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southern africa | repression / prisoners | feature Monday August 20, 2012 21:17 by ZACF/ TAC/ IWAC zacf at riseup dot net
South African anarchist statement on the Marikana Massacre
Joint statement on the Marikana Massacre issued by the Tokologo Anarchist Collective, Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front and Inkululeko Wits Anarchist Collective.
The Constitution promises political rights and equality. It is quite clear that the bosses and politicians do exactly as they wish. They walk on the faces of the people. This is shown by the police killings of strikers at Lonmin’s Marikana mine.
[Ελληνικά] [Français] [Português] [Italiano] [seTswana] [isiZulu]
ANC THROWS OFF ITS MASK! WORKERS MURDERED!
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It's great to see this statement, I've shared it with others via social media and seems to be making the rounds pretty well. I'd love however to see some deeper analysis come from our SA comrades. I've had very limited success finding much background on the AMCU for example.
From what I can tell it seems to have been a split from the NUM and I saw a quote from one of its officers that it distinguishes itself as "apolitical and anticommunist," a contradictory statement if ever there was one. Should this be read as meaning their politics are simply in opposition to the SACP, or as it might be read by someone from the US as being generally anti-left ("anticommunism" is a term with its own particular history here).
The other significant point that needs some clarifying I think is the interplay between inter-union rivalries, and then the actual relationships on the ground among the rank-and-file workers. From what I've read it seems as though the conflict that climaxed with the massacre began as a wildcat action. Is this at all accurate?
... will be out soon from ZACF.
We, members of the Workers Solidarity Alliance, send our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the murdered miners.
When the capitalists’ profits fall, they respond to proletarian resistance with bloodbath!
No killing can put an end to proletarian defiance in South Africa!
When miners from the mine of Marikana (which extracts 12% of platinum produced in the country and which is in the same time the richest platinum mine in the world), together with local inhabitants scraping along in miserable slums, demonstrated 15th August 2012 for improvement of their living conditions, the police – protective body of capital – responded with slaughter.
45 shot dead in 5 days committed by the state in order to repress the protests!
But the unbearable living conditions cannot be washed away by shed blood.
The time bomb continues to tick... And it will blow up all the system of exploitation!
Already the first day of strike for higher wages (10th August) finished by massacre: ten dead. The reply of capital was necessarily murderous – platinum is an important commodity for car industry. Since the beginning of the economic crisis the companies like Lonmin lost part of their profits due to slump in production. Riots in mines also caused drop of their share price. Spreading of the struggles to other mines would be a heavy punch for mining capital, a punch that the government of African National Congress (ANC) couldn’t afford to happen.
The courageous proletarians of Marikana, among them also some of Swaziland and Mozambique origins, nevertheless decided to go on with the struggle. Neither the massacre, nor the threats and ultimatum given by the Lonmin to restore the work stopped the strike. On the contrary, so far only 13% of workers went back to work and the strike spread to at least two more mines. Moreover, the scabs are massively threatened and targeted by the strikers to such a point that the police already officially gave up the attempts to protect them. The proletarians have raised the flag of struggle and they don’t wait until ANC, South African “Communist” Party (SACP) and trade union COSATU, tripartite alliance, will propose them “compassionate” solution of their problem.
It is not the first time that proletariat in South Africa has first-hand experience of what is the role of the mediators of law and order. This time it was the miners’ trade union NUM that tried to prevent the strike at any price even while using violence to maintain social peace. Social peace that means that workers continue to live in shanty towns; while ANC spent for the celebrations of its 100th anniversary at least 9.5 million Euros, social peace that obliges our class in South Africa to struggle for access to drinkable water and electricity while the new palace of president of ANC will cost 19 million Euros!
The proletarians in Republic of South Africa lose their illusions. ANC is in power since 1994 and it has proved that it manages the exploitation of proletariat by capital in the same way as any other government. 40% of active population is unemployed; half of that youth age 18 - 24. Number of those who eke out an existence on social benefits increased from 2.5 million in 1999 to 12 million in 2006.
Some massive strikes broke out in South Africa during last 2 years: strike of civil servants in 2010 that lasted 20 days and in which 1.3 million people took part, strikes of mining, energetic, oil and metallurgical industry in 2011, each with hundreds to thousands workers participating.
Increasing discontentment influenced also alternation in power, president Thaba Mbeki was in 2008 replaced by more populist dunce Zuma. In this context it is not a surprise that the proletariat is searching its way in struggle and it gets organized in different shapes: strike committees, committees of unemployed, movements of shanty towns’ inhabitants, etc. multiply. Ruling ANC as well as SACP together with its sisterly Greek KKE watch the autonomous struggles of proletariat with fear in the same way that they were horrified by the possibility that the so called Arabic spring could “infect” our class in South Africa. The state is determined to nip any spreading of the revolt in the very bud, to repress it as hardly as in the times of apartheid.
The new black bourgeoisie that originated due to a programme of Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) owns only 9% of the capital in mining companies, but the black state elites manage the capitalist social relation in South Africa. Capital has neither nationality nor race, but for its valorisation it requires state and its police that will ensure exploitation.
The socialism of ANC that some call for, the betrayal that they accused ANC of, was nothing but a trick to control the mood of working class. Black Nationalism that was supposed to be the radical opposition to British colonialism (that was indeed expropriating soil, imposing taxes and absorbing afterward the landless as a cheap labour force) has never been anything else than another project of the same class society based on the same class conflict. Nelson Mandela himself clarified already in 1964 the nationalist and bourgeois essence of ANC: “The ANC has never at any period of its history advocated a revolutionary change in the economic structure of the country, nor has it, […] ever condemned capitalist society.”
ANC thus hasn’t betray proletariat, but it was, on the contrary, since the beginning an expression of black bourgeoisie aspiration to capitalist domination. Nationalisations are nothing else than an attempt to get more wealth for the black bourgeoisie in the same way as the bourgeoisie sucks the proletariat in Venezuela, Colombia, China and Cuba.
It is time to wake up from the dream about betrayal of elites of ANC nourished by the leftists. In the same time it is necessary to refuse the aspirations to put the trade union COSATU back on its feet, demanded by some militants.
Proletariat in South Africa, as well as all around the world, has to get rid of the social relations imposed on it, it has to clearly refuse capitalism. That is what are ANC, SACP, COSATU, all the left factions of bourgeoisie and NGOs afraid of - proletariat autonomous of their ideologies, proletariat struggling for a real improvement of its living conditions, proletariat that through the struggle grasps the real causes of poverty, oppression, state murders and imperialist wars - the foundations of capitalist exploitation, class society, separation from all means of living, production of commodities instead of production for satisfaction of human needs.
Comrade proletarian, don’t forget that a factory is not yours, a mine is not yours, an office is not yours, a school is not yours, this country is not yours… these are different places of your exploitation, your alienation, your expropriation from means of living… your workplace is your prison, and from prison, THERE IS ESCAPE… or better said, WE WILL DESTROY IT!!!
Proletariat has neither homeland, nor race.
It is not about greed and “betrayal” of the elites.
The bloody repression in South Africa is only an augury of what capital prepares for the struggling proletariat everywhere in the world!
For satisfaction of human needs.
Against murderous capitalism.
For combative proletariat.
Class War Group – August 2012
http://autistici.org/tridnivalka • firstname.lastname@example.org
In South Africa popular organisations frequently describe themselves as 'non-political'. What this usually means is that they are non-party political - this is often important in a country where there is massive disgust at party politics. And when AMCU say that they are 'non-communist' they mean that they are not going to take instruction from the Stalinists in the SACP - again a very good thing.
AMCU does identify as a radical union. In fact some of its leaders say its revolutionary. What its actual practices are though I have no idea. However we should certainly not right off any popular organisation that says that it is 'non-political' and 'anti-communist' in South Africa.
Here's a link to the full anarchist communist analysis mentioned earlier in this thread: