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Financial appeal from our Namibian comrades

For many years now, the Namibian Workers Advice Centre has been run from the Windhoek home of Erica and Hewat Beukes.
They have been forced to fight a legal battle over many years to defend the premises against legal and financial chicanery. Many homeowners in Namibia have suffered from this evil, but in the case of Erica and Hewat Beukes a further element has been state and political attempts to silence and paralyse their campaigning work.
In the course of the struggle, for example, their access to electricity and water has been illegally cut off.
Now they are involved in a legal appeal which could secure their title to the premises. They need to raise money to finance the technical costs of the court case.
Their detailed request for support is below. Please help with as much as you can.

•••

WORKERS REVOLUTIONARY PARTY (WRP) TO REBUILD THE FOURTH INTERNATIONAL
A party duly registered in terms of the Electoral laws of the Republic of Namibia
Fax: 088641065 Tel: 061-260647 4479 Dodge Avenue Khomasdal
jacobusjosob@gmail.com / ericabeukes@yahoo.co.uk

Appeal
Erica is the leader joint committee for truth and justice by the committee of parents former PLAN Fighters.
The committee is fighting for an international enquiry into mass murder of Namibians in Exile.
She is also the director of the workers advice centre which was established in 1991.
The workers advice centre fight against the onslaught on workers rights all levels including the derogation of legal rights in labour legislation by corporate lawyers.
Hewat is the leader of the Workers Revolutionary Party which fights to arm the working class through organisation and building their own political party.
Both have been involved leaders in the struggle for independence and self-determination.
In 1974 they established a clandestine socialist youth organisation.
Erica and Hewat have faced continual persecution by the Namibian State over the past 31 years.
The target was their livelihood.
In 2005 the organised criminal First National Bank illegally sold their residence in the name of the South West Africa Building Society (SWABOU) with which they held the bond.
This was part of the scams conducted by the FNB through the courts of Namibia in which they stole the R3,7 billion homeloan book of the SWABOU, deregistered the building society without the knowledge of the members and the bondholders.
Court cases proliferated as corrupt judges through corrupt judgments protected the bank.
The State and the bank used the municipality and the courts to cut all services to Erica and Hewat. In 2005 they cut water and in 2017 the Chief Justice gave a judgment which he concocted from smear campaigns and pure fabrications to find that Erica and Hewat had no right to water and electricity. The pre-paid electricity had been cut too.
On 25 March 2021, a judge gave the final judgment on the house dispute rejecting the application of Erica and Hewat .The judgment did not make sense, but they were forced to lodge an appeal after they came to hear of the judgment on 21 May 2021.
We ask that socialists and working class fighters respond to our financial appeal. We need N$56,000 for the appeal record of which we need 30% deposit urgently. Comrade Hewat will defend the case in person in the Supreme Court. Thus, costs for legal representation will not be required.
We may need a further N$25,000 for legal costs for legal expertise. This will be pressing very shortly
The residence over time has become a centre for working class struggles around the country. In 1986 the house was bombed. In post-colonial Namibia it has become a target for harassment, intimidation and ejectment.
Its very defence is part of the struggle of the working class in this country.

Jacobus Josob
Secretary General

International support for Rössing Union leaders

Rehire Namibia Mineworker Union Rossing Leaders President Xi-Jinping! Rally At SF Chinese Consulate

https://youtu.be/kjLdDEnONqo

Trade unionists and workers spoke out at the San Francisco Chinese Consulate on February 12, 2021 to demand that the Chinese government rehired the fired Namibia Mineworker Union Rossing branch. The Chinese National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) which is controlled by the government has illegally fired the NMU Rossing union executive committee in September. They also recently fired a newly elected chairperson in an effort to completely destroy the union. Speakers also opposed the US imperialist encirclement of China but said that internationalists must back the struggle of not only the Namibian workers but all workers around the world whether they work for Chinese companies or other US and European capitalists companies. The rally took place before the labor arbitration hearing that is being held in Namibia on February 15, 2021 to decide on their discharges. Continue reading

A report from a comrade in Belarus

The process of mass protests against the falsification by dictator Lukashenko of the election results in August this year. These days, we were engaged in supporting the national strike committee and helped organize connections between various striking enterprises.

You ask about the peculiarities of life in Belarus, about what is happening in addition to receptions against the dictatorial regime. Firstly, our president is the main COVID-dissident of Europe and we do not take any measures related to quarantine or restriction of economic activity. Secondly, we have a vicious and quite capitalist dictatorship that is covered by the fake facade of Soviet nostalgia. People who get into our country say “Oh, yes, you have everything as in the Soviet Union” you do not have oligarchs, but in fact this is not so. Although in our country, unlike Russia and Ukraine, large machine building and agricultural enterprises have been preserved, called collective farms “Kolkhoz” but all this is only a sign. These are quite capitalist enterprises. In relation to medium-sized factories and factories, we have quite capitalist privatization, the large Lukashenko clan seeks to maintain control, so they become CoLTD with a controlling stake in the state and managers appointed by the authorities. In agriculture, the so-called collective farms have long been part of large capitalist agrarian holdings. Continue reading

Belarus: Free union leaders and activists

In the last couple of months, Belarus has experienced rigged elections, mass protests, and severe violence carried out by the security forces.

Union leaders, members of the Belarusian Independent Trade Union (BITU), have been arrested and imprisoned for participating in protests and strike action.

Belarus: Free union leaders and activists.

At the center of these events is the JSC Belaruskali potash fertilizer site.  Dozens of activists and strike committee members at Belaruskali have been prosecuted, threatened, fined and deprived of benefits at work for their activities. BITU vice chair Siarhei Charkasau and three of his comrades, Pavel Puchenia, Yury Korzun and Anatol Bokun are in prison now. One sentence has followed the other while they were still serving their sentence.

BITU and IndustriALL are demanding an end to the persecution of employees of Belaruskali for their participation in the strike, and also those who continue to “work to rule” at Belaruskali. They are demanding an immediate release of the BITU leader and jailed activists.

Please take a moment to support the online campaign – click here.

And please share this message with your friends, family and fellow union members.

Eric Lee

Political training in South Africa under “lockdown”

SOCIALIST REVOLUTIONARY WORKERS PARTY

We are born of class struggle, in the fight to demolish the capitalist system that insists on the continued exploitation of most of society by a few humans. We seek to educate, agitate, mobilise and organize the working class into our political organisation.

The working class must fulfil our historic mission: to defeat imperialism and capitalism, establish a Socialist South Africa, Africa and World, as a prelude to advancing to a truly free and classless society: to a Communist South Africa, Africa and World!”  (SRWP homepage)

It turns out that political organising and education can take place a lot more effectively than some comrades feared online, even during “lockdown” when physical gatherings of any size are impossible within the state’s arrangements for dealing with Covid-19. Some of the resources which have assisted imperialism to step up exploitation across the globe, such as computer technology and modern communications, are also tools in the hands of the workers’ movement.

At time of writing, the Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party of South Africa (SRWP) has just contributed to members’ political education online with two talks on Marx and the early beginnings of capitalism by SRWP Deputy General Secretary Dr. Vashna Jagarnath and a session with Vijay Prashad of Transcontinental: Institute for Social Research and Chief Editor of LeftWord Books.

Vijay Prashad’s contribution on “CoronaShock & Imperialism” on 23 April 2020 is the one I would like to discuss here. It can be viewed on the SRWP Facebook page, so I urge the reader to do that, and I will make no systematic attempt to summarise his contribution here. It contained a number of important and useful observations.

Although Vijay Prashad only makes a couple of passing references to the Corvid-19 pandemic, he does lay out succinctly an analysis and a conception of present-day imperialism. Unfortunately, very informative though this presentation is, it does not shed light on how and why, in the course of the political struggle between the working class and the bourgeoisie at an international level for more than a century now, we got to the point which society has reached today. Vijay Prashad merely lists as objective facts the changes in features such as technology, communications and banking and finance which facilitate the current form of imperialist plunder. Nor does his presentation refer to or illuminate the aims of the SRWP stated above: “our historic mission – to defeat imperialism and capitalism, establish a socialist South Africa and World”, etc.

His references to the class struggle are all about forms of it which can be contained within the framework of existing bourgeois society. These are either trade union struggles over the extraction of surplus value in the form of “unpaid labour time”, or the politics of pressure on the bourgeois state to set limits on the rapacity of the bourgeoisie, provide welfare and other essential services, and so forth. These have been historically very significant ways in which the class struggle between bourgeoisie and proletariat has been waged, and indeed continue to be so. However, it has always been the understanding of Marxists that the culmination of this struggle must be what is expressed in the aims of SRWP set out at the head of this article. Continue reading

Comments on some contributions to a discussion on the significance of the Coronavirus pandemic and the way forward

Comments have been requested on a number of texts (see below Ed.) which have arisen in left-wing, socialist and Marxist circles in response to the Coronavirus crisis and the background of chronic economic and environmental crisis. 

Both Cde Shaheen Khan in South Africa and the “Public Reading Rooms” comrades in the UK make a number of serious analytical points in describing the current situation. Shaheen (1) writes: The capitalist system is in deep crisis and the rule of the capitalist class on a global scale is in jeopardy”.  No Going Back describes the coronavirus crisis and the feeble economic recovery from the 2008 banking crisis as arising from “the structural limits of the entire system of social reproduction”. (This latter document also adds that “The wanton destruction of nature by capital creates the perfect conditions for the emergence and spread of pandemics”). All three documents present proposals for a fresh impulse from the socialist movement and the working class to respond to these accumulating crises.

Both Shaheen and No Going Back emphasise the international and systemic character of the crisis. “As the pandemic spreads across the globe, the global health emergency is rapidly evolving into a crisis of the entire existing world social order”, says Shaheen (1). “The pandemic is global; it cannot be stopped in one country” says No Going Back. 

This is why Shaheen (1) says: “The task in the days, weeks and months ahead is to build a conscious socialist leadership throughout the world”. (This assertion is missing for some reason in Shaheen [2]). No Going Back calls for “The convocation of a Zimmerwald conference – which united the anti-war left in 1915 – for our times, to unify all those prepared to fight for a fundamental change in society; who understand the necessity of renewing the left’s strategic and theoretical framework as well as going beyond its existing organisational forms.”

All three documents lay great stress upon the activity and consciousness of the working class. In “Our Perspectives and Tasks” Shaheen Khan states “The working class is not taking this lying down … these are the molecular processes where the class is gradually beginning to comprehend the problems arising from the social crisis. Consciousness is determined by conditions”. He then takes the thought further: “A revolutionary party bases its tactics on a calculation of the changes of mass consciousness. While the party must impress through its propaganda and agitation … the dangers of the epidemic and the need for physical distancing we must begin to take leadership of the mass protest movement that is gaining momentum. The working class on its own is fighting and breaking down the parameters of the bourgeois lockdown and we need to direct this anger in the right direction and in the right quarters”. Both of Comrade Shaheen’s documents contain sets of proposals for a programme of action to bring this about. Continue reading