UPDATED: Czechia and the WSF + request for some “A-Kontra” materials …

The Czech Republic (previously part of Czechoslovakia) had a surprising connection to the 1990s Workers Solidarity Federation (WSF) in South Africa. A group attracted by Platformism called the Solidarita/ Organisation of Revolutionary Anarchists (interviewed here, at a later point) asked, via the Irish group Workers Solidarity Movement, for copies of the WSF Position Papers.

A WSF delegate to the International of Anarchist Federations (IFA) 1997 congress in Lyon, France, also met Czechoslovak Anarchist Federation militants (this federation being part of the IFA).

It also later turned out that A-Kontra, which was published at the time  by the Czechoslovak Anarchist Federation (and which is still in print today, having started ca. 1991), also carried translations of at least one WSF document (which had been reissued as a Bikisha Media Collective pamphlet:

  • “Boj za svobodu žen” [“Fighting for Women’s Freedom”] (February 2002 / A-Kontra 2002/2)

There may have been other materials translated; we do not know.

The current A-Kontra site (here or here) does not seem to have an online archive, and the PDF archive linked from the main (here) seems dead or broken so we can’t post these here.

Anyone has access to A-Kontra 2002/2 , or any other South African translations from that paper, please send them through to us!



About Lucien van der Walt

I teach at Rhodes University, the Eastern Cape. I’m South African, born and bred. I have long been 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 or published 100s of papers conferences and workshops, published in key journals like 'Capital and Class' and 'Labor History', have co-edited 4 journal specials (these on global labour history, African labour, and unions in the Global South), and produced five books. 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. My books includd include 'Politics at a Distance from the State: Radical and African Perspectives' (2018, co-edited with Kirk Helliker), 'Negro e Vermelho: anarquismo, sindicalismo revolucionário e pessoas de cor na África Meridional nas décadas de 1880-1920,' and '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).