The revolutionary programme of Trotskyism in South America:
The Theses of Pulacayo
As the leading elements in the South African working class struggle over key points in the revolutionary programme of Marxism, such as the role of the working class in the revolution, how they relate to other classes, how they should work in government and politics, how to organise at the workplace and in the community, how to plan to develop the national economy and industry, how to organise politically as a party and in a United Front, the Pulacayo Theses provide an essential guide for a way forward.
In 1946 the Bolivian Miners’ Federal Trade Union (FSTMB) was a centre of a profound debate between political tendencies which culminated in the Pulacayo Theses submitted by the Trotskyist Revolutionary Workers Party (POR). Now nearly 70 years old, these Theses stand up astonishingly well as a practical and theoretical guide to action.
Workers International Journal strongly recommends a study of these theses to all those who strive to build the movement demanded by the NUMSA special congress of December 2013
I. Basic principles
1. The proletariat, in Bolivia as in other countries, constitutes the revolutionary social class par excellence. The mineworkers, the most advanced and the most combative section of this country’s proletariat, determine the direction of the FSTMB’s struggle.
2. Bolivia is a backward capitalist country; within its economy different stages of development and different modes of production coexist, but the capitalist mode is qualitatively dominant, the other socio-economic forms being a heritage from our historic past. The prominence of the proletariat in national politics flows from this state of affairs.
3. Bolivia, even though a backward country, is only one link in the world capitalist chain. National peculiarities are themselves, a combination of the essential features of the world economy. Continue reading
15 June 2015
To Mr. Peter Katjavivi
Speaker of the National Assembly of Namibia
we write to you in great concern about a campaign of slanders and threats, including death threats, which is targeting several members of our Namibian section, the Workers Revolutionary Party.
The authors of these criminal acts are members of a group around lay lawyer August Maletzky and former member of parliament Benson Kaapala. August Maletzky took this campaign to its highest point to date on Wednesday, 10 June, at about 18H30 when he shouted several times across the street at the house of our member and the legal representative of the WRP, comrade Hewat Beukes, that Hewat Beukes would be killed.
These threats by the Maletzky-Kaapala group have been multiplying and intensifying since you, Mr Katjavivi, as Speaker of the National Assembly, chose to promote this same group of violent and dishonest elements around Maletzky and Kaapala as a “faction” of the WRP on equal footing with WRP’s legitimate leadership and its only legal representative, comrade Hewat Beukes. You choose to ignore the fact that comrade Hewat Beukes is indeed the only legal representative of the WRP, a fact that is legally binding for everybody and especially for you in your function as Speaker of the National Assembly. Continue reading
The Workers Revolutionary Party of Namibia
(a section of the Workers International to Rebuild the Fourth International) is registered as a parliamentary party with long-standing member Hewat Beukes as its official responsible officer. In November 2014 the WRP took part in the Assembly (government) elections and won two seats.
However they faced problems immediately when parliamentary officials tried to insert a certain Willem Beukes as one of their MPs, whereas under Namibian law it is for each party itself to name its MPs. This being the case officialdom was obliged to back down. But this did not end the threats, interference, intimidation and harassment of the WRP.
The aim of the SWAPO (South West African People’s Organisation) government is to silence effective opposition to their state-assisted looting of the country’s assets and natural resources. Therefore they are deeply opposed to the policies which the WRP wants to pursue in Parliament. These were detailed in the maiden speeches of the two MPs explaining that “we use parliament to advance the demands of the working class including the poor peasantry”. (NOTE: these two speeches are published in full in Workers International Journal no. 12, May 2015: web: workersinternational.info). Continue reading
Inside this issue:
‘This house will have to hear the independent voice of the working class’ Maiden speech of WRP parliamentarian Benson Kaapal
‘We will put forward the seizure of our natural resources to enable us to fund the upliftment of the working class and poor peasantry’ Salmon Fleermuys addresses Parliament
WRP Namibia’s response to Sam Nujoma
‘You are not welcome at our commemoration’ A letter to the President of Namibia from the Baster Community in Rehoboth
Hewat and Erica Beukes on behalf of the Beukes and Thiro families: Do not attend!
Statements and postings by the United Front
Irvin Jim’s input to the conference for socialism
Report of a Workers International delegation to Johannesburg
Suicide bid of two workers, former combatants
An appeal to the international labour community
The Polish miners’ strike ended last Friday evening (they went back to work on Monday) with a political victory and an economic compromise. The managing director has left, the sacked trade unionists have been re-employed.
Information and video published on the Sindicat Solidarnost Tuzla website and the Zagreb Workers Front website (see: https://www.facebook.com/Radnicka.Fronta/posts/915345861833247)
Jan Malewski, 13 February 2015 (Translated from http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article34332 )
Polish miners at the Jastrzebie Colliery Company (JSW) have launched an appeal for international solidarity signed by Boguslaw Zietek, president of the “August 80” trade union (1). We would be grateful if you could disseminate it as widely as possible.
The strike started on 28 January when the managing director of JSW, Jaroslaw Zagorowski, sacked 9 trade unionist at the “Budryk” mine for organising a solidarity strike with the miners at another company, KW (Kompania weglowa [“mining company”] Europe’s biggest mining business, which wanted to close four pits and sack the miners. This strike, was successful, with the backing of the whole population. The four mines were not closed and there were no sackings, according to the agreement with the government signed on 17 January. At that time the government made a commitment that there would be no reprisals against the strikers and those who solidarised with them…) The managing director has also suspended the collective agreements signed two years ago when JSW was converted to a PLC with shareholders. Among those sacked was Krysztof Labadz, leader of the “August 80” union and of the 46 day-long strike in 2007-2008.
All trade unions supported the strike – “Solidarnosc”, ZZG (the mining branch of OPZZ), FZZ (Forum of trade unions), WZZ “Sierpen 80” (“August 80” Free Trade Union), “Kadra” (Cadres), etc. etc. There is a united strike committee made up of the five main unions in the region. Continue reading
Workers Revolutionary Party to Rebuild the Fourth International is a member of the Workers International for the Rebuilding of the Fourth International.
Its leadership emanated from the liberation struggle of Namibia and were part of the socialists in the SWAPO Youth League, which in 1976 unsuccessfully challenged the SWAPO Leadership for all-encompassing corruption and imperialist collaboration due to imperialist intervention.
In 1984 we started building our party clandestinely and stood in the forefront of the struggle against the terror campaign and mass killings of SWAPO members by the SWAPO leadership in exile in Angola and Zambia.
In 1988 our party called out the mass protests of 4 May 1988 against South Africa just prior to independence obtained in 1989.
Since 1990 we have fought on all fronts on issues wracking the working class and the colonial status quo maintained by the colonial ruling classes through a caretaker boss-boy SWAPO regime. Continue reading
WORKERS REVOLUTIONARY PARTY TO REBUILD THE FOURTH INTERNATIONAL
P.O. Box 3349 Windhoek Fax: 088641065 Tel: 061-260647 email@example.com
14 December 2014
Our party is a member of the Workers International for the Rebuilding of the Fourth International. Its leadership emanated from the liberation struggle of Namibia and were part of the socialists in the SWAPO Youth League, which in 1976 unsuccessfully challenged the SWAPO Leadership for all-encompassing corruption and imperialist collaboration due to imperialist intervention.
In 1984 we started building our party clandestinely and stood in the forefront of the struggle against the terror campaign and mass killings of SWAPO members by the SWAPO leadership in exile in Angola and Zambia. In 1988 our party called out the mass protests of 4 May 1988 against South Africa just prior to independence obtained in 1989.
Since 1990 we fought on all fronts on issues wracking the working class and the colonial status quo maintained by the colonial ruling classes through a caretaker boss-boy SWAPO regime.
We dealt with trade union issues, the homeless, the landless and workers who were in struggle over the past 24 years. We participated in elections to articulate a workers program and self-determination for national groups. Continue reading
WORKERS REVOLUTIONARY PARTY TO REBUILD THE FOURTH INTERNATIONALP.O. Box 3349 Windhoek Fax: 088641065 Tel: 061-260647 firstname.lastname@example.org
We are using the 2014 elections to propagate the following enlightenment for the working people of this country:
On 13 November 1970, the Namibian nation called together the National Convention at Rehoboth where national groups were represented by their respective leaders including the SWANU and SWAPO. It was to be a united front for the liberation of Namibia from South Africa. In January 1971 the UNO declared – SWAPO a tribal organization – the Sole and Authentic Representative of the Namibian People, thereby rendering void the right to self-determination of the Namibian People.
The UNO subsequently revoked the representative status of the leaders of the different national groups and thus opened the way for the South African sponsored Turnhalle Conference in 1975 and the Conscription Act in 1977.
We the present leaders of the WRP – then leaders of the Youth League – with others led the Anti-Conscription movement, which was opposed by the SWAPO leadership in exile. Continue reading
Statement by Workers International
On 8 November, 33 out of 57 office bearers of the South African trade union federation COSATU (Congress of South African Trade Unions) voted to expel the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) from their federation.
NUMSA is the biggest, among the most militant, and certainly the most socialist-minded of the South African trade unions. It was a founder union of COSATU.
The decision to expel was taken by a bare 58% of the federation office bearers, because those who had determined to get rid of NUMSA could not be sure that they would win the expulsion vote at a national Congress of all COSATU members.
NUMSA’s expulsion was the latest act in a long saga of a developing and increasingly stark division in the South African trade union leaderships, which has now resulted in this very visible split.
The breaking point was 12 August 2012, when the South African police force shot down 34 striking miners at Marikana. Their crime was to refuse to sell their labour for less than a living wage. Continue reading