Hattingh, ” Class war and imperialism in Greece” (2012)

From ZCommunications here

Class war and imperialism in Greece

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Hattingh, “Venezuela and the ‘Bolivarian Revolution’: Beacon of hope or smoke and mirrors?” (2012)

From ZCommunications here 

Venezuela and the ‘Bolivarian Revolution’: Beacon of Hope or Smoke and Mirrors?

by Shawn Hattingh (ZACF)

April 23, 2012

Introduction

For many people on the left, within and outside of Southern Africa, the ‘Bolivarian Revolution’ is seen as a beacon of socialist hope in a sea of capitalist despair [1]. The reason why many leftists feel so strongly attached to this project, and promote it as an alternative, is because they have come to view it as a move by the Venezuelan state towards creating a genuine, free form of socialism [2] or at the very least an experiment that profoundly breaks with the tenets of neo-liberalism [3] [4]. Many articles have, therefore, been written lauding the state’s nationalisation of some industries [5], its land distribution programmes [6], and its attempts to supposedly create participatory democracy in workplaces (through co-management and co-operatives) [7] and in communities (through community councils) [8]. Linked to this, a great deal has also been made of the state using some of revenue generated by the Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) to roll out social services such as education, subsidised foodstuffs and healthcare [9]. Much ink has, consequently, been spilt arguing that all of these are socialist inspired moves and passionate calls have been made for other states, like the South African state, to adopt Venezuelan style ‘Socialism for the Twenty First Century’ [10].

This article, however, questions the assumption that the Venezuelan state is embarking upon a path to create a truly egalitarian and free socialist society. It will, therefore, be argued that Venezuela is not in a transitional phase to socialism; rather it is a capitalist country where the private sector and important state-owned companies seek to maximise profits. Indeed, it will be argued that while some welfare is handed out by the state, this often sits side by side with other policies that are outright neo-liberal. In order to make the argument that Venezuela cannot be considered as heading in a socialist direction, this article will engage and examine issues around the state’s nationalisation programme, its relations to multinational corporations, its community councils project and its social service programmes. Coupled to this, the nature of the economy will be looked at, including ownership patterns, and it will be critically considered whether or not the relations of production that define capitalism are being transformed into more socialist relations based on direct democracy, mutual aid and self-management in workplaces and communities. In fact, it will be argued, from an anarchist perspective, that unfortunately relations that define class rule and capitalism are not being eroded away by the ‘Bolivarian Revolution’: instead of an egalitarian society arising, it will be considered how and why an elite still exploit and oppress the working class. It will, therefore, be critically considered how and why class rule and capitalism, and even elements of neo-liberal capitalism, in Venezuelan society are not in the process of being eroded away. Far from being a beacon of hope the ‘Bolivarian process’ may be more correctly identified as a case of smoke and mirrors.

The Quagmire of the ‘Bolivarian Revolution’s’ Rhetoric

There is no doubt that both the supporters and opponents of the ‘Bolivarian Revolution’ feel passionately about the figure of Hugo Chavez and place him firmly at the centre of the ‘revolution’. Continue reading

Hattingh, ” South Africa’s rulers have blood on their hands, again” (2013)

From ZCommunications here

South Africa’s rulers have blood on their hands, again

 

8 September 2002: “South African Anarchists Join International Libertarian Solidarity”

South African Anarchists Join International Libertarian Solidarity Network
September 8, 2002 – statement by Bikisha Media Collective & Zabalaza Books

More on International Libertarian Solidarity Network here and here.

Announcements
Several South African anarchist projects — Bikisha Media Collective (BMC), Zabalaza Books (ZB) and the Zabalaza Action Group (ZAG, formerly the Anarchist Union) — have signed up as members of the new anarchist network International Libertarian Solidarity (ILS) of which the following organisations are also a part: Al Abdil al Taharouri (AAT, Lebanon), Alternative Libertaire (AL, France & Belgium), Confederacion General del Trabajo (CGT, Spain), Organisasion Communiste Libertaire (OCL, France), RÈseau No Pasaran (France), Consejo IndÌgena Popular de Oaxaca — “Ricardo Flores Magon” (CIP-RFM, Mexico), Confederation Nationale du Travail — “Vignoles” (CNT-V, France), Federacio Anarquista Ga?cha (FAG, Brazil), Federacion Anarquista Uruguaya (FAU, Uruguay), Marmitag (Greece), Organizace RevolucnÌch Anarchistu-Solidarita (ORA-S, Czech Republic), Organizacion Socialista Libertaria (OSL, Argentina), Organisation Socialiste Libertaire (OSL, Switzerland), Sveriges Arbetares Centralorganisation (SAC, Sweden), and the Workers’ Solidarity Movement (WSM, Ireland).

Other groups that support the ISL are the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW, international), Anacho-Sindico (India), the North-Eastern Federation of Anarcho-Communists (NEFAC, Canada & the USA), Sibirskaya Konfederatsia Truda (SKT, Russia) and Unione Sindacale Italiana — “Roma” (USI-R, Italy).This makes the ISL one of the most important players on the international anarchist stage today, alongside the International Workers Association (IWA) — established in Berlin in 1922 as the anarchist unionist alternative to the communist Red International of Trade Unions — and the International of Anarchist Federations (IFA), founded in Italy in 1968, to unite anarchist political organisations. But the ISL is not another international. It is rather an international anarchist network, other anarchist international networks include the Anarchist Black Cross Federation, started in London in 1967 to assist anarchist and class war prisoners, and the Insurrectional Anarchist International (IAI), founded in Italy in 2000, to co-ordinate anarchist resistance in the Mediteranean [sic..

Our participation in the ISL dates back to the BMC delegation sent to Paris for the “Other Future” international anarchist congress organised in 2000 by the CNT-V which saw 6,000 anarchists take to the streets with a forest of red-and-black flags for May Day. There, delegates of 15 participating organisations agreed to form a new network to: a) connect the growing anarchist unions, anarcho-communist, platformist and anarcho-synthesist groups that fell outside the IWA; b) co-ordinate international anarchist engagement with the emerging anti-capitalist movement; and c) for established Northern organisations to assist emergent anarchist organisations in the global South. Last year, at “LibWeek” in Madrid, the decision was realised when the international movement set up the ISL, which has expanded significantly since then. Bikisha Media and Zabalaza Books sent a message of support to Madrid to endorse the establishment of the network of which we are now a part.

The ISL is by no means a paper tiger: so far, the network has helped the FAG-Brazil with finances in setting up a printing works and a community centre. There are also ISL-sponsored projects under way in Uruguay and another planned in Siberia. We should take this opportunity to thank ISL member organisation the SAC-Sweden for their kind donation of funds — under an agreement separate to the ISL — to our anarchist printing project.

Our original message to the founding congress of the ISL read:

We as South African anarchists are encouraged by this important initiative — the establishment of an international co-ordinating network to aid anarchist organisations in their engagement with the anti-globalisation movement. Such a network is vital if we are to survive the attacks on our organisations and our class — and if we are to succeed in our fight against neo-liberalism. We would also like to add the names of our two organisations to those endorsing the “Anarchist Declaration for the 21st Century”.

Since the 1970s, our enemies, capital and its siamese twin, the state, have been suffering from one of their inevitable periods of crisis as markets hit natural consumption ceilings and the rate of profit continues to fall. Even the opening of the former Soviet and East Bloc workforce to foreign exploitation, with robber barons breaking down vital industries to steal handfuls of cash, has been unable to stop the slide.

But like hungry bears, our enemies are even more dangerous despite their weaknesses. On the one hand, their claws are sharper: they have developed warfare, terrorism and propaganda to technological and psychological levels never achieved before. On the other hand, we, their prey, are weak: the international working class revolutionary movement, both anarchist and otherwise, has been dispersed and destroyed by decades of fascism. After the Berlin Wall fell, our enemies announced the end of history, claiming that they had achieved the perfect social balance, a balance built historically on millions of dead, and today maintained by millions of lives cheapened by poor working conditions, corrupted by a fouled environment, marginalised by casualisation, raped by patriarchy, excluded by so-called democracy and, if necessary, eliminated by death-squads.

But the bears miscalculated. History is not over. The anti-globalisation movement is the most significant international social movement since the 1960s. There are dangers: professional networks of paid middle-class activists have attempted to turn it into their own club, a collection of narrow sectarian interests. Also, totalitarian and right-wing organisations, whether fascist, religious fundamentalist or authoritarian socialist, are trying to control grassroots actions against the IMF/World Bank, the “free” trade agreements and the multinational corporations. But this is a global movement of the oppressed. Its instinctive nature is anti-authoritarian, workerist and militant. This is the true home of all anarchist revolutionaries today and we fully support all efforts by anarchists to position themselves at the forefront of the struggle and to put their ideas at the centre of the global debates on how to beat the ravages of turbo capitalism.

The anti-globalisation movement must be dominated by anarchist forces and arguments. We as anarchist revolutionaries must throw ourselves wholeheartedly into this struggle. But we must remember our key strategic strength: the united forces of the proletariat, whether industrial or commercial. This means that while community struggles are essential, they can be no substitute for revolutionary organisation in the workplace, at the point of extraction of profit. The traditional working class may have changed, but workers’ status as wage-slaves has not, regardless of how the capitalists have tried to divide their common interests. And it is only the workers who have the technical power and class incentive to stop the engines of capitalism. Only a revolution in the relations of production by organised labour and a seizure of the means of production by the producers can end the terrorism of capital and the state. Assisted by the peasantry and the poor, the workers can and will defeat neo-liberalism, however it disguises itself: racism, housing evictions, neo-colonialism, electricity cut-offs, sweatshops,  criminalisation of protest, or other masks.

FOR WORKERS’ SELF-MANAGEMENT, DIRECT ACTION AND INTERNATIONAL REVOLUTION!

NO PASARAN!

— Bikisha Media Collective & Zabalaza Books

WSF (1998): “SADC : No friend of the working class”

WSF (1998): “SADC : No friend of the working class”

From Workers Solidarity, magazine of the Workers Solidarity Federation, volume 4, number 2, fourth quarter 1998. Complete PDF is here

ecently, SADC (the Southern African Development Community) has been in the news a lot. In particular, SADC has intervened militarily in both Congo and Lesotho. SADC is a regional coalition of governments, and its members are the governments of Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. SADC pretends to stand for “democracy” and “development”. But the truth is different. Many of the SADC governments, such as Swaziland and Zimbabwe, have a long history of political oppression. And all of the SADC governments are anti-worker. In October 1997, SADC issued a statement called the Windhoek Declaration. This statement said that “the private sector [is] the locomotive of economic development,” and that “business requires … a climate in which it can develop safely, freely and profitably“.

What this means is that the bosses will play the main role in the economy, and that government must keep the bosses happy.

In practical terms, the statement means policies such as GEAR: privatisation, cuts in health and education spending, cuts in public sector jobs, more VAT and PAYE, less company tax, and low wages and few labour laws to protect workers (“flexible” labour). All of these policies mean less jobs and less money for the working class.

Zimbabwe’s form of GEAR (called ESAP) has seen mass cuts in education spending (down to the level of 1980), health care (down 39% in 1994-5), and jobs (22,000 jobs lost in the public sector; 33,000 in private industry).

WSF (1998): “Lesotho: Was it revolution?”

WSF (1998): “Lesotho: Was it revolution?”

From Workers Solidarity, magazine of the Workers Solidarity Federation, volume 4, number 2, fourth quarter 1998. Complete PDF is here

From our correspondent on the spot

The tiny mountain state has been in the news over the past weeks following the September 22 military invasion by South African and Botswanan troops and the subsequent looting spree, which saw the centre of Maseru, reduced to a smoking ruin. The invasion took place after mass protests against a rigged election spilled over into the virtual collapse of the government and a split in the army.

WHOSE PEACE?

The invasion was widely named a “peace mission” by the bosses’ media. But SA Defence Minister Joe Modise virtually admitted at the funeral of one of the eight working class South African soldiers killed in the fighting that the operation was meant to be the first field test of the new integrated SANDF “as a fighting force”.

The claim by the Southern African Development Community (coalition of bosses governments) that the intention was to “restore democracy” (a vague term that can be used to justify almost anything) is shown up as a lie by the fact that the SA military was preparing for the invasion a full six months before the electoral crisis even began in May.

Newspapers owned by the capitalist elite – and even the SA Communist Party (SACP) – have backed the lie, claiming that “anarchy” had broken out in Lesotho. Had law and order collapsed? Had government been replaced by direct democracy and worker control?

THE PEOPLE ARMED?

Was the mutiny by rebel soldiers in the Lesotho Defence Force in the week before the invasion actually a class war in defence of democracy?

Well, the mutiny definitely had a class character. Privates and non-commissioned officers ousted the fat-cat generals, including Lt-Genl Mokhule Mosakeng, at gunpoint, first jailing them, then forcing them to flee into exile in South Africa. This was a brilliant example of direct action by the exploited. The soldiers were upset that democracy in Lesotho had been undermined by the top brass who had been bought off by the politicians, with bribes like the “gift” of farms in the Free State. In other words, poorly paid working class soldiers (27 of whom were killed by SANDF troops in the invasion) revolted against their corrupt, undemocratic bosses. The argument that the mutineers intended to seize power for a military government (thus justifying the invasion) is not true. The intention of the mutineers seems to have been to force a serious review of democratic process in Lesotho, not to stage a coup.

The unexpectedly strong resistance to the invasion showed how passionately they believed their cause was right. Unfortunately, this class war was severely crippled by the opposition parties who used the mutiny (which carries the death penalty) to prop up their own dubious claims to take power in Lesotho i.e. to be the “legitimate” exploiters of the Basotho people.

CHAOS?

Was there chaos or violence when there was no government? In other words, was the collapse of the government a bad thing?

No. Even the petit-bourgeois store owners who lost their businesses in the looting were convinced that while the government in Lesotho had in fact been paralysed since the disputed May election, the Basotho people ran the territory themselves, without any need for a parasitic elite telling them what to do. This was not libertarian socialist economics at work, however, because capitalism remained unchallenged, but the anti-political, self-organising social aspect of socialism from below was in full swing.

The fact is that for six months, there was no effective governance in Lesotho – yet there was very little chaos or disruption. The violent backlash in the last days of September was in direct response to the foreign military operation to suppress Basotho civil initiative and protect South African economic interests in Lesotho.

CLASS WAR?

Was there a class war or grassroots political reason for the rioting and looting?

Well, the rioting seems to have begun because the SANDF invaded the palace grounds, a place viewed as a sanctuary by many Basotho. The rioting was heavily influenced by this cultural mistake by the SANDF, and by political opportunists who fanned the flames. But there was a lot of genuine street opposition to foreign military powers intervening in the workings of Lesotho society, no matter how troubled. The looting was largely “opportunistic”, not class- conscious: help yourself to a new TV while you can. But in a country where even the aid organisations admit the poor benefit hardly at all from the millions pouring into state coffers, it is hardly surprising that the poor will seize what capitalism denies them.

The world’s workers build the entire global economy and all its products. They must seize these products, but more importantly, also take over the means of production which make the goods (the factories etc). Only this will allow a systematic and permanent social change, as opposed to a bit of “affirmative shopping”. This is what the Basotho resisters failed to do, concentrating on selfish short term gains.

The class aspect was notably lacking in that many of the looters were themselves middle class. Also, the political, rather than economic (or class) nature of the redistribution of wealth was evidenced in the way petit-bourgeois shops were targeted (for their goods), and government offices were torched (for the symbolism of trashing the ruling party), but the really big exploiters like the banks, the United Nations, European Union and the US embassy all remained untouched.

ARMED CRIMINALS?

What about the LDF rebels arming “criminals”? Was it a criminal revolt?

Well those who seek true democracy under the global fascist oligarchy known as capitalism know they will be criminalised and demonised by that exploiting elite. So what? If true people’s power is constrained by chains of law, then the people become illegalists as a matter of course. It is our right to fight, no matter what the bosses say! Faced with armoured troop carriers, the mutinous soldiers handed out assault rifles to youths that helped attack the invaders. This showed the working class defending its right to settle local issues locally, a basic libertarian socialist principle. It also broke down the traditional state barriers in which soldiers in a standing army defend privilege against the uprisings of the poor. In Lesotho, the mutineers adopted the direct-action tactic of arming the poor against invading states. In the end it fell short of the libertarian socialist concept of autonomous working class militia, i.e.: the people armed. But it has armed a broad spectrum of Lesotho’s workers and poor. They will be a lot harder to defeat in future than a few thousand soldiers in their barracks were this time around.

REFORM OR REVOLUTION?

What about the real revolutionary project: the construction of a directly democratic society managed by councils of workers and the poor?

Here the water is very muddy. Unlike the Albanian revolt of 1997, when the Western powers invaded to prevent the people achieving grassroots democracy through this sort of initiative, there is not much evidence in Lesotho of the libertarian socialist principle of building the new in the burnt-out shell of the old.

It is notable that virtually the only printed and broadcast views from outside the government came from the opportunist opposition parties, not from the rebel soldiers, the armed populace, or the “criminal” redistributors. This is the in-built bias of capitalist media, which speaks in the garbled lies of the elite and tries to prevent working people from discovering the true nature of such events.

But one area in which democratic construction was evident was among the mutineers, whose delegates angered Modise by telling him (after he called them treasonous and threatened them with force shortly before the invasion) that they could not make decisions themselves, but would have to consult the entire mutineer force first.

This is the principle of participatory democracy. And Modise hated it! Modise also betrayed his class position through his anger at having to deal with corporals who told him in no uncertain terms what they thought of his version of “restoring democracy”.

So, was there the replacement of government by workers power in Lesotho? The answer is that yes, in several quarters, especially among the mutineers, such principles were tactically (if not consciously) upheld. But it does not

matter what terms are used. What matters is whether real tactics and strategies destroy exploitation, empower the oppressed and give every worker and poor person direct political, social and economic control over their lives. When all is said and done, the state was peacefully immobilised for half a year and there was a great deal of direct action, participatory democracy and class-consciousness.

But there was also a crucial failure to address capitalism as a source of oppression, and a tendency to allow opportunistic party politics to shape the civil struggle

The revolt may have been crushed. But its spirit hasn’t – and the political landscape in Lesotho has changed irrevocably. Ties have been forged between workers, soldiers and rural people that did not exist before. Many of these people are now heavily armed.

WSF (1998): “Nigeria: Death of a tyrant, death of a democrat – but no freedom until capitalism is dead too!”

WSF (1998): “Nigeria: Death of a tyrant, death of a democrat – but no freedom until capitalism is dead too!”

From Workers Solidarity, magazine of the Workers Solidarity Federation, volume 4, number 2, fourth quarter 1998. Complete PDF is here

Ordinary Nigerian people took to the streets in celebration on June 8 after hearing that murderous dictator General Sani Abacha, 54, had died of a heart attack. Abacha’s death brought to an end a four-year iron-fisted reign that saw the hanging in 1995 of activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others who had dared to speak out against the oppression of the workers and the poor by wealthy western oil drilling companies exploiting Nigeria.

ABIOLA

But Abacha was swiftly replaced by Nigeria’s ninth military dictator, Abdusalam Abubakar, a career soldier trained in the United States and Britain like so many Third World strongmen, who immediately ordered seven days of national mourning for Abacha. Abubakar then appeased the regime’s critics by releasing several jailed unionists and activists. Then on July 7, Social Democratic Party leader Chief Moshood Abiola, 60, who was jailed after apparently winning the 1993 presidential election, conveniently died of a heart attack during a visit by American officials. Abiola was no angel: a multimillionaire shipping tycoon who used his military friends to try for the presidency, he boasted four wives and 19 girlfriends and was widely believed to have stolen millions intended to upgrade Nigeria’s telephone system. Supporters of the corrupt Nigerian state claimed that Abiola was the only leader able to unite a country deeply divided between the largely Christian Yoruba and the mostly Muslim Hausa. But Nigeria does not need more robber-baron leaders. It needs a strong workers movement to organise, rise up and throw off the yoke of capitalist-sponsored terrorist dictatorship.

GOVERNMENTS LIE – PEOPLE DIE

At the Organisation for African Unity summit in Burkina Faso shortly after the dictator’s death, his cronies who oppress other African countries underlined exactly what they had in mind with their vision of an “African Renaissance” when they paid their respects to the man who ordered the detention without trial of pro-democracy activists, jailed newspaper editors for reporting the truth, and whose police shot dead at least 10 workers dead during May Day celebrations earlier this year.

The Nigerian regime earlier this year tried to whitewash its image by sending armed forces to Sierra Leone on the West Coast to oust another military junta and install United States- approved “democracy” (i.e. protection of western mining interests).

ABUSES OF THE NIGERIAN DICTATORSHIP

Abacha the Butcher was even nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize by his sipporters, but the opposition United Action for Democracy – an umbrella of 26 human rights and pro-democracy groups in Nigeria – strongly opposed this stupid suggestion. The UAD listed Abacha’s crimes as:

1. The arrest and detention without trial of Abiola.
2. The arrest and secret military trials of pro-democracy activists.
3. The hangings of Saro-Wiwa and the Ogoni activists.
4. The closing of newspapers and secret military trials of journalists for “plotting to overthrow the state”.
5. The banning of some unions and the detention of union leaders following a strike in the oil industry to protest the political crisis.
6. The expulsion of student activists and the imposition of military- appointed administrators in the universities.
7. The death in prison of ousted General Shehu Musa Yar’adua and the sentencing to death of other opponents.
8. The overruling of the courts and the law by the army.
9. The promotion of conflict between tribes and between the Muslim north and Christian south.
10. The plundering of national resources and the collapse of social services due to officially tolerated corruption.

Amnesty International notes that there are “scores of prisoners held in life-threatening conditions in Nigeria’s jails” and has urged Abubaker to release Nigeria’s 250-plus prisoners of conscience – those jailed simply for their beliefs like so many South Africans were under apartheid.

BIG INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES SUPPORT NIGERIAN DICTATORSHIP

Nigeria’s military dictatorships have all drawn strength from the international oil companies like Royal Dutch Shell and Mobil whose operations earn the country 80% of its national budget (about R51,5-billion a year). The wealth of the dictators and of the American, British and French oil companies is directly derived from the continued class inequality of the Nigerian social economy.

Despite all their rhetoric about democracy, the big capitalist powers like the USA are desperate to ensure that this oil exploitation does not falter, and so have never taken up the obvious weapon of sanctions to force the army to quit. It would be all so easy, but the profits are just too fat and the capitalists fear that the power vacuum created by the removal of a strongman will cause the country to split in half. The US, which imports half of Nigeria’s oil production, has not banned the sale of arms to Nigeria’s fascist military either: profits before people is their motto.

Abacha’s corrupt regime allowed Nigeria’s once vibrant agricultural sector to decay. What was once the world’s biggest palm oil industry has collapsed. Cocoa output halved since the 1960s, rubber production has fallen.

Abacha’s legacy has is a country pinched between demands by the capitalist overlord International Monetary Fund that Nigeria slash its already threadbare social services and public sector- which will lead to more popular unrest – and the threat of a coup by fat-cat army officers terrified of any challenge to their power and looting of the country.

REAL DEMOCRACY FOR NIGERIA NOW!

This is the country that Abubakar takes control of. He has signalled his readiness to comply with the US’s and European Union’s insistence that there be “a genuine transition to civilian rule” by October 1.Of course, what the US and the EU really want is a civilian ruler installed in Nigeria to prevent the world’s seventh-largest oil export industry from being disrupted by those who want an end to oppression. They don’t care that the oil industry is the main exploiter of poor and working class Nigerians. The Western capitalist governments want democracy in name only: continued rule of the chiefs, military brass and company bosses – not real control of Nigeria’s assets by the Nigerian workers. And already, the local strongmen and robber barons have been scrambling to create new “democratic” political parties.

In August, Abubakar flew to South Africa where he was honoured at a state dinner. But his change from military uniform to a flowing white robe for the cameras should not fool anyone. He is no angel and his backers remain the brutish armed forces and the capitalist exploiters.

We support a move from military government to parliamentary rule. This will create better conditions for the working class and peasants to organise for further struggle.

In the end, however, only free socialism (anarcho-syndicalism) can redistribute wealth and power in Nigeria- and across the world. The solution is not a “good” government but workers power.

WORKERS: WHAT YOU CAN DO

WORKERS OF SOUTH AFRICA! We cannot allow the tragedy befalling our fellow workers in Nigeria to continue! We cannot stand by and ignore our comrades’ pain, we cannot be silent.

IN YOUR COMMUNITIES: Support Nigerians who are genuine refugees of oppression against attacks by police. The cops are oppressing these visitors on behalf of the ruling class, falsely blaming all Nigerian immigrants for our country’s problems.

IN YOUR UNIONS: Tell your shop stewards, your leaders: “We demand justice for Nigeria. We boycotts of Shell and Mobil until Abubakar’s regime is toppled and democracy comes to Nigeria!”

OUR COMRADES: THE AWARENESS LEAGUE OF NIGERIA

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, with 104 million people, has only had 10 years of civilian rule since independence from Britain in 1960. It is hardly surprising that here we find the biggest anarcho-syndicalist organisation in Africa: the Awareness League. From its roots as a radical student’s group, the League has become directly involved in the Nigerian workers’ struggle, and now has more than 1000 members across Nigeria.

Some members are rotting in Nigeria’s inhumane prisons. Others have written a book, African Anarchism- the history of a movement, that clearly shows a way out of Africa’s sad, battered love affair with brutal military dictatorships, cruel capitalism and so-called “socialist” exploitation: libertarian socialism. The League is an affiliate of the International Workers’ Association, an anarcho-syndicalist organisation formed to fight capitalism through revolutionary trade union activism worldwide.