The ZACF is pleased to co-sign this statement along with anarchist groups around the world to commemorate May Day.
May 1st, 1886, a wide-ranging strike started in the United States demanding an eight-hour working day. The journey’s slogan was “Eight hours’ labour, Eight hours’ recreation, Eight hours’ rest”, propagandised since the mid-19th century and through which the labour movement struggled to seize power from Capital and dispute worker’s time for life, culture, and enjoyment.
The strike was prepared in advance. The American labour movement decided on it in 1884. To carry it out, hundreds of meetings and rallies were held, funds were collected, at times when union organising was illegal. Manifestos and newspapers were circulated encouraging workers to join the planned strike.
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the first modern social revolution in the glorious history of oppressed people’s struggle, the Paris Commune of 1871. For 72 days, the proletarians of the city of Paris re-organised the social relationships in terms of direct democracy, towards the direction of economic equality, mutual aid and political freedom.
(International anarchist statement)
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.
The Brazilian Anarchist Coordination repudiates the cowardly criminalization of South African fighters and social fighters and their persecution.
In February 2015, four community members were sentenced to 16 years in prison for participating in a protest in their community. After a brief period of provisional release, two of the four militants were again sent to jail on June 19, 2017.
On February 6, 2016, Papi Tobias, the father of three children and a community leader struggling for housing and social rights in his community, disappeared as he went out to watch a football game at a bar. He was seen leaving a bar in the presence of the local police commander, Jan Scheepers. He is missing until today.
The South African ruling class has often used criminal laws and expeditions from the apartheid era to condemn the black and poor working class and criminalize the activities of militants and social fighters.
As in Brazil (Rafael Braga and many others cases), the ruling class in South Africa uses the justice system and its racist armed apparatus to promote the criminalization of poverty, protest and racism.
The continuity between state terrorism and its apparatuses continues regardless of the government it assumes, in South Africa or in Brazil!
Freedom for Dinah and Sipho!
Justice for Papi!