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international / history / link to pdf Tuesday September 10, 2019 21:08 by Jonathan Payn, Jakes Factoria, Tina Sizovuka and Warren McGregor   image 1 image
This pamphlet is a collection of articles exploring the concept, history and anarchist/syndicalist approaches to United Fronts – and their relevance and potential for building working class unity in South Africa – written in the context of the National Union of Metalworkers (Numsa)’s resolution, following its historic 2013 Special National Congress, to break with the ANC-led Alliance and form a ‘United Front against neoliberalism’ First Zabalaza Books edition, July 2019 read full story / add a comment
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southern africa / the left / opinion / analysis Sunday September 08, 2019 06:04 by Jonathan Payn   image 1 image
The first part of this series stated that, despite various well-intentioned efforts by forces on the extra-Alliance and independent left over recent years to unite working class struggles in South Africa, these largely have and will continue to fail to resonate with the working class, help build unity in struggle and form the basis of a new movement because of the theoretical understandings of class and power – and their strategic implications – on which they are founded and which are prevalent on much of the left. This article will give a basic overview of these theoretical understandings of class and power and their strategic implications and limitations and why it is therefore necessary to refine and develop understandings of class and power more capable of responding to the context of the neoliberal restructuring of the working class in order to advance the class struggle in pursuit of socialism. [Part 1] read full story / add a comment
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southern africa / the left / opinion / analysis Tuesday June 25, 2019 22:09 by Jonathan Payn   image 1 image
Twenty-five years into democracy the black working class majority in South Africa has not experienced any meaningful improvements in its conditions. The apartheid legacy of unequal education, healthcare and housing and the super-exploitation of black workers continues under the ANC and is perpetuated by the neoliberal policies it has imposed. The only force capable of changing this situation is the working class locally and internationally. Yet to do so, struggles need to come together, new forms of organisation appropriate to the context are needed; and they need both to be infused with a revolutionary progressive politics and to learn from the mistakes of the past. Outside the ANC alliance, there have indeed been many efforts to unite struggles – but these have largely failed to resonate with the working class in struggle and form the basis of a new movement. Nowhere is this more evident than with the newly-formed Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party (SRWP) – which got less than 25 000 votes in the national elections, despite the fact that the union that conceived it, Numsa, claims nearly 400 000 members. [Part 2] read full story / add a comment
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argentina/uruguay/paraguay / movimiento anarquista / comunicado de prensa Wednesday May 29, 2019 00:55 by Jon   image 1 image
Zelmar quedó para siempre entre nosotros. No se fue, está aquí. Mientras haya lucha por una sociedad distinta, socialista libertaria, estará entre nosotros. No es una frase formal, su trayectoria nos seguirá diciendo mucho y por ello es que lo sentiremos ahí.

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Οι Αναρχικοί ηγέτες του οκταώρου κινήματος κρεμάστηκαν την Παρασκευή 11 Νοεμβρίου. Εκείνη τη μέρα οι πλούσιοι του Σικάγου είχαν ρίγη και πυρετό. Το σχοινί τεντώνεται προς όλες τις κατευθύνσεις από τη φυλακή. Αστυνομικοί άνδρες σταθμεύουν κατά μήκος των σχοινιών οπλισμένοι με τουφέκια. Ειδικές περιπολίες παρακολουθούσαν όλες τις προσεγγίσεις στη φυλακή. Οι στέγες γύρω από το βαρύ πέτρινο κτίριο ήταν γεμάτε με αστυνομικούς. Οι εφημερίδες έγειραν τη δημόσια φαντασία με ιστορίες εξεγέρσεων στις φυλακές. read full story / add a comment
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argentinien / uruguay / paraguay / arbeitskämpfe / meinung / analyse Monday October 22, 2018 01:09 by Jonathan Payn   image 1 image
Auf der ganzen Welt versucht die herrschende Klasse aus Kapitalist*innen, Politiker*innen und staatliche Manager*innen ihre Gewinne zu sichern, indem sie die Arbeiter*klasse für die Wirtschaftskrise zahlen lassen. Einerseits betreiben sie Stellenabbau und zwingen damit die verbleibenden Arbeiter*innen zu noch größeren Leistungen, um die Produktionsziele zu erreichen. Andererseits führen sie einen breit angelegten Angriff auf Löhne, Arbeitsbedingungen und Sozialleistungen. read full story / add a comment
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argentina / uruguay / paraguay / workplace struggles / opinion / analysis Wednesday August 15, 2018 02:55 by Jonathan Payn   image 1 image
Around the world the ruling class (capitalists, politicians and state managers) is trying to restore its profits by making the working class pay for the economic crisis. One way capitalists do this is by retrenching workers and making the remaining workers work harder to meet production targets, as well as by attacking wages, working conditions and benefits. States help capitalists do this, among other things, by increasing interest rates while giving corporations tax cuts, commercialising and privatising state owned enterprises and outsourcing the provision of basic services. States also help capitalists by undermining workers’ rights, such as the right to strike, in order to make it more difficult for workers to resist these attacks.

Unions have failed to defend workers from the immediate threat of these attacks (by preventing dismissals and defending jobs, wages and conditions), as well as to mount an effective resistance that can prevent further attacks and begin to roll back the devastating effects of neoliberalism. Moreover, union bureaucrats are often complicit in these attacks through deals they make with governments and bosses. A recent example in South Africa is the National Minimum Wage and amendments to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act and Labour Relations Amendment Bill – all of which represent an attack on workers yet were agreed to at Nedlac (the National Economic Development and Labour Council) by the leaders of the three main federations: Nactu, Fedusa and Cosatu.

Faced with this ruling class threat and with union bureaucracies that are either complicit or unwilling to fight, workers in Argentina have begun a process to build unity in struggle and a democratic worker-controlled alternative. read full story / add a comment
southern africa / community struggles / press release Sunday April 22, 2018 02:43 by Abahlali baseMJondolo
Freedom Day is a national public holiday in South Africa. Each year Abahlali baseMjondolo, which has more than 50 000 paid up members in good standing, holds a heretical 'UnFreedom Day' to contest dominant ideologies. read full story / add a comment
'Workers' rights are human rights' demonstration against new Labour Bills, 21 March 2018, Johannesburg. Photo: Nimet Arikan
southern africa / workplace struggles / opinion / analysis Wednesday March 28, 2018 01:14 by Jonathan Payn   image 1 image
On 17 November 2017, the Minister of Labour announced the state intends to carry out a new round of attacks on workers and their rights. The attacks come in the form of three Labour Bills currently being considered by parliament: the Basic Conditions of Employment Bill, the National Minimum Wage Bill and the Labour Relations Amendment Bill. If passed, the changes to the labour laws these bills propose will be a major attack on workers’ rights, won through decades of struggle, and will further deepen and entrench inequality and roll back important democratic gains.
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southern africa / the left / opinion / analysis Wednesday December 13, 2017 18:12 by Jonathan Payn   image 1 image
A lightly edited transcript of a presentation at a workshop hosted by the International Labour Research & Information Group (ILRIG) and the Orange Farm Human Rights Advice Centre in Drieziek extension 1, Orange Farm township, south of Soweto, South Africa, on 24 June 2017. It was attended by a hall full of community and worker activists, including veterans of the big rebellions of the 1980s. read full story / add a comment
Women constructing a shelter on occupied land at Bush Koppies. Photo: Lekhetho Mtetwa (ZACF)
southern africa / community struggles / feature Thursday June 08, 2017 02:20 by Jonathan Payn   image 1 image
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.

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venezuela / colombia / crime prison and punishment / opinión / análisis Monday January 30, 2017 21:42 by El (A)guijón   image 1 image
A pocas horas para entrar en vigencia el Nuevo Código de Policía y Convivencia Ciudadana, el cual contempla las reglas del comportamiento y conducta ciudadana, más que ser un documento que contempla más de 300 situaciones en 243 artículos que rigen la conducta y el comportamiento de los ciudadanos en el país; es a todas luces una ley hecha a la medida de los regímenes totalitarios en tanto que con la amenaza constante de la Ley Penal y la sanción vía multa, restringe y prohíbe todo intento de movilización institucionalizando así la criminalización. read full story / add a comment
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venezuela / colombia / represión / presos / news report Saturday January 21, 2017 01:09 by El (A)guijón   image 1 image
Los desalojos en el barrio Nuevo Jerusalén comenzaron sin garantías para las 175 familias que serán desalojadas, el Estado encarnado en las alcaldías municipales de Bello y Medellín no tiene una propuesta clara para reubicar a estas familias, solo han brindado un arriendo temporal de “3 meses con posibilidad de prórroga”, una solución en el aire para las familias que desde hace más de 10 años están construyendo su hogar, su casa, gentes que fueron desplazadas y que tampoco tuvieron apoyo o garantías a su llegada a la ciudad. Hoy estos hogares construidos con esfuerzo están siendo convertidos en escombros. read full story / add a comment
"Autonomy and struggle: students and workers decide!"
brazil/guyana/suriname/fguiana / education / opinion / analysis Friday December 16, 2016 20:07 by Jonathan Payn   image 1 image
In September 2016 the Brazilian government published a Provisional Measure (MP 746) outlining a reform in secondary education that would have devastating consequences for the education system, disproportionately affecting majority-black working class students. Students responded with direct action and occupied schools in the state of Paraná, with occupations soon spreading to at least six other states. One month later 600 high schools in Paraná alone had been occupied to protest the government’s attack on public education – which comes in the context of a broader attack on the working class through a Proposed Constitutional Amendment (PEC 241) that threatens to freeze public spending on health, education and social welfare until 2037. read full story / add a comment
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southern africa / migration / racism / opinion / analysis Tuesday June 02, 2015 22:19 by Jonathan Payn   image 1 image
Like in 2008, the recent wave of anti-immigrant violence and looting of foreign-owned stores that followed King Zwelithini’s statement that foreigners must “pack their bags and leave” quickly spread to cities and townships across the country. Unlike other places in Johannesburg, however, there were no reports of xenophobic violence in Thembelihle and, although the violence spread to numerous parts of Soweto in 2008, this adjacent township was unaffected then too. This article, based on an interview with an activist from the Thembelihle Crisis Committee (TCC), looks at how working class self-organisation and solidarity helped curb or prevent the outbreak of xenophobic attacks and attempts to draw lessons for preventing future attacks.
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Photo by Jacob Potlaki (Casual Workers Advice Office)
southern africa / community struggles / opinion / analysis Thursday May 21, 2015 16:50 by Jonathan Payn   image 1 image
The xenophobic violence and looting following King Zwelithini’s statement that foreigners “pack their bags and leave” spread to cities and townships across the country. However, the recent attacks are not an isolated incident; nor is Zwelithini solely responsible for fomenting it. Local elites – particularly those linked to the ruling party – also encourage anti-immigrant attitudes and actions. This article, based on discussions with Abahlali baseFreedom Park activists, looks at how local elites stimulate ‘xenophobia’ to protect their class interests, as well as how progressive working class activists have responded.
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greece / turkey / cyprus / the left / opinion / analysis Wednesday May 06, 2015 22:26 by Joost Jongerden   image 1 image
In 2005, the Partiya Karkêren Kurdistani (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) (PKK) announced that it considered the nation-state a hindrance on the road to freedom, and that its strategic objective was not the establishment of a state but of an interlinked network of councils as the basis of self-determination and a new way of living together. The objective of this article is to discuss and explain the PKK’s understanding of politics as it evolved in the 2000s by looking at two concepts: ‘democratic autonomy’ and ‘democratic confederalism.’ This article will put these concepts in a historical and comparative perspective, and contextualise them in wider discussions in political and social sciences. The question central to this contribution is how these concepts make sense in the context of political theory, and how they have the potential to address fundamental shortcomings in modern democracy. Data has been collected by the study of primary sources and interviews. read full story / add a comment
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international / miscellaneous / opinion / analysis Thursday January 08, 2015 15:43 by Jonathan P   image 1 image
As working class activists, we should share experiences with – and learn from – working class struggles in other places. The ruling class organises worldwide to exploit and dominate our class. So we need to organise resistance to defend our interests everywhere. And we can only benefit from arming ourselves with lessons from different working class movements.
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netherlands / germany / austria / history / opinion / analysis Friday November 07, 2014 21:40 by Jonathan Payn   image 1 image
A "revolutionary alternative from below" that was not quite to be but holds pertinent lessons for movements today. Our latest issue of Workers World News continues our educational series on "united fronts" with a focus on the Workers’ Council Movement in Germany, 1920-1923. Part 1: NUMSA and the ‘United Front Against Neoliberalism’
Part 2: Anti-militarist United Fronts and Italy’s “Red week”, 1914
Part 3: The 1917 Russian Revolution and United Front read full story / add a comment
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netherlands / germany / austria / history / opinion / analysis Thursday October 16, 2014 17:40 by Jonathan Payn   image 1 image
In the October Revolution of 1917, the Bolshevik Party, together with other revolutionaries, overthrew the Provisional Government established in February and – together, initially, with left Social Revolutionaries – seized power. How did the Bolsheviks – a minority just eight months earlier, when the February Revolution overthrew the Tsar and established the Provisional Government – come to power so quickly? How did this small force emerge from relative obscurity to win large sections of the working class to its programme and take power? Herein lies the root and essence of United Front policy in a traditional Marxist sense. First published in issue 88 of Workers World News Part 1: NUMSA and the ‘United Front Against Neoliberalism’
Part 2: Anti-militarist United Fronts and Italy’s “Red week”, 1914
Part 4: United Working Class Action and the Workers’ Council Movement in Germany, 1920-1923 read full story / add a comment
Neste 8 de Março, levantamos mais uma vez a nossa voz e os nossos punhos pela vida das mulheres!
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