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(en) Britain, Anarchist Federation Organise #67 - Growth and degrowth - Swaziland

Date Mon, 04 Dec 2006 16:56:45 +0200

Like previous years in Swaziland, 21st January 2005 marked Youth Day, a day of protest against the absolute monarchy in Swaziland. And also like previous years, it was marked by savage police repression.
Swaziland has lived under a state of emergency since 1973. All political parties and associations are banned; arrests of opponents to the regime are frequent, as is torture. Several people have died in custody under suspicious circumstances.
On that day, petrol bombs had been thrown at court houses and the homes of members of the regime. At first, the Swazi regime accused the only revolutionary organisation in southern Africa, the Zabalaza Anarchist-Communist Federation (ZACF). The ZACF responded by recalling that they "unanimously rejected terrorism as a method of popular mass mobilization" and that a few people acting alone were not enough to change the system.

Following this, 16 members of the youth wing of the People's United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), a Swazi oppositional group, were accused of high treason and attempted murder over the petrol bomb attacks.
There is a distinct lack of evidence in this case and the regime is using the arrests to further repress opposition.
The ZACF has demanded a general amnesty of all political prisoners and stated that militants had to go beyond their habitual demands for "the total destruction of the State, and its replacement by decentralized popular assemblies of the working class, the poor and the peasantry".
Whilst the Swazi Royal Family lives in conspicuous abundance, an average Swazi family lives on less than $1 a day. Most people have no access to water and nearly 42% of the population are victims of AIDS with no preventive programme in place. There is no free primary education.
The PUDEMO called for the right to education and healthcare, access to medicines to counter the effects of AIDS, and a guaranteed right to food for all.
The PUDEMO activists are now out on bail. However, when they come to trial they may face the death penalty. Pressure has to be put on the Swazi regime for the dropping of charges. Both South Africa and Britain are active supporters of the corrupt regime.
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