Soundz of the South: Elections Serve the System! from “They In On It”

Elections serve the system like chalk board and duster
Voting only allows you to choose a new master
To hide the ugly ugliness of government with the plaster
It’s a shame when you keep recycling these bastards
Bourgeoisie democracy is a mockery
We don’t want the loaf we want to run the bakery
Vote for any party expect treachery
You mandating them to feed of the common treasury
Open your eyes to truth is plain to see
Reality check from the Biko MC
Smash the TV
Smash the radio
Build community control of the media
Toyi-toyi can’t coexist with dictatorship
This art form defies all forms of censorship
The culture is Hiphop
Only self activity will set the people free

– Biko MC verse from They in on it, Freedom Warriors Vol 2

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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).