India: Revolutionary Students Challenge the Heroism of Nelson Mandela

Democratic Student Union, Jawaharlal Nehru UniversityDecember 14, 2013

Nelson Mandela: A Hero for the oppressors, A BETRAYER FOR THE OPPRESSED!

The mournings & praises from the imperialists and their agents, are Mandela’s “legacy” of brokering one of the biggest sell outs of the 20th century!

Ever since the death of Nelson Mandela on the 6th of December, the most flowery tributes have been showered on him by a wide spectrum of the ruling classes all over the world. While the face of US imperialism Barak Obama “led the world” in paying tribute to “his personal hero”, the speeches his lieutenants in Britian, much of Europe, and across the world reverberated the same. The mass murderer president of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapakshe who oversaw the genocide of the people of Tamil Ealam also had tears to shed for Mandela. The Indian state also gargled the same and declared a four day long state mourning. The same waves also reached our campus. From ABVP to the parliamentary pseudo-left AISA or SFI and their likes, several organizations vied with each other in presenting their laurels to their “hero”. This spectrum is certainly striking, and may even confuse a few as to the real “legacy” of Mandela. However in reality, it is precisely this unanimity of imperialists and their agents that is most revealing. Mandela’s so called legacy is built upon on an illusion, the seeds of which were laid by Mandela himself. It is extremely important that we break this collective iconization and the illusion of Mandela’s legacy. Continue reading

South Africa: “We are Living in a Democratic Prison”

Marikana shows that we are Living in a Democratic Prison
by Bandile Mdlalose
South Africa has the most beautiful Constitution amongst all countries. Its
beauty is well documented and respected. But we are living in a Democratic
Prison.We must acknowledge the fight of Doctor Nelson Mandela, Steve Biko and the
community struggles of the 1980s, the youth of 1976 and the workers of 1973.
The struggles of the past defeated the White Boers and brought us democracy
with all these beautiful rights on paper. We have so many documented rights,
like the right to housing and to protest. But every day our rights are
violated by the Black Boers. They vowed to protect our rights but the vow was
a fake vow.Instead of supporting the people’s struggles so that we can make democracy
real and make our rights real they are sending out their securities and police
to evict the poor, to lock us out of the cities and to smash our struggles.
Instead of working with the people to transform the society they are
repressing the people to protect the unequal society that they took charge of
1994. Continue reading

The Freedom Charter of the South African Apartheid Struggle: What happened to it?

[Wikipedia: “The Freedom Charter was the statement of core principles of the South African Congress Alliance, which consisted of the African National Congress and its allies the South African Indian Congress, the South African Congress of Democrats and the Coloured People’s Congress. It is characterized by its opening demand; “The People Shall Govern!”….In 1955, the ANC sent out fifty thousand volunteers into townships and the countryside to collect ‘freedom demands’ from the people of South Africa….Demands such as “Land to be given to all landless people”, “Living wages and shorter hours of work”, “Free and compulsory education, irrespective of colour, race or nationality” were synthesized into the final document. The Charter was officially adopted on June 26, 1955 at a Congress of the People in Kliptown…..(Years of struggle against the apartheid regime ensued, until finally, the isolation of the South African regime led to the legalization of the ANC.)….The ANC came to power in May 1994. The new ‘Constitution of South Africa’ included in its text many of the demands called for in the Freedom Charter. Nearly all the enumerated concerns regarding equality of race and language were directly addressed in the constitution, although the document included nothing to the effect of the nationalization of industry or redistribution of land, both of which were specifically outlined in the charter.”

Many former anti-apartheid activists have criticized the deals made with international capital and imperialist powers around 1994, as they contravene many of the sections of the Freedom Charter for economic equality. This video explores the enduring significance of the Freedom Charter, and its gap from the reality of post-apartheid South Africa.-ed.]

 

South Africa: “Where is the Freedom Charter?”

Frontlines ed.:  This heartfelt question from the streets of South Africa, on the disappearance of the Freedom Charter–a central organizing and motivating set of concepts of the historic anti-apartheid struggle–brings to mind this poem by Langston Hughes, written six decades ago in 1951: 

Harlem

By Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?
      Does it dry up
      like a raisin in the sun?
      Or fester like a sore—
      And then run?
      Does it stink like rotten meat?
      Or crust and sugar over—
      like a syrupy sweet?
      Maybe it just sags
      like a heavy load.
      Or does it explode?
———————————————————————————

The Shackdwellers Movement in the Western Cape continues the struggle

Where is the Freedom Charter?
Lindela S. Figlan

Before the government can use its muscle to pass the Protection of Information
Bill, let me ask a question. It is a very good question and all those who are
unhappy have got this question in their mind. Where is the Freedom Charter?

I remember that when I was still young, the comrades used to make me understand
it line by line. We were expecting our government to implement what is in the
Freedom Charter. But is this society the free society that we were fighting
for? If the answer is yes then why are the people that we are referring to as
our leaders deciding to ignore the Freedom Charter? Continue reading

South Africa: The Freedom Charter

[Wikipedia: “The Freedom Charter was the statement of core principles of the South African Congress Alliance, which consisted of the African National Congress and its allies the South African Indian Congress, the South African Congress of Democrats and the Coloured People’s Congress. It is characterized by its opening demand; “The People Shall Govern!”….In 1955, the ANC sent out fifty thousand volunteers into townships and the countryside to collect ‘freedom demands’ from the people of South Africa….Demands such as “Land to be given to all landless people”, “Living wages and shorter hours of work”, “Free and compulsory education, irrespective of colour, race or nationality” were synthesized into the final document. The Charter was officially adopted on June 26, 1955 at a Congress of the People in Kliptown…..(Years of struggle against the apartheid regime ensued, until finally, the isolation of the South African regime led to the legalization of the ANC.)….The ANC came to power in May 1994. The new ‘Constitution of South Africa’ included in its text many of the demands called for in the Freedom Charter. Nearly all the enumerated concerns regarding equality of race and language were directly addressed in the constitution, although the document included nothing to the effect of the nationalization of industry or redistribution of land, both of which were specifically outlined in the charter.”

Many former anti-apartheid activists have criticized the deals made with international capital and imperialist powers around 1994, as they contravene many of the sections of the Freedom Charter for economic equality. This video explores the enduring significance of the Freedom Charter, and its gap from the reality of post-apartheid South Africa.-ed.]