WSF, 1997, “Only the Workers can Free the Workers: A South African Anarchist Pamphlet”

This text was published by the Workers Solidarity Federation (WSF) in South Africa in 1997, and is a shorter version of What is Anarchism? A South African Anarchist Pamphlet: author of both was Lucien van der Walt: details here. The emphasis was on South African issues, and accessible writing. It was republished in 2003 in its current format by WSF successor groups, the Bikisha Media Collective … Continue reading WSF, 1997, “Only the Workers can Free the Workers: A South African Anarchist Pamphlet”

WSF, 1996/ 1997/ 1999, “What is Anarchism? A South African Anarchist Pamphlet” (and variants and spin-offs)

This text was published by the Workers Solidarity Federation (WSF) in South Africa in the late 1990s The first edition appeared in 1996. The 1997 version (2nd edition) was then reissued by the WSF successor organisations, the Bikisha Media Collective (BMC) and Zabalaza Books in 2003 in the current format. It is not clear what changes, if any, were made in 2003. The cover  is … Continue reading WSF, 1996/ 1997/ 1999, “What is Anarchism? A South African Anarchist Pamphlet” (and variants and spin-offs)

8 September 2002: “South African Anarchists Join International Libertarian Solidarity”

South African Anarchists Join International Libertarian Solidarity Network September 8, 2002 – statement by Bikisha Media Collective & Zabalaza Books More on International Libertarian Solidarity Network here and here. Announcements Several South African anarchist projects — Bikisha Media Collective (BMC), Zabalaza Books (ZB) and the Zabalaza Action Group (ZAG, formerly the Anarchist Union) — have signed up as members of the new anarchist network International … Continue reading 8 September 2002: “South African Anarchists Join International Libertarian Solidarity”

Photo: ZAG members, with visitors from syndicalist Solfed (UK), undated

The Zabalaza Action Group (ZAG, known at one stage as the Anarchist Union) was formed after the dissolution of the Workers Solidarity Federation (WSF) and its membership were largely ex-WSF. ZAG subsequently became a collective of the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation (ZACF, later the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front). This photo comes from the first half of the 2000s. ZAG / ZACF sitting, also standing right … Continue reading Photo: ZAG members, with visitors from syndicalist Solfed (UK), undated

“Against the World Conference Against Racism Fraud”: leaflet by Bikisha and Anarchist Union, 2001

The leaflet below was distributed widely by the (Johannesburg-based) Bikisha Media Collective (BMC), and the (Durban-based) Anarchist Union (later Zabalaza Action group, ZAG) in 2001 (UPDATE 28/03/2018: AU may have had an active member in Port Elizabeth as well). Large numbers were put out at the World Conference Against Racism (WCAR) United Nations summit, held from 31 August until 8 September 2001 in Durban, South Africa. The somewhat unconvincing and unnecessary argument for the absolute novelty of racism (i.e. that racism only emerged in the 1600s, which is not accurate and not essential anyway to the case made) does not detract from the many strengths of the text (including its stress on the links between racism and the class system, including in the modern period). It reads very well, almost 13 years later.

Get the PDF version here. This PDF was updated (in lay out only) from the version handed out at the WCAR.

Against the WCAR fraud

Anarchism, Racism and the Class Struggle

WILL EDUCATION END RACISM?

According to South Africa’s ruling elite, the problem of racism is basically a problem of ignorance. “Education”, according to Barney Pityana of the Human Rights Commission, “will cure racism”. This argument sounds appealing, but it is inaccurate and misleading. Most importantly, this view conveniently ignores the role of the CAPITALIST SYSTEM in inventing and perpetuating racism. Since capitalism emerged in the 1500s, it has committed many crimes against humanity. But few of these crimes are as vile as racism. Perhaps that is why Barney Pityana – as a defender of capitalism and the ANC government’s privatisation policies – wishes to hide capitalism’s dirty laundry with his stress on “education”.

CAPITALISM AND SLAVERY

Capitalism developed as a world system based on the exploitation of workers, slaves and peasants – black, brown, yellow and white. Continue reading ““Against the World Conference Against Racism Fraud”: leaflet by Bikisha and Anarchist Union, 2001″

Anarchist banners at World Conference Against Racism, Durban, 2001

The World Conference Against Racism (WCAR), a United Nations summit, was held from 31 August until 8 September 2001 in Durban, South Africa. It provided a major focal point for protestors: South African anarchists were present both as activists in the Anti-Privatisation Forum (APF) and as members of the (Johannesburg-based) Bikisha Media Collective (BMC, an APF affiliate), and the (Durban-based) Anarchist Union (later Zabalaza Action … Continue reading Anarchist banners at World Conference Against Racism, Durban, 2001

Industrial Workers of World pamphlet, Durban, early 2000s

After the dissolution of the Workers Solidarity Federation (WSF) in 1999, there were a number of new anarchist initiatives.  In Durban, Zabalaza Books and the Anarchist Union (later the Zabalaza Action Group, ZAG) were the most important. Durban activists linked to these projects also established a short-lived South African Regional Organising Committee (ROC) of the revolutionary syndicalist Industrial Workers of World (IWW). That is,  the … Continue reading Industrial Workers of World pamphlet, Durban, early 2000s

“No War But The Class War! Against capitalism, imperialism and fundamentalist terrorism” – BMC / ZAG Leaflet, 2001

This leaflet was issued by Bikisha Media Collective in Johannesburg, and the Zabalaza Action Group (ZAG, formerly the Anarchist Union) in Durban.  Both had historical links to the Workers Solidarity Federation, and would help form the subsequent Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation (later Front; ZACF). Distributed at anti-war actions in Johannesburg central and at the University of the Witwatersrand. Responded to the September 11 2001 bombings in the United States, and the subsequent US war escalation. Issued 2001.

UPDATE: here is a PDF of the leaflet as first issued. This version  endorsed by Anarchist Union, not ZAG.

No War But The Class War!

Against capitalism – Against the US government –
Against state and fundamentalist terrorism

South African anarchist statement on the New York / Washington DC attacks – September 2001

The WTC attacks

The September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre (WTC) and the Pentagon by suicide bombers, leading to over 6,500 deaths have grabbed world attention.

We revolutionary anarchists condemn the attacks and extend our condolences to the families of those injured or killed. The death of thousands of ordinary civilians – including many ordinary workers – is not acceptable. The use of civilian aircraft for such an operation is authoritarian and coercive and shows the contempt of terrorists for human life. It also shows that the terrorists are anti-working class: attacking people just because they are “American” regardless of their class position is reactionary and xenophobic.

After all, US workers are also victims of US capitalism. Bill Gates personally has more wealth than the bottom 45% of US households. In 1999, top executives earned 419 times the wage of a blue-collar worker, up from a difference of 42 to 1 in 1980. This is directly due to the vicious implementation (and often racist) of neo-liberal / privatisation policies within the US itself.

Down with US terrorism

At the same time as we oppose the terrorism of the bombers, we oppose equally the terrorism of all states, especially the US government This capitalist military-industrial machine has been involved in more than 216 armed interventions against other countries and regions. Continue reading ““No War But The Class War! Against capitalism, imperialism and fundamentalist terrorism” – BMC / ZAG Leaflet, 2001″