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Freedom for All? Members of Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front threatened, activities disrupted, forced into hiding
southern africa / repression / prisoners Friday October 16, 2015 16:18 by Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front
South Africa, 16 October 2015: On the evening of Friday 9 October 2015, a militant of the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front in the impoverished black township of Khutsong (west of Johannesburg), was threatened with violence for his political work by a group of youths.The next morning, a political school that he and another member run in the area, was forcibly disrupted by an even larger mob. The two Zabalaza comrades were fortunately able to escape, but have had to flee to a neighbouring township where they are now in hiding. Meanwhile the thugs have returned to the house where “Tebogo” lives, looking for him.
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The international Anarkismo Network, which brings together class struggle anarchist organisations from more than a dozen countries in both the global South and North, and has relations with far more from across the globe, has noted with great surprise and concern the recent accusations by AK Press that Michael Schmidt is a fascist working undercover to infiltrate the anarchist movement.Before we can make any pronouncements on the matter, however, we need to carefully examine both the AK Press evidence, the article by Alexander Reid Ross, as well as Michael Schmidt’s response to the evidence and article. As a network Anarkismo has not taken sides, and will not accuse the accuser or the accused before there is more information and all the evidence has been presented.
About ten months have now passed since the Libertarian Communist Group (Grŵp Gomiwnyddol Libertaraidd) was formed in Wales, in November 2014. The decision to launch a new organisation last year was borne out of disappointment at the demise of both Collective Action (CA) and its short-lived follow-up, the Libertarian Communist Initiative (LCI). Our consequent frustration was compounded to some extent by the fact that one of our comrades had also been a member of the previously defunct Liberty & Solidarity (L&S).In retrospect we can discern that both of these erstwhile projects - CA/LCI and L&S - failed due to a lack of ideological cohesion and a confusion of political direction. From our perspective such failures can fairly be viewed as epic if one takes into account that these organisations were, on separate occasions, the products of would-be “platformist” splits from the Anarchist Federation (AF). Be that as it may, in the case of CA/LCI, having seen various members and associates drift away, and with our remaining England-based cadre not unreasonably opting to become involved in an accessible and potentially worthwhile enterprise, the Welsh contingent was simply left with a fait accompli.
It was long ago stated that capitalism came into the world dripping in blood and dirt, from every pore, from head to toe. While it has demonstrated that it won’t simply collapse under its own weight, the recent goings-on around the current capitalist crisis have shown that with age it has become even more hideous. Capitalism is now rank with massive state intervention required to simply keep its rotting body moving: through states propping up the financial sector and deepening the colossal attack on the working class.The goings-on that have once again highlighted capitalism’s depravity, are the turmoil – starting in China – that has occurred over the last few weeks on stock markets; including the underlying causes that led to it, and the actions that the ruling classes have taken since then to try and end it, or at least alleviate it.
The recent volatility in world stock markets erupted in earnest in June 2015. In June, the Chinese stock markets began a plunge that has frightened the ruling classes (capitalists, top state officials and politicians) across the globe. This plunge has not yet ended, and so far the Shanghai Stock Market has lost 40% of its value. In the wake of this, stock markets from New York to London have reeled; leading to a roller coaster ride of uncertainty.
On 3 September 1984, the Vaal Triangle, which is located southeast of Johannesburg and was part of the industrial heartland of South Africa, exploded into unrest. A general stay-away from work was called, schools were closed, buses and taxis stood idle and militant protest spread across the country. It was the most significant and large-scale rebellion of the black working class since the Soweto Uprising of June, 1976, and signified one of the final nails in the coffin of apartheid and white minority rule.For the black working class living in the townships across the Vaal Triangle, such as Sharpeville, Sebokeng, Evaton, Bophelong, Boiketlong, Zamdela and others the conditions were very similar to those of today. A slump in the steel industry had led to many workers being retrenched, there were evictions of rent defaulters and bribery, corruption and self-enrichment of local councillors was rife. Councillors’ election promises went unfulfilled and township residents demanded their resignation; allegedly threatening that they would set fire to their houses should they fail to do so.
Thirty-one years later, on 21 April 2015, the Sebokeng Magistrate’s Court in the Vaal sentenced four community activists from Boiketlong to sixteen years in prison each for allegedly setting fire to the local ward councillor’s house and cars during a protest action.
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