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Practices of Self-Organisation in South Africa: The Experience of the 1980s and its Implications for Contemporary Protest

The talk that I’m going to present today is based on a research project that I carried out with my colleague Vladislav Kruchinsky in South Africa in 2011-2013. The aim of our research was to analyse and explore the methods and practices of self-organisation from below that existed in the crucial 1980s period of the anti-apartheid struggle.

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The Way Forward for South Africa: Class Struggle and #Anarchism

South Africa is in a mess. That is clear, more than 20 years since the end of apartheid. We have won many things. It was our struggle that beat apartheid laws and the old government. But we are not free yet. Corruption, poverty, job losses, hatred, violence, the apartheid legacy are all part of the mess.

What is the way forward for South Africa? It is struggle by the masses of the people for a better society.

What does that require?

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#SouthAfrica: Fueling the Fire

Wave after wave of community protests have been taking place in South Africa. People are angry that after twenty years of so-called freedom they are still confined to living in shacks, having to defecate in communal toilets, and having essential services terminated when they can’t afford to pay.

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Image: Protest in Freedom Park, south of Johannesburg on 8 May. Photo by: Jonathan Payn (ZACF)

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#SouthAfrica: #Abahlali BaseMjondolo Activists Kidnapped & Tortured

Repression and state criminality in uMlazi and Cato Manor. Pressrelease by Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement South Africa.

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South-Africa: The ‘Boiketlong Four’ – Call For #Solidarity

In February 2015, four community activists from Boiketlong in the Vaal, south of Johannesburg, were sentenced to 16 years in prison each following a community protest. This is a very severe sentence and the conviction was based on shaky evidence. The ‘Boiketlong Four’ were arrested for allegedly attacking the local ANC ward councillor and setting fire to her shack and two cars during a community protest. They were convicted of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, arson and malicious injury to property. This is an example of a terrible injustice perpetrated against black working class activists and could have dangerous repercussions for future struggles of the black working class and poor in South Africa if it is not fought. People need to be aware of the facts and take action to demand justice and to fight the criminalisation of poverty and protest.

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South Africa: We March to Durban City Hall on June 26th

Abahlali baseMjondolo press statement of June 14th, 2017; We have seen the returned of armed, violent and illegal evictions across the city. We have seen the killing of a two weeks old baby, Jayden Khoza. On the 13th of June we lost another comrade and neighbour, Samuel Hloele, in eMansenseni, in Marianhill, during a violent eviction. Others were seriously injured. All our efforts to engage the mayor on these matters are either falling into deaf ears or we are lied to.

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#Bhambayi Land Occupation: Activist Shot in the Back in South-Africa

In Bhambayi, the Ward 52 ANC Councillor, Zulu, has made it clear that his mandate is to get rid of Abahlali. Councillor Zulu has a deep hate for Abahlali and its leadership and has made it clear that as long as he remains as a councillor he will not entertain Abahlali. On the night of Sunday 26th March, at around 9:00pm, while Abahlali were at a meeting to discuss their future, Councillor Zulu arrived with some men and dropped off a man known to Abahlali. The man opened fire shooting Mr Banele Nyamela, the husband of one of our members, in the back.

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