ARM ca 1993/1994: Lorenzo’s Ervin’s “Anarchism and the Black Revolution” (extracts from 1970s edition)

The Anarchist Revolutionary Movement (ARM) section at Wits University used to distribute copies of this leaflet. It was sourced from the US/ Mexico magazine, Love and Rage, which had become locally available in South Africa (SA). This was produced by the Love and Rage anarchist federation in the US, a loose body that later collapsed — in part due to its internal political contradictions. One SA source of Love and Rage seems to have been bundles sent to the anarchist-linked and ARM-linked local distro called “Backstreet Abortions.” At the time, Love and Rage had several South African contacts — it also had a falling out with the “Backstreet Abortions” people (but not the “class-struggle” wing of ARM) over the issue of “national liberation.” There was also some internet contact by the “class struggle” ARM with key people in Love and Rage, like Christopher Day.

The  leaflet below was from the 1970s edition Lorenzo Komboa Ervin’s pamphlet Anarchism and the Black Revolution.  Ervin, a former Black Panther-turned-anarchist, was at the time of writing incarcerated at Marion prison, Illinois, USA. (He later revised the pamphlet at least once; the apparent emphasis on white-race-privilege theory, and on racially-separate organisations, in the 1990s edition was not accepted by the Workers Solidarity Federation  (WSF), a successor of the “class struggle” wing of ARM. WSF completely accepted that black Americans and other people of colour were a distinct, oppressed, group, and rejected “we are all in the same boat” class analyses, but it took a distinct position: see here). ADDITION: it should be mentioned that this extract was copied directly — formatting and all, plus introduction–from an issue of Love and Rage.

Herewith the 1990s ARM text, based on the 1970s Ervin text, from Love and Rage, as distributed in Johannesburg :

Click image for PDFErvin (ARM)_Page_1




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).