Continuing the campaign against Santander in support of the ISBAN Spanish CNT-AIT section, we picketed the Poole high street branch on Saturday, positive feedback from most people, including a few former employees and customers. Santander do not have a good reputation here! One nutter. Actions also took place in Bath and Bristol.
Well everyone else has put their 5 eggs in so I might as well; what finally moved me to put finger to keyboard was on the one hand, the apparent confusion of the liberals who would like to make a saint of the man, and the abject hypocrisy of right-wing politicians who supported apartheid with everything they had, and now claim inspiration from him, apparently endorsing the overthrow of post-colonial societies by armed struggle. Meanwhile their lackeys smash up students at UCU for having the temerity to demand a fair hearing.
Growing up, Mandela was a hero of mine along with a few others now best forgotten like Che Guevara and Bob Mugabe. Mandela was a revolutionary not a reformer, I still admire him for refusing to give up armed struggle in 1985 when he could have cut a deal to get himself out of jail, for refusing to compromise or consider his own safety, for declining to put himself above his comrades or the people, and perhaps above all for having the bollocks to stand in a court in the most repressive country in the world and challenge it to hang him.
It seems to me that Mandela set himself two main tasks; the first was the dismantling of apartheid, allowing equal rights and universal suffrage, the liberation of his own people as such. The second was the integration of the races into a fair and equal (socialist) society. In the first task he succeeded, his strategy of “carry(ing) on the fight even within the fortress of the enemy” whilst the guerrilla war continued around him, paid off – but let’s not overlook the sacrifice of the untold thousands of combatants and non-combatants whose lives were lost in that liberation struggle.
In the second he failed, the world had moved on a long way during his incarceration, the economic dividends of WW2 and the cold war expired and gave way to neoliberalism. I believe his Marxist education would have led him to conclude that a bourgeois revolution must precede a socialist one; that majority representation would allow the mode of production to advance to this end. The ANC continued the expropriation of the producers from the means of production, creating both a black proletariat and a black bourgeoisie. For the sake of the economy, and perhaps to avoid international ostracism, the privileged white minority were allowed to keep their luxurious houses and well paid jobs, sealing themselves off into fortresses to avoid the wrath of the poor outside. They have Mandela’s faith in social democracy to thank for not having been slaughtered in droves.
However the personality cult that has grown up around the victor of apartheid disguises a vicious class system and a country as divided as ever. 20 years later, South Africa is still a very unequal society, perhaps 100 years behind even Western Europe, like everyone else it practices neoliberal capitalism, and like all such societies rests on the myths of freedom and equality under the law and the absurd idea that the poor somehow benefit from the prosperity of the rich. Only those who have direct access to the means of production are free, the rest have to do as they’re told. The summary execution of 34 striking miners at Marikana last year, and the torture of hundreds of others, just makes the point that the ANC snatched from the jaws of victory a primitive, 19th century style capitalism. Once again, we have to understand the failure of a revolution in terms of the psychological deterioration of individuals corrupted by power.
I don’t blame Mandela for all that; I wonder how many of the keyboard warriors who rushed to shout ‘fuck Nelson Mandela’ on radical fora could even speak a coherent sentence after 27 years in jail with hard labour and solitary confinement. As for Cameron, Blair and Obama, you’re just pissing in the wind you stupid bastards.
The working class sometimes needs figureheads but it doesn’t need leaders, it needs everyone to get up off their arse and take responsibility for what goes on around them. I think I’ll go with my initial reaction to the news, raise a fist then get on with it and try a bit harder.
Mal Content 2013.
The cuts are biting, the economy is faltering, and our campaigns need to grow in strength. Bournemouth Uncut are hosting another day of skills sharing (the 4th skills sharing event we have hosted in Dorset), this free event will be a fantastic day of skills sharing; training in the core aspects of what it takes to be an organised direct action network.
We will be facilitating workshops and training covering:
• Consensus and facilitation
• How to organise direct actions
• How to run an effective communications campaign
• Knowing your rights
• Tips and tricks in organising
This is a important opportunity is open to everyone for people from all around the region to come together and start planning for future direct action in the South.
In our continued appreciation of your support towards our organizing here in Uganda, during our meeting held on Sunday 17th November at our offices, a motion(minute) was passed to thank you our contributors to our fundraising campaigns and explain to you as well the reasons for the campaigns as here follows:
EXPLANATION AND REASONS FOR THE FUNDRAISINGS:
1. The Uganda Government (especially the District local government) demands that None Governmental Organizations (NGOs) operating at local and national levels show a minimum of USD 2000 for their annual income/expenditure and account of related activities and or purchases and a minimum of USD 4000 for international NGOs.Moreover some of these so called policies and laws are not written anywhere.
2. The Industrial Workers of the World(IWW) being the first of its kind not only in Uganda but also in the whole of Africa, we are overwhelmed by the number of enthusiastic workers eager to learn much about it and hence need for a lot of materials to facilitate this.
3. Most of the workers not in self employment but both in formal and informal employments are not paid their salaries /wages in time or not at all paid and those paid are paid very low salaries compared to the cost and standards of living in Uganda ,eg a Ugandan teacher working five days a week and 10 hours a day earns equivalent of United States Dollars 120 while nurses working for the same time earn USD 160.Most civil servants have their salaries not paid since April this year. They earn a living by growing crops on their own gardens and staying either at their own homes or government provided simple housing. This makes it difficult for most IWW Uganda members to pay their dues and contribute to other activities/causes for the running of the branch.
4. We always get members of the working class who like to show their solidarity towards our organizing through financial support and there is no way we can be able to mobilize and receive their contributions given that it is always each in amounts expensive to send through internationally other known means of funds transfer.
5. Over 90% of Ugandan population does not have credit cards and have no access to internet banking hence cannot make local fundraisings which can be locally supported in similar ways. Also the Uganda Government opposes/resists local fundraisings by trade Unions and opposition political parties with intent of making sure they remain weak and unstable. Also locally publicly announced fundraisings could lead to the Government sabotaging us(the union).
6. Usually we post the fundraising on the Indiegogo website, and once the campaign receives a reasonable percent of the targeted goal it is given a chance to appear on the Indiegogo website hence advertising the union in general since we always indicate the union website and contact information. This results into contacts and enquiries and possibly also joining the IWW.
7. The contributors are always updated on the prevailing fundraising campaign and finished campaigns and how the funds were properly utilized for the intended cause. Receipts, photos and video clips are also sent to the gallery section of the campaigns as well as emailed to the individual contributors.
The funds are also reflected in the General Membership Branch(GMB)’s report to the General Secretary/Treasurer of the IWW which is done every 6 months.The Report for the months of January to June this year was sent in at the beginning of July while that of July to October was sent in a few days ago.That of November and December will be sent ii at the end of December.
8. The campaigns are also away of participation of both IWW and none IWW members of the working class to contribute to the building of the IWW in general and Uganda in particular by contributing ideas, cash and in kind. Also increase solidarity among the GMB and other members of the working class.
9. Some of the fundraised funds is taken back by the company through which we make the fundraising usually 12% when the campaign doesn’t reach its goal and 7% when it reaches its goal; plus bank charges.
Also some of the money is used to purchase and post perks to our contributors as stipulated by the company through which we do the fundraising. Hence the money received is less than the targeted and that shown on the website.
This has luckily helped us raise targeted goals in most cases.
10. Most of the perks to our contributors are products of our fellow members, supporters and or members of the working class especially art works and handcrafts which make a source of income to them.
11. It serves as multiple sources of research on fundraisings and finance management, knowledge of existence of the IWW by fellow workers globally, attitude to the IWW by workers and relationships of the IWW with other workers’ organizations and also research on why workers may or may not join the IWW.
12. It has taken us some of the IWW Uganda members a lot of time, money, brainwork, research and studying before coming out with successful results through crowd funding and instead of stopping it we would rather help other fellow workers on how to make successful crowd funding campaigns.
13. The rate of exchange value of Uganda Shilling to US dollar, Euro, British pound is 2500, 3000 and 4000 times (in that order) the Uganda Shilling thus making it more possible to do much more work or pay for more here with the same amount of such currency than can be done with the same amount of money in the home/origin of that currency.
14.The General Membership Branch being here the first and only one of its kind not only in Uganda but also on the whole Africa continent where there is limited freedom of speech,expression,association,assembly and very little democracy; we encounter a lot of challenges given that the present membership is highly enthusiastic though small in number. Support can help to make the ROC grow and be self sustaining in the future. As most funds are used to purchase equipments such as computers, photocopier, printers and furniture it gives the IWW ownership of the ROC and thus the ROC being independent of individual members.
15. The working class members here have big families and extended families to cater for thus making them have less to spare as contributions and donations to the organization and organizing.
16. Despite capitalism destroying human nature, the inherent to share and help each other remains. This should be highly exemplified in organizations of the left such as ours that promote fraternity and solidarity.
Yours in Solidarity,
Secretary/Treasurer Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Uganda.