A PEOPLE’S MANIFESTO

unnamed watermark

We promise the politicians nothing! We demand that they deliver everything! All the political parties have now published their manifestoes; the empty ritual they buy our votes with. We say 17 years of elections without change are enough. Now we make our own manifesto:

We, the people of South Africa, hereby legislate a new law, titled “POLITICIANS AND PUBLIC SERVANTS: USE PUBLIC SERVICES”. This law compels all politicians, from the president to the local councilor, and all public servants, from the Director General to the sweeper and their families to use public utilities: Starting with the following:

  1. Hospitals.
  2. Schools.
  3. Transport.
  4. Housing! (The same standard house given to citizens must be used by all politicians and public servants)
  5. A living wage for all!
  6. Land belong to the people

Our politicians and public servants have neglected public services for far too long because they know they can take their families to the private sector. We say, what’s good for you is good for us. Equality for all, for real!

Our hospitals are falling apart; doctors and nurses are overworked and underpaid. By and large our public hospitals are places of death.  Simply put, no one is safe in our public hospitals. Our leaders, politicians, senior public servants and their families use private hospitals and that is why they don’t care about public hospitals which are used by the poor.

Our public schools are in bad condition, teachers are underpaid and the government is not investing in their training with the result that after 12 years of schooling most children from public schools can’t read, write or count.  This leads to a high unemployment rate amongst the youth who are trapped in hopelessness. Politicians and senior civil servants take their children to private schools.  This explains why public schools are not a priority for them.

Our public transport system is appalling. Every morning and night our people are packed into taxis, buses and trains like sardines. The queues are long and the fares are high. Our leaders, the rich and senior civil servants have big subsidies to get private transport. Some of our ministers can buy cars worth millions with tax payers’ money.

The townships are generally badly serviced. The houses are small and millions are forced to live in shacks. The RDP houses built by our black government are worse than the matchbox houses built during apartheid. Our leaders live in mansions, while the people are forced to live in rat-infested townships.

A living wage, the ANC and DA parties have legislated starvation minimum wages for our people. Farm workers earn a shocking R105 a day. Our government kills workers when they demand a living wage as in Marikana but cabinet ministers and members of parliament give themselves millions in salaries.

Land For 20 years of the ANC has delivered only 8% of land to black. It would take 100s of years to buy back our land.  Why are we buying our land back? We demand that all the land be nationalised without compensation and be equitably redistributed amongst the people.

We hereby commit ourselves to struggle to realize this legislation to hold public representatives and servants accountable to the people!

Together let’s make this law a reality.

This campaign is undertaken in the memory of Andries Tatane who was killed by our government for demanding quality services for all!

Issued by the September National Imbizo (SNI).

 

 

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SEPTEMBER NATIONAL IMBIZO CONDEMNS EFF’s ORGANIZED VIOLENCE AGAINST THE PASTOR AND CONGREGATION OF THE “END OF TIMES DISCIPLES MINISTRIES” IN SOSHANGUVE

“A soldier without any political or ideological training is a potential criminal”.- Thomas Sankara

When members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), instructed by their leaders,  invaded the “End of Times Disciples Ministries” in Soshanguve, Pretoria on 9 August 2015 their intention was clear: to get their hands on the pastor of the church and to teach him a lesson by making him eat snakes and rats because he does the same to the people of his congregation. The EFF, like a gang of vigilantes, stormed the church, beat people up and destroyed church property all under the guise of serving the interests of the community. It was a shame to see on national television how women were being beaten up by EFF hooligans. None of these horrible senseless actions of EFF can be justified. Only sick and very disturbed people can justify the beating of women as a service to the community. We all know that the EFF was serving none other than itself in pursuit of a media spectacle!  Furthermore, the EFF was motivated by nothing else but opportunism and vulgar populism at the expense of the most vulnerable people of this country being the black people.

The EFF has proven itself to be no different from the ANC that brutalizes our people to get things done. The logic that led to 34 miners being killed in Marikana by the ANC on 16 August 2012 is the same logic that motivated EFF hooligans to use violence on black people so as to have their way. This emanates from the anti black logic that blacks are stupid and understand no other language but that of violence and consequently they must be treated with violence so as to get them to understand what is needed to be done. One cannot help but come to the realization that if the EFF were to assume state power in this country it would not hesitate to use the full might of the police force and the military to brutalize blacks into submission and then claim that such brutality was meted out in the interests of society.

These acts of brutality against blacks by the EFF is not surprising. Being devoid of any genuine leadership and having abandoned revolutionary theory EFF is incapable of of dispensing any revolutionary guide to action to its members so as to assist them in engaging communities or individuals on how to overcome practicing or perpetrating backward ideas. Blacks in this country continue to experience violence through landlessness and economic exclusion by the state. The act of the colonial dispossession of blacks of their land has rendered them available to all those who claim to have a solution to their perpetual suffering. To this end all black people are desperate for a solution to their unbearable suffering   The EFF, had it been a revolutionary party, would not have promoted black on black violence as a solution to the problem our people are experiencing. It would instead, have made it it’s revolutionary duty to educate our people on what must be done under the circumstances where they are engaging in backward ritualistic practices that go against their own interests.

It must be stated that when the EFF burned down the tent of the “snake” pastor, such action was an exercise in futility because it did not discourage the congregation from engaging in backward practices. In this regard the congregation was undeterred by the violent deeds of the EFF and simply continued to eat grass in the absence of their pastor.

The EFF’s supposed solution to the problem at hand only serves to further entrench the culture of anti black violence in our communities that is in turn set in motion by the structural logic of white-supremacy. This will also encourage the growth of the pastor’s follower-ship. In fact they will now quote John 15 verse 18: “if the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.”  The faithful shall now believe that this is yet another test that they must overcome.  And so the belief in their pastor’s miracles shall only grow in strength. They will see for themselves, as the chosen few, that they have to be persecuted just like Christ himself was persecuted.

It is not only the pastor in Soshanguve that feeds rats and snakes to our people. The political class does the same to our people when it sells snakes and grass as ideology them. Now it is pitting itself against those who sell physical snakes. The practice of deception is the same on both levels. A revolutionary movement does not impose its hegemony on the people through violence and intimidation.  It does not assert itself by creating a fearful community under its violent command. Soon we will degenerate into the warlordism we have already seen in most parts of the African continent. A revolutionary movement wins hegemony in society by persuasion, organisation and education. We all know the fearful are not free!

The EFF fails dismally to understand that contradictions amongst the people must be settled peacefully because they are not antagonistic, and contradictions with the enemy are antagonistic and must be dealt with violently if necessary. The lack of revolutionary theory from the EFF renders black people the enemy and consequently everybody suffers. This means its war of all against all in a quest for the dominance of naked violence amongst and over the people.

Not only is the EFF suffering from a lack of revolutionary theory, but it is also led by misleaders who are hypocrites and who will teach people that they must ‘do as they say but not as they do’. How is it possible that the EFF who attacks the pastor is the same EFF that has invited Paseka Mbhoro Motsoeneng who is a controversial, charismatic pastor to its rallies. Maybe the EFF is attacking the “snake” pastor in defence of their own miracle worker‘Mbhoro’ who they see as competition. We have not forgotten how EFF President Julius Malema`once visited another controversial pastor T.B Joshua in Nigeria in search of his own miracles. We see here Malema exercising his own right in believing in miracles and when other black people do the same they are met with violence instructed by him. To this end who can forget how, even when the Synagogue Church of TB Joshua collapsed and a number of South Africans were killed, Julius Malema rose in defence of the pastor.

We Are The One’s We Have Been Waiting For!

Issued by The September  National Imbizo

10 August 2015

THE IDEOLOGICAL STRUGGLE TO KEEP SYRIZA ON THE SOCIALIST PATH

Parliamentary elections in GreeceSYRIZA came to power after proving considerable traction with the Greek masses on the basis mainly of it’s election promises to respond fully to the peoples needs. It’s anti imperialist, anti capitalist, anti austerity and pro socialist vision as reflected in its election manifest  suggests how SYRIZA intended to respond to the people’s needs once it took office. At that point of taking power the country had already experienced in excess of five years of austerity and it was characterized by all the ills of capitalist imperialism being a high level of unemployment, extreme poverty and general social upheaval. After signing the February 2015 austerity agreement with the “troika” (the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund) the country was consequently subjected to structural adjustment plans (SAPS) that plunged it into deeper debt.  Subsequent to paying creditors over €13 billion since signing the agreement in February, Greece was unable to make further debt repayments and consequently begged the “troika” for  further financial relief. However the Tsipras  Government did not meet the expectations of the “troika” who required it to employ tighter SAPS on an already insanely pauperized population. It was consequently also unable to pay the  IMF the £1.6 billion that was due in June 2015.

SYRIZA is now confronted with addressing this question: How can it remain in power without compromising its Marxist principles? Post the national elections five months ago, the SYRIZA leadership, via its approach to austerity signaled a shift to a more “moderate” approach on addressing people’s needs. To this end the commitment to building society along socialist lines had to be postponed so as to deal with the “immediate crisis” (crisis of capitalism) that the country was experiencing. We saw this with the February agreement when the SYRIZA government reached a compromise with the “troika” that effectively via austerity involved the restructuring of the Greek economy. In this context the Left Platform within SYRIZA, which is made up mainly of the Internationalist Workers Left (DEA), Kokkino and the Anti-capitalist Political Group (APO), has consistently called for a return to the election promises of SYRIZA. The party’s declaration of principles and the political document concluded at its 2013 Congress are exposed to both radical left and conservative right interpretations. It indicates, for example, the renegotiation of loan agreements with the “troika” so as to cancel most of the debt instead of repudiating the debt entirely. It also indicates no desire to leave the Eurozone, but that it must prepare itself for any possibility.

It must be stated that the Left Platform’s unrelenting struggle to radicalize the political program of SYRIZA flowing from the party’s congress resolutions bore it’s revolutionary fruit when Greece voted NO to austerity in the referendum held on July 5, 2015. The future of Greece now depends very much on the continued commitment of the Left Platform within SYRIZA to keep the Party on it’s revolutionary path to a truly socialist society.

The September National Imbizo (SNI) now re-issues two statements of Sotiris Martalis and Antonis Davanellos who are members of the Internationalist Workers Left (DEA), the Left Platform as well as the Central Committee of SYRIZA. These statements were also attached to the article “Greece says no to austerity and yes to solidarity” published in the Socialist Worker website on July 6, 2015:

“Sotiris Martalis

EVERY ONE OF you knows the news, but I want to have the pleasure of telling you again. With all of the ballots counted, the “no” vote has won with 61.3 percent of the vote.

The second thing I can tell you is that in Syntagma Square, there is a huge demonstration taking place right now against austerity and in celebration of the “no” vote. At the same time, in the opposite camp, the conservatives have asked for the resignation of the former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras as head of the New Democracy party. Meanwhile, a meeting has been called of leaders of all the governments in Europe because Europe faces a crisis.

This was a hard struggle. They used everything against us. They closed the banks. They canceled bank cards. Every day in the news, for hours and hours, they would show pictures of lines of people out of banks. They spread fear, promising that tomorrow, you will have no money. Tomorrow, you will have no medicine. Tomorrow, you will have no pension.

The European governments and media also helped to spread the terror. They changed the question of the referendum from “yes or no on the austerity agreement” to “yes or no on the eurozone.”

They tried everything. And against all this, the people succeeded.

We have come a long way, but we have a very long way still to go. Our goal–socialism–is a long way off. This was the second victory in the battle, but the war is not over. We must continue the war. We have many problems in front of us, and we must work to overcome them.

How did we get to this point? The first victory came with the election of January 25, which created a huge disruption for the ruling class and its austerity program. They tried all through these months to reverse the result of the election. But today’s vote showed that the opposition was deep, and that people want to continue this fight.

What was the basis for these victories for SYRIZA? One was the party’s promise to stop austerity. But the leadership of SYRIZA said to the people that there would be an easy way to accomplish this. They said they would be able to stop austerity by negotiating with the lenders. They said that because the right’s program has reached a dead end and is destroying Greek society, we could make an agreement with the lenders that will be a win-win agreement–one where both sides will benefit.

But from the beginning, the Left Platform in SYRIZA said that this promise was false. From the beginning, we said there must be a hard challenge to the lenders.

In February, the leaders of the government made an agreement that was a serious mistake. They said that we would pay all the debt, and do so on time. And for this, the promise was that the lenders would release some funds for the bailout. But in the five months since then, nothing has gone to Greece. On the contrary, they have taken 17 billion euros from Greece–7 billion euros since the victory of SYRIZA in January.

And still, the leadership of SYRIZA retreated further and went back to the lenders with a proposal that was unacceptable to the people inside and outside the party that supported it. Their proposal accepted the privatizations, increased the value-added sales tax and so on.

The Red Network stated its disagreements with this proposal. We said openly and publicly that we would not vote for this kind of agreement, either in the Central Committee of the party or inside the parliament. We organized with other forces to make this statement at public meetings. And other forces of the Left Platform said the same thing, at least with respect to the vote in the Central Committee.

Tsipras was caught in the crossfire. On one side was the lenders, who want to smash this government in order to show Sinn Fein and Podemos and every other force of resistance in Europe that there is no alternative–that this is what happens if you challenge austerity.

But on the other side was the left of SYRIZA. We said we would not vote for this agreement, and Tsipras knew that the government would fall.

How will Tsipras act now that the referendum is over? His main line was that we needed a “no” vote so that he will have the democratic demand of our people to go back to negotiations in a stronger position. Our campaign for a “no” vote was different. In the unions, in the branches of SYRIZA, in the communities and everywhere, we said simply that a vote for “no” was a vote to stop austerity, to stop the privatizations, to stop the layoffs and to increase the wages of the people.

These are very different positions. And this is the problem we will face in the coming days. I can think of 20 scenarios of how this might play out, but the point is not to guess about them.

The important point is that the left is in a much stronger position going into the next steps of the struggle.

I want to finish on a personal note.

These have been disastrous times for people like us in Greece. They have cut salaries by 35 percent. The cost of taxes has increased by eight times–not by 8 percent, or 80 percent, but eight times. There are 1.5 million people who are unemployed, which is 30 percent of the working class. And in addition to that, there are 800,000 people who are working, but they haven’t been paid in weeks or months.

There is so much misery. But at the same time, I am happy. We are making history in Greece. We are living history now. These are chances that revolutionaries do not always get even in their whole lifetimes. And I have seen it twice in my life–once after we overthrew the dictatorship in Greece, and now we have a chance to overthrow austerity.

You are fighting in very difficult conditions here. We know that you are in the heart of the capitalist system, but you must know that at the same time, we fight for you and with you, and we have gained a great deal of support from your organization.

And so I will close with the words that have been chants in Greece: SYRIZA, Podemos, venceremos! Oxi, oxi, oxi!

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Antonis Davenellos

Dear comrades, we are living in a historic moment in Greece. As we write this message, we don’t know the result of the referendum. We don’t know whether we will suffer a major defeat or we will achieve a huge political victory, against mighty enemies.

As all the leaders of the European Union have said, the referendum in Greece is a choice between accepting and rejecting austerity policies. That is why the neoliberal leaderships all around Europe are weighing in decisively in favor of a “yes” vote.

They are openly blackmailing and threatening the population of Greece with economic strangulation. Their stated goal is to overthrow the government of SYRIZA, the first government in modern European history that is led by a party to the left of social democracy.

Inside the country, the referendum has created a clear class and political divide. On the side of the “yes” vote are the capitalists, the rich, the upper middle class that still has savings in the banks. Politically, they are supported by an alliance of the right wing, the social democrats and the “post-political” center-left Potami party. Most importantly, they are supported by the mass media and the constant blackmail of employers who are campaigning actively in favor of a “yes” vote.

On the side of the “no” vote are the workers, the popular classes, the poor. Politically, they are supported mostly by SYRIZA and–thank god–ANTARSYA, which had the courage to overcome sectarianism and take a clear stand in favor of a “no” vote.

The Communist Party, in this incredibly polarized situation, chose the road of abstentionism. They advocated a spoiled ballot, neither yes nor no! They are giving a better chance of victory to the worst enemies of our class. They will pay a price, both in elections and on the streets, in the years to come.

We state again that we don’t know whether we will win or lose. What we do know is that we fought, we are fighting, and we will continue to fight. That is why we believe that the left in Greece will remain strong and continue the struggle.

Many people, even among the international left, believed that SYRIZA was like a star falling from the sky in the middle of the night–that it would shine for a while before it disappeared forever. Underestimating the harsh difficulties we were facing, they preferred to provide us with predictions, rather than solidarity: SYRIZA will be a betrayer in the future, SYRIZA will be a betrayer right now, SYRIZA has already betrayed us. Together with thousands of activists of the left in Greece, we have proved them wrong.

Today, all around Europe, our class is facing a major assault, one of historic importance. This is what neoliberalism is about–a war unleashed by our enemies, a war that until now they are winning.

In Greece, the workers’ resistance escalated to such a point that it caused a political break. It gave rise to an anti-austerity party, SYRIZA and brought it to power in government.

We are aware that we are the “advanced guard” unit of the European left that has reached the enemy lines and is facing the ferocity of the enemy forces. As a unit that is leading the charge, it is possible that we might be defeated–that we might suffer major casualties. But we will have paved the way for our brothers and sisters who are coming after us–in Ireland, in Spain, in Portugal.

We will hold on as long as we can until the major battalions of our class arrive at the battlefield–the left in France and Italy. And then we shall win.

Forgive us for the warlike tone of this message. But this is how we are experiencing the situation in Greece right now. We are facing a merciless political and class war, and we are under heavy enemy fire.

We understood SYRIZA and related to it in this open way from the beginning, with our most important criterion being the escalation of class struggle and the political struggle. This never meant that we underestimated–or even worse, collaborated with–the retreats of SYRIZA’s leadership. We could easily provide you with a long list of persistent and difficult conflicts with the leadership of SYRIZA.

But for us, the important thing was that we had built the left wing of SYRIZA systematically and in an organized manner. This left can raise its voice on the front lines when it agrees with the party’s policy, but it can also prevent compromises and unacceptable retreats when it disagrees. Today, everyone, from Angela Merkel to the Greek mass media–knows that they cannot make plans for Greece without taking into account the strength of a genuinely radical left current inside SYRIZA.

This is why we are standing before you with pride, because we know that we have done our duty. And that is why our organization is stronger and healthier than ever.

Dear comrades, we know that you are fighting for the same goals we fight for, and in this struggle, you are facing the mightiest enemy on the planet. The best help you can give us is to keep up this struggle. With one additional goal: Defend and strengthen the International Socialist Organization. You are providing an example–as we do and as other comrades all over the planet do–that in the most different situations, the insistence on the building of revolutionary socialist organization is an indispensable part of the more general plan for the political victory of our class.

And in this struggle, you should know, dear comrades, that on the other side of the seas, in a small country called Greece, a large and active left will continue, under all circumstances, to fight for you, too.”

We Are The One’s We Have Been Waiting For

Issued By September National Imbizo

South Africa

9 July 2015

THE IDEOLOGICAL STRUGGLE TO KEEP SYRIZA ON THE SOCIALIST PATH

Parliamentary elections in GreeceSYRIZA came to power after proving considerable traction with the Greek masses on the basis mainly of it’s election promises to respond fully to the peoples needs. It’s anti imperialist, anti capitalist, anti austerity and pro socialist vision as reflected in its election manifest  suggests how SYRIZA intended to respond to the people’s needs once it took office. At that point of taking power the country had already experienced in excess of five years of austerity and it was characterized by all the ills of capitalist imperialism being a high level of unemployment, extreme poverty and general social upheaval. After signing the February 2015 austerity agreement with the “troika” (the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund) the country was consequently subjected to structural adjustment plans (SAPS) that plunged it into deeper debt.  Subsequent to paying creditors over €13 billion since signing the agreement in February, Greece was unable to make further debt repayments and consequently begged the “troika” for  further financial relief. However the Tsipras  Government did not meet the expectations of the “troika” who required it to employ tighter SAPS on an already insanely pauperized population. It was consequently also unable to pay the  IMF the £1.6 billion that was due in June 2015.

SYRIZA is now confronted with addressing this question: How can it remain in power without compromising its Marxist principles? Post the national elections five months ago, the SYRIZA leadership, via its approach to austerity signaled a shift to a more “moderate” approach on addressing people’s needs. To this end the commitment to building society along socialist lines had to be postponed so as to deal with the “immediate crisis” (crisis of capitalism) that the country was experiencing. We saw this with the February agreement when the SYRIZA government reached a compromise with the “troika” that effectively via austerity involved the restructuring of the Greek economy. In this context the Left Platform within SYRIZA, which is made up mainly of the Internationalist Workers Left (DEA), Kokkino and the Anti-capitalist Political Group (APO), has consistently called for a return to the election promises of SYRIZA. The party’s declaration of principles and the political document concluded at its 2013 Congress are exposed to both radical left and conservative right interpretations. It indicates, for example, the renegotiation of loan agreements with the “troika” so as to cancel most of the debt instead of repudiating the debt entirely. It also indicates no desire to leave the Eurozone, but that it must prepare itself for any possibility.

It must be stated that the Left Platform’s unrelenting struggle to radicalize the political program of SYRIZA flowing from the party’s congress resolutions bore it’s revolutionary fruit when Greece voted NO to austerity in the referendum held on July 5, 2015. The future of Greece now depends very much on the continued commitment of the Left Platform within SYRIZA to keep the Party on it’s revolutionary path to a truly socialist society.

The September National Imbizo (SNI) now re-issues two statements of Sotiris Martalis and Antonis Davanellos who are members of the Internationalist Workers Left (DEA), the Left Platform as well as the Central Committee of SYRIZA. These statements were also attached to the article “Greece says no to austerity and yes to solidarity” published in the Socialist Worker website on July 6, 2015:

“Sotiris Martalis

EVERY ONE OF you knows the news, but I want to have the pleasure of telling you again. With all of the ballots counted, the “no” vote has won with 61.3 percent of the vote.

The second thing I can tell you is that in Syntagma Square, there is a huge demonstration taking place right now against austerity and in celebration of the “no” vote. At the same time, in the opposite camp, the conservatives have asked for the resignation of the former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras as head of the New Democracy party. Meanwhile, a meeting has been called of leaders of all the governments in Europe because Europe faces a crisis.

This was a hard struggle. They used everything against us. They closed the banks. They canceled bank cards. Every day in the news, for hours and hours, they would show pictures of lines of people out of banks. They spread fear, promising that tomorrow, you will have no money. Tomorrow, you will have no medicine. Tomorrow, you will have no pension.

The European governments and media also helped to spread the terror. They changed the question of the referendum from “yes or no on the austerity agreement” to “yes or no on the eurozone.”

They tried everything. And against all this, the people succeeded.

We have come a long way, but we have a very long way still to go. Our goal–socialism–is a long way off. This was the second victory in the battle, but the war is not over. We must continue the war. We have many problems in front of us, and we must work to overcome them.

How did we get to this point? The first victory came with the election of January 25, which created a huge disruption for the ruling class and its austerity program. They tried all through these months to reverse the result of the election. But today’s vote showed that the opposition was deep, and that people want to continue this fight.

What was the basis for these victories for SYRIZA? One was the party’s promise to stop austerity. But the leadership of SYRIZA said to the people that there would be an easy way to accomplish this. They said they would be able to stop austerity by negotiating with the lenders. They said that because the right’s program has reached a dead end and is destroying Greek society, we could make an agreement with the lenders that will be a win-win agreement–one where both sides will benefit.

But from the beginning, the Left Platform in SYRIZA said that this promise was false. From the beginning, we said there must be a hard challenge to the lenders.

In February, the leaders of the government made an agreement that was a serious mistake. They said that we would pay all the debt, and do so on time. And for this, the promise was that the lenders would release some funds for the bailout. But in the five months since then, nothing has gone to Greece. On the contrary, they have taken 17 billion euros from Greece–7 billion euros since the victory of SYRIZA in January.

And still, the leadership of SYRIZA retreated further and went back to the lenders with a proposal that was unacceptable to the people inside and outside the party that supported it. Their proposal accepted the privatizations, increased the value-added sales tax and so on.

The Red Network stated its disagreements with this proposal. We said openly and publicly that we would not vote for this kind of agreement, either in the Central Committee of the party or inside the parliament. We organized with other forces to make this statement at public meetings. And other forces of the Left Platform said the same thing, at least with respect to the vote in the Central Committee.

Tsipras was caught in the crossfire. On one side was the lenders, who want to smash this government in order to show Sinn Fein and Podemos and every other force of resistance in Europe that there is no alternative–that this is what happens if you challenge austerity.

But on the other side was the left of SYRIZA. We said we would not vote for this agreement, and Tsipras knew that the government would fall.

How will Tsipras act now that the referendum is over? His main line was that we needed a “no” vote so that he will have the democratic demand of our people to go back to negotiations in a stronger position. Our campaign for a “no” vote was different. In the unions, in the branches of SYRIZA, in the communities and everywhere, we said simply that a vote for “no” was a vote to stop austerity, to stop the privatizations, to stop the layoffs and to increase the wages of the people.

These are very different positions. And this is the problem we will face in the coming days. I can think of 20 scenarios of how this might play out, but the point is not to guess about them.

The important point is that the left is in a much stronger position going into the next steps of the struggle.

I want to finish on a personal note.

These have been disastrous times for people like us in Greece. They have cut salaries by 35 percent. The cost of taxes has increased by eight times–not by 8 percent, or 80 percent, but eight times. There are 1.5 million people who are unemployed, which is 30 percent of the working class. And in addition to that, there are 800,000 people who are working, but they haven’t been paid in weeks or months.

There is so much misery. But at the same time, I am happy. We are making history in Greece. We are living history now. These are chances that revolutionaries do not always get even in their whole lifetimes. And I have seen it twice in my life–once after we overthrew the dictatorship in Greece, and now we have a chance to overthrow austerity.

You are fighting in very difficult conditions here. We know that you are in the heart of the capitalist system, but you must know that at the same time, we fight for you and with you, and we have gained a great deal of support from your organization.

And so I will close with the words that have been chants in Greece: SYRIZA, Podemos, venceremos! Oxi, oxi, oxi!

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Antonis Davenellos

Dear comrades, we are living in a historic moment in Greece. As we write this message, we don’t know the result of the referendum. We don’t know whether we will suffer a major defeat or we will achieve a huge political victory, against mighty enemies.

As all the leaders of the European Union have said, the referendum in Greece is a choice between accepting and rejecting austerity policies. That is why the neoliberal leaderships all around Europe are weighing in decisively in favor of a “yes” vote.

They are openly blackmailing and threatening the population of Greece with economic strangulation. Their stated goal is to overthrow the government of SYRIZA, the first government in modern European history that is led by a party to the left of social democracy.

Inside the country, the referendum has created a clear class and political divide. On the side of the “yes” vote are the capitalists, the rich, the upper middle class that still has savings in the banks. Politically, they are supported by an alliance of the right wing, the social democrats and the “post-political” center-left Potami party. Most importantly, they are supported by the mass media and the constant blackmail of employers who are campaigning actively in favor of a “yes” vote.

On the side of the “no” vote are the workers, the popular classes, the poor. Politically, they are supported mostly by SYRIZA and–thank god–ANTARSYA, which had the courage to overcome sectarianism and take a clear stand in favor of a “no” vote.

The Communist Party, in this incredibly polarized situation, chose the road of abstentionism. They advocated a spoiled ballot, neither yes nor no! They are giving a better chance of victory to the worst enemies of our class. They will pay a price, both in elections and on the streets, in the years to come.

We state again that we don’t know whether we will win or lose. What we do know is that we fought, we are fighting, and we will continue to fight. That is why we believe that the left in Greece will remain strong and continue the struggle.

Many people, even among the international left, believed that SYRIZA was like a star falling from the sky in the middle of the night–that it would shine for a while before it disappeared forever. Underestimating the harsh difficulties we were facing, they preferred to provide us with predictions, rather than solidarity: SYRIZA will be a betrayer in the future, SYRIZA will be a betrayer right now, SYRIZA has already betrayed us. Together with thousands of activists of the left in Greece, we have proved them wrong.

Today, all around Europe, our class is facing a major assault, one of historic importance. This is what neoliberalism is about–a war unleashed by our enemies, a war that until now they are winning.

In Greece, the workers’ resistance escalated to such a point that it caused a political break. It gave rise to an anti-austerity party, SYRIZA and brought it to power in government.

We are aware that we are the “advanced guard” unit of the European left that has reached the enemy lines and is facing the ferocity of the enemy forces. As a unit that is leading the charge, it is possible that we might be defeated–that we might suffer major casualties. But we will have paved the way for our brothers and sisters who are coming after us–in Ireland, in Spain, in Portugal.

We will hold on as long as we can until the major battalions of our class arrive at the battlefield–the left in France and Italy. And then we shall win.

Forgive us for the warlike tone of this message. But this is how we are experiencing the situation in Greece right now. We are facing a merciless political and class war, and we are under heavy enemy fire.

We understood SYRIZA and related to it in this open way from the beginning, with our most important criterion being the escalation of class struggle and the political struggle. This never meant that we underestimated–or even worse, collaborated with–the retreats of SYRIZA’s leadership. We could easily provide you with a long list of persistent and difficult conflicts with the leadership of SYRIZA.

But for us, the important thing was that we had built the left wing of SYRIZA systematically and in an organized manner. This left can raise its voice on the front lines when it agrees with the party’s policy, but it can also prevent compromises and unacceptable retreats when it disagrees. Today, everyone, from Angela Merkel to the Greek mass media–knows that they cannot make plans for Greece without taking into account the strength of a genuinely radical left current inside SYRIZA.

This is why we are standing before you with pride, because we know that we have done our duty. And that is why our organization is stronger and healthier than ever.

Dear comrades, we know that you are fighting for the same goals we fight for, and in this struggle, you are facing the mightiest enemy on the planet. The best help you can give us is to keep up this struggle. With one additional goal: Defend and strengthen the International Socialist Organization. You are providing an example–as we do and as other comrades all over the planet do–that in the most different situations, the insistence on the building of revolutionary socialist organization is an indispensable part of the more general plan for the political victory of our class.

And in this struggle, you should know, dear comrades, that on the other side of the seas, in a small country called Greece, a large and active left will continue, under all circumstances, to fight for you, too.”

We Are The One’s We Have Been Waiting For

Issued By September National Imbizo

South Africa

9 July 2015

THE SEPTEMBER NATIONAL IMBIZO RESPONDS TO THE CALL FOR OUR PEOPLE TO CELEBRATE AFRICA DAY

In a continent still plagued by abject poverty, civil wars, diseases and corrupt governments, this Africa Day, we must ask whether there is anything really that Africans can celebrate? All the big imperialist nations continue to loot African resources ultimately rendering our people hopeless. It is worth mentioning that currently 14 African countries still transfer most of their profits to French banks which serves as a form of colonial tax. Moreover, our people are subjected to abuse and death as they flee from their countries and some even from their own continent in pursuit of a better life. In these new lands the African is treated with contempt as the most wretched of the earth fueling all forms of anti black violence including Afrophobia. Africa is cursed with leaders who crack the whip on its own people in service of its old colonial masters.

As the September National Imbizo we say: Africa is not free! We have no reason to celebrate! Slavery is rife and as is currently evident unaccounted for in the USA. We stand with all the revolutionary black people in America fighting for liberation. Colonialism is very much alive in Africa! We commit ourselves to realise a truly liberated Africa.

To end the current carnage, wrongly called xenophobia, we need radical Pan Afrikanism and Black Consciousness! Only then will Blacks/Africans understand that the cause of this madness is neo-colonialism and white supremacy, only then shall we understand that democracy (political freedom without ending colonial land theft) is in service of white supremacy, only then shall we understand that all the borders in Africa today were not put up by us but by those who enslaved and colonised us! What is shocking is how deeply we Africans have internalised what white supremacy created to serve white interests. Each time we call a black person a “foreigner” we are speaking the language of the colonizer. Whites in Europe are creating a single Europe with one identity document and one currency. Here in Africa blacks don’t get it! We are still holding on to the colonial enclaves which don’t even belong to us. SA currently does not belong to black people. More than 80% of the land is owned by about 35 000 white families and trusts. The resolution of the colonial question, which is primarily the land question, is key to stabilising life in Africa. We shall not compromise! We call for land first (all of it), destruction of the colonial borders, and the establishment of a United States of Africa under one economy and one political and military arrangement. We can only do that if we defeat the comprador who currently rule Africa in service of the master. The comprador is too corrupt to end white rule. They cut deals with our oppressors all the time. Our people are victims of hunger and ignorance hence they attack their fellow blacks. Hence Steve Biko correctly said that our people suffer from both material and spiritual want. It is the duty of all revolutionaries to understand Pan Africanism and Black Consciousness and to agitate for real revolution,  not compromises with land thieves and colonizers! The South Africa government is the epitome of anti black neo colonialism as exemplified by “Operation Fiela” and in this regard SNI condemns its actions.

Until the day Africa is not defined by misery, landlessness and destitution there is nothing that any of us can celebrate! On this day referred to as  “Africa Day” SNI directs all revolutionaries to the good counsel of Frantz Fanon in “The Pitfalls of National Consciousness” in his book  “The Wretched of the Earth”: https://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/fanon/pitfalls-national.htm

We Are The One’s We Have Been Waiting For!

ISSUED BY THE SEPTEMBER NATIONAL IMBIZO

25 May 2015

SEPTEMBER NATIONAL IMBIZO CELEBRATES THE 145TH ANNIVERSARY OF COMRADE VLADIMIR IIYICH LENIN’S BIRTH

The struggle of the glorious  Socialist October Revolution of 1917, which overthrew Russian capitalism and landlordism was led by the Great Comrade Lenin who  displayed outstanding leadership skills and qualities as a revolutionary leader of the working class and of the oppressed people in  general.
Lenin was exemplary as a leader of the  masses and to this end demonstrated his grasp of Marxism which included revolutionary strategy and tactics as well as the building of the mass movement in the development of the struggle. His leadership was characterised by his ability to meld theory with practice.  Lenin maintained the liberating truth that there can be no revolutionary movement without revolutionary theory, and in this regard revolutionary theory delinked and in isolation from the  organized mass struggle is to no revolutionary end.
As a tribute to Comrade Lenins 145th birthday, the September National Imbizo, is re-issuing an offering by  Comrade Nadezhda Krupskaya (Lenin’s wife) “Reminiscences of Lenin”
On the Eve of the Uprising
On October 7 Ilyich moved to Petrograd from Vyborg. It was decided to keep his whereabouts a strict secret, and not even the members of the Central Committee were to know his address. He was put up at Marguerite Fofanova’s, in a big building on the corner of Lesnoi Prospekt, Vyborg District, tenanted almost exclusively by workers. It was a very convenient place, the family, including the servant, still being out in the country, where they had gone for the summer. Fofanova herself was an ardent Bolshevik, who ran all Ilyich’s errands for him. Three days later, on October 10, Ilyich attended a meeting of the Central Committee at Sukhanova’s apartment, where a resolution was adopted calling for an armed uprising. Ten members of the C.C. voted in favour of the resolution. They were Lenin, Sverdlov, Stalin, Dzerzhinsky, Trotsky, Uritsky, Kollontai, Bubnov, Sokolnikov, and Lomov. Zinoviev and Kamenev voted against it.
On October 15 a meeting of the Petrograd organization took place at Smolny (this in itself was significant). Delegates from the various districts were present, including eight from the Vyborg District. I remember Dzerzhinsky speaking in favour of an armed uprising, while Chudnovsky opposed it. The latter had been wounded at the front and his arm was in a sling. Deeply agitated, he argued that we would suffer inevitable defeat, that we should take our time about it. “Dying for the revolution is the easiest thing, but we shall only harm the cause of the revolution by letting ourselves be shot down,” he said. Chudnovsky, in fact, did die for the revolution, losing his life during the Civil War. He was no phrasemonger, but his view was absolutely wrong. I do not remember the other speeches. When it was put to the vote the resolution in favour of an immediate uprising was carried by an overwhelming majority. The Vyborg delegates voted for it in a body.
Next day, the 16th, an enlarged meeting of the Central Committee was held at the offices of the Lesnoi Prospekt Sub-District Council, which was attended also by members of the Executive of the Petrograd Committee, the military organization, the Petrograd Trade-Union Council of factory committees, the Petrograd Okrug Committee and representatives of the railwaymen. Two lines were discussed at this meeting – that of the majority, who stood for an immediate uprising, and that of the minority, who were against it. Lenin’s resolution was carried by an overwhelming majority of 19 votes, with 2 against and 4 abstentions. The question was decided. At a closed meeting of the Central Committee a Military Revolutionary Centre was elected.
Very few people were allowed to see Ilyich. The only ones who visited him were I, Maria Ilyinichna, and occasionally Rahja. I recall the following incident. Ilyich had sent Fofanova out on some errand; it was arranged in such cases that he was not to open the door to anyone or answer the bell. I was to knock at the door by a pre-arranged signal. Fofanova had a cousin, who attended some sort of military school. When I came that evening, I found the lad standing on the landing, his face a study. Seeing me, he said: “Someone’s got into Marguerite’s flat, you know.” “What d’you mean?” I said. “Well, I came and rang the bell, and a man’s voice answered me. Then I rang again and again, but no one answered any more.” I told him a tale about Marguerite having gone to a meeting that day, and that it must have been his imagination playing him tricks. I did not calm down myself until I had seen him get on a tram and ride off. I went back and knocked in the pre-arranged manner, and when Ilyich opened the door I began to scold him. “The boy might have raised an alarm,” I said. “I thought it was something urgent,” Ilyich pleaded in excuse. I was running his errands, too, all the time. On October 24 he wrote a letter to the Central Committee urging the necessity of seizing power that very day. He sent Marguerite with this letter, but, without waiting for her to come back, he put on his wig and went off to Smolny. Not a minute was to be lost.
The Vyborg District was preparing for the uprising. Fifty women workers sat all night in the council office, where a woman doctor gave them instructions in first aid. In the rooms of the District Committee they were busy arming the workers; group after group came up and received weapons. But there was no one to be put down in the Vyborg District; only a colonel and several cadets who had come to have some tea at a workers’ club were arrested. In the night Zhenya Yegorova and I went down to Smolny in a lorry to find out how things were going.
Long Live Comrade Lenin!
We Are The One’s We Have Been Waiting For
Issued by SNI
22 April 2015