[WSMDiscuss] Fwd: [Abahlali] Abahlali baseMjondolo is in Solidarity with the Workers of the World
jai.sen at cacim.net
Fri May 1 23:16:53 CEST 2020
Friday, May 1, 2020
Workers in movement…, Dwellers in movement…, South Africa in movement…, Solidarity in movement !
From South Africa :
Abahlali baseMjondolo is in Solidarity with the Workers of the World
> Begin forwarded message:
> From: "Abahlali Press" (via abahlali Mailing List) <abahlali at lists.riseup.net>
> Subject: [Abahlali] Abahlali baseMjondolo is in Solidarity with the Workers of the World
> Date: May 1, 2020 at 12:38:44 PM EDT
> To: abahlali at lists.riseup.net
> Reply-To: abmpress at gmail.com
Friday, 1 May 2020
Abahlali baseMjondolo press statement
Abahlali baseMjondolo is in Solidarity with the Workers of the World
Our movement was started in 2005 as a movement of the poor. From the beginning we worked to build the power of impoverished people in order to confront and defeat the oppression that we faced. However, there is no strict line that separates the unemployed and people making a living through informal work from the formally employed working class. There are unemployed people, people working informally and formally employed workers in the same families and communities.
We have always tried to build solidarity with progressive groups of organised residents and informal and formal workers in South Africa and around the world. In recent years we have been very pleased to build a living solidarity with the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem Terra (MST) in Brazil and today we express our solidarity with the MST and all progressive formations in Brazil who are struggling against the dangerous far right-wing president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro. We express our solidarity with all our comrades all over the world, from America to Zimbabwe.
When we started our movement some of the founder members had backgrounds in trade unions and in recent years we have been very pleased to start building a living solidarity with the progressive forces in the trade union movement. For us building this living solidarity is an essential political task on the road to undoing the system of racial capitalism and building a socialist society in which land, wealth and political power are shared, and the dignity of all people is respected.
Today as we celebrate Workers’ Day under lockdown our usual forms of organisation are not possible. All over the world it is impoverished people and working-class people who are most at risk from this pandemic. It is also impoverished people and working-class people who are paying the highest price for the lockdown, including a sudden loss of income resulting in hunger, having to undertake dangerous work, and, in South Africa, violent evictions and police brutality.
Workers lives are being put in danger by those who put the profit before lives. Our dedicated health workers who have been in the forefront since the outbreak of the pandemic are still working under difficult and dangerous conditions. Many hospitals have not provided workers with the personal protective gear. Some of the CEOs have forced nurses to continue working without ensuring their safety. We are in full support of the one-day strike that has been organised in South Africa today by organised nurses to demand that they are given all the equipment required to keep them safe from the coronavirus.
Workers, including those doing unpaid work in homes, create the wealth of the world and yet that wealth is monopolised by a few greedy capitalists while the majority of humanity remains impoverished and exploited. This has to stop. The wealth of the world needs to be shared, and the economy needs to be brought under democratic control. Just as we run our occupations and our movement by building democratic councils democratic organisation needs to be extended into all work places.
Even before the coronavirus hit us workers were being retrenched at a frightening scale in South Africa, and in both the public and private sectors. It is now estimated that between 1, 3 and even 7 million workers will lose their jobs as a result of the pandemic. Others will be forced to accept pay cuts or to work less hours. This is going to result in massive suffering. As people can no longer afford food and rent there will be more land occupations which will result in more state repression. There will be blood on the road ahead.
Capitalism has failed in South Africa and it has failed around the world. We cannot continue to put the profit of the few over the lives, security, well-being and dignity of the many. We will continue to build alliances that can strengthen the democratic power of the oppressed from below with the aim of bringing the economy under democratic control.
We welcome the long overdue income grant that will be provided to the unemployed. However, we feel that R350 a month is not sufficient enough. This new grant must be increased to R1 700. It is a joke that the government provides food parcels that are worth R1 200 yet they expect the poor to survive on R350 a month.
We welcome the arrival of 200 doctors from Cuba. Cuba is an example how a socialist state can improve the lives of the poor. Everyone knows how the Cubans defeated the apartheid army at the battle of Battle of Cuito Cuanavale in Angola in 1988 and how well the Cubans dealt with education and health care after their revolution in 1959. A poor and black person gets much better health care and education in Cuba than in the United States even though there is much, much more wealth in the United States.
We have always looked up to comrades Fidel Castro and Ernesto Che Guevara as activists who were genuinely committed to breaking the power of imperialism and putting the interests of the poor and the working class before private profit. In fact, one of our branches in Durban is named after Castro.
Even though this is a dull workers day we continue to be in solidarity with the workers of the world. Without the workers there is no economy. We salute every worker from the home to the factory and every struggle to build the democratic power of organised workers. We salute the health workers of the world during this pandemic. It is through your bravery and dedication that we will overcome this pandemic. We are in full support of your demands for a living wage and safe working conditions.
A luta continua
Mqapheli Bonono 073 0673 274
S’bu Zikode 083 547 0474
Land & Dignity!
Abahlali baseMjondolo http://www.abahlali.org <http://www.abahlali.org/>
AbM Facebook Group:http://www.facebook.com/group.php?v=wall&gid=19659923423 <http://www.facebook.com/group.php?v=wall&gid=19659923423>
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Land, Housing, Dignity!
Umhlaba Izindlu neSithunzi!
Independent researcher, editor; Senior Fellow at the School of International Development and Globalisation Studies at the University of Ottawa
jai.sen at cacim.net <mailto:jai.sen at cacim.net>
Now based in New Delhi, India (+91-98189 11325) and in Ottawa, Canada, on unceded and unsurrendered Anishinaabe territory (+1-613-282 2900)
CURRENT / RECENT publications :
Jai Sen, ed, 2018a – The Movements of Movements, Part 2 : Rethinking Our Dance. Ebook and hard copy available at PM Press <http://www.pmpress.org/>
Jai Sen, ed, 2018b – The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us Move ? (Indian edition). New Delhi : AuthorsUpfront, in collaboration with OpenWord and PM Press. Hard copy available at MOM1AmazonIN <https://www.amazon.in/dp/9387280101/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1522884070&sr=8-2&keywords=movements+of+movements+jai+sen>, MOM1Flipkart <https://www.flipkart.com/the-movements-of-movements/p/itmf3zg7h79ecpgj?pid=9789387280106&lid=LSTBOK9789387280106NBA1CH&marketplace=FLIPKART&srno=s_1_1&otracker=search&fm=SEARCH&iid=ff35b702-e6a8-4423-b014-16c84f6f0092.9789387280106.SEARCH&ppt=Search%20Page>, and MOM1AUpFront <http://www.authorsupfront.com/movements.htm>
Jai Sen, ed, 2017 – The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us Move ?. New Delhi : OpenWord and Oakland, CA : PM Press. Ebook and hard copy available at PM Press <http://www.pmpress.org/>
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