Mandy Moussouris and Shawn Hattingh, 2019, “Education for Revolution: Anarcho-syndicalist pedagogy,” South African Labour Bulletin

Mandy Moussouris and Shawn, 2019, “Education for Revolution: Anarcho-syndicalist pedagogy,” South African Labour Bulletin, volume 43, number 1, pp. 17-19

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Mandy Moussouris and Shawn Hattingh explain the roots and principles of anarchosyndicalism and what these mean for the practice of worker education in movements inspired by these principles and traditions. Emphasising the democratic practice, working class rooted, organic and critical nature of the pedagogy, they explain that the practice seeks to intersect employed and unemployed women and men. Practically, the education provides a platform for post-revolutionary practice of direct democracy at the point of production and, thus, naturally included practical skills such as trades, accounting and sciences.

ANARCHO-syndicalism was, and is, similar to other socialist movements including Bolshevism – in that at its heart it aims for the working class to overthrow capitalism. It, however, also differs from other socialist movements. From the beginning anarcho-syndicalism also aimed to end all other forms of oppression through revolution, including religion, the state, patriarchy and racism.

The main difference between anarchists and other socialists/ Marxists was and is that anarchists are opposed to all forms of states, even ones that have labelled themselves Continue reading

Solidarity with the pro-democratic movement in Swaziland (ZACF, 26 January 2006)

Source: here

Solidarity with the pro-democratic movement in Swaziland: Swaziland Youth Day and the Sixteen Pro-Democracy Activists Facing the Death Sentence

Statement and appeal for international solidarity with Swaziland and the 16 pro-democracy activists facing the death sentence.

A woman is dead as a result of the injuries incurred from her torture, by the Swazi police, for being married to a member of the Peoples’ United Democratic Movement, PUDEMO. Another 16 pro-democracy activists, arrested in December after a spate of firebomb attacks, whose charges have now been upgraded to High Treason, await their sentences of possible death or life imprisonment. And dozens of pro-democracy leaders and activists are fleeing the country in fear of their lives.

We don’t endorse the bombings, as the ZACF has consistently been against terrorism in favour of mass mobilisation; and we don’t assume that the 16 PUDEMO and SWAYOCO members did it; but we defend them and demand their release whether they did it or not. The fact that people have resorted to violence Continue reading

Bongani Mavundla, 2015, “Film review ‘Our World, Rojava'” (source: “Imbila Yesu”, Khanya College Winter School newsletter 15 July 2015)

FILM REVIEW of OUR WORLD, ROJAVA, by Bongani Mavundla,

FROM: “Imbila Yesu”, Khanya College Winter School newsletter 15 July 2015.

The spectre of Anarchism haunts all societies that are riddled with turmoil, economic exploitation and political oppression, especially after the defeat of the Spanish revolution (wrongly dubbed the Spanish Civil War) of 1936 until 1939.

Today the world is seeing an anarchist experiment being established and this time around it is in a place called Rojava, in Kurdistan. “Our World , Rojava” is a documentary that details the experiences of the Kurdish people in their fight for self reliance and self determination in a territory that they call Rojava, made up of parts of Syria, Turkey and Iraq.

Armed with Murray Bookchins’ ideology of democratic confederalism, the Kurdish leftists have established a radical, egalitaran, multi-ethnic ministate [sic.] running along Bookchin’s communalist economic model. The documentary shows how this liberatory project is a product of the Kurdish people’s historical and politico-existential struggles.

They have achieved a number of gains, such as the democratic election of army officials, equal rights for women and the imposed ban on polygamy, religious freedom, equality of all ethnic groups and the ban of capital punishment and torture.  Private property and business are protected, though subjected to the democratic will of locally organised committees.

Every liberatory project will have its enemies, which seek to destroy it and maintain the status quo and in the case of Rojava , its direct enem1es are ISIS J1hadists. ISIS Jihadists attack them mainly because Rojava does not organise along religious lines and has committed itself towards the liberation of women, which something ISIS looks down upon.

The documentary seeks to show people that only themselves can be their own liberators. It is also bound to open debates within the leftist circles, because in the documentary one of the Kurdish people said that they are implementing a higher form of democracy because communism [Marxist communism] does not differs from capitalism in that they both have no respect for humanity.

This documentary has the potential of awakening the long time buried, but not dead debate that was started by Marx and Bakunin. “Do we start with destruction of the state or not?” It is seems the people of Rojava follow the path of Mikhail Bakunin.

 

 

Jabulane Matsebula (PUDEMO): Swaziland “Sexing up Threats to National Security” (January 2006)

Article from the People’s Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), explaining the wave of repression in Swaziland in 2005 and 2006, and how spurious claims of a terrorist offensive were used by the state. It includes a discussion of how the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation (ZACF), which was then active in both South Africa and Swaziland, was falsely accused of bombing (for a ZACF statement on this issue, see here; for repression affecting ZACF in Swaziland, see here and here).

Sexing up threats to national security

Swazi King orders more arrests to justify fresh emergency powers under the new Constitution

Signed: Dr. Jabulane Matsebula
PUDEMO Representative (Australia, Asia and the Pacific Region)

Swaziland police have arrested two more pro-democracy activists in what has become a regular occurrence. These arrests bring the number of incarcerated political activists to sixteen and occur in the wake of the fatal torture of LaFakudze. Mphandlana Shongwe and a university student, Wandile Dludlu faced similar prospects of death by hanging as the other fourteen activists. These charges range from malicious damage to property to high treason.

As a pro-democracy stalwart and the most fearlessly outspoken critic of the state, Mphandlana Shongwe has experienced the brunt of this hatred. In 1990, he was among thirteen people accused of high treason. It will be remembered that no charges were proved in this “case”. Since then he has been detained and tortured on several occasions. He is constantly under police surveillance and has been denied the right to work as a schoolteacher because of his political convictions and membership of PUDEMO.

We maintain that these charges have no real basis Continue reading

“The soldier has fallen”: Mandla Khoza, ZACF anarchist-communist and Swaziland activist, 22 May 1974-26 July 2019

Source: here

Comrade Mandla Khoza (or “MK,” as his friends and comrades knew him) passed away on Friday 26 July in his home town of Siphofaneni, Swaziland (Eswatini). He had long suffered from sugar diabetes. He leaves behind four children. One of the pioneering members of the Zabalaza Anarchist  Communist Federation (ZACF) founded in South Africa on May Day 2003, MK was committed to a social revolution that would place power and wealth in the hands of the working class, the peasants and the poor. As he would often say: “It doesn’t matter if you change who sits on the throne: you have to get rid of the throne itself.” This obituary commemorates his life Continue reading

ZACF Response to “The Times of Swaziland” on alleged bombing (18 January , 2006)

ZACF Response to The Times of Swaziland: Zabalaza DOES NOT claim bombing of police van
(18 January , 2006)

(A letter to the editor of The Times of Swaziland, which carried an article in the January 15th edition falsely saying that the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation claimed responsibility for bombing a police van).

In The Times of Swaziland, Sunday Edition of January 15, under the headline “Zabalaza’s claims of bombing police van” by Mduduzi Magagula it seems to us that he has misread the report when he says “Also shocking in the claims is that they stoned and petrol bombed a police vehicle in Manzini during a PUDEMO organised demonstration recently.”

The newspaper quotes our website Continue reading

Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation statement on alleged armed struggle tendency of Swaziland pro-democracy movement (7 December, 2006)

Armed struggle a viable substitute for the mass movement? 

Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation statement on alleged armed struggle tendency of Swaziland pro-democracy movement (7 December, 2006)

Recent reports in The Star (25/11/06) allege that the development of the “armed struggle” tendency within a section of the pro-democracy movement in Swaziland could be accelerating. Given that the pro-democracy movement has set itself the goal of liberation in 2008, it is understandable that frustration has led some comrades in this direction.

We do not believe that an “armed struggle” approach is appropriate. The dangers inherent in such an approach are many. We support the right of the oppressed to self-defense against repression.

However, “armed struggle” is generally not a Continue reading

Anarchist Statement in Solidarity with Swazi Students at Wits University (ZACF/ Wits Anarchist Society, 16 January 2010)

Source: here

Anarchist Statement in Solidarity with Swazi Students at Wits University
Saturday January 16, 2010, by Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front – Wits Anarchist Society

We condemn the recent unilateral decision by Wits management to no longer accept many Swazi students’ medical aid provider, Swazi Med, for the current academic year. This is an unfair move by the university so close to the registration period. It means an additional burden on students from one of the poorest and most authoritarian states in the world, many of whom come from poor backgrounds and study in South Africa not out of choice but necessity.

International students have to pay Continue reading

Swazi youth day (Phillip Nyalungu, 18 January 2006)

Swazi youth day (Phillip Nyalungu, 18 January 2006)

During the uprising in Swaziland on the 23rd January 1997 the police gunned down a young girl sent by her parents to the shop. It happened that Noxolo was a member of a student organization that comprised Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO) members: SWAYOCO is the youth wing of the illegal pro-democracy party, the Peoples’ United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO). This sad experience immediately evoked the parallel situation in South Africa in 1976 in the the minds of Swazi youth. This gives us a very clear picture on how quickly the masses learn from, and inspire, each other’s struggles. Eventually the 23rd January was declared Youth Day in Swaziland by PUDEMO.

But this didn’t remove the gun barrel aimed at the Swazi youth by the Swaziland Royal Police. The policemen who shot Noxolo Continue reading

Swaziland report (17 January 2005, ZACF shadow international secretary)

Swaziland report (17 January 2005, ZACF shadow international secretary)

You are in Manzini! The taxi has a South African registration and is blasting toyi-toyi (struggle) songs, reminding you of the days when people’s fear was replaced by the spirit of resistance, the fight against apartheid regime coupled with its demise with the 1994 elections.

Among the folks, individuals are  wearing bright yellow ANC  t-shirts with Mbeki’s head, as if they are appealing to the Swazi king: “Please learn from the South African government. If you don’t listen, the same thing that happened to the former South African regime is going to happen to yours.” Many people are attracted to immigrate to South Africa for jobs. When they visit back home they introduce the life of the big city: they’ve tasted a different life to their fellow-country people, which is giving them guts Continue reading

The ZACF and the 2010 Mine Line Factory Occupation

The Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front was part of the Solidarity Committee that supported the historic 2010-2011 Mine Line Factory  occupation in Krugersdorp. This is confirmed in the newspaper Izwi Labasabenzi, in an article available here. It was however critical of proposals that the factory be nationalized “under workers’ control,” arguing instead for self-management: see here. The occupation  was almost completely ignored by the mass media: for one of the few reports, see here.

Shawn Hattingh and Mandy Moussouris, 2018, “The Humans who Control the Machines are the Real Threat”

Shawn Hattingh and Mandy Moussouris, 2018, “The Humans who Control the Machines are the Real Threat,” Business Day, 27 March, from here

The late Stephen Hawkins had the following to say about the onset of the so-called 4th Industrial revolution: “If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed. Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.”

What Hawkins was highlighting in this statement is that in a different society, machines could be of benefit to all of humanity. However, in the current class based capitalist society, machines pose a dire threat to the majority of people and the onset of the 4th Industrial Revolution will lead to the vast inequalities that already exist increasing exponentially.

World Bank statistics show that currently automation is responsible for 17% of production and services, in 15 years this is projected to rise to 40%. A common held belief by most of the middle class is that automation is a threat only to blue collar workers but this is becoming more and more untrue. The full computerisation of bank tellers, clerks, bookkeepers and pharmacists jobs is an increasing reality and will soon start affecting the work of teachers, doctors, pilots and architects. To understand why mechanisation and automation is being rolled out today; and why this poses such a threat, it is important to understand how they have been used under capitalism in the past and for what purposes.

An important feature of the introduction of machines historically is that a small elite have owned Continue reading

Shawn Hattingh, 2019, “A Glimmer of Hope: The extraordinary story of a revolution within the Syrian civil war”

Shawn Hattingh, 2019, “A Glimmer of Hope: The extraordinary story of a revolution within the Syrian civil war,”  Daily Maverick, 5 March, from here

For the past few years, most people would have come across news stories of how Kurdish fighters in Syria, especially women, have been crucial in battling the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Very few, however, would be aware that in the north and eastern parts of Syria these same Kurdish fighters are part of a revolution as progressive, profound and potentially as far-reaching as any in history.

In the north and eastern parts of Syria, an attempt to create an alternative system to hierarchical states, capitalism and patriarchy is underway and should it fully succeed Continue reading

Shawn Hattingh and Mandy Moussouris, 2018, “An Experiment for a Better Life is Under Way”

Shawn Hattingh and Mandy Moussouris, 2018, “An Experiment for a Better Life is Under Way,” Business Day, 5 March, Business Day, from here 

The Rojava Revolution lays down tracks to building a better, more democratic and more feminist society.

The world is facing an economic crisis on a scale last seen in the 1930s. It has resulted in living conditions and incomes of workers and poor people — and increasingly the middle class — being eroded by governments through austerity and by businesses through rationalisations and wage freezes.

Like the 1930s, this crisis is triggering the rise of extreme right-wing regimes and right-wing populism. It is also resulting in an increase in global conflict and threats of war, with Syria a key example.

But in the heart of the raging war that is Syria, there is a glimmer of hope.

In the north of Syria bordering Turkey and Iraq, the Kurdish and Arab people Continue reading

ZACF, 2004, “Fighting Elections: Inside or Outside?” leaflet

A Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation (ZACF, later Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front) leaflet making the case against participation in state elections — the target audience was activists in the “new social movements” of the time like the Anti-Privatisation Forum (APF) coalition, and the Landless Peoples’ Movement (LPM). It was written ahead of the 2004 national elections in South Africa, which were to be followed by the 2005 local government elections. The issue of running a movement-backed “workers party” was a major issue in the APF, where ZACF was most active.

Get the PDF here.