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.
South Africa, 16 October 2015: On the evening of Friday 9 October 2015, a militant of the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front in the impoverished black township of Khutsong (west of Johannesburg), was threatened with violence for his political work by a group of youths. The next morning, a political school that he and another member run in the area, was forcibly disrupted by an even larger mob.
On the Friday night, comrade “Tebogo” (real name concealed for security reasons) was confronted by eight men, He was instructed to “stop promoting anarchism” and resisting the government because “the African National Congress [ANC] must rule the township” or face severe consequences. On the Saturday morning, comrades “Tebogo” and “Boitumelo” (*real name concealed) were confronted by around 15 thugs while preparing to host the monthly ZACF / Zabalaza political education session at a local venue. They were able to prevent the group gaining entry, but the event was disrupted. Rocks were thrown, threats were made.
At least two anarchist comrades are victims of the bombing attacks in Turkey that killed at least 128 people. These are comrades Ali Kitapçi, an anarcho-syndicalist from Ankara, a railroad worker and militant from Disk (Revolutionary Union), and Typhon Benol, from Devrimci Anarşist Faaliyet (DAF – Revolutionary Anarchist Action). We salute our dead. We call on all comrades in the global North to recognise the extremely dangerous conditions that many comrades in the South (e.g. Asia, Africa, Latin America/ Caribbean, East Europe, Ireland) face.
Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front is deeply saddened to hear of the death a great human being, African brother, and fellow activist – Sam Mbah. We would like to send our deepest sympathies to those who knew Sam. We hope that you are comforted by the fact that the time he did spend with us was put to its absolute fullest use.
It is particularly difficult for us in South Africa to hear of this news because we are likewise struggling to build a movement that, as Sam has always acknowledged, is still in its infancy and will take some time to “crystallize”. Knowing that people like Sam were out there in other parts of Africa doing what we are trying to do here was a great inspiration to us. It helped us to continue on a long and difficult path. Sam’s individual contribution to our own (and collective) project of building a strong and viable anarchist movement in Africa was massive, and his departure will be sorely felt. But we feel comforted in the fact that his legacy will be an inspiration for others who will eventually follow in his footsteps.
Help keep CSAAWU’s doors open – An injury to one is an injury to all!
We are writing to you out of solidarity for CSAAWU, a union based amongst farmworkers in South Africa with which we have relations. In 2012/3 South African farmworkers rebelled against the deplorable conditions in the sector – for which hundreds were dismissed and victimized. CSAAWU is one of the few unions that organises in this difficult and under-represented industry. In the aftermath of the rebellion it took a decision to take up the struggle, including by defending close to 100 workers in the labour court.
Unfortunately the union lost two of the cases and has been issued with cost orders in excess of R600 000 (US$ 53 500 or EUR 43 000). This is a very high amount in South Africa, one that is potentially fatally crippling for a smaller union like CSAAWU. (Anyone needing more information can have a look at this article)
We are therefore forwarding you their plea (see below) and hope that you will consider supporting their request for help. Please also considering forwarding this to sympathetic organisations and/or publishing it widely.