The shackdwellers’ organization addresses riots in South Africa and the underlying hunger, poverty and corruption, and the need to oppose xenophobia and tribalism and work towards a world in which each person counts as a person.
The arrest of Abahlali baseMjondolo Deputy President, Mqapheli (George) Bonono, on trumped-up charges is related to the longstanding attempts by the ANC (African National Congress) to crush the eKhenena Occupation in Cato Manor, an occupation that is now a working commune run on a democratic basis with a co-operative managing the farming.
The capitalist world remains in a deep crisis and now faces a crossroads. U.S., Chinese, and European imperialism all have aging populations and mounting debt . They need to find new sources of labor and natural resources to plunder. Africa, with the youngest population of any major region and abundant mineral wealth, is a target.
Abahlali baseMjondolo calls on all to oppose border closures and xenophobia and build solidarity among the oppressed.
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.”
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.
Colorado student-teacher-parent walkouts lead to recall of reactionary school board members; Oxford students campaign to remove images of racist imperialist Cecil Rhodes; student activism sweeps South Africa.
Worldwide, the refugee crisis is unprecedented and is fueled by war, terrorism and climate change. The worldwide response is paltry with country after country turning away or deporting frantic and desperate people in search of a safe haven.
From UPM: The formation of the Black Consciousness Movement in this country was a realization by Black people that we could no longer stand and be spectators of the game we are supposed to be playing. This election season continues to demonstrate the relevance of Biko’s teachings.
“For Nelson Mandela,” a poem by Paul Knopf.
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
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
We mourn the passing of South African revolutionary and scholar Neville Alexander. Born in the rural Eastern Cape, Alexander moved to Cape Town in 1953 to attend university. There he was introduced to revolutionary ideas. As he said, “I was forced to grapple seriously with the works of Marx and [=>]
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 [=>]
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 [=>]
South Africa’s ‘Class Apartheid’
Two decades after Nelson Mandela was freed from prison, South Africa has actually increased the apartheid-era race and class inequality. Neoliberal capitalist economic policies have resulted in massive unemployment and poverty that has been termed “class apartheid.” So extreme is the situation that the unemployment rate for Black youth has reached almost [=>]
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 [=>]