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southern africa / history / opinion / analysis Thursday December 12, 2019 14:58 by Warren McGregor (ZACF) 1 image
The history of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union of Africa (ICU), formed in South Africa in 1919, is replete with lessons for today's movements. The ICU, which also spread into neighbouring colonies like Basutoland (now Lesotho), Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and Southwest Africa (now Namibia) was by far the largest protest movement and organisation of black African and Coloured people of its time. Influenced by a range of ideas, including revolutionary syndicalism, the ICU had both amazing strengths and spectacular failings. This piece explains. read full story / add a comment
Building Working Class Unity in South Africa: Lessons from United Fronts in Germany, Italy and Russia
international / history / link to pdf Tuesday September 10, 2019 21:08 by Jonathan Payn, Jakes Factoria, Tina Sizovuka and Warren McGregor 1 image
This pamphlet is a collection of articles exploring the concept, history and anarchist/syndicalist approaches to United Fronts – and their relevance and potential for building working class unity in South Africa – written in the context of the National Union of Metalworkers (Numsa)’s resolution, following its historic 2013 Special National Congress, to break with the ANC-led Alliance and form a ‘United Front against neoliberalism’ First Zabalaza Books edition, July 2019 read full story / add a comment
southern africa / the left / opinion / analysis Tuesday February 26, 2019 17:32 by Warren McGregor 1 image
The question of state government elections and running a Workers or Socialist political party continues to be raised in the working class movement and the Left globally. As we may know, there was excitement about the rise of Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour Party in Britain, left political parties in certain parts of Europe and Latin America and, more recently, certain shifts to more centrist positions in the United States amongst a section of the Democratic Party calling themselves “Democratic Socialists”. In South Africa, many workers and some activists seem cautiously optimistic by NUMSA’s formation of the Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party that will seek to participate in the 2019 general elections. read full story / add a comment
áfrica austral / movimiento anarquista / entrevista Monday February 11, 2019 08:38 by Warren McGregor 1 image
Entrevista con Warren McGregor, del Frente Anarquista Comunista Zabalaza (ZACF), Sudáfrica. Warren McGregor es un activista nacido en los municipios de color de Cape Flats, ahora vive en Johannesburgo, donde participa en la educación de la clase obrera y sindical.
¿Qué es el anarquismo? ¿Quién gobierna realmente Sudáfrica? ¿Debemos formar un "partido de los trabajadores"? ¿Cómo aborda el anarquismo la opresión racial y nacional? ¿Cómo podemos construir el contrapoder de la clase obrera? ¿Cuál es la situación de la izquierda? ¿Cómo vinculamos las luchas por las reformas con la transformación revolucionaria y el contrapoder? ¿De dónde viene el anarquismo y cuál es su historia en Sudáfrica? ¿Hacia dónde vamos ahora?
http://anarkismo.net/article/31202 read full story / add a comment
áfrica austral / a esquerda / opinião / análise Monday February 04, 2019 18:56 by Warren McGregor 1 image
Um apelo à unidade da esquerda socialista é amplamente ouvido em toda África do Sul, mas ele é frequentemente interpretado como um chamado à unidade da práxis (unidade no programa teórico e na ação). Isso muitas vezes é enquadrado como a transcendência de velhas divisões (estas vistas como antiquadas, sectárias ou descartadas como dogmáticas), e outras vezes como unidade a fim de agir (retoricamente posta como o oposto da teoria de gabinete). O que nós, anarquistas revolucionários, pensamos? English read full story / add a comment
southern africa / anarchist movement / interview Tuesday November 13, 2018 19:11 by Warren McGregor 1 image
Interview with Warren McGregor of the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF), South Africa. Warren McGregor is an activist born in the Coloured townships of the Cape Flats, now resident in Johannesburg, where he is involved in working class and union education.
What is anarchism? Who really rules South Africa? Should we form a "workers party"? How does anarchism address racial and national oppression? How can we build working class counter-power? What is the state of the left? How do we link fights for reforms to revolutionary transformation and counter-power? Where does anarchism come from and what is its history in South Africa? Where to now? read full story / add a comment
southern africa / the left / opinion / analysis Saturday July 21, 2018 05:45 by Warren McGregor 2 comments (last - tuesday february 05, 2019 23:41) 1 image
A call for socialist Left unity is heard widely today in South Africa, but is usually taken as a call for unity of praxis (unity in theoretical programme and action). This is sometimes framed as transcending old divides (these seen as outdated, divisive or dismissed as dogmatic), and sometimes as unity in order to have action (rhetorically set up as the opposite of “arm chair” theory).
What do we as revolutionary anarchists think? read full story / add a comment
international / history / opinion / analysis Friday April 28, 2017 18:23 by Muttaqa Yushau Abdulra’uf, Sian Byrne, Warren McGregor and L 1 image
Let us learn from our past struggles, in the USA and in Malaysia. May Day should be an occasion to reflect not jubilate, to engage not agonize, to demand not relent, and to organise, not complain. We need systemic change that can guarantee equality, fraternity, self-management and socialisation of the commonwealth, guided by a bottom–up approach to decision making. We need a labour movement that is multicultural and international, feminist, active in urban and rural struggles, and that prizes reason over superstition, justice over hierarchy, self-management over state power, international solidarity over nationalism. We need to fight for a universal human community, not parochialism and separatism. The organisational power and strategic location of the Malaysian union movement provides an excellent point of departure for building this counter-movement. This is our appeal and message as we celebrate this May Day, on the eve of dark days in which the storm clouds gather over humanity – but in which the light of hope of a better future can break through, if we arm ourselves with the correct ideas and approaches. May Day began as an example of globalisation-from-below. Let us rally to it. Let us take back its original vision: liberty, equality, unity.
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southern africa / the left / opinion / analysis Saturday May 14, 2016 07:50 by Warren McGregor 1 image
A constant fixation on the machinations of elite power manoeuvring, and persistent, recurring calls for either new leadership, or new political parties, are evidence of a very conservative and authoritarian political culture. These stories may well be important. Indeed, this is the nature of current socio-economic organisation (capitalism and the state). These human-created forms of control always operate to centralise power up the hierarchy, thus investing tremendous power in the hands of very few. This few – race, gender, rhetoric regardless – the ruling class, are those who control the means of production, administration and coercion. Our pre-occupations are drawn to such elite individuals and groups as many of us have chosen to hand over our political power and future to these. Now this political culture usually results in the general and often vain belief and hope that through hierarchical, fundamentally undemocratic organisation, leaders invested with this incredible power are somehow to create the foundations for a more equal society and world. Also important to consider is that all political parties, no matter the colour of its beret, whether in control of the state or seeking to attain this control, centralise the power of decision-making upwards, and are thus fundamentally authoritarian and anti-democratic.
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Reclaiming Our Global Past: Why South Africa is Not "New Terrain" for Anarchism/Syndicalism, and How it is Being Re-implemented Locally
southern africa / anarchist movement / opinion / analysis Monday April 18, 2016 07:12 by Warren McGregor 1 image
A Presentation at the St. Imier International Anarchist Conference by Warren McGregor (ZACF), August 2012. read full story / add a comment
southern africa / miscellaneous / opinion / analysis Friday January 29, 2016 17:12 by Warren McGregor 1 image
Many in the working class hope the 2016 local government elections will prove a turning point. The ruling African National Congress (ANC) won the 2014 elections easily, but its grip is weakening. The ANC-allied Congress of SA Trade Unions (COSATU) has split, the radical metal union NUMSA expelled. The ANC could even lose control of at least one of giant "metro" municipality in 2016, possibly greater Johannesburg or Nelson Mandela Bay - probably to the moderate Democratic Alliance (DA), not the ANC breakaway, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).
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southern africa / miscellaneous / opinion / analysis Tuesday May 05, 2015 17:54 by Sian Byrne, Warren McGregor, Lucien van der Walt 1 image
May Day – a call to build an international movement of working class and poor people across lines of race, nation and religion for workers’ control and democracy from below, social justice and freedom from political and economic oppression – remains critical. In a country racked by anti-immigrant violence, racial and ethnic tensions, the fragmentation of the labour federation Cosatu, corporate scandals and political corruption, it is time to remember May Day’s roots and aspirations.
**A version of this appeared in the South African weekly, "Mail & Guardian" (30 Apr 2015).
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southern africa / history / opinion / analysis Tuesday December 09, 2014 15:41 by Warren McGregor 1 image
Today the terms “populism” and “workerism” are widely thrown about in South African political circles. Often, these terms and others (“syndicalism,” “ultra-left,” “counter-revolutionary,” “anti-majoritarian” …) have no meaning: they are just labels used to silence critics. SA Communist Party (SACP) leaders do this often. But in the 1980s, “populism” and “workerism” referred to two rival positions battling for the soul of the militant unions.
These debates, thirty years on, remain very relevant: let us revisit them, and learn. Today’s radical National Union of Metalworkers of SA (NUMSA) was part of the “workerist” camp, while its key rival, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) was identified with “populism.” The early battles over the direction of the Congress of SA Trade Unions (COSATU) still echo today, although there is no longer a clear “workerist” camp. read full story / add a comment
In the build up to the 2014 (May 7) elections, politicians – whether from the DA, ANC, EFF, or PAC – have been calling on us to vote. As part of this, they have promised to meet people’s needs, end poverty and serve communities when they are elected. The promises of all these politicians are lies. read full story / add a comment
The origin of May Day, International Workers Day, lies in the historic fight for decent working hours that culminated in the execution of four trade unionists in Chicago, the United States, in November 1887. This was a decisive moment in the struggle for a just society through militant trade unionism. In Nigeria, May Day was first declared in 1980 by the People’s Redemption Party (PRP)-led government of the late Abubakar Rimi in Kano State. read full story / add a comment
international / economy / opinion / analysis Monday September 05, 2011 17:52 by Warren McGregor 1 image
Comrades, this presentation covers the themes of global redistribution, economic growth of a new type, and renumeration and what these may mean in an economy based on anarchist principles. I was mandated to examine how these themes related to the two required readings for this week:
(i) Read’s Kropotkin: Selections from his Works, and
(ii) Albert’s Parecon
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Διεθνή / Αναρχική Ιστορία / Γνώμη / Ανάλυση Saturday April 30, 2011 20:49 by Sian Byrne, Warren McGregor, Lucien van der Walt 1 image
Όταν γιορτάζουμε την Πρωτομαγιά σπάνιες φορές γνωρίζουμε ή καταλαβαίνουμε γιατί η μέρα αυτή είναι αργία στη Νότια Αφρική και σε πολλά μέρη του κόσμου. Οι Sian Byrne, Warren McGregor και Lucien van der Walt διηγούνται την ιστορία των δυναμικών αγώνων που βρίσκονται πίσω από την Πρωτομαγιά και των οργανώσεων που δημιούργησαν αλλά διατήρησαν τη σημασία της ζωντανή. read full story / add a comment
international / history of anarchism / opinion / analysis Monday April 25, 2011 18:04 by Sian Byrne, Warren McGregor and Lucien van der Walt 1 comment (last - wednesday april 27, 2011 05:35) 1 image
When we celebrate May Day we seldom know or reflect on why it is a holiday in South Africa and in many parts of the world. Sian Byrne, Warren McGregor and Lucien van der Walt tell the story of powerful struggles that lie behind its existence and of the organisations that both created it and kept its meaning alive. First published in the South African Labour Bulletin (SALB) Vol 35 Number 1 Mar/Apr 2011 read full story / add a comment
Δυτική Αφρική / Καταστολή / Φυλακές / Ανακοίνωση Τύπου Wednesday February 23, 2011 18:13 by Warren McGregor 1 image
Ανακοίνωση αλλλεγγύης του ZACF για τους συλληφθέντες αγωνιστές στη Ζιμπάμπουε read full story / add a comment
southern africa / repression / prisoners / press release Tuesday February 22, 2011 17:54 by Warren McGregor 1 image
Activists gathered in Harare on the 19th February in a closed meeting to discuss the recent uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East, were arrested after a planned police raid. Currently they are being held without charge and reports indicate that key members of the gathering are being subjected to physical assault by their captors. [Italiano] [Ελληνικά] read full story / add a comment