WSF, 1997, “Only the Workers can Free the Workers: A South African Anarchist Pamphlet”

This text was published by the Workers Solidarity Federation (WSF) in South Africa in 1997, and is a shorter version of What is Anarchism? A South African Anarchist Pamphlet: author of both was Lucien van der Walt: details here. The emphasis was on South African issues, and accessible writing. It was republished in 2003 in its current format by WSF successor groups, the Bikisha Media Collective (BMC) and Zabalaza Books. It is not clear what changes, if any, were made in 2003.

Get the PDF here. This text was found at the Zabalaza Books website, which has materials going back to the 1990s, and is located here. Note that is a PDF, and laid out in a format designed to be printed out as a folded, stapled A5 pamphlet.

Get the text here. This is apparently the same text as the PDF (not checked).

There was also an Afrikaans translation of the pamphlet, for distribution in the Western Cape. It differs slightly from the English version, and presents itself as an introduction to the WSF in the title and in the opening. Its in a PDF here and in text here.

 

 

 

Advertisements

WSF, 1996/ 1997/ 1999, “What is Anarchism? A South African Anarchist Pamphlet” (and variants and spin-offs)

This text was published by the Workers Solidarity Federation (WSF) in South Africa in the late 1990s The first edition appeared in 1996. The 1997 version (2nd edition) was then reissued by the WSF successor organisations, the Bikisha Media Collective (BMC) and Zabalaza Books in 2003 in the current format. It is not clear what changes, if any, were made in 2003. The cover  is an image of two comrades at the 2001 WCAR protests in Durban. There was a 1997 spin-off called Only the Workers can Free the Workers, a 1998 one, Breaking the Chains: A History Of Libertarian Socialism in 1998, and then a 1999 (3rd) edition,  What is Anarcho-syndicalism? (see below).

The 1997 text placed a heavy emphasis on South African issues, and included extensive South African perspectives on student movements, the unemployed, imperialism, race in South Africa, the issue of trade union reform, and so on. It also included some material on “anarchism in action”in Russia and Spain. The 1997/ 2003 text is currently still in print by Zabalaza Books, as well as by Black Cat Press in North America: see here. The text drew some sections drew directly on a 1980s pamphlet by the Workers Solidarity Movement (WSM) in Ireland, to which WSF was closely linked. But it added extensive South African material, and also expanded the “anarchism in action” part.

Meanwhile, a shorter variant was published in 1997 (also reissued by BMC and Zabalaza Books in 2003), as Only the Workers can Free the Workers, which is available here. An expanded 3rd edition was written by Lucien van der Walt,  now called What is Anarcho-syndicalism?, for the February 1999 WSF conference. This was notable for providing a greatly expanded and global history: the discussions of Spain and Russia were now just part of a larger story starting with the movement’s orgins in the First International, with material on the 1880s, the rise of syndicalism globally from 1890s, discussions of the 1920s and 1930s, and the movement after 1945, as well as thematic discussions  of the history of anarchism and syndicalism in fights against imperialism, women’s oppression and racism. A longer version of the history, by the same author. was issued by the “WSF National Secretariat” as Breaking the Chains: A History Of Libertarian Socialism in 1998, later expanded into books etc.

Get the PDF of the 1997 text here. Note that the text was found at the Zabalaza Books website, which has materials going back to the 1990s, and is located here. Note that is a PDF, and laid out in a format designed to be printed out as a folded, stapled A5 pamphlet.

Get the 1998 Breaking the Chains: A History Of Libertarian Socialism here.

Get the 1999 text here. This is the Word version recovered from older discs and may not be the 100% final version.

Some images of Bikisha Media Collective (BMC) at the anti-EU summit, Gothenberg, Sweden, June 2001

Faces blurred: BMC comrades on left and right. Standing with delegates from Asia

 

BMC comrade speaking at meeting of independent syndicalist unions (face blurred)

 

BMC comrade in centre (in front of white pillar, face blurred)

 

With flag at start of march by syndicalist unions (face blurred)

 

Moussouris, “Love, Liberty and Learning: The Problem with Skills in Revolution – An Anarchist Perspective on Trade Union Education in COSATU” (2009)

Moussouris, Mandy, 2009, “Love, Liberty and Learning: The Problem with Skills in Revolution – An Anarchist Perspective on Trade Union Education in COSATU” (Honours research dissertation, in Industrial Sociology, University of the Witwatersrand).

Get the PDF here.

Moussouris, “Between Class Struggle and the ‘Developmental State’: COSATU and the Sector Job Summits” (2007)

Mandy Moussouris, 2007, “Between Class Struggle and the ‘Developmental State’: COSATU and the Sector Job Summits, Lessons in Corporatism,” paper presented at “Labour and the Challenges of Development” conference, Global Labour University, University of the of the Witwatersrand, 1-3 April.

Get the PDF here.

ZACF (2006): “Solidarity with Swaziland Youth Day and the Sixteen Pro-Democracy Activists Facing the Death Sentence”

Zabalaza  Anarchist Communist Federation (later Front, ZACF) : issued 19 January 2006 against repression in Swaziland. This repression used a spate of bombings againsth absolute monarchy as a pretext. Swazi news reports also falsely accused the ZACF of involvement in the bombings.

Solidarity with Swaziland Youth Day and the Sixteen 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 to make themselves heard when they speak or act out against this brutal monarchy only goes to show the gravity of the reality of life for the majority of Swazis under this agonising dictatorship, and the lengths a desperate people are prepared to go in their struggle for democracy and against the injustice of the Tinkhundla regime.

We radicals and revolutionaries in South Africa and worldwide must remember that the people of Swaziland aided South African freedom fighters during the anti-apartheid struggle and now it is time to repay the favor.

We must also remember that a very similar struggle is being waged in another of our neighboring countries, Zimbabwe, against an equally authoritarian and corrupt system. In so doing we need to recognize that we cannot divorce these struggles from one another as, if either are to be successful, we need to put into practical application the regional solidarity talked about at the Southern African Social Forum and Uhuru Youth Camp in Harare in December.

Saturday the 21st of January is Swaziland Youth Day, traditionally marked by violent repression of peaceful youth gatherings. On this day we are calling for anyone who is serious about international solidarity against capitalism and in favour of democracy over dictatorship to organise activities, actions and events in solidarity not only with the Swazi youth and those struggling against the monarchy, but also in solidarity with the struggling people of Zimbabwe.

On this day we are certain that the police will repress the youth demonstrations, probably make arrests, and beat and torture activists. Any form of solidarity is needed. We need to let the Swazi regime know that they are being watched. It is unacceptable that 16 of our comrades are already in jail and awaiting their possible death sentence or life imprisonment, let this day also be a day of action demanding their immediate release. Let it also be a warning to the Tinkhundla regime that our conscience will not let us sit idly by while they torture, imprison and kill people whose only crime is to fight for social justice and for freedom.

We realize that it may be difficult to organise activities for the 21st on such late notice and so appeal to the international community to make an effort at showing their solidarity with the people of Swaziland over the coming weeks and even months. The 16 treason trialists will appear in court on Friday 20th January when the date for their trial will be set, and so we ask that anyone who can stage demonstrations, pickets, send letters of protest and petitions etc. to the respective Kingdom of Swaziland High Commission in their countries please do so. For as long and as often as it takes until they, and indeed all Swazi political prisoner s are released. Bearing in mind the imperial interests of British and South African capital in Swaziland, if there is not a Swaziland High Commission in your country, actions at these embassies could be considered instead.

We know that whatever the public face of South African and British imperialism in Swaziland, be it absolute monarchy or constitutional democracy, the same dogs will be calling the shots and running the country (into the ground). Let this warning therefore extend to them.

Recognizing that the oppressed people of Swaziland have demands of their own, which we endorse, provided they are progressive and democratic in nature, we demand the following:

1. A general amnesty for all political prisoners

2. Freedom of association, assembly and speech, and full trade union rights

3. Abolition of the pseudo-democratic Thikundla, Liqoqo, royal and state power structures and their replacement by directly-democratic,decentralised popular assemblies of the working class, poor and peasantry.

4. Equal rights for women

5. Abolition of all chiefly privileges – especially the power to steal land from the poor

6. Land redistribution in both commercial and traditional sectors

7. Free and democratic education, with student representative councils at schools

8. A living wage campaign in the plantations, factories and farms

9. Ban on retrenchments, and well-paid decent jobs for all