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PREFACE The Position Papers and Constitution of the WSF were developed by mandated activists in the Workers Solidarity Federation in the period between early 1995 and late 1996. These documents were adopted as official policy by the WSF in December 1996. These documents represent a systematic effort to apply anarchist theory to the specific conditions of South Africa in the current period. Although anarchism has a proud history as a fighting tradition among workers and peasants across the world, it has not had an organized presence in South Africa (as far as we know) since the 1910s and early 1920s. We hope, now, to lay the basis for a new movement. Marxism, nationalism, liberalism- the history of these ideologies is a history of broke... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Zimbabwean head of state Robert Mugabe has established himself over the past few years as a strident, near-hysterical voice of bigotry and irrationality in his campaign against the human dignity of his gay, lesbian and bisexual compatriots. First his government’s goons clamped down on intellectual and cultural freedom by ordering Gays And Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) kicked out of the 1995 Zimbabwe International Book Fair. Then he further sullied his image by calling homosexuals “sodomists and sexual perverts” who had no human rights at all. Well, GALZ won the right to be reinstated at the book fair, but Mugabe’s stream of foul-mouthed abuse continued and incited fellow politician Michael Mawema to call for a public ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
INTRODUCTION BY BLACK FLAG We recently observed a very fruitful discussion on race and class on the internet, particularly around “black” anarchism, special oppressions and the desirability of separate organization. One of the best and most comprehensive posts came from a member of the Workers Solidarity Federation of South Africa, an anarchist/syndicalist group which while in a personal capacity reflects their politics and positions on these matters. Interest in anarchism is growing throughout the world. There are active groups in most parts of the world, with the exception of the Indian subcontinent, Antarctica and as far as we know the Chinese dictatorship. This process will no doubt accelerate and there is a challenge fo... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Racial oppression remains a defining feature of the modern capitalist world. It is manifest most spectacularly in violent attacks on immigrants and minorities by fascist gangs. More important to the fate of these communities has been the systematic and increasing discrimination by capitalist states, manifest in attacks on the rights of immigrants, cuts in welfare services, and racist police and court systems. How can racism be defeated? An answer to this question requires an examination of the forces which gave rise to, and continue to reproduce, racism. It also requires a careful analysis of which social forces benefit from racial oppression. By racism is meant either an attitude denying the equality of all human beings, or economic, ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Anarchism has always carried the banner of revolutionary anti authoritarian socialism. Socialists need to identify with the anarchist tradition, no easy task as many have been weaned on a diet of slander that said they were not real socialists at all and wanted a return to feudalism. THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL Within the First Intentional, the Intentional Working Men’s Association, in the last century the anarchists, such as Bakunin, consistently argued against a turn to reformism and parliament. They argued against the view that the state apparatus could be seized and used to introduce socialism. The introduction of socialism could only be carried out by the working class itself, not by a minority of revolutionaries acting through ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
INTRODUCTION The trade unions are the combat organizations of the working class. They were built to defend and advance workers interests against the bosses. BUT the unions can MUCH more. The unions must not only fight the bosses in the here and now. They must organize the workers for a revolutionary general strike in which we the workers take the land and factories from the bosses, and run them ourselves in the interests of the workers and the poor. Socialism and freedom will never come through parliament. They can only come through workers struggle and workers organizations defeating the bosses. They can only come though revolutionary industrial unionism (anarcho-syndicalism). This booklet was written by the Workers Solidarity Feder... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Sisters and brothers, When there is no place for us, no economic exploitation for us, they call us scroungers. When they have a use for us, we are degraded into useless work, crushing our spirit so we accept our endless orders unquestioningly. We must work constantly to earn pitiful wages to consume useless products. When we take our rightful share, they call us thieves — though they deny us any other choice except conform, obey and subsist on what they choose to give us or resist and starve. When we stand up for our humanity, rejecting their right to give orders, they call us ungrateful, wild and extreme, yet they have offered us nothing but the chance to be exploited in a gray, dead world where we have no say, no power, for this we... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS: Knowing which side you’re on. CLASS ANALYSIS: Knowing who’s there with you. For those people who don’t understand what we mean by “class”, and for those who have been misled by people who want you to think that they are on your side, to get you to trust and follow them, we give this basic outline of what we mean by “class”. This analysis does not include the privileged offspring of the Middle and Ruling class, who still have more power than an average working class person. This power includes security and access to money or work and being able to gain respect from those in authority by knowing the values, attitudes, self-confidence and assertiveness that goes with a middle cla... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
To Minister John O’Donogue On behalf of the Workers Solidarity Federation of South Africa I would like to convey our organization’s anger at the attempts of Irish government to scapegoat harrass and deport asylum seekers. I would further like to express our organization’s solidarity with the day of action called for the 25 April in opposition to these government policies. Asylum seekers are fleeing economic social and political oppression. To visit further persecution upon them is unjust. To deport them back to the horrors from which they are seeking to escape is unjustifiable. That almost all deportees are drawn from working and poor social groups further underlines the bias in such actions. All people should have equ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Defend Lesbian and Gay Rights We in Workers Solidarity Federation say that gay and lesbian rights are human rights. People should be free to live their lives as they choose, so long as this does not harm other people’s freedom. This must include people’s right to choose the emotional and sexual relationships that make them happy. There is nothing wrong with homosexuality. Love between consenting people is not “immoral” or “repulsive”. Homosexuality has always been part of human society, including in Africa. What is wrong is the oppression which gays and lesbians suffer: job discrimination, violence, police raids and so on. We must see that this is one more way that the bosses divide the workers and the p... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Workers Solidarity Federation, South Africa July 1995 Don’t Let Him Die 1. Who is Mumia Abu-Jamal? Jamal is the victim of a racist frame-up in teh USA. As a tireless ally of teh poor, Black and dispossessed, he won the hatred of the bosses and politicians in Philadelphia. They are determined to silence him. Jamal is an ex-Black Panther spokesman and a courageous journalist. 2. Why is he facing exceution? In December 1981, Jamal and his brother BillY were attacked by police. Shot in the chest and savagely beaten, Jamal was then arrested for killing a cop. Jamal’s trial was a classic case of Southern-style racist “justice”. Critical evidence was covered up. Jamal’s political history was used as evid... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
TELL “fat cat” CLINTON TO GET OUT!! CLINTON — THE IMPERIALIST! CLINTON — THE RICH MAN’S FRIEND! THEY SAY: The politicians and the bosses’ newspapers are praising US president Bill Clinton’s visit to South Africa. They say that Clinton will bring “aid” and “trade”. They say that closer links with the US government and capitalists will help “fight poverty” in Africa. WE SAY... LIES! Clinton is the leader of the US capitalist class. This tiny layer of rich FAT CATS is the ENEMY of ordinary working and poor people. In Africa and every where else. Clinton is responsible for ATTACKING the poor in the USA, Africa, and the Middle East * IN THE USA The Clinton go... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
The Workers Solidarity Federation of South Africa (WSF) has been dissolved by unanimous mutual agreement of all its active membership in its Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town branches. The former WSF comrades will, however, be involved in several new projects including Bikisha Media Collective and Zabalaza Books (formerly Land and Liberty). Both of these organizations are primarily concerned with the production and distribution of revolutionary media. Publications to follow include a southern African edition of Sam Mbah & IE Igariwey’s African Anarchism, and Breaking the Chains, a history of anarcho-syndicalism from the 1870s-1980s. Our former Durban branch is currently involved in talks with the Industrial Workers of the World... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Although we argue that only the working class, working peasants and the poor can make the revolution, we do support the struggle of the students to transform the institutions of higher learning (the universities and technikons) despite the fact that such institutions typically train people for middle class jobs. We do so because we believe that the student struggle is progressive, because we are anti-racist, because working class and poor students are the main victims of the problems that exist in higher education, because we stand for the principle of free, democratic and open education for all, and because we want to recruit student militants to Anarcho-Syndicalist politics. Historically, the universities and technikons have been charact... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
In February and March this year Technikons and Universities exploded with protest actions. Black students, sometimes supported by workers, have been FIGHTING to change tertiary institutions. They are fighting the legacy of apartheid. The protests were organized by the South African Students Congress (SASCO) and other student bodies EXPLODE Protests were country wide. Students at the 7 Vista campuses called for the resignation of their Broederbond controlled University Council. They marched on the government calling on it to support their demands. The Vista students were also calling for an end to financial and academic exclusions. At University of the Western Cape students forced the management to allow 57 students to continue with t... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Every worker has the human right to a job. Yet under the Capitalist system, workers are dismissed from employment in times of crisis, over-production or depression, or just to save labor costs through cutting workers and speed-ups. And then some workers just cannot find jobs in the Capitalist Labor market, either because of discrimination, lack of skills or job training, a “criminal” record, or other reasons. In the early 1990’s, the Ministry of Finance said that unemployment stood 19,3%, a SALDRU survey put it at about 30% in 1993, the 1994 October Household Survey found it to be 32,6%, while some analysts believe it is closer to 50%.[1] With the growth, since 1994, in the level of retrenchments, we are obviously facing... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Unemployment is always a direct effect of living under capitalism, it is used by the bosses to depress wages “there are plenty of people out there who work for less money than you” is a common threat as is “behave yourselves or I’ll close down” as we saw above, the chaotic nature of capitalism also leads to regular crises and attacks on workers which cause massive unemployment. This is especially true of South Africa where the crisis of the racist capitalist system has caused massive job losses. Elsewhere in Africa, the economic crisis of the 1980s and 1990s, which was caused by recession in the imperialist world capitalist system and by the mismanagement of the economy by the ruling class, has led to ESAPs and... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Anarchist-Syndicalists stand for a revolution by the working class and the poor to smash all oppression and create a free stateless socialist society. The trade unions will play a leading role in this process. It is also vital to organize in the community. Why Class Struggle? Class struggle is the key to changing this rotten society. We working and poor people create all social wealth but we do not get the benefits. Our work is controlled and exploited by the capitalists and top state officials — the ruling class. We are not powerless. We can hit the bosses and rulers with mass actions, particularly at the workplace. Only we workers and poor people can create a free society because only we do not need to exploit. The bosses and ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
This pamphlet provides a short introduction to the politics of the Workers Solidarity Federation (South Africa) [1]. We are an Anarcho-Syndicalist organization. Part 1: What is Anarcho-Syndicalism? INTRODUCTION: ANARCHO-SYNDICALISM OUTLINED What does this mean? Briefly stated, Anarcho-Syndicalism is a working-class political ideology that opposes all forms of exploitation and domination. We think that all people are fundamentally equal, and should have the freedom to live their lives as they see fit, as long as they do not harm the freedom of other people. We oppose capitalism because it is a vicious profit system that is based on the exploitation of the workers and the poor to the benefit of a small class of bosses and top governme... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
AGAINST CAPITALISM AND THE BOSSES The struggle of the Black working class in South Africa is a struggle against the slave bondage of capitalism. Capitalism is based on the ruling class minority (capitalists, generals, top officials, professional politicians) exploiting and oppressing the working class majority (workers of all grades, their families, rank and file soldiers, the unemployed, and the rural poor). The two classes have totally different interests- they are locked in class struggle. APARTHEID BUILT CAPITALISM Capitalism in South Africa was built through apartheid oppression- land dispossession, the compound system, migrant labor, the pass laws, and denial of basic worker and human rights to Black workers. THE STRUGGLE CON... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Comrades, the starting point of this talk today is that we need an alternative to capitalism. We need an alternative to capitalism. CAPITALISM: A DISASTER FOR THE MAJORITY OF THE WORLD’S POPULATION Capitalism has repeatedly failed the majority of the world’s population. According to recent reports: 358 billionaires have more assets than the combined incomes of countries home to 45% of the world’s people. the richest 20% of the world’s population gets 85% of the world’s income. 30 years ago, the richest 20% only got 70% of the world’s income, Capitalism has failed the majority of our people too: 50,000 mainly White commercial farmers own nearly 99% of all private farming land in Sout... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Why Class Struggle and Revolution From Below? Capitalism and the State are based on the exploitation of the many by the few — the ruling class. These structures are also the main cause of special oppressions like racism. Capitalism, the State and all forms of oppression must be fought and ultimately replaced by a democratic stateless socialist (anarcho-syndicalist) system. This task can only be successfully accomplished by the working class, the poor and the working peasantry. What are Classes? Society is divided into different classes. By “class”, we mean a group of people with a common relationship to the structures of political and economic power. The biggest class in South Africa is the working class. It consis... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
The black flag is the symbol of anarchism. It evokes reactions ranging from horror to delight. Find out what it means and prepare to see it at more and more public gatherings. Why is our flag black? Black is a shade of rejection. The black flag is the rejection of all flags. It is a rejection of nationhood which puts the human race against itself and denies the unity of all humankind. Black is the mood of anger and outrage at all the hideous crimes against humanity done in the name of allegiance to one state or another. It is anger and outrage at the insult to human intelligence implied in the pretenses, hypocrisies and cheap tricks of governments... Black is also a color of mourning, the black flag which cancels out the nation also mourns ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Gear is the government’s strategy to increase bosses profits, or economic growth, as they call it. We aren’t interested in the bosses profits. We want better living conditions. Gear says that schools’ and hospitals’ funds should be cut. This will mean more job losses, worse service and less teachers. Gear also calls for cuts in tertiary education, building houses, and general social spending. This means less houses for the homeless, unaffordable university rates, low pensions and general misery. Gear says that government owned property and companies should be privatized. This will increase prices as the new owners try to raise their profits by raising their prices. This will make transportation, sanitation, runnin... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
In April, Winnie Mandela, Deputy Minister of Arts, Technology and Culture was dismissed from the Government of National Unity. Winnie was one of the so- called “populists” in the ANC. She is well- known for her criticisms of the gravy train and of the ANC’s failure to deliver on its promises. This was why she was freed, and not because she was “undisciplined” or “corrupt”. But who was behind the attack? The capitalist press had a field day trying Winnie, just as it had when similar charges were placed against Peter Mokaba. The racist NP also jumped on the band wagon. Because of this, some believe that the bosses want to attack and discredit Winnie (and the ANC) before the local elections. It has ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
We believe that women are oppressed as a sex. They are denied equal rights, such as the right to control their own fertility and the right to equal pay for equal work. They have been assigned the role of cooks and child minders, their place is said to be in the home. Women’s freedom and the class struggle We believe that the root of women’s oppression lies in the division of society into classes, and the economic and social relationships that this created. By giving women the worst work, with no job security, the bosses create a super-cheap workforce which they can hire or fire at will. Cheap women workers can be used as a threat against men workers, and as a way for bosses to increase their profits by cutting down the wage ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
We believe in the right of women to control their own fertility. Women must be free to decide to have children or not, how many and when. Thus we believe in the right to free contraception. Thus we support abortion on demand. We also believe that all consenting adults should have the right to engage in the sexual practices and relationships that make them happy, and we therefore oppose the oppression of gays and lesbians. We do not accept the argument that gay and lesbian activity is “unnatural”, because such behavior has always existed in all societies. This includes Africa, contrary to the claims of bourgeois nationalists who pretend otherwise. The oppression of gays and lesbians, just like the oppression of women, is rooted... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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