The murder of George Floyd in the United States by the police has unleashed a wave of popular outrage in that country and throughout the world. Massive demonstrations, direct action against the police and in response to repression have been common these past weeks. This fact has brought to the fore the profound racism that exists in today’s societies.
This highlights the historical role of racism in the construction of capitalist society. The expansion of capitalism — long before the Industrial Revolution — had a central element: the looting of entire continents, the genocide of entire populations, the appropriation of territories, resources and bodies by European states and their bourgeoisie, in order to achieve the accumulation of capital later invested in the development of machinery and industry in the 18th century. It was this colonial strategy of looting resources throughout the Americas, accompanied by the slave trade and human trafficking in Africa and South America, which allowed the consolidation of capitalism.
We repudiate the cowardly murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis’s police officers, another racist act in the heart of a world imperialist power. This event is added to the countless number of killings of people of colour and the Afro-descendent population in the United States which has been perpetuated since the days of slavery and hasn’t yet stopped.
”May Day should be a symbol of international solidarity – that is of a solidarity that is not limited to the frame of the national state, which always fits with the interests of the privileged minorities of that very country. Among the millions of workers who bear the yoke of slavery, there is a unity of interest, regardless of the language they speak and the standard under which they were born. But between the exploiters and the exploited of one country, there is a continuous war that cannot be resolved by any principle of authority and is rooted in the contradictory interests of the various classes. All nationalism is an ideological disguise of the true facts: it may at one time drag the great masses to its lying representatives, but it has never been able to abolish the brutal reality of the things of this world” – (Rudolf Rocker, 1936).
Comrade Mandla Khoza (or “MK,” as his friends and comrades knew him) passed away on Friday 26 July in his home town of Siphofaneni, Swaziland (Eswatini). He had long suffered from sugar diabetes. He leaves behind four children. One of the pioneering members of the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation (ZACF) founded in South Africa on May Day 2003, MK was committed to a social revolution that would place power and wealth in the hands of the working class, the peasants and the poor. As he would often say: “It doesn’t matter if you change who sits on the throne: you have to get rid of the throne itself.” This obituary commemorates his life as a militant.
We learnt that on October 25th, a large police operation called « Erebus » (Érebo in Portuguese, i.e. the name of the Greek god of darkness) was launched against the anti-authoritarian movement.
The civil police invaded at least 4 libertarian premises and claims to have warrants against a dozen of premises and about 30 people. They raided the occupation Pandorga and the Parrhesia premises as well as the political and cultural space Ateneu Libertário Batalha da Várzea that used to be FAG’s official premises. The Federação Anarquista Gaúcha (FAG) is specifically targeted by this operation as it is considered by the stupid-as-usual police to be the top organization of the anarchist movement in Porto Alegre. They are accused of forming a gang in order to commit crimes against public and private possessions.
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.
We of the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front warmly congratulate you on yet another year of sterling work in spreading the ideas and practices of anarchism amongst the popular classes of Brazil. We have been following the struggles in Brazil with interest and also much respect. We salute the bravery of you, our comrade sisters and brothers – the working class and anarchists of Brazil – and look forward to a victorious outcome for you in these struggles.
We, militants of the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF), send you a big clenched fist salute and revolutionary internationalist greetings on this the historic occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the founding of the Federación Anarquista Uruguaya (FAU) – commemorating 60 years of struggle for freedom and socialism.
It has been a long and no doubt hard and bumpy road since 1956. We honour the many FAU militants who, like Alberto “Pocho” Mechoso, gave up their freedom and even their lives in the struggle for freedom and socialism. Yet, after all is said and done, you are celebrating another milestone, another anniversary. You continue to keep the red and black banner of class struggle anarchism alive and well on the Latin American continent – holding it up as an example for all to see.
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.