Black Alert # 3 – Anarchist Black Cross- South Africa – August 2003

The August 2003 third issue of Black Alert was billed as the publication of the Anarchist Black Cross-Anti-Repression Network (ABC-ARN).  It included a proposal for a formal multi-tendency / non-sectarian ARN, within which the ABC would continue to produce Black Alert as an ARN publication. By this stage, the ABC was a “member collective” of the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation (later Front, the ZACF), formed in May.

Issue 3 provided considerably more original material and South African anarchist perspectives and reports, and also included on its front an impressive photo of  the ABC-ARN banner prominently displayed at a social movement march:

Anarchist Black Cross Anti-Repression Network

It also stated on the inside page:

We believe that only through anti-authoritarian, directly-democratic,  decentralised and nonhierarchical organisation(s) and means of struggle will we be able to counter and overcome international repression, which is undoubtedly going to get worse as our struggles advance, by making it difficult for the repressive forces of the State to infiltrate our movements and imprison or remove our ‘leaders’. because we are all leaders.

Through these means of organising we will be able to build a decision-making structure from the bottom up and not the top down, as is presently the case. A structure that will be strong enough both to combat the coming repression and overthrow the system of capitalism as a whole, which puts the wealth and power of a few before the lives and needs of billions.

The Anti-Repression Network is non-sectarian and open to any groups, communities or individuals who have already, or could fall victim to State repression. Our aim is to spread awareness around the issues of political repression in Southern Africa and. more importantly, via practical aid to its victims. to build a community of resistance willing to support communities and activists who find themselves targeted by the State, capital or their agents for the roles they play in building a new world or simply defending their homes.

In other words … YOU ARE THE ANTI-REPRESSION NETWORK. Right then, let’s get on with it. The future can and must be ours!

 Black Alert 3 coverGet the PDF here

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About Lucien van der Walt

I teach at Rhodes University, the Eastern Cape. I’m South African, born and bred. I am currently also involved in union education and have a background in social movement and left-wing activism, the Workers’ Library and Museum, the Anti-Privatisation Forum, and the National Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU). I’ve presented papers at more than 120 conferences and workshops, published in key journals like 'Capital and Class' and 'Labor History', have co-edited 3 journal specials (these on global labour history, African labour, and unions in the Global South), and written well over 130 other articles, papers and entries. I was Southern Africa editor for the 2009 'International Encyclopaedia of Revolution and Protest' (Blackwell). My focus has been on South Africa, but I have also done research in Zambia and Zimbabwe. I won the 2008 international 'Labor History' thesis prize, and the 2008/2009 Council for the Development of Social Science Research prize for best African dissertation, for my PhD thesis on South African anarchism, syndicalism and black militants. I have several books, including 'Negro e Vermelho: anarquismo, sindicalismo revolucionário e pessoas de cor na África Meridional nas décadas de 1880-1920,' 'Anarchism and Syndicalism in the Colonial and Postcolonial World, 1880-1940: the praxis of national liberation, internationalism, and social revolution' (co-edited with Steve Hirsch, Brill, 2010/ 2014) and 'Black Flame: the revolutionary class politics of anarchism and syndicalism' (co-written with Michael Schmidt, AK Press 2009).