Local community and class struggles in South Africa pose challenges to revolutionaries

Protest and Repression in South Africa

from Counterpunch by PATRICK BOND, July 17, 2012

Durban, South Africa.

The recent surge of unconnected community protests across South Africa confirms the country’s profound social, economic and environmental contradictions. But if activists fall before a new hail of police bullets, or if they lack an overarching political strategy, won’t their demonstrations simply pop up and quickly fall back down again – deserving the curse-words ‘popcorn protests’ – as they run out of steam, or worse, get channelled by opportunists into a new round of xenophobic attacks?

It’s been a hot winter, and we’re just halfway through July (the Centre for Civil Society’s Social Protest Observatory keeps tabs: http://ccs.ukzn.ac.za). Consider evidence from just the past two weeks, for example, in Johannesburg’s distant Orange Farm township south of Soweto, where residents rose up against city councillors and national electricity officials because of the unaffordable $250 installation charged for hated prepayment (i.e. self-disconnection) meters, not to mention a 130% increase in electricity prices since 2008.

Nearby, in Boksburg’s Holomisa shack settlement, 50 activists were arrested after blocking roads with burning tyres. Likewise, in the port city of East London’s Egoli township, house allocation controversies led to a brief uprising, and down the coast, high-profile Port Elizabeth road barricade protests again broke out over failing services in Walmer township.

Near the Botswana border close to Northwest Province’s Morokweng village, a dozen residents angry about inadequate state services were arrested for arson, public violence and malicious damage to school property, following months of frustrated non-violent protest; while in the provincial capital of Mahikeng, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate began an investigation into a death on July 4: “The deceased was allegedly shot and run over by a police vehicle during a service delivery protest in the area.” Continue reading

Report from India: The Struggle Against Displacement and the Resistance to the Indian State’s War on People

Announcing a program on  the people’s struggles in India

A presentation by Partho Sarathi Ray — A molecular biologist, member of Sanhati, an activist with first-hand knowledge of the people’s movements in India.

See an article about Special Economic Zones (from Sanhati) by Partho Sarathi Ray at: http://wp.me/pRBGj-33u

When:  Tuesday, August 23, 2011. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. – Program at 7 p.m.

Where:  518 Valencia Street (near 16th Street), San Francisco — (one block from BART – wheelchair accessible)

Sponsored by:

  • International Campaign Against War on the People in India
  • Sanhati
  • Malcolm X Grassroots Movement
  • Collision Course Video
  • Freedom Archives
  • Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC)
  • Friends of South Asia (FOSA)

Revolutionary Front for the Defense of the People’s Rights (Brazil): Analysis of war in Libya

[This is an updated translation of an important analysis of the war in Libya, from the Revolutionary Front for the Defense of People’s Rights of Brazil. — Frontlines ed.]


Down with the imperialist aggression against Libya!

Long live the war of resistance of the people of the world!

On March 19th, with the U N’s approval, NATO imperialist forces composed of the USA, France, England, Canada, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Denmark and others, began bombing on Libyan territory, on the pretext of protecting the civilian population from massacres perpetrated by the fascist front of massive Gadaffi protests.

Imperialism is again using the pretext of defending human rights and democracy for promoting more aggression against the people. These same governments, mainly the USA, maintain feudal monarchical regimes in neighboring countries, such as Bahrain, Yemen, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and they do nothing before the massacres of the masses that these same governments have been committing. Much to the contrary, while advising caution in the international diplomacy with the excesses, they continue supporting these reactionary regimes which provide them with more arms and resources. Last December, the North American Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, praised the government of Bahrain for its “commitment […] towards a democratic path.”

More so, the USA and coalition forces maintain a criminal occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, supported by mercenary armies, they have been perpetrating an ongoing genocide against the masses, on which the UN has said nothing.

Imperialist wars of domination — and worldwide revolution

The aggression undertaken by NATO/USA is a continuation of historical colonial oppression over the people of Africa and a new chapter of imperialist war of shares, facing the profound worldwide crisis that gives life to capitalism. It is a violation of the right of self-determination of the people and part of the counter-revolutionary offensive started by Bush and continued by Obama. It seeks to divert the just struggle of the masses against oppression and exploitation, to restructure bureaucratic capitalism in these countries, directing fractions and power groups of the grand bourgeoisie so that they can introduce “new” government puppets. Continue reading

Egypt’s Army Signals Transfer of Power

[The determined struggle of the Egyptian people continues to confront the designs of reactionaries and imperialists to control their future.   This article describes, from an imperialist standpoint, the shifting alliances and maneuvers of the contending class forces in Egypt today. The first draft of the people’s account of these events is still being written. — Frontlines ed.]

The New York Times
February 10, 2011

An Egyptian army commander addressed protesters in Tahrir Square on Thursday.

CAIRO — Egypt’s armed forces on Thursday announced that they had begun to take “necessary measures to protect the nation and support the legitimate demands of the people,” a step that suggested the military intends to take a commanding role in administering the strife-torn nation.

The announcement of an enhanced role for the military came as officials in President Hosni Mubarak’s government suggested a momentous shift in power was underway, including a possible transfer of power from Mr. Mubarak to his Vice President Omar Suleiman.

Hossan Badrawi, secretary general of the National Democratic Party (NDP), told Egyptian state news outlets and the BBC that Mr. Mubarak would “most probably” speak to the nation soon, and that he would likely step down from his post.

In testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, C.I.A. Director Leon E. Panetta said that there was a “strong likelihood” that Mr. Mubarak would step down by the end of the day.

Although the shape of a new Egyptian government remained unclear, television images on Al Jazeera showed the masses in Tahrir Square cheering the news of an impending shake-up, waving flags and chanting: “The Army and the people in one hand.” Continue reading

Statement of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine on uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt

News from website http://www.uruknut.info

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

PFLP, February 2, 2011

Comrade Hussein al-Jamal, member of the Central Committee of the Gaza branch of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine said on February 2, 2011 that “the Front will never stand aside or claim neutrality toward popular revolution or the national liberation movements in the Arab world. Our Front stands beside all of the Arab people, and especially the peoples of Egypt and Tunisia at this time of their great revolutions.”

In an interview with Gaza-based Voice of the People radio, Comrade Jamal said that the “clock of the Arab world will not go backwards, but instead forwards toward freedom and emancipation from oppression,” adding that the victory of the Arab revolutions would deal a severe blow to Israel and the Zionist movement.

He noted that Israel is currently confused and carefully watching events in Egypt, and warned of attempts by the state meant to subvert the popular revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt. Comrade Jamal said further that the common factor of these revolutions is their popular base and origin, and have a fundamentally progressive and leftist character. Continue reading