Archive for the ‘African liberation’ Category

The piece below appeared as one of the editorials in the latest round of workplace bulletins produced and distributed by The Spark organisation in the United States; we’ve slightly changed the title but left the American-English spelling of the original.

by The Spark

The words are bad enough, but they are symbols of something much worse: the vicious ideas that Trump and others like him try to peddle.

The countries Trump denigrated are all poor. So let’s talk about why they are poor – the truth which demagogues like Trump trample on.

U.S., Spanish and French capitalists stole the wealth produced by labor in Haiti and El Salvador. That’s what impoverishes them.

Let’s talk about the European and American slave traders who stole 20 million human beings and their labor power from Africa. Let’s talk about the colonial system which drained Africa’s mineral wealth to enrich European industry. Let’s talk about (more…)

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Marikana massacre of workers carried out by ANC government, August 16, 2012; the single most number killed by any Slouth African government in a single action since the 1960 apartheid regime massacre of black civil rights protesters at Sharpeville

Billionaire Cyril Ramaphosa has been made president of the ANC, although Jacob Zuma will continue as president of the country.

Ramaphosa says the ANC will spend 2018 reconnecting with the people and making up for its mistakes.

The idea of this super-rich capitalist reconnecting with the masses is a hoot.  Ramaphosa, who supported the massacring of mine workers just a couple of years ago, leveraged his time as a militant trade union leader to get into business and epitomises everything that went wrong with the ANC in the first place. 

by Peter Manson

Readers will know that president Jacob Zuma was replaced by Cyril Ramaphosa as leader of the African National Congress at the ANC’s elective conference in December.

Zuma will remain South African head of state, however, until a new president is elected by the national assembly following the 2019 general election – unless, of course, action is taken by the ANC and parliament to remove him earlier, which is a distinct possibility.

Just before the elective conference, commentator Peter Bruce pleaded to ANC delegates:

The fact is that policy uncertainty is crippling foreign investment … And try not to think of foreign investors as fat, white capitalists smoking cigars in a club somewhere and deciding which ideological friends to finance … They’re investing the savings and pensions of people like you … They need a return on those people’s money, just like you need a return on yours.1

Corruption

Such commentators wanted Zuma out – and were equally opposed to his replacement as ANC president by his former wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who was seen as a mere continuation of the current corrupt regime. Zuma not only stands accused of using state funds to upgrade his private residence, and of allowing the Gupta family to exert huge influence over government appointments – so-called ‘state capture’ – but he still has no fewer than 783 charges of corruption, fraud and money-laundering hanging over him. These are connected to the multi-billion-dollar arms deal finalised in 1999 just after Zuma became deputy president. His financial advisor at the time, Schabir Shaik, was jailed in 2005 for facilitating those bribes and, while Zuma faced charges too, they were conveniently dropped just after he became president in 2009.

During the pre-conference campaign Ramaphosa repeatedly insisted that all those implicated in ‘state capture’ and corruption must be (more…)

Among other activities, the revolutionary working class organisation Lutte Ouvriere produces weekly bulletins in hundreds of workplaces across the country.  Tne bulletins relate to specific experiences and issues faced by the workers in these workplaces, but also contain an editorial on big political questions, national or international issues.  The editorial in the November 27 edition of these bulletins was on France and Africa.

Last week, during his visit to Africa, French President Macron cynically declared that France no longer had a specific “African policy”.

The truth is that, since 2014, thousands of French soldiers have been deployed in Mali where, under the pretext of combating terrorism, they wage a war which regularly kills civilians. The French army is present on a permanent basis in many African countries, including Burkina Faso where Macron made his declaration. France has always intervened in the country, supporting the authors of military coups and dictators aspiring to obediently defend the interests of French imperialists.

Macron also declared that he belonged to a generation who considers that “the crimes of European colonization are undeniable and are part of our history”. Macron is indeed too young to have known first-hand the “colonial times”. But he belongs to the long list of political leaders who helped the French bourgeoisie get rich thanks to its colonial empire.

Africa’s dire poverty and the miserable conditions of most Africans are neither natural nor inevitable. They are due to the century-old plundering of Africa by colonial powers, with France playing a leading role in the continent’s colonization.

Many French bourgeois families built their fortune on (more…)

The PFLP released the following statement on November 26:

cuba-palestino

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine extends its condolences to the Cuban people, the Palestinian people and the revolutionary movements of the world upon the loss of the former prime minister and president of Cuba and the historic international revolutionary leader, Comrade Fidel Castro Ruz, on Friday, November 25, 2016.

castro-habashCastro’s internationalist revolutionary commitment to fighting imperialism and capitalism – manifest in the revolutionary victory against US imperialism and its puppet Batista regime in the 1959 Cuban revolution – consistently stood with the oppressed peoples of the world in their confrontation of imperialism, Zionism, racism and capitalism. Throughout his life, Fidel was a supporter and an example of revolutionary struggle in (more…)

Late August, Indian workers preparing for general strike, in  Sept;  160 million workers went on strike.

Late August, Indian workers preparing for general strike, in Sept; 160 million workers went on strike.

by Susil Gupta, 17 November 2016

I was warned that my controversial article (here) would raise some hackles but, to be truthful, I had hoped for some intelligent counter-blasts. 

Orwell once said that a Communist was “part gramophone, part gangster.” My old comrade Russell is not a gangster, but he is certainly all gramophone. Since his post is so paradigmatic of the rotting or ossified nature of Leftist western thinking, it is worth taking up his post (here) in detail. 

First, note that Russell does not engage with any point made in my article.  Like a tiresome Jehova’s Witness on your doorstep, he just repeats the same old religion.  Let’s take point by point. 

“I hadn’t realised you guys were so down on the metropolitan working classes!”

By ‘metropolitan’ Russell means ‘Western’, a usage that goes back to the 1960s where his thinking is firmly and obdurately stuck. In those distant times there were few non-western cities with a population of more than a million. As I have pointed out on this blog, (https://rdln.wordpress.com/2016/08/12/imperialism-study-group-some-notes-on-the-changing-global-working-class/), China now has 105 cities with more than a million inhabitants, and by 2030 will have 148 million-people cities. Shanghai alone has 25 million inhabitants, which is about as ‘metropolitan’ as it gets. India has 58, and Latin America has 67. The EU has 34 such urban areas and the US 45. In China and many other Asian countries there are massive industrial areas and factories that have no parallel in the West. 

Russell, and much of the old Western Left, still seem to labour under the self-serving illusion that billions of people in the global ‘South’ live in villages, work in paddy fields, survive on a daily bowl of rice, and are incapable, poor things, of organised radical politics. What else explains such an obstinate refusal to face reality?  (more…)

Hifikepunye Pohamba

Hifikepunye Pohamba

by Nizar K Visram

MARCH this year African people, and the world at large, were informed that the outgoing president of Namibia, Hifikepunye Pohamba, 79, is the winner of the Mo Ibrahim award for 2014. It comes with a lump sum of US$5 million and after ten years a lifelong ‘allowance’ of US$200,000 per year.

The award was founded by Mohammed “Mo” Ibrahim, a British billionaire of Sudanese origin, in order to encourage African leaders to hand over power peacefully and constitutionally. It is given to a former African executive head of state or government who ‘steps down willingly’ after two terms and for their ‘exemplary’ leadership in fighting poverty and upholding national integrity. It is the biggest award of its kind in the world, larger than the Nobel Peace Prize, for example, that is worth around US$1.5 million.

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation previously awarded the prize to the presidents of Cape Verde (Pedro Pires in 2011) and Botswana (Festus Mogae in 2008). Former Mozambican president Joaquim Chissano was the first laureate of the prize in 2007. Former South African President Nelson Mandela was also made the inaugural honorary winner in 2007.

Pohamba is a founder of the South West African People’s Organisation (SWAPO) liberation movement that successfully fought the South African apartheid regime’s occupation of Namibia. He was first elected in 2004 and again in 2009 and stepped down at the end of March after his successor, prime minister Hage Geingob, won the November 2014 elections.

Chairman of the award committee, former Organisation of African Unity (OAU) secretary general Dr Salim Ahmed Salim, described Pohamba as someone who “bettered the lives of his people.”

At the press conference in Nairobi, Kenya, where the winner was announced, the prize committee said Pohamba is rewarded for the “important socio-economic gains made in his country, for assuring national cohesion and reconciliation, and for stepping down after two terms.”

Dr Salim described Pohamba’s leadership as ‘exemplary’ and said he was someone who respected the rule of law, especially when it came to term limits.

Yet Namibia is a young nation facing many challenges, including (more…)

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downloadSelmaThe recent film Selma vividly brought to life an important episode in the fight for black civil rights in the United States.

While Afro-Americans have hardly won complete equality, it is difficult now to imagine a time when, in the southern states, they could not vote or go to the same schools, cafes, beaches, swimming pools and public toilets as whites, and had to sit in the back of buses.  And when lynchings were entertainment for good, god-fearing white racists and their families.

This afternoon course looks at how and why a civil rights movement arose when it did, what it was fighting against and for, and what it achieved.

Saturday, May 9, 1-5pm

images (1)Presenter: Philip Ferguson

To enrol, contact Canterbury Workers Educational Association.

You can enrol on-line at: http://www.cwea.org.nz/Enrolment.php.  (The course code for The Road to Selma is 152-16.) 

Or you can email CWEA: admin@cwea.org.nz

Or you can phone: (03) 366 0285