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(en) Southern Africa - zacf anarchist federation update

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sun, 4 Jul 2004 18:49:33 +0200 (CEST)

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a brief update on our struggles in southern africa and the role of
the zabalaza anarchist communist federation in them.

a) south african social movements: the zacf is directly involved in
the anti-privatisation forum (apf), a militant working class
organisation based in the provice of gauteng, which includes the
cities of johannesburg and pretoria. the apf is in turn a member of
the social movements indaba (smi), which embraces about 200
000 people in the main urban centres (gauteng, greater durban
and greater cape town) and the rural areas. two zacf collectives
are members of the apf: the bikisha media collective which helps
produce new anarchist analyses of the situation facing the
oppressed classes in africa; and the black action group (bag), a
frontline collective in the township/favela of soweto which runs a
community library and food garden called the phambili
motsoaledi community project (pmcp). another zacf frontline
collective, the zabalaza action group (zag) is directly involved with
community struggles in umlazi, durban. the biggest debates in
the working class currently are around hyper-unemployment
(1-million jobs lost since the coming of "democracy" in 1994),
water and electricity cut-offs, and evictions from homes.
yesterday, the zacf held a workshop on anarchism near the giant
hostel (worker's ghetto) of kwamasiza, sebokeng, a township to
the south of johannesburg. the workshop was with members of
the working class crisis committee (wccc), a veteran organisation
of the anti-apartheid struggle. it was decided to create a
"kwamasiza defence soviet" to protect hostel residents from
armed evictions by landlords, expected this coming wednesday,
july 7. it was good to hear 70 people chanting "viva anarchism,
viva!" (a very high turnout by southern african anarchist
standards, and a very encouraging sign for us!). next we'll have to
teach them the chant "ce-ce-shi, i'm an anarchist!"

b) the region: the neighbouring country of swaziland is africa's
only absolute monarchy, maintaining a fascade of "democracy"
under a one-party chieftainship system known as tinkundla.
swaziland has no communist party and virtually zero leftist
presence at all (apart from a tiny trotskyist group), so potential for
the development of anarchism is high. anarchist works like errico
malatesta's "fra contadini" (between peasants) are very popular
among militants of the swaziland youth congress (swayoco) who
we are working alongside. we have regular direct contact with
them under via the zacf swaziland working group. we have also
recently sent a lot of french-language anarchist journals (the cnt's
"le combat syndicaliste") via an anti-war activist to the
democratic republic of the congo, which i visited last year. i will
also be travelling to rwanda this week and will try and make
contacts there, taking copies of the journals for people to read.

c) prisons: the anarchist black cross (abc), a member collective of
the zacf, has established contacts with a network of about 200
political prisoners serving sentences in the south african gulag
system. anarchist and abc materials are going down very well
with the prisoners in maximum security! some of them are
mozambicans and plan to return to mozambique on their release
(expected soon) to establish anarchist cells there. mozambique
has no communist party, but there are alleged to be 200 000
communists within the ruling frelimo party. but seeing as frelimo
has totally abandoned marxist-leninism in favour of
neo-liberalism, it means that any real communists left in its ranks
face a bit of a dilemma, so there is potential for growth here. by
the way, perhaps our brazilian comrades can assist us: we need
portuguese-language anarchist journals, and pamphlets
especially, to send into mozambique (the abc of anarchism, the
platform etc...)
Reference: http://www.zabalaza.net

note on zulu terms:

zabalaza = struggle
bikisha = strike
phambili = forward

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