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

Comrade Mkhululi Sijora Obituary (1982-2016)

From Zabalaza.net

Comrade Mkhululi Sijora Obituary (1982-2016)

Posted on July 28, 2016

by Lwazi Ngqingo

khustaCde Kusta’s untimely demise is a great loss. It will be felt by all those who were lucky to cross paths with him and all those who got to hear his music. He never questioned or withdrew his commitment to the struggle for freedom and justice, for a world with less political, economic, and gender based oppression.

Comrade Mkhululi Sijora Obituary

Mkhululi Sijora was born on the 1st August 1982 in Cape Town, Western Cape. He was the only child from his mother. Popularly known as ‘Khusta’ a name he got from his peers in the streets of Makhaza where he grew up and did most of his activism work. During his high school years in Chris Hani High School he became a peer educator and through that he did a lot of community work and at the same time he was writing and performing music as a rapper in a group he formed with friends, the groups’ name was Triple G’s.

After acquiring his matric he enrolled at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) for tertiary education studying Retail Marketing, this is where he was introduced to the world of politics. Khusta noted that before going to CPUT, he was not very interested in politics. After he was done with his studies he continued with making music performing at local hip hop sessions with his crew the Triple G’s and he continued working closely with Love Life: Ground Breakers.

Khusta was drawn in into SOS since 2010 first as a regular to the Struggle, hiphop and poetry in Lookout Hill, Khayelitsha. Quickly   he became one of the key members, he was then to join the inner circle meetings, and this is where his global politics were challenged, along with his perception of how much influence music has in changing the fabric of society. Cde Khusta gave all his time and life to defend the working class and all oppressed people. He was particularly critical of all bosses and political parties; he argued that the people themselves have the will and the power to rule themselves.

Within a space of a year he showed so much potential and became reliable comrade to take mandates from the organisation into other movements that we were interacting and building with.

Kusta didn’t separate his activism with his artistry. He was amongst the few artists that responded to the brutal murder of the Andries Tatane.

He didn’t hesitate to defend and demand justice for the Marikana mineworkers.

Kusekude engqinibeni

Sisese lucinizelweni

Ikude indle ebheka enkululekweni

Not yet Uhuru

Kodwa akuphethanga amabhulu

Umthetho esiphantsi kwawo ukhusela Oongxawankulu

Bavuka ngentseni bagoduke ngobusuku

Abasebenzi bezama ukwenza imali yoongxowa nkulu

Saqala uqhankqalaza  sadibana neembumbulu

45 people dead

Ezandleni zomthetho

I don’t care

Noba bafumene igani

Who gave them the right to take the people’s lives?

Bashayela umthetho

Babethane ngamaTender

Emva koko

Bavale umlomo

Ongathi ufna ukuthetha

ziPolitics

yiBusiness

Basibetha besibambile

Bafuna nje Amandla ethu

Basishiye silambile

Rest in peace to the Marikana Soldiers

We share the same struggle

Ukufa kwenu

Kuyoze kube nomvuzo nomvuka

Saxheleka imiphefumlo yophuka

Umvuzo wabasebenzi akenyuka

Inani lamaxhoba lenyuka

Kwanuka nje irhuluwa

– Kusta’s verse from the Bloodshed of the Innocent

He also put all his weight behind the #FeesMustFall.

Bagotywa besebatsha

is what we use to say

Apha baqotywa besebatsha

babotshelelwe ngechain

Ugutyungelwe ngomthetho

obaqweqwedisel’ ejele

Imfundo sisitixo

kodwa bona kumele bebhatele

Amatyala aqhekez’ ingqondo

ugqiba kwabo nje isgela

Ngamakhobok’ ebond

aphilel ubhatal’ ibank

The Fees must fall free education

Blade must go

As we March united in the struggle 

taking the streets

Like 76 we rise like they buried the seed

So raise up your fist and say it with me fees must fall

–Kusta’s verse from the fees must fall song

The comrade will be missed for his energy in protests as he was known for leading the struggle songs. He will be missed for his abilities in resolving conflicts with the movement, for he perpetually focused in building the unity of all people in struggle.

Cde Kusta’s untimely demise is a great loss. It will be felt by all those who were lucky to cross paths with him and all those who got to hear his music. He never questioned or withdrew his commitment to the struggle for freedom and justice, for a world with less political, economic, and gender based oppression.

ARM, ca.1994: Lucien van der Walt, “The Fire Next Time: Lessons of the Los Angeles (LA) Uprising”

This introduction was written for a reprinted imported pamphlet on the 1992 LA riots in the USA.  A copy of the pamphlet itself will be uploaded at a later stage. The introduction was by the Anarchist Revolutionary Movement (ARM) group at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). It spells out the standard positions: opposition to racism and national oppression, anti-nationalism, and class struggle. This section of ARM later became part of the Workers Solidarity Federation (WSF). The author was “L.V.” = Lucien van der Walt.

ARM: THE FIRE NEXT TIME: LESSONS OF THE LOS ANGELES (LA) UPRISING

At a meeting at the First A.M.E. Church during the first hours of the rioting, the mayor, clergy, and community leaders were booed and ignored by much of the audience. A young Black women charged the podium, and took control of  the microphone. “We can’t rely on these people up here to act … I believe they have our best interests at heart, but we cannot rely on them … You know what we need to do … ”  (from Love and Rage Revolutionary Anarchist News monthly June 1992. New York)

The LA uprising of 1992 was a class rebellion in the heart of capitalist America. Triggered by the acquittal of four White cops videotaped beating a Black truck driver, Rodney King, the uprising spread through dozens of American cities, and even internationally: in Berlin, masked youths battled police under banners calling for the destruction of capitalism and proclaiming “LA did the right thing.” While people of many different backgrounds participated in the action, there is no doubt that poor Blacks, one of the most oppressed segments of the US working class led the way. This shows that Black liberation must be central to any real  working class challenge to the system. By the time the  military and police forces of the regime managed to put down the uprising, there had been 58 deaths (mostly Black), 4,000 injuries, 12,000 arrests, 10,000 businesses destroyed and countless shops looted.

The bulk of this pamphlet provides an eyewitness account of the revolt as it happened in Los Angeles itself. A final section looks draws out some of the significance of the uprising. In this introduction we argue that this sort of rising can and should be turned into a revolutionary attack on the State and capitalist system. We also suggest what Anarchist revolutionaries can do to achieve this.

Its quite clear that capitalism and the State lie at the heart of the oppressive and marginalised experiences faced by working class people in America’s inner-cities. Lower class Black Americans were supposedly “emancipated” over a 125 years ago but racism and poverty is still an everyday experience.  “Of Black men between the ages 20 to 29. 1 in 4 will go to prison or be placed on probation. 60% of women in prison are women of color. Poverty and the absence of other opportunities to escape it compel many Black youth to turn to gangs, drugs, and anti- social crime … Half of all Black and Hispanic youth of South Central LA belong to gangs. in Central LA, half of the Black families fall below the poverty line, and youth unemployment hovers at 50%.” (Love and Rage June 1992).

This oppression is clearly rooted in a racist capitalist order that has roots in the Slave trade, where racism was used to justify the sale of human beings. Today, racism still serves the ruling class who divide working class people into fractions on the basis of differential levels of treatment(eg. different wages, jobs, social services), with Blacks and women at the bottom of the heap. This hampers united resistance, and it makes for super- exploitation of disempowered sections  of the workforce.

At the same time, the extreme poverty of the inner- cities is linked to capitalism’s incessant hunger for profits, as usual at the expense of people. The inner- cities were mostly built around large factories which have since migrated from the high taxes and wages of the cities to suburbs and third world countries, Here unions are often repressed, wages low, and environmental controls non- existent. At the same time as inner city wages fall, the corporations are making huge profits and the bosses receiving record pay increases (LA Today … 1992, Minneapolis, p1). In the USA, the top 4% earns as much as the bottom 50% of the population (Plain Words, 1994, New Jersey, p4).

Quite obviously then, we need to destroy capitalism and the State once and for all. We need to establish a new society based on grassroots worker and community councils, and distribution and production according to need not profit. This is anarchism or free socialism (as opposed to the State capitalist dictatorships set up by the Marxist “communists” since 1917).  This must be the task of the working class (white- and blue- collar workers, workers’ families and youth, the unemployed and the rural poor).

Why? Firstly, only a productive class can set up a truly free society, for the simple reason that only a productive class does not need to exploit and dominate others in order to survive. Secondly, class position fundamentally shapes the experience of oppression. The Black middle/ upper class (professionals and capitalists) that led the civil rights movement has expanded rapidly, living off the sweat of all American workers. While between 1967 and 1990 the proportion of Black families at the lowest income level grew by 50%, the percentage of high income Black families more than doubled (New York Times, September 25, 1992). Not surprisingly, the Black middle class and capitalists firmly supported the military occupation of the ghettos, because working class fightback was not in their interests.

Clearly, the arguments of Black nationalists that all Blacks should unite across color lines is very wrong, basically because Blacks do not have the same class interests. Working class Blacks have more in common with working class Whites, also at the !@#$%^&* end of the bosses stick, than the Black midde/upper class.

But we do not take a simplistic “class unity” line.  Precisely because of the historic divisions in the working class, its especially oppressed segments (like women, Blacks, and homosexuals) need to organize themselves to be able to put their own specific problems firmly on the agenda of the revolutionary working class movement. This is the basis for principled class unity, and a revolution that will smash all oppression.

What can Anarchists do to turn revolts such as the LA uprisings in a revolutionary direction? Firstly, we must get involved with and support all genuine working class resistance. At the same time, however, we need to spread the ideals of revolutionary Anarchism through the working class.

In practical terms this means debate as equals, and cheap revolutionary literature. In both cases we must argue against authoritarian (or top-down) politics on the left and right, spread information about resistance, and draw the lessons of earlier struggles. We must argue that the working class take direct action to secure its own particular interests (eg. for housing, jobs, peace, and freedom), and to ultimately smash the system. In no case do we assume, as the Marxists do, that our analysis gives us the right to speak for or act in the place of the working class (this is called vanguardism — the belief that a certain left-wing “party” has the right to rule the ruling [sic.] class, as in Russia).

Secondly, we need to start to build practical alternative structures which demonstrate the viability of Anarchist politics. Some of these demonstrate new ways of organizing production and distribution: collective childcare facilities, community- run clinics, free shops that redistribute old clothes, community gardens, local newspapers, workers theater etc. Other counter- institutions will play a more confrontational role: street committees, revolutionary trade unions that aim to seize and democratically administer the land and factories, and self- defense units which are internally democratic and accountable to the community. In no case do we place any faith in the parliamentary system.

If we build the revolution today, the next mass rising has a very real chance of become an insurrection that can provide a sustained revolutionary challenge to the system.

We say    FORWARD TO WORKING CLASS POWER FORWARD!!!
LONG LIVE THE SPIRIT OF REVOLUTIONARY ANARCHISM LONG LIVE!!

L.V. [Lucien van der Walt]

Analysis: Biko Mutsaurwa, 2013, “The Afrikan Hiphop Caravan: Building a Revolutionary Counterculture”

Biko Mutsaurwa, 2013, “The Afrikan Hiphop Caravan: Building a Revolutionary Counterculture,” The Journal of Hip Hop Studies, volume 1, number 2, pp. 226-231.

pdflogosmall Get the PDF here

EXTRACT S BELOW

Biko Mutsaurwa is a leading Shona poet, Hip Hop artist and community activist. He is the founder of UHURU Network, an educational trust that uses cultural activism and popular education to advance the struggle for freedom of expression and social justice in Zimbabwe. He is also one of the initiators of the Afrikan Hiphop Caravan. In this article, he provides a brief outline of the lessons to be learned from a decade of Hip Hop activism on the African continent. In addition to providing a short historical overview of the roots of the Afrikan Hiphop Caravan, he outlines the vision of the project: the creation of a
coherent Afrikan Hiphop Movement based upon a strategic orientation towards social movements of the working class and the oppressed.

… In 2004, an affinity group of student activists, Hip Hop activists and socialists established Uhuru Network, based in Harare, as a decentralised platform where members of the Toyitoyi Arts Collective, Imani Media Collective, Impilo Permaculture Collective and Ruzivo Study Circle met and forged theoretical and tactical unity. As a social movement, emerging from the concrete struggles of working people in Zimbabwe against the Economic Structural Adjustment Programs (ESAPs) of the ZANU-PF dictatorship, the Network was from the start decidedly anti-capitalist and anti-authoritarianist. Continue reading

Video: MC Biko: “Anti-capitalistic, anarchistic /Activist gone ballistic”

Lyrics below the video

It’s the anti-capitalistic, anarchistic
Activist gone ballistic

He didn’t battle emcees he fought with the government
Kidnapped the MPs and burnt down the parliament
His punchlines overthrew the president
He was a bulldozer going through impediments
Transferred the power from the state to the residents
Bombed cop stations and destroyed all the evidence
To him bourgeois democracy was just another pestilence
These were not just his views, but the working class sentiment
He expressed himself in spite of the censorship
He was a war veteran fighting the dictatorship
His thoughts were anarchy, his words were hardcore
Disturbing the peace, waging war on the status quo

He’s the anti-capitalistic, anarchistic
Activist gone ballistic

A Bhobho lion, babylon wont give me a visa
Coz I’m a Toyitoyi teacher and I’m pro-Zapatista
Anti-capitalista, I’m the counter-culture
Rooted in the spirit like a Shona sculpture
refuse to lose, used, fused to propaganda
X on the ballot so we struggle no longer
The !@#$%^&*-stem keeps on coming on stronger
Uncle Bee, Uncle Sam or another Uncle Tom
We remain the same; poor and unemployed
A black president or a female head of state
Another window dresser seals the working class fate
The democratic right to chose a new slavemaster
Cosmetic changes make the slave faster
So until the power is in the hands of the people
I’ll be in the streets chanting change, still a rebel

I’m the anti-capitalistic, anarchistic
Activist gone ballistic

Source: “Uhuru Vibes Community Newsletter,” April/ May 2010, H