Bangladesh Anarcho-Syndicalist Federation

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About Bangladesh Anarcho-Syndicalist Federation

The Growth of Anarcho-Syndicalism in Bangladesh

The Bangladesh anarchist workers' movement is less than five years old, born out of the ashes of failed USSR. The author of this article recalls the antecedent period in Bangladesh history where USSR held hegemony. This was a time of deep faith and affection for the thought of USSR. As far as the author understands, none in the movement knew of anarchism and libertarian socialism as a political ideology and would not know of it until decades later. We revered the hanging portraits of USSR leaders, we studied their books, and we integrated discussion of their ideas into our daily lives. Our life's pursuit was to become socialist revolutionaries.

We were so fervent in our beliefs of a better world that we sacrificed clothing for books, food for paper. The socialist movement was already active in Bangladesh when my generation moved from studying socialism to helping develop a mass socialist movement. In Dhaka, the capital, we helped in the dissemination of pro-Soviet papers, we joined student organizations, and we participated in interviews. We explained socialism to the people, to workers, from the factories to the fields. Our path was guided by science and freedom of expression, and we spread our ideas without imposing on others. But we faced public rejection and death in our efforts.

When speaking in Muslim-dominated areas, many condemned us as atheists and unrighteous. And where we were not simply denounced, many of us were murdered. Our struggle has been the history of bloodshed. We have lost many of our companions. And although the oppressive apparatuses tortured and killed us, we proceeded ahead with the dream of revolution and continued to take those steps to make the revolution. Our work increased the number of socialist organizations and supporters across cities and villages. These bodies were intent to fight against the tyranny of oppression, against the national military dictatorship and against imperialism.

As early as 1980 we were able to hear about the Soviet Union and China's authoritarian nature and contradictions. We did not believe this was the truth, that "scientific" socialism could be false. Rather, we believed this was imperialist and CIA propaganda. The subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union and the breaking of Lenin- Stalin's statue greatly shocked us all. Together with the eastern bloc, the socialist countries of the world changed. They moved away from having even a veneer of socialism and openly embraced a capitalist restructuralization.

This produced a tremendous shock in the thought of our movement. We re-read USSR related Documents over and over, its fundamentals. But none of this helped us to better understand the failure of "socialism". We did, however, take an interest in the revolutionaries who criticized USSR model . Their works are not in print form, nor are they in Bengali. So our medium of learning has been through reading anarchist texts through the internet in foreign languages.

By 2012, many of us former pro Russian communist acquired a clear idea of anarcho-syndicalism from our continuous internet studies. Because I have been involved in tea workers' struggles since 2000, it was among tea workers and close, political friends that we first introduced anarcho-syndicalist practices through the development of The Tea Workers' Council. This council did not bear the name of any specific doctrine or party. Because old, authoritarian ways persisted, a clear articulation of anarchism and a regrouping along anarchist principles was necessary. As a result, on 1 May 2014, many militants formed a twenty three-member committee of those committed to the principles of anarcho-syndicalism. This committee has fostered the development of anarcho-syndicalist organizations in across fifty-six places in Bangladesh today.

We seek solidarity from all libertarian socialist-communists comrades, sister and brothers all over the planet. We want to work together with everyone, every revolutionary group and parties.

Works

This person has authored 15 documents, with 16,291 words or 109,153 characters.

The Anarcho-Syndicalist Federation is a libertarian workers movement organized according to anarcho-syndicalist principles. We aim to create a society based on liberty, mutual aid, federalism and self-management. We believe the working class and the employing class have nothing in common. Between these two classes a struggle must go on until the workers of the world organize as a class, take possession of the earth and the machinery of production and abolish the wage system. In the present we take an active part in the struggle for worker solidarity, shorter hours, immediate wage increases and improved working conditions. And we actively oppose all attacks on workers such as conscription of labor, strike breaking, drives for i... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Under the statist and capitalist system In Bangladesh, feudalism, capitalism, and imperialism all merge into one tyrannical, barbaric system. What exists in Bangladesh is an amalgam of modern and feudal exploitation and control. Global corporations, the neoliberal, comprador state, the network of globalist NGOs and charities all work to ensure the exploitation and control of the masses and resources. All of these institutions are part of the global empire. When it serves its interests, the global empire merges with and promotes feudal institutions and modes of production. When it serves its interests, this empire abandons feudal methods for more modern methods. Islamic and feudal traditionalism exist side-by-side with neoliberal capitalism,... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
In 2012, it was estimated that between 330,000 and 360,000 of our brothers and sisters in Bangladesh are enslaved. Bangladesh is in the top ten countries in which slavery is practiced. Slavery has historically been concentrated in the countryside, where feudal conditions and traditions are strongest. Landlords hold much of the land and power in the countryside. We are so poor that we live on a razor’s edge. Many of our families have lost everything, and we all toil under a constant threat of suffering the same fate. We are driven off lands. We are hungry. We are sick. We fall into debt that we can never escape from. Children are not spared the cruelty of the brutal exploitation. They, as us, are slaves to local la... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
A World Bank report released a few months ago, “Shock Waves: Managing the Impact of Climate Change on Poverty,” predicts that global warming will push 100 million more people into extreme poverty over the next decade and a half. This means that 100 million more people will see their incomes drop to under 1.90 dollars per day. This would add a hundred million to the roughly 700 million people earning 1.90 dollars a day or less, or what the World Bank defines as “extreme poverty.” The people of the poorest countries are the most threatened, especially the people of Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. According to the report, climate change will have terrible consequences for agriculture and health of the poor par... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Capitalism, in its quest for profits, has led us to a point where there are several global environmental catastrophes on the horizon: global warming, dead zones in the oceans, mass extinctions, etc. Capitalism is the problem, not the solution to environmental problems. Capitalism is pushing the planet’s ecosystem to the brink of destruction. The state, props up the capitalist system, and while it is largely powerless to alleviate environmental destruction it in itself is also a major cause of ecological degradation, funding huge environmentally destructive projects such as dam buildings or weapons manufacture and testing. The state is a structure created to allow the minority of bosses and rulers to dominate and exploit ... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
As the climate warms, it changes the nature of global rainfall, evaporation, snow, stream flow and other factors that affect water supply and quality. Specific impacts include: Warmer water temperatures affect water quality and accelerate water pollution. A World Bank report released a few months ago, “Shock Waves: Managing the Impact of Climate Change on Poverty,” predicts that global warming will push 100 million more people into extreme poverty over the next decade and a half. … This would add a hundred million to the roughly 700 million people earning $1.90 a day or less, or what the World Bank defines as “extreme poverty.” The people of the poorest countries are the most threatened, especial... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
The Bangladesh anarchist workers’ movement is less than five years old, born out of the ashes of failed Marxism-Leninism. The author of this article recalls the antecedent period in Bangladesh history where Marxism-Leninism held hegemony. This was a time of deep faith and affection for the thought of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao Tsetung, and Trotsky. As far as the author understands, none in the movement knew of anarchism as a political ideology and would not know of it until decades later. We revered the hanging portraits of Marxist leaders, we studied their books, and we integrated discussion of their ideas into our daily lives. Our life’s pursuit was to become socialist revolutionaries. We were so fervent in our be... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
In the absence of appropriate measures, the workers said they are facing different health complications. Some of the common symptoms include red eyes, chest irritation, and hand and foot blisters, a worker said anonymously. Pesticides are mainly used to protect the plants from fungal and bacterial diseases, kill grass around the plants that attract grazing cows, and ward off spiders that feast on leaf buds. Md Nurul Mohmaimin Milton, general secretary of the environmental journalists' forum in Moulvibazar, said workers in 156 tea gardens are exposed to dangerous chemicals. The indiscriminate use of pesticide has gone up in tea agriculture, raising concerns for the more than 130,000 permanent workers in the indust... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
We do not know anything about an anarcho-syndicalist movement in Bangladesh. Please tell us, how everything started. Had there been anarchist traditions or a union movement for a longer time? Had there been contacts to organizations in other countries? Answer: The Bangladesh anarchist workers’ movement is less than five years old, born out of the ashes of failed Marxism-Leninism. The author of this answer recalls the antecedent period in Bangladesh history where Marxism-Leninism held hegemony. This was a time of deep faith and affection for the thought of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao Tsetung, and Trotsky. As far as the author understands, none in the movement knew of anarchism as a political ideology and would... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
“The age-old battle between the exploiters and the exploited has taken on a forbidding dimension. Omnipotent capital once again raises its monstrous head. Despite the internal struggles that tear apart the cosmopolitan managerial and bourgeois classes, these forces have created a powerful relationship that enables them to throw themselves with more unity and strength against the proletariat and chain it to Capital’s triumphant chariot.”-(IWA-AIT) The world is a nightmare. Half of humanity lives and dies on less than 3 dollars a day. There are more people in South Asia making 80 cents a day than even exist in the United States.. 22,000 children die due to poverty each and every day. Approximately 800 million peop... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
The proletariat had nothing to lose but their chains. That was speaking figuratively. By the time Europe had mostly abolished slavery, at least officially. It was said to the wage slavery of the free laborer, who nonetheless suffered intense poverty in the Europe of the past just as free laborers suffer today in the Third World. In our land, our people suffer not just from “wage slavery” of the free laborer, but also slavery in its most vicious and barbaric form still exists even though it is now the twenty-first century. And it is only getting worse with the globalization of capitalism. Slavery, human trafficking, in Bangladesh is now tightly bound to the global market. In 2012, it was estimated that between 330,000 and ... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
The workers are also protesting as the ‘Wage Agreement’ between the owners and workers is yet to be signed, reports a Moulvibazar correspondent quoting Raju Guala, president, Bangladesh Cha Sramik Union, (Tea plantation workers union ) Sylhet valley. The workers are currently paid Tk 85 per day, but they are demanding Tk 200 at present, the correspondent said. “The owners are delaying the wage agreement, which is detrimental to the tea laborers,” Raju Guala said. “The wage agreement is usually signed every two years, but it is already three years and there is no sign of the new agreement,” Guala added. (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
The tea workers in Sylhet region are at high risk of tuberculosis (TB) due to unhygienic living, malnutrition and lack of awareness. Meanwhile, the country along with the rest of the world is going to observe World TB Day tomorrow. “I was suffering from cough, chest pain and fever for several weeks. I took paracitamol and Napa but to no effect. Lastly I came to TB center in Sreemangal upazila town and they found TB after checking me on March 13,” said Mithun Roy, 28, a tea worker of Kalighat tea garden in Sreemangal upazila of Moulvibazar. Dhumketu Tanti, 45, of same tea garden, said, “I used to take drugs from my youth. At one stage I was attacked by TB. I am now okay after long treatment. I no longer... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
In the last two years, the Tea Association of Tea Workers Union signed a deal with the owners Association of Tea board. Each time the contract wages is increased to 15-16 taka. Under this agreement, the workers, salaries, wages, bonuses, and other benefits are given for two years. But the owners did not renew the contract after 2015. At that time, the wage was fixed at Tk. 16 to 85Tk. it is still in that condition. According to the calculation, the contract expired in December 2007. Tea workers in Sylhet have become angry after not being renewed in the one and half year. They have been involved in the movement to increase wages, renewal of the contract and demand for payment of arrears. Workers abstained in 22 tea gardens of S... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Workers of Marina tea-garden in Kulaura upazila owned by Transcom Group protested demanding the implementation of a new agreement with Bangladesh Tea Workers Union. Workers abstained from the tea garden manager's office on Saturday, 8 April, from 9am to 12pm. Later, in a protest meeting, the chairperson of the panchayat president Khoka Naik presided over the function and in-charge of In-Charge of Longla Valley, Nandlal Das, he spoke as the chief guest, RM Bhajan Kairy, general secretary of Bangladesh Tea Workers Union. Speaking of the special guest, the District of Mongla (Region) said. Shahidul Islam, general secretary Sanju Goswami, local UP member said. Manu Mia, Adviser of Longla Valley B Durga Nuru, former ganger panchayat secre... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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February 1, 2021; 5:08:20 PM (America/Los_Angeles)
Added to https://www.RevoltLib.com.

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