The year 2015, was a year of great revolutionary advancement, a year of counter-revolutionary treachery and a year of great hope for the future! A correct conclusive summation indicates that our country is in a cusp of revolutionary re-awakening which, if properly harnessed, shall yield a decisive revolutionary break-through that can shake the neo-colonial, white supremacist hell hole managed by the African National Congress (ANC) in the interest of the white minority settler, to its core. Equally, the forces of counter-revolution have been accumulating to ensure that the coming revolution repeats the 1994 treachery, so that the status quo is not dislodged but instead has black people being sold another defeat as victory. Revolutionary vigilance is called for if victory of the revolutionary forces is to be secured! We must celebrate with our eyes wide open or find ourselves back to1994 holding on to the hole of the doughnut as the comprador and its handlers again steal the people’s struggles for its own narrow interests which are tied up with the anti-black racist capitalist, patriarchal imperialist status quo.
The year 2016 must be a year of defending the revolutionary upheaval, exposing the reactionary comprador and organising and strengthening the forces of fundamental change.
A year of the Student!
Very few objective observers would deny that 2015 was the year of the student! We saw in rapid succession the accumulation of resistance from within the university system which translated and broke into the national consciousness and gave our people a new revolutionary attitude and frightened the ruling classes and its elements of deception such as the media. An honest observation would show that, it was the students who took a decisive step towards resistance and therefore objectively put themselves at the forefront of the emergent revolutionary process.
From this point of view, the students became the objective vanguard of the struggle for deep questioning, based on a maximum demand for both “decolonization” and a minimum demand of access to “free education”. The combined interface of these demands and how they have been pursued reflects students’ resistance as part of the great revolutionary advancement in occupied Azania. The actors themselves are not always aware of the totality of the strategic and tactical significance of their struggles, and we only assess the objective impact irrespective of what the subjective factors are.
The development of what has become popularly known as “fallism,” as expressed in the potent hashtags #RhodesMustFall to #FeesMustFall, were developed through great sacrifice and struggle to give expression to real living resistance. These weapons of resistance must be defended and counter-revolutionary tendencies exposed each time it seeks to appropriate them for it’s restoration project. We salute the black students of our land for undertaking the struggle that gave impetus to a new wave of resistance. More especially this struggle has helped raise radical consciousness and a deepening of the analysis as is evidenced by the link made to the 1994 sell-out and the ideological confusion and backwardness of those who negotiated our defeat with the settler minority regime. Furthermore, and more importantly, we salute the students for correctly adopting the revolutionary philosophy of Black Consciousness to guide them in the battle for real change. The integrationism of the ruling party as expressed in the multi-racialism of the Freedom Charter has correctly come under sustained and principled critique in 2015. In essence the more advanced student sections asserted, “we have tried the Mandela way, it didn’t work. Now we must try the Sobukwe and Biko way.” The actions of the students, together with the ideological and philosophical re-awakening of Black Consciousness in our campuses, cements the assessment that indeed 2015 was a year of great revolutionary advancement.
What must not be forgotten is that the 2015 student uprisings has happened within an unbroken resistance that was initiated with the arrival of the colonial settlers in 1652. In recent times the whole revolutionary process was sustained by the more than six months of brave struggle of the working blacks of Lonmin that ended with the Marikana massacre. The black working class had decisively shown that the bargaining process described in the constitution and the law is a lie that has, up to now, only served white monopoly capital. To get results, legal recourse including pro-capitalist legal bargaining processes had to be abandoned in favour of direct struggle to yield positive results. The Marikana workers have contributed immensely to the new attitude that depends on mass struggle instead of prescribed legal and bureaucratic processes which are already rigged to produce results that favour the racist anti-black status quo. The student’s struggle in our country inherited this gift of putting actual struggle ahead of the established forums and processes that only lead to defeat. The Marikana workers refused to be enslaved by fruitless negotiations and the NEDLAC (National Economic Development & Labour Council) process that enslaves workers.
In the same vein we saw students break unjust processes through their own struggle and advance with great clarity to the doors of the Union Buildings, to the very house of lies – the parliament of South Africa! Furthermore, we saw students refusing to be hoodwinked and abused by politicians – another great trait they share with the Marikana workers. It is because of this revolutionary commitment that the leaders of the Democratic Alliance (DA) Helen Zille and Mmusi Maimane, and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Floyd Shivambu, were told to back off by the students. Floyd Shivambu and Mmusi Maimane were correctly treated as one and the same opportunistic political class by the rebellious students.
The year of Treachery
The students’ revolutionary impetus quickly came face to face with counter-revolution. First, the political parties of reaction that thrive in presenting themselves as revolutionary tried to hijack the first moment of #RhodesMustFall by putting themselves in front of the students’ march and claiming leadership of the struggle. At it’s most patronising moment this opportunism found expression in the EFF telling students to back off while it’s political leaders bring down the statues on behalf of them. The opportunists engaged in superficial attacks on statues outside the university system, but as soon as their actions made newspaper headlines they abandoned continuation of the said actions. As we speak, Louis Botha still stands firmly on his horse outside parliament observing proceedings in the national assembly. Opportunism of the subtitutionist type exposed for what it is! They say one thing and do another – so long as it accumulates political mileage for them.
The second treachery relates to how the media, the reactionary compradorial academics and political parties of reaction all pushed the student struggles away from ideological and philosophical questions and commitment. The main ideological assault was the idea that the student struggles were not political. From this reactionary base, students were seduced to only raise “student” issues and not to stray into the political arena. The consequence of this corralling of students away from the big question of politics was that often students ended up raising “campus” level demands leading to Vice Chancellors and university administrative staff being put up as the enemy, instead of linking what the university does to the national political framework regulated by the ruling party and its pseudo political opponents.
The media’s interest in keeping the student struggles “student affairs only” was based on the real fear that if the students questioned the whole of the white supremacist reality, then South Africa would burn and white supremacy may fall. The mainstream media is defending its owners which are generally white monopoly capital with elements of comprador owners of capital. They presented themselves as friends of students to gain their confidence and herd them away from the fundamental questions. The correct position to be taken by the revolutionary students is: “We are BLACK before we are students”. In this way, the question of whether there can be a “decolonized” university in a colonial setting would be posed naturally.
From the denial of the essential political nature of the students struggle by the reactionary advisors of the student resistance movement, emerged the treacherous practice of suspending ideological differences to enact unprincipled unity. We saw this pinnacle of unprincipled unity at Wits University where the ruling party’s student wing went into alliance with the EFF student command, with devastating consequences for resistance at Wits. This unholy alliance (made possible by the anti-Zuma element of the Gauteng ANC leadership) meant that all critical questioning of how the ANC neo-liberal rule was responsible for keeping poor black students out of universities and for legislating on the outsourcing of services was prohibited. The result was that the VC was made the ultimate target whilst avoiding government.
When students at the University of Cape Town (UCT) were knocking at the doors of parliament in Cape Town, the Wits students were made to march aimlessly from parks to the innocuous Constitutional Court in a great effort to make sure that government and the ANC headquarters were off limits. It was during this period that information surfaced of how the ANC was sponsoring the whole Alliance with Wits via money and pizzas. It was only after the intervention of the Black First Land First (BLF) members at Wits that a clear position from the militant students emerged which directed that both the ANC headquarters and the Union Buildings should be points of focus for revolutionary engagement. When the reactionary forces couldn’t hold back the vigilant, decisive students anymore they tried to hijack the struggles to Luthuli House and the Union Buildings. They had better luck with Luthuli House. They succeeded in stage managing the whole process and thus shielded the ANC from critical questioning. Evidently, it later emerged that hired agents of the ANC were leading the Wits Alliance anyway.
The reactionary forces however failed with their agenda regarding the occupation of the Union Buildings. The militancy of Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) students undermined all arranged sell-out solutions. In this respect the TUT students sparked the spontaneous rejection of the 0% fee increase. Furthermore they exposed the 0% fee increase as a betrayal. The narrative of how Wits and UCT students returned to write exams and how militant students were isolated and the struggle abandoned needs to be seen within the context of both class interest and the political immaturity of the student protest as well as a lack of proper coordination. For Wits and UCT to unilaterally suspend the boycott when TUT, UWC and many other black campuses were continuing the fight was tantamount to crossing the picket line. What makes these actions more treacherous is the reality that the ruling party, beholden to white supremacy, only respects these two white institutions (Wits and UCT), and doesn’t want them to be in perpetual turmoil. The ANC doesn’t care about UWC or TUT. This makes these white institutions the weak link of white supremacy and therefore maximum resistance has to be maintained there, thus giving impetus for the black or periphery institutions to sustain their own battle.
In 2016, Wits and UCT have to be aware of their own place in the chain of resistance and take that responsibility seriously. There is not much to be said about the 0% treachery. It was an obvious fluke and the battle for free education has to be intensified in 2016.
On the political front we saw how the treachery of the mission for economic freedom being sold out gave impetus to the formation of the BLACK FIRST LAND FIRST movement. Right at the beginning of 2015 we saw the leadership of the EFF going to Stellenbosch, where they assured white land thieves that their land is safe. In broad day light the land mafia of Stellenbosch were told that no land occupation shall occur, except in the case of the land they (whites) didn’t want to use. 2015 saw the introduction in the political discourse of the reactionary notion of accessing “unused land” as the primary objective of the struggle for land. The commitment to white land owners was accompanied by requests by EFF for money from the same land thieves. We have seen that in 2015 there was not a single land occupation that affected white land owners. The struggle for land was reduced to erecting shacks on the outskirts of townships and thereby not affecting the racist land redistribution patterns.
In 2015, the land thieves slept peacefully. This abandonment of the land struggle left those who want land revolution with no option but to organise themselves anew. Hence the birth of BLF, which puts blacks first and the land question first! There can be no liberation without land reclamation, without land return! BLF makes it clear that the primary battle is against the white settler minority that has stolen our land and wealth. To abandon the land struggle is to abandon the revolution! Giving land thieves guarantees is the biggest treachery of 2015! The Stellenbosch deal must be disrupted and the lush wine farms occupied. This is the only way the arrogance of the white land mafia can be erased. Any deviation from the land demand is already a sell-out project which cannot be forgiven.
Correctly, the emergence of BLF under these conditions was inevitable. The abandonment of the land struggle and demand for return of all the land to the African people was quickly followed by the endorsement of the Freedom Charter in London by the EFF. There, we saw how in front of the agents of the queen such as Lord Robin Renwick, EFF leaders denounced president Robert Mugabe as a violent man. They furthermore denounced the land revolution in Zimababwe, assured the representatives of the British empire that a political alliance with the fascist DA is possible and more importantly indicated that there shall be no “Black Supremacy” (therefore adopting the Freedom Charter as the policy guide) in South Africa.
From the London treachery we also saw the development of a new misleading ideological fermentation that is supported by the imperialist media – from Bloomberg, New York Times up to the The Economist – that pushes the idea that the problem in South Africa is not white monopoly capital but rather it is Jacob Zuma and the Gupta family. In fact the agents of imperialism have now absolved white settler colonialists and call the Guptas the colonialists. This is a deliberate distortion that ties well with the imperialist agenda aimed at regime change without changing the fortunes of white monopoly capital. The treachery on that score is now complete. The revolutionary forces have to continue to build independently while exposing the treachery of the comprador.
As the year drew to a close, we saw how the racists organised themselves to carry on the same racist imperialist project hatched in London at the back of the “Nene” saga and to this end tried to steal the #mustfall hashtag. The #ZumaMustFall march was a dangerous ploy to deflect attention from the truth that Zuma and the ANC are mere bodyguards of white supremacy and rule in the interest of the white settler minority which owns the JSE. The new treachery is working tirelessly to turn the people’s legitimate rage against the ANC and Zuma into another sell-out project which will leave white interests intact. The hijacking of the struggle by reaction must be tirelessly fought and exposed. The #ZumaMustFall campaign is a racist anti-black campaign that black people should stay away from in 2016! Yes Zuma and ANC must fall, but not on the instruction of white racists in their evil quest to maintain the status quo. The time for white rule by proxy is over! White supremacy must fall!
At an international level we saw treachery from Burkina Faso to Haiti! We saw how in one year the Greek people were given hope and sold out by the party they gave so much trust to – the sell-outs of Syriza led by the charismatic Tsipras. We saw the revolutionary victory of 2014 in Burkina Faso end with the restoration of the Blaise Compaore forces with the bourgeois elections. We saw the Sankarist project won in the streets of Ouagadougou being defeated in the sponsored ballot. In Haiti we saw the treachery of the elections to prevent the revolutionary march of the great Lavalas Party of President Jean Aristide by imperialism which in turn has plunged the land of Toussaint and Dessalines into political crisis yet again. Burundi is currently on fire! Africa will continue to burn until the neo colonial and neo liberal states are eradicated and replaced by a fully responsive black first system. The forces of change in the African continent have to consolidate on an anti-imperialist platform.
The year of hope!
This year gave us new hope in the ability of our people to struggle and put reaction on the back footing. Each act of betrayal committed has not led to defeat but rather has led to the accumulation of forces of change.
The 0% treachery saw the emergence of new forces at campus and national level which freed themselves from the leadership of lies and rejected the 0% sell-out project for a continuation to struggle for free education for real. The lessons and gains advanced from 2015 on the student front must be defended and expanded in 2016! The student vanguard has to take it’s role as the head of the spear to decolonise Azania seriously, because students are Black before they are students and that no decolonisation of the university is possible in a colonial society. From this point of view, the struggle for free education has to return to its decolonisation roots and not be detained by compradorial interests for incorporation, as exemplified by the black academic staff that got its professorships and promptly attacked the student struggles. They were never for decolonisation but wanted to be incorporated into the system like all compradors do. The new hope must not be reduced to a struggle for incorporation into the white system but must rather be for the obliteration of whiteness itself!
The treachery on the land question saw the emergence of the BLACK FIRST LAND FIRST movement, which puts the land question at the centre of the struggle for decolonisation. In 2016 great effort to unite all the forces of decolonisation must be undertaken and a minimum programme that unites all must be articulated for a national program of action to deepen decolonisation. Such a programme should be both ideological and practical. At no point should the struggle of ideas be suspended. At no point should critique of the enemy agents be suspended. At no point should unprincipled silence and unity be brokered.
In 2016 the battle to the real enemy must be intensified! The response to the revolutionary call issued by BLF in mid-August 2015 has met encouraging response from the oppressed people of occupied Azania, and from the fighting revolutionary forces at home and abroad. The setting up of BLF as an alternative to the pro imperialist agenda shall be intensified in 2016. BLF shall continue the battle to expose the treachery of South African racist institutions of “democracy” which function in reality to protect white capital. It was with the great effort of BLF that a campaign to recover the amount of R26 billion that was stolen by white capital while government has refused to follow up on the matter despite glaring evidence – was launched and intensified. BLF takes the struggle for accounting right to the door step of white capital. We have seen how the Public Protector protects white capital. Thuli Madonsela is not reluctant to lie to protect white capital. She has in writing promised to deliver the report of her investigation – reported to her in 2011 – by the end of 2015. Like in many occasions before, she simply has not delivered on this front. BLF is convinced that Thuli Madonsela has no appetite to go after white capital. This leaves our movement with no option but to take matters into our own hands.
In 2016 a variety of interventions shall be undertaken to reclaim the stolen billions! This is the money of the people and shall be returned to the people. Equally, in 2016 the struggle for land shall be intensified. The Stellenbosch consensus shall be undermined and the land thieves forced to account and return the stolen land.
The prospects for revolution are looking good if we remain vigilant, steadfast and principled!
31 December 2015
ISSUED BY BLF NATIONAL CONVENOR
Black First Land First Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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