WSF (1996): “Why I Am An Anarchist” (N.Petrov)

WSF (1996): “Why I Am An Anarchist” (N.Petrov)

From Workers Solidarity, magazine of the Workers Solidarity Federation, volume 2, number 2, third quarter 1996. Complete PDF is here

I am an anarchist because contemporary society is divided into two opposing classes: the impoverished and dispossessed workers and peasants who have created with their own hands and their own enormous toil all the riches of this earth; and the rich men, kings and presidents who have confiscated all these riches for themselves. Towards these parasitic capitalists and ruling kings and presidents there rose in me a feeling of outrage, indignation, and loathing, while at the same time I felt sorrow and compassion for the labouring proletariat who have been eternal slaves in the vice- like grip of the world wide bourgeoisie.

I am an anarchist because I scorn and detest all authority, since all authority is founded on injustice, exploitation and compulsion over the human personality. Authority dehumanises the individual and makes him a slave.

I am an opponent of private property Continue reading

WSF (1996): “The International War Against The Poor”

WSF (1996): “The International War Against The Poor”

From Workers Solidarity, magazine of the Workers Solidarity Federation, volume 2, number 2, third quarter 1996. Complete PDF is here

The gap between the rich minority (the ruling class of bosses, professional politicians, top State officials and military leaders) and the poor majority of workers and peasants (workers of all grades, their families, the unemployed, soldiers up to Non- Commission Officer level, labour tenants, sharecroppers, and small family farmers employing no wage -labour) continues to widen across  the globe.

According to the recent Continue reading

WSF (1996): “Are Employed Workers And Unions An ‘Elite’?”

WSF (1996): “Are Employed Workers And Unions An ‘Elite’?”

From Workers Solidarity, magazine of the Workers Solidarity Federation, volume 2, number 2, third quarter 1996. Complete PDF is here

Whenever workers go on strike the bosses and the National Party accuse the strikers of standing for the interests of an “elite”. Even some ANC leaders have made such claims. They say that these workers are selfish. They say that these workers are privileged compared to the unemployed. They say that these workers are causing poverty by “harming the economy”.

These arguments are lies!!! The majority of workers do not even receive a living wage. We work in terrible conditions and still face racism. Yet the bosses and politicians who call the employed an “elite” earn tens of thousands of rands a month and drive BMWs!

The employed and the unemployed do not live in separate “group areas”! Employed workers’ wages help support unemployed family members and neighbours. This creates pressures on incomes which forces workers to strike for better wages.

Strikers are not responsible for the crisis of the economy. The bosses are. Their factories only produce for a tiny majority of the population. They do not train the workers. They do not spend their money on creating jobs but on buying up existing companies.

We must and will take mass action against these exploiters. They are the real elite whose greed and power- lust causes poverty and suffering. Forward to a free Stateless Socialist (Anarchist) society through the unions and the democratic civics!

WSF (1996): “Call For Solidarity: Writer, Unionist In Nigeria Prison”

WSF (1996): “Call For Solidarity: Writer, Unionist In Nigeria Prison”

From Workers Solidarity, magazine of the Workers Solidarity Federation, volume 2, number 2, third quarter 1996. Complete PDF is here

The following appeal has been sent by Vicki Richman on the 18 July 1996. Vicki is linked to the National Writers Union, an affiliate of the American Federation of Labour- Congress of Industrial Organisations (AFL- CIO- the USA equivalent of COSATU). [Vicki Richman can be contacted by e- mail at vicric@panix.com].

Workers Internationally are asked to step up the protests against the brutal repression in Nigeria by the military dictatorship backed by Shell Oil.

Femi Aborisade, former editor of Nigeria’s “Militant” newspaper and currently director of organisation for the opposition National Conscience Party, has been held in solitary confinement for 3 months. He has not even been allowed to attend church services Continue reading

WSF (1996): “Women’s Liberation And Anarchism: A Complementary Partnership”

WSF (1996): “Women’s Liberation And Anarchism: A Complementary Partnership”

From Workers Solidarity, magazine of the Workers Solidarity Federation, volume 2, number 2, third quarter 1996. Complete PDF is here

A comrade comments:

There is a mistaken view that women’s issues are no longer relevant. They are more relevant than ever.

It is unrealistic to claim that women’s oppression is no longer relevant in South Africa. If we are not concerned with women’s oppression we are ignoring 50% of workers and peasants.

It can not be denied that there has been an improvement in the status of women this century. For example, women have won political rights, educational opportunities; and some non- sexist laws have been implemented. But these gains are not enough! The violence against women has skyrocketed and women workers still earn a lot less than men.

The basis of inequality between men and women is not just about men disrespecting women, but is rooted in the capitalist system. The Continue reading

WSF (1996): “Women In The Spanish Revolution”

WSF (1996): “Women In The Spanish Revolution”

From Workers Solidarity, magazine of the Workers Solidarity Federation, volume 2, number 2, third quarter 1996. Complete PDF is here

(Based on article from Workers Solidarity, Ireland)

Before the revolution women faced very oppressive and repressive conditions. Women had no independence, they were paid far less than men, single women were not allowed to go out at night without a chaperone.

During the revolution many men and women changed their old conservative beliefs about women. Women fought as equals in the workers militias and were involved at all levels of collectivisation of the land and industry. But change does not occur over night and many sexist practice and ideas remained.

In May 1936 anarchist women formed a workers women’s movement Mujeres Libres (“Free Women”). They aime Continue reading

WSF (1996): “The Spanish Revolution (1936- 7): A New World In Their Hearts”

WSF (1996): “The Spanish Revolution (1936- 7): A New World In Their Hearts”

From Workers Solidarity, magazine of the Workers Solidarity Federation, volume 2, number 2, third quarter 1996. Complete PDF is here

REMEMBER THE REVOLUTION
The 19th of July marked the 60th Anniversary of the Spanish Revolution. For a brief time, capitalism and the State was replaced by solidarity, mutual aid, and respect for others. Workers and peasants, who were deeply influenced by anarchist ideas, ran society collectively and gained control over their lives, industry and land. A central part of the revolution was the struggle against a fascist attempt to take over Spain.

We must remember both the magnificent triumphs and tragedies of the Spanish revolution and attempt to learn from our comrades mistakes.

WORKERS AND PEASANTS ORGANISE
Anarchist- Syndicalist ideas had deep roots among Spanish peasants and workers. In 1911, a massive revolutionary trade union federation, Continue reading