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.
We hold the South African government responsible for the lives and physical integrity
of our comrades and demand the cessation of repression of the South African people’s
movement, which remind us of the darkest years of apartheid and the military
dictatorships that ravaged the Southern Cone of America.
In several areas of the world, the criminalization of poverty and protest is increasing as
neo-liberal policies that condemnmillions of human beings to hunger and despair.
In Africa and Latin America, the Resistance lives and develops itself in the struggle of
the people !!
Justice for our comrades !!
Down with repression !!
Arriba los que luchan!!
RESISTANCE AND SOLIDARITY
(ROE – Resistencia Obrero Estudiantil, Student-Worker Resistance)
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.
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.
Let us learn from our past struggles, in the USA and in Malaysia. May Day should be an occasion to reflect not jubilate, to engage not agonize, to demand not relent, and to organise, not complain. We need systemic change that can guarantee equality, fraternity, self-management and socialisation of the commonwealth, guided by a bottom–up approach to decision making. We need a labour movement that is multicultural and international, feminist, active in urban and rural struggles, and that prizes reason over superstition, justice over hierarchy, self-management over state power, international solidarity over nationalism. We need to fight for a universal human community, not parochialism and separatism. The organisational power and strategic location of the Malaysian union movement provides an excellent point of departure for building this counter-movement. This is our appeal and message as we celebrate this May Day, on the eve of dark days in which the storm clouds gather over humanity – but in which the light of hope of a better future can break through, if we arm ourselves with the correct ideas and approaches. May Day began as an example of globalisation-from-below. Let us rally to it. Let us take back its original vision: liberty, equality, unity.
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.
Renewal and crisis in South African labour today: Towards transformation or stagnation, bureaucracy or self-activity?
South African unions are large but fragmented, substantial but politically weak. They represent different political traditions and all are marked by serious organisational problems. They have little impact on the official public sphere. The unions need to work towards realizing a stateless, classless, self-managed society without hierarchy, based on political pluralism and freedom.
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.