Εμπνευσμένο από τα γεγονότα της 28 Σεπτεμβρίου 2016 στη Νότια Αφρική, όταν η αστυνομία πυροβόλησε φοιτητές, σκοτώνοντας κάποιους και τραυματίζοντας άλλους

460_0___30_0_0_0_0_0_image_1.jpg imageΕνάντια στην αστ`... ott 26 21:19 by Leroy Maisiri 0 comments

“Επόπτης Mthembu” - Ποίηση ενάντια στην αστυνομική βαρβαρότητα
Εμπνευσμένο από τα γεγονότα της 28 Σεπτεμβρίου 2016 στη Νότια Αφρική, όταν η αστυνομία πυροβόλησε φοιτητές, σκοτώνοντας κάποιους και τραυματίζοντας άλλους.

image.png image“Superintendent Officer Mthembu” - Spoken word poetry against police brutality ott 11 01:49 by Leroy Maisiri 0 comments

If our pain was turned into an art museum the most popular exhibit would showcase portraits of the South African Police Service with our bodies on the floor as their footstools. Our silenced screams chock up the airways in our throats, our tracheas burst out and with both hands we grab the artery veins in an attempt to contain the bleeding, trying to redirect this blood, this life back into the cause and yes, bang, bang, bang; you keep shooting and yes bang, bang, bang, we keep running.

C’de Bobo addressing the crowd at the “Reclaim June 16” demonstration in Soweto, 2009. imageHamba kahle comrade Bobo Makhoba (1975-2016) ott 03 19:07 by Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front 3 comments

The ZACF is saddened to learn of the passing away of comrade Bobo Makhoba in Soweto this Thursday 29 September, at the age of 41, after a long illness. He is survived by his son, to whom we extend our deepest sympathies and condolences – as we do to the rest of his family, friends and comrades.

Bobo was a founding member of the ZACF as well as one of the original guerilla electricians for the Soweto Electricity Crisis Committee’s Operation Khanyisa campaign, which illegally reconnected thousands of households’ electricity after it was cut off for non-payment – forcing Eskom, the state electricity utility, to scrap arrears for thousands of Sowetans.

textAlzamiento popular en Zimbabwe set 27 08:07 by Rebeldía Contrainformativa 0 comments

Desde el año 2013, las protestas populares de sectores de trabajadores como comerciantes, conductores de transporte público e incluso sectores de desempleados en Zimbabwe han aumentado, y en varias zonas del país ha habido alzamiento en armas; todo esto contra el presidente Robert Gabriel Mugabe, elegido en el 2013 y que representa al partido ZANU-PF, quien está en el poder desde hace 36 años.

Pastor Evan Mawarire imageWhere to now, Zimbabwe? Beyond the “good” charismatic pastor. set 25 18:22 by Leroy Maisiri 1 comments

The last 4 months in Zimbabwe can surely be characterized as an awakening of the Zimbabwean working class, as thousands of these citizens have taken to the streets, responding to Pastor Evan Mawarire’s call: “hatichatya” – we are not afraid. The #Thisflag movement followed soon after. This is certainly a historic time for Zimbabwe; a time of growing labour pains as the country (hopefully) enters a process of rebirth towards a better and new Zimbabwe. But before we can even begin to talk about a free Zimbabwe and how we would go about getting that, we need to first have a clear and coherent class analysis of the Zimbabwean social and political climate. Understanding who we are fighting is essential. Zimbabwe without a doubt needs to rid ourselves of the 92-year- old man who thinks the state house is his graveyard. But in the same breath, we must rid itself of the oppressive state system altogether. Swapping a vicious state capitalist manager with another is nowhere close to constituting progress.

più >>
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