Socialist Worker

Africa


Durban women attack 'satans who run industry'

31 August 2002
WOMEN IN one of South Africa's poorest townships, Wentworth on the edge of Durban, issued a statement about why they are protesting at the Earth Summit. They have called their grassroots organisation the Wentworth Summit on Sickness and Death (WSSD), mirroring the official title of the world leaders' gathering, the World Summit on Sustainable Development.

The summit will not help world's poor

31 August 2002
"WE ARE inspired by Seattle and Genoa, and we hope our protest turns into something like Seattle." That's how South Africa's Anti-Privatisation Forum summed up its aim and hope for the mass protest it planned at the Earth Summit on Saturday. The forum is an umbrella group uniting a wide range of people campaigning for social justice.

Poor have false allies

31 August 2002
NEW LABOUR, the Tories and the US government are all trying to blame Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe, for famine in southern Africa. They use the same language of "regime change" that we hear used about Iraq. On Wednesday of last week George W Bush's top adviser on African affairs said that the US wants Mugabe out, and that he had "stolen an election". This is breathtaking hypocrisy from the people who are in the White House because they stole the Florida election for Bush.

Earth Summit

31 August 2002
ANOTHER SUMMIT, and more claims from government leaders that they want to tackle world poverty and global warming. But as the delegates meet in the South African city of Johannesburg, they are likely to entrench the same forces and policies responsible for the crisis. Almost three billion people, half the world's population, live on less than two US dollars a day.

Links in the global chain

31 August 2002
THE PROTESTS against the rich and powerful at the Earth Summit in South Africa have been inspiring. Following on from the protests in Barcelona and Seville earlier this year, they are a powerful rebuttal to all those who claimed the anti-capitalist movement was dead after 11 September.

International solidarity

24 August 2002
AROUND 120 people demonstrated outside the South African embassy in London last week in solidarity with 87 people who went on trial in Johannesburg. The accused included Trevor Ngwane who was interviewed in Socialist Worker last week.

Rulers' ten years of broken promises

24 August 2002
THE EARTH Summit starts in Johannesburg, South Africa, next week. World leaders will talk about tackling poverty, dealing with the environmental crisis and embracing "sustainable development". US president George W Bush is hostile even to making such noises. This could lead some people to think that the summit must contain something good.

Protesters brand summit a sham

24 August 2002
SOUTH AFRICAN workers, landless labourers, campaigners and activists are preparing a massive demonstration outside the Earth Summit in Johannesburg. Inside the plush corridors of the conference complex in Sandton, surrounded by police and barbed wire, politicians and businessmen will be meeting from Monday.

African socialists write on struggle

10 August 2002
THE NEWS of famine across much of southern Africa has underlined the suffering of that continent-a suffering which is the result of slavery, colonialism and capitalism. But there is another side of African experience-the fightback against capitalism and imperialism.

Corporations that control world's food

10 August 2002
EVERY DAY 25,000 people die directly from starvation. Many thousands more die from diseases because their bodies are weakened by malnutrition. The multinationals and bankers wreck the economies of countries in Africa and Asia where those people starve. But there are firms which are also directly responsible for who lives and who dies, who eats and who wastes away.

Trevor Ngwane

10 August 2002
NEXT week Trevor Ngwane and 86 others go on trial in Johannesburg, South Africa, for protesting against electricity and water cut-offs and evictions. They face jail.

International solidarity

10 August 2002
PROTESTERS will gather outside the South African embassy on Thursday next week in solidarity with 87 anti-privatisation activists from the Soweto Electricity Crisis Committee. The 87, including renowned militant Trevor Ngwane, will be hauled before a court in Johannesburg on that day.

Millions left to starve

03 August 2002
WHILE the US and Britain prepare to use vast resources for war, 14 million people in southern Africa have been left to starve. People in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe are particularly affected. Politicians claim that the suffering is because of drought or "African corruption". In truth people are dying because they are the subjects of a crazed mass social experiment: take a poor society, let the market rip, and see what happens. Far from showering prosperity on Africa, the market prescriptions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank have produced bigger mounds of corpses.

Anti-deportation

27 July 2002
ANTI-DEPORTATION campaigners will be holding a vigil at the Home Office in London next Thursday to highlight the case of Aziz Ahmed and his family. Aziz, a political refugee from East Africa, has been held in detention for over a year, in four different centres.

Victory in South African strike

27 July 2002
Council workers in South Africa have won big concessions over pay after a national strike lasting almost three weeks. The Samwu municipal workers' union won a £14 a month increase in the minimum wage and a 9 percent increase for most of its members. The employers' body had earlier refused to budge from 8 percent.

How our rulers bomb for power

27 July 2002
THE FIRST bombing from the air took place in 1911. Almost inevitably, given the history of European imperialism, it was a bloody massacre to put down colonial revolt. The Italian lieutenant Giulio Cavotti dropped four bombs on Arabs near Tripoli in north Africa who had fought back against Italian troops.

South African workers in key battle

20 July 2002
OVER 100,000 South African council workers started their second week on all-out strike on Tuesday. They are fighting for a minimum wage of £150 a month. At present the minimum wage is £125 a month.

World Bank steals grain from starving

20 July 2002
THE HEAD of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) sensationally admitted last week that international bankers had forced a desperately poor African country to sell grain just as a famine began. They demanded that the life-saving grain was sold in order to repay debts.

Peanuts won't solve poverty

06 July 2002
WHAT DID the leaders of the Group of Eight (G8) leading industrial countries do last week while they skulked behind massive police protection at Kananaskis, deep in the Canadian Rockies? The British government had been busily briefing that they would deliver the "Marshall Plan for Africa" that Tony Blair promised at the disastrous G8 summit in Genoa last year.

Socialists are beaten and jailed

22 June 2002
MORE THAN 70 people were arrested and beaten in Harare, Zimbabwe, last weekend. They were taking part in a peaceful commemoration of the Soweto anti-apartheid uprising in South Africa in 1976. Socialist MP Munyaradzi Gwisai, who is due to speak at Marxism 2002 in London, was singled out for special treatment by the riot police. He was severely beaten and needed urgent medical treatment.

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