Many of the precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the virus in South Africa assume that everyone lives in a house with water and sanitation, and at no risk of being destroyed by the state. But millions of us continue to live in shacks of indignity.
Shack dwellers, and other poor people, including street traders, casual workers and undocumented migrants, have not been taken into consideration when it comes to the prevention of the coronavirus, or included in decision-making about the crisis.
South African shackdwellers state: “We believe that there is only one human race and that the borders created by colonial rule should be irrelevant to our project to build solidarity among the oppressed and to ensure that South Africa belongs to all who live in it.”
Readers’ Views on: Capitalism vs. the Planet; Anti-Semitism’s Inhumanity; Kavanaugh Travesty; Youth Rock!; Freedom Movements vs. Fascism across the Globe; Catholic Church Crisis; Voices from behind Bars
Landless people in Tembisa near Johannesburg, promised housing by the municipality, occupied empty land and put up houses since February, only to rebuild them with each destruction and eviction by police.
Protesters in South Africa agitate against President Jacob Zuma, the ruling African National Congress, the high unemployment rate and elections, and in support of the poor and workers.
Abahlali baseMjondolo Women’s League South Africa commemorates the 60th anniversary of women who marched against apartheid Pass laws and for gender and racial equality as they plan for future economic development for women.
Durban, South Africa—On April 8 Abahlali baseMjondolo supported a march against xenophobia organized by our comrades in the Congolese Solidarity Campaign together with the Somali Association of South Africa and other migrant organizations. There was a permit for the march and yet the police would not allow it to go ahead.
Just when Mandela has passed, the African National Congress is not even ashamed of the lives the poor are living, or the fact that the residents of Cato Crest will spend Christmas on the street.
Deadly South African evictions
The new November-December 2013 issue of News & Letters is online.
News & Letters, Vol. 58, No. 6
November – December 2013
The Syrian Revolution as the test of world politics
On Aug. 21 the genocidal regime of Bashar al-Assad murdered over a thousand civilians, mostly women and children, with sarin gas in the Damascus suburbs of Eastern Ghouta. [=>]
We do not believe that the state is taking the rape and murder of Thandiswa Qubuda seriously. The state holds poor people in contempt. We are just voting fodder to them. We are not human beings to them. It is clear that the leadership in the struggle against rape will have to come from below. It is time for real action against rape.
Capetown, South Africa—During the Christmas break we received the most shocking news from KwaZulu-Natal. The provincial traffic department advertised 90 positions for trainee traffic officers. More than 150,000 people applied, most of them between the ages of 18 and 20.
On Christmas Day 34,000 people received text messages saying that they had been shortlisted for these [=>]
World in View
by Gerry Emmett
The Marikana platinum mine massacre of 34 miners, near Rustenburg, South Africa, has outraged the revolutionary working class. That outrage is compounded by the government’s decision to charge 270 survivors with the murders of their fellow workers, who were shot by police. The workers were dragged to court, many still bloodstained [=>]
Marikana, South Africa–Aug. 18: It’s now two days after the brutal, heartless and merciless cold bloodbath of 45 Marikana mine workers by the South African Police Services. This was a massacre!
Mining has been central to the history of repression in South Africa. Mining made Sandton to be Sandton and the Bantustans of the Eastern Cape [=>]
Reactionary U.S. election shows capital’s contradictions
“We built it!” roared the delegates at the Republican Party convention in Tampa. It was the perfect expression of the presidential campaign and of capitalist thinking in general. The truth is that workers built the social wealth. Capitalists take it from the workers, and the government gets a portion.
Mitt Romney [=>]
REVOLUTION, COUNTER-REVOLUTION AND NEED FOR PHILOSOPHY
In the Draft of Marxist-Humanist Perspectives for 2012-2013, published in the last issue, while the global analysis is good, it is partial and emphasizes mass uprisings that may be a part of history tomorrow, i.e., Syria, while ignoring the long-term struggles that have a potential for raising a clear [=>]
“2020 is too late to wait!” rang out the words of Abigail Borah, a 21-year-old college student/activist from Vermont. She was interrupting U.S. climate negotiator Todd Stern’s speech at the latest yearly UN climate summit, held this time in Durban, South Africa, Nov. 28 to Dec. 11. Her passionate intervention, drawing applause from many delegates, [=>]
From the new issue of NEWS & LETTERS, May-June 2011:
- A CALL FROM SOUTH AFRICA
- STUDENTS WIN AT USF
- THREE HISTORIC ANNIVERSARIES
- JUSTICE FOR JOHNATHAN CUEVAS
- FROM YEMEN TO THE U.S., MANY VOICES OF WOMEN’S LIBERATION
- DETROIT SYMPHONY VICTORY
- FOR JOHN ALAN (ALLEN WILLIS)
A CALL FROM SOUTH AFRICA
A call by Abahlali baseMjondolo for Madikizela to step down as MEC [Member [=>]
Editor’s note: Zimasa Lerumo is coordinator of Abahlali baseMjondolo-Western Cape Youth Project and involved in the “No Land! No House! No Vote!” campaign. Their campaign for South Africa’s 2011 elections declares: “No! to Capitalist Democracy. No! to ANC, DA, ID, COPE, UDM policies that lead to water cutoffs, electricity cutoffs, and forced evictions.” They will [=>]
Editor’s note: S’bu Zikode of Abahlali baseMjondolo of Western Cape spoke recently in Oakland, Cal., on a U.S. tour about this movement within South Africa. Here are excerpts from his talk:
People are born and live in these shantytowns, at least 2.3 million of us. In 2005 Abahlali baseMjondolo, an organization representing 25,000 people, came together [=>]
From the Nov.-Dec. 2010 issue of News & Letters:
South African activists slam Communist Party
Editor’s note: The self-organized communities in the Western Cape shackdwellers’ movement in South Africa have protested lack of services and housing through direct action, to be followed by a march on Parliament. The South African Communist Party (SACP), a part of the [=>]