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(en) zabalaza #4: a journal of southern african revolutionary anarchism a short introduction to our principles

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Tue, 24 Jun 2003 14:58:05 +0200 (CEST)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E

our principles as adopted at the ZACF launch in Johannesburg, South
Africa, on May Day 2003. May Day is marked by the working class,
peasantry and poor world-wide in honour of the anarchist martyrs
of Chicago, 1886, and this year, 2003, marks a century of armed
revolutionary anarchism since the Macedonian Revolt of 1903, and
the 30th anniversary of the 1973 Durban Strikes which initiated the
popular insurrection which eventually overthrew the apartheid


By Anarchism we mean:

"society organised without authority, meaning by authority the
power to impose one's own will ... authority not only is not
necessary for social organisation but, far from benefiting it, lives
on it parasitically, hampers its development, and uses its
advantages for the special benefit of a particular class which
exploits and oppresses the others."

Errico Malatesta
l'Agitazione June 4, 1897

And by Communism we mean:

"a society without money, without a state, without property and
without social classes. People come together to carry out a project
or to respond to some need of the human community but without
the possibility of their collective activity taking the form of an
enterprise that involves wages and the exchange of its products.
The circulation of goods is not accomplished by means of
exchange: quite the contrary, the by-word for this society is 'from
each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs'."

John Gray
For Communism
(libertarian communist website)


1) NAME:

The name of the federation is the ZABALAZA ANARCHIST
COMMUNIST FEDERATION (ZACF), "zabalaza" being a proud
indigenous word meaning "struggle" in Zulu and Xhosa. The short
name of the ZACF is the Federation.


The ZACF is founded on revolutionary anarchist-communist
principles. This means:

a) internally, direct democracy, recallable, mandated and rotatable
delegates, real, functional equality among members, and
horizontal federalism among all its structures;

b) externally, a commitment to workers' self-management and
direct action, and to libertarian revolutionary anti-capitalism,
anti-fascism, anti-authoritarianism, anti-sexism and anti-statism.
The Federation's involvement with the progressive and radical
social movements is non-sectarian, but steeped in these

c) globally, the ZACF bases itself on the proud fighting tradition of
some 155 years of mass anarchist militancy, starting with the
Pan-European Revolt of 1848 and stretching across Africa, Latin
America, Asia, Australasia, North America and Europe. The
Federation stands on the internationalist libertarian federal
tradition of the First International, on the autonomist councilism of
the Parisian and Macedonian Communes and of the Russian,
Ukrainian and German Soviets, on the mass-based
anarcho-syndicalist tradition of the International Workers'
Association, and on the armed anarchist insurrectionary tradition
of the Mexican, Russian, Ukrainian, Manchurian, Spanish and
Cuban Revolutions. These traditions continue today in the
International Libertarian Solidarity network and in the
anarchist-influenced global mass anti-capitalist struggles of the
new millennium, the ultimate aim of which is an Internationalist
Social Revolution;

d) regionally, the Federation recalls the revolutionary syndicalist
tradition of the Industrial Workers of the World's South African
section, founded in 1910, of the International Socialist League,
founded in 1915, of the Industrial Workers of Africa, founded in
1917, of the Industrial Socialist League, founded in 1918, and of
their associated unions set up between 1917 and 1919 by
anarchist militants of all "races" such as Thomas William Thibedi,
Reuben Cetiwe, Hamilton Kraai, JD Ngojo, Bernard Sigamoney,
RK Moodley, AZ Berman, Manuel Lopes, Joe Pick, Gordon Lee,
Fred Pienaar, Johnny Gomas and Andrew Dunbar. This
syndicalist tradition was revived by the likes of Rick Turner -
murdered by a clandestine state death-squad in 1978 - and played
a key role in worker militancy during the upsurge of the trade
union movement in the struggle against apartheid in the 1970s and
1980s. The Federation stands proudly in the fighting tradition of
the rank-and-file workers' networks, people's civics, street
committees, progressive popular fronts and community defence
groups of this period of struggle. But instead of the authoritarian,
multi-class National Democratic Revolution of the African National
Congress and the South African Communist Party elite vanguard,
the Federation stands for a libertarian Regional Social Revolution
by a Front of Oppressed Classes, united across regional borders,
in furtherance of the Internationalist Social Revolution; and

e) operationally, the Federation is based on federalism, individual
and collective responsibility, and on tactical and theoretical unity,
being the core principles of the "Organisational Platform of the
Anarchist Communists" drawn up in 1927 by Nestor Makhno and
other anarchist guerrilla veterans of the Revolutionary Insurgent
Army of the Ukraine. In the terms of the Latin American anarchist
movement, the Federation defines as a "specific" anarchist


The symbol of the ZACF is a silhouette of Africa divided diagonally
into the anarchist black & red, with a black star in the lower red half
over southern Africa and a raised fist straining against its chains,

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