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Anarchism and Syndicalism in an African Port City

category southern africa | history of anarchism | press release author Sunday January 08, 2012 15:32author by Lucien van der Waltauthor email lucien.vanderwalt at wits dot ac dot za Report this post to the editors

The revolutionary traditions of Cape Town's multiracial working class, 1904–1931

This paper examines the development of anarchism and syndicalism in early twentieth century Cape Town, South Africa, drawing attention to a crucial but neglected chapter of labor and left history.

Lucien van der Walt, 2011, "Anarchism and Syndicalism in an African Port City: the revolutionary traditions of Cape Town's multiracial working class, 1904–1931," 'Labor History', Volume 52, Issue 2, 137, pp. 137-171

This paper examines the development of anarchism and syndicalism in early twentieth century Cape Town, South Africa, drawing attention to a crucial but neglected chapter of labor and left history. Central to this story were the anarchists in the local Social Democratic Federation (SDF), and the revolutionary syndicalists of the Industrial Socialist League, the Industrial Workers of Africa (IWA), and the Sweets and Jam Workers’ Industrial Union. These revolutionary anti-authoritarians, Africans, Coloureds and whites, fostered a multiracial radical movement – considerably preceding similar achievements by the Communist Party of South Africa (CPSA) in this port city. They were also part of a larger anarchist and syndicalist movement across the southern African subcontinent. Involved in activist centers, propaganda, public meetings, cooperatives, demonstrations, union organizing and strikes, and linked into international and national radical networks, Cape Town’s anarchists and syndicalists had an important impact on organizations like the African Political Organization (APO), the Cape Federation of Labour Unions, the Cape Native Congress, the CPSA, the General Workers Union, and the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union of Africa (ICU). This paper is therefore also a contribution to the recovery of the history of the first generation of African and Coloured anti-capitalist radicals, and part of a growing international interest in anarchist and syndicalist history

Paper (PDF) available online, via university portals, or from author: contact lucien.vanderwalt(at)wits.ac.za

 #   Title   Author   Date 
   Online here     Helper    Tue Jan 10, 2012 22:45 
   Mirror     Red and Black Action    Mon Jan 23, 2012 18:42 
   Information neglected or hiding information?     @ sjaak    Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:29 
   Check and understand before you leapt to the attack...     Lucien    Wed Feb 29, 2012 19:44 


 

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