Workers of the World Unite!
Edited extract from a speech by COSATU General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi at the Opening Session of the 17th World Congress of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) on 03 April 2000
It is a great pleasure and a rare privilege to welcome you to this 17th ICFTU Congress.
To host you here, is a great honour, which we share with our fellow African compatriots. The holding of this congress in our continent signals confidence in the growing strength of the African trade union movement and is a strong statement of solidarity with the African trade union movement and people.
At the opening of the last century many societies were under the yoke of colonial oppression. That we meet in a democratic South Africa indicates humanity's progress to end colonial and racial oppression. The defeat of apartheid must be celebrated as an important victory for humanity and dispels the myth that we have no power to change our destiny.
This opening ceremony signals the beginning of the workers international parliament, for the forthcoming five days the eyes of the workers around the globe will be focused on the congress as we deliberate on the future of the trade union movement. Therefore we have an important mandate and challenge. This watershed congress will shape the future of the trade union movement and must meet expectations of our constituency and the progressive movement.
We must emerge from this congress with a new sense of purpose, mission and a vision for the trade union movement in the 21st century. In shaping this vision we must take stock of the past to defend and secure the future. The thread running though must be Defending our Gains and Securing our Future!
The congress takes place against the backdrop of the Seattle massive protest and the global economic crisis. The Seattle and Davos protests signaled the end to the cozy, secretive exclusive club comprising governments and big business shaping our destiny without our participation. We have recorded the need for inclusivity, transparency and democratic participation in shaping a new economic order.
The new global order threatens to plunge our world backwards into an epoch of social disintegration, and the destruction of nations, on a scale which matches the depredations of primitive colonialism over the last two millennia. Globalisation far from being a powerful instrument of progress is deepening existing inequalities - which often take on a racial and gender face - within nations and between rich and poor nations. When the market goes too far in dominating social and political outcomes, the opportunities and rewards of globalisation spread unequally and inequitably.
African societies are the worst affected by rampant global capital. Africa's human development index is dismal when compared to some developing and developed societies. Most of the African economies are poorly managed or reeling from structural adjustment programmes. Most of the highly indebted countries are in Africa. Structural adjustment is driven by the need of financial capital - countries must be forced to repay their debts. Structural adjustment eroded even the minimal gains made by African countries after independence such as improved health and education.
The dream of an "African Renaissance" will not be realised unless and until the world economic order is fundamentally restructured. We are called upon as the organised working class to lead the way in transforming the world economic order in favour of the working class and the poor.
The patterns of globalisation do not only affect the poor and working people in developing countries, but also affect those in developed countries. An increasing number of the populations in developed countries live in income poverty. Within the developed countries an increasing number of people and communities are falling into poverty. A growing number of people are holding down part time, low paying jobs, as a result of deregulation, casualisation, and contracting out.
Seattle was the beginning of a broader unity that should be consolidated. Progressive forces need to begin to mobilise internationally to develop an alternative strategy including:
- The development of an alternative platform for a new trade and financial world order.
- Democratisation of international multilateral institutions such as the IMF.
- Building a social movement both in the South and the North, which begins to articulate a new development path.
Moreover, we need to build a strong trade union movement and develop strategies to bring the 'new workers' into the fold. There is a new mood of resistance to the current world order, which is beginning to emerge. This creates an historical opportunity to challenge the 'globalisation paralysis', which has gripped the world over the last decade. The following words uttered more than a hundred years ago ring truer today.
" Workers of the World Unite"
Contribute to Umsebenzi and the African Communist
Future articles and themes
This is to invite readers of Umsebenzi and the African Communist to contribute articles on our future editions. Below are some of our future articles and themes.
African Rennaisance or Revolution? - During the past two years, our country has seen the growth and development of the concept of an “African Rennaisance”. What does this mean for the African rural poor, women and the working class? The 2nd quarter African Communist will be dedicated to this discussion. This issue will come out in June 2000.
Zimbabwe – Towards Co-option or Anti-Capitalism? The last several months have seen a worsening of Zimbabwe's political and economic situation. Already reeling from the prohibitive costs of maintaining thousands of troops in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, economic mismanagement, corruption and the human and social costs of recent floods, the country is facing serious challenges. In the next Umsebenzi, Dale McKinley will provide an analysis of events in Zimbabwe.
Racism and gender equality - It has been six years since we politically defeated apartheid. But what have been the challenges facing us in defeating racism and transforming gender relations in our country? What are the links between racism and gender?
How do poverty and class inequalities impact on racism and gender inequalities? The third quarter African Communist will explore these questions in full.
Use the Workers Library and Museum
Open Monday to Saturday, the Workers Library and Museum offers a range of facilities to the labour movement.
NEW! The Workers Bookshop, supplying labour and progressive publications, caps and t-shirts at the lowest price.
We also host monthly workshops on topical questions facing the labour movement.
The Workers Library and Museum is situated next to the corner of Bezuidenhout and Jeppe Streets, in the Newtown Cultural Precinct, Johannesburg.
Canadian Workers' Initiative
Adapted from Z-Net
By Judy Rebick. Judy Rebick is an activist, writer and broadcaster who lives in Toronto, Canada. She is the author of a new book called "Imagine Democracy".
The Canadian Auto Workers' Union (CAW) has just launched "A Task Force on Working Class Politics in the 21st Century."
Here is the introduction to the paper that introduces the task force to union members:
"We generally think of politics as being about who gets elected and what they do - that is about governments. But even though this is how it's normally expressed, the essence of politics is really about power and change; whose interests and values get attention and results, and how people organize to affect that. So politics is really about society and not just government. No matter who gets elected, as long as power in society remains basically in the hands of a minority, our lives are shaped and limited by that minority's control (power) over production, investment, finances and communications."
The CAW is the largest private sector union in Canada. It is a major force for social change in Canada and its President Buzz Hargrove has been perhaps the most visible and consistent spokesperson of the left in the country. In Canada the labour movement has been working closely with women's, environmental, student, gay and lesbian and other social movements for several decades.
The CAW has also historically been one of the strongest supporters of Canada's social democratic party, the NDP (New Democratic Party).
The NDP like most social democratic parties around the world is moving further and further right under the pressure of globalization and the right-wing ideological shift which hit Canada with a vengeance in the 1990's. Like Tony Blair's Labour Party, the NDP is also putting into question the nature of its relationship to the labour movement. That provides an opportunity for labour to begin to ask some fundamental questions. The CAW Task Force is the first attempt by labour movement or the left to come to grips with this changed political situation.
Instead of either ignoring the NDP or just critically supporting it because there is no alternative, the CAW is actively seeking other solutions. Some of the ideas that the task force will discuss include: electoral reform, local councils to make politicians more accountable, changing the union's relationship with the NDP or steps towards a new party.
As the NDP starts to look more and more like the mainstream capitalist parties, fundamental questions are raised for the left. Many groups believe that social movements alone can bring the kind of change we want. My own view is that a mass political party with links to the labour movement and the social movements is essential to any lasting change for the majority of people. The CAW Task Force on Working Class Politics could provide a framework for activists inside and outside the labour movement to begin the critical discussion of how to influence political change from inside the political system as well as from outside it.
An alternative view of SADC
|THE International Labour Resource and Information Group (ILRIG) ANNOUNCES
A NEW PUBLICATION – AN ALTERNATIVE VIEW OF SADC.
Sometime during the year 2000 the implementation of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Free Trade Area proposal is supposed to begin. Within a few years trade barriers within the region will be totally eliminated or greatly reduced.
This is a major change in the region, yet it has been debated very little by trade unions, community structures, NGOs and other progressive groupings.
This booklet, produced by the International Labour Resource and Information Group in Cape Town, presents an introduction to the key issues at stake. Who benefits? What are the details of the SADC Free Trade Area Proposal? What are the implications of the SADC FTA for workers, for the poor, for the lesser developed nations of the region? How can organised labour and other democratic structures participate the regional integration process? These are just some of the questions addressed in the booklet.
An Alternative View of SADC is the fifth in ILRIG's Globalisation Series.
Repression of Communists in Iraq
In Iraqi Kurdistan, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) is imposing its rule by carrying violations of political freedoms and human rights against communists, labour movement activists, Arab displaced campaigners, children rights advocates, youth and students union activist.
The The security forces of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan have arrested leaders and activists of the Workers' Communist Party of Iraq (WCPI), and closed down or harassed offices of organisations led by them.
In February, the PUK's security forces arrested three leading cadres of the WCPI and the Displaced Union who are still in detention. In January, the PUK's armed men in Qala'a Deza town arrested 11 activists of the Free Youth and Students Union. On the same day the Elderly Construction Workers Care Centre was targeted and Mahdi Rasul, chair of the Construction Worker's Union and the head of the Elderly Centre was arrested for several hours. The Centre was forcibly closed down. The Children's Rights Protection Centre is being constantly harassed.
The aim of this brutal campaign by the PUK is to restrict and ban the activities of the WCPI and the NGOs related to it.
Why is the PUK attacking Communists?
For the last 7 years, the WCPI has been engaged in a struggle for justice, freedom, equality and welfare of the people in an area controlled by the militia forces of the PUK and the KDP. Many WCPI comrades have been murdered by these militia forces.
Since the end of the Gulf War in 1991 there is no rule and law, no state, no defined individual and civil rights, no defined structural provision of medical care, or social services and welfare as in any normal country. The only law and order available is the law of power of the militia forces.
The WCPI led and organized workers and popular council movement during the uprising of March 1991 to establish worker and popular power and free Kurdistan from the Barzani and Talabani parties. Communists have always been fighting for the workers welfare and rights, for equality and freedom for women and for the empowerment of the women's movement.
What can you do?
The WCPI appeals to progressive parties and individuals, trade unions and human rights organisations around the world to protest these repressive actions. Respond to this appeal and send off letters of protest to the PUK. Also Amnesty International has taken up the case.
Write to the PUK showing your concern, distribute this information within your organisation and gather support for this issue. The PUK must be stopped and pressurised to end its unjustified campaign against the WCPI. All political prisoners must be released.
The PUK's contact numbers :
Cuban medical school for poor students from the rest of the world
Adapted from an article in Morning Star of 04 April 2000. The Morning Star is the daily newspaper of the Communist Party of Britain.
THE Cuban government recently opened the Latin American School for Medical Sciences offering free training for thousands of poor students from around the region who will return to work in their nations' poverty-striken communities.
The school' is working to form doctors who have a profound concept of humanitarian medicine for the people. "We don't want them to be doctors who, as happens with many, view medicine as a trade and patients as their customers," said the school's rector, Juan Carrizo Estevez.
At the opening ceremony Cuban president Fidel Castro told students that they would be the "apostles and creators of a more human world. We want the students to absorb the same doctrine as our doctors - total dedication to their future noble work, because the doctor is a shepherd, a priest, a missionary, a crusader for physical and mental health and well-being."
Just a few months after its official opening, the school now has 1881 students from 19 Latin American and Caribbean countries and Equatorial Guinea in Africa. Another 1500 are currently arriving for the new academic year and the school will eventually have between 8000 and 9000 students for the six-year medical training.
Havana covers all food, transport and general living expenses and a modest monthly income.
The students themselves express admiration for these acts of selfless solidarity.
"It's incredible. We can't believe how the Cubans, in the difficult economic situation they are in, can do all this. They give us everything free, every book." "We are so grateful", said a young Argentine student Patricia Legarreta, who hopes to work in remote zones of Patagonia after graduating in Cuba.
Celeo Armando Solis Palma from a farm family in a poor, rural area of Honduras, said that he had always wanted to study medicine but did not have the means before winning the Cuba scholarship. "We feel proud to be part of what Cuba is doing. This is an example to the world, the most humanitarian school in the world. The only way to pay Cuba back is to return and serve the most needy people in our countries, the rural areas where people are condemned to die for money problems," he said.
On top of this Cuba sends thousands of doctors to work in undeveloping countries every year. According to Health Minister Carlos Dotres, Cuba had more than 3,140 medical personnel on duty in 58 countries around the world at the end of last year.
In March, the Zambian Foreign Minister said that "Cuba has shown that it is a true friend,", welcoming an announcement that Cuba was sending more doctors to join the more than 1,000 already stationed in his country. He also said that his country would continue with the rest of the world to oppose the long-standing US blockade on Cuba, which today is only supported by Israel within the United Nations.
This growing support for Cuba has led the western media to claim that Cuba's international medical assistance is a form of "imperialism" which forces poor countries to depend on help from Havana. This warped and twisted logic only reveals further the west's contempt for Cuba and the threat that Havana's very existence represents to an economic system that rely's on greed and selfishness to justify itself.
20 million public service workers oppose privatisation
Reports Victor Mhlongo of SAMWU
Representatives of 20 million public service workers worldwide, including SAMWU, made their critical presence felt at the water privatisation conference (World Water Vision) organised in the Hague in March by the World Bank and multinationals.
They insisted on delivering a message that has been suppressed by the organisers - commercialisation of water is unpopular, unnecessary and undemocratic.
The World Water Vision exercise is undemocratic and unrepresentative of ordinary people. It is a multinational's vision, organised by the "politburo of privatisation."
The Public Service International (PSI) has released a dossier of briefings, based on detailed research using a global database, which lays out the hard, practical experiences of the problems created by water privatisation in developed and developing countries alike, over the last decade.
"This is no longer the future, it is a 10-year old experiment with a dubious past. We agree with the slogan 'it cannot be business as usual' - private business has proved itself to be no friend of families, communities, or workers." Hans Engelberts, PSI General Secretary.
There is an alternative, says the PSI: that the public needs for water and sanitation should be met by public sector water organisations, as is done efficiently and sensitively, with minimal extraction of profits, in many countries in the world - including the Netherlands itself.
"We stood up in key sessions, insisting on making our voices heard, insisting on presenting the evidence of what's wrong with commercialisation, insisting on presenting a different vision, for water and sanitation by the people, for the people." - Ferdinand Gaite, President, COURAGE/ Philippines.
PSI was joined by many members of civil society in opposing the direction and composition of the World Water Vision and its proposals to impose market forces on water. Under the banner the Blue Planet, these groups presented an alternative session where participants and the media debated the issues that the conference organisers aren't willing to deal with directly.
SAMWU lobbies Dutch municipal water company
Another mission for SAMWU was to meet with NUON. This is a Dutch municipal water company - kind of a corporatised public entity but still completely in the hands of the public sector. A few weeks ago, SAMWU heard that NUON had invested US$ 130 million in Biwater. This is a 50% stake in the company!
SAMWU was very angry that NUON, a public company, had invested in a privatisation like this. The union called on NUON to disinvest and set up public-public twinning between them and Nelspruit municipality - "twins on an equal basis -- both in the public sector, according to the Dutch model, with neither making a profit out of the other."
However, NUON dismissed all SAMWU's concerns in the meeting saying that Biwater was a good company. They acted more like private company execs. Staring blankly and smugly at SAMWU, they said that nothing would stop them from investing in Biwater.
This means that we are left with no choice but to flood NUON with e-mails and faxes from all over the world. SAMWU is also hoping that Dutch public sector union, Abvakabo will call on NUON to disinvest.
Victor Mhlongo is the International Officer of SAMWU.
Please assist! Send an e-mail of protest to NUON and a copy to the press. If you are in Europe and you can fax, please do so. A draft letter is available from SAMWU. Please send SAMWU a copy. The union will really appreciate this gesture of solidarity. Please copy to the press in your country.
Write to -
NUON Executive -
Frans Duynstee, Director: Human
Tob Swelheim, CEO
Fax +31 35 543 44 99
Solidarity for Mozambique
A broad grouping of civil society organisations including COSATU and Jubilee 2000, called together by the South African National NGO Coalition (SANGOCO), met in March to discuss issues related to development of the Southern African region. The meeting was precipitated by the terrible floods, which have ravaged our region over the past weeks. The grouping, called 'The Southern African Solidarity Forum', discussed measures to provide relief to flood victims and to assist in long-term programmes to rebuild these regions.
The meeting agreed that South Africa has an obligation to assist countries which have been devastated by the floods. This country played a key role in South Africa's own liberation struggle and for that we are deeply indebted. It is in this context that we feel all South Africans should be involved in the efforts to rebuild Mozambique and other Southern African countries.
As a key priority the group is supporting the calls made by the governments of South Africa and Mozambique that the debt of poor countries should be scrapped. This would result in freeing up huge amounts of money which could be used for reconstruction and development programmes. We believe that this is important because efforts to reconstruct the country should be based on the principle of a better life for all. The floods have once again shown that the poor in society are always the most vulnerable and the hardest hit by any disaster. Countries like South Africa and Mozambique are characterised by huge inequalities between the super-rich and the very poor. This emphasises the need to reconstruct our societies along the lines of creating comfort and security for our people, meaning that every citizen should have shelter that provides comfort and safety to them.
We are calling on all South Africans to provide support and solidarity to this programme. The Southern African Solidarity Forum calls on businesses (especially pharmaceutical and clothing companies) and individuals to make specific contributions. It is crucial on both a political and humanitarian level that we see ourselves as part of the Southern African region and that we strive to build this area, just as these countries helped to build South African during our time of need.
For more information contact
David Madurai at SANGOCO on
011 403 7746 (tel)
011 403 8703 (fax).
May Day in East Timor
|MAY DAY has begun to generate a considerable amount of interest amongst
the East Timorese people. There is a strong understanding from LAIFET (The Labour Advocacy
Institute of East Timor), who are coordinating the event, that the process of national
liberation must include an understanding of worker's rights and that all of society must
understand the rights and obligations of workers. They also understand that workers in
East Timor need to strengthen their collective structures in order to bargain with
employers and fight for a better life for all.
To LAIFET MAY DAY is "one of the events that is important to celebrate in order that people appreciate and honour Unions and workers as a part of East Timor Civil Society". The MAYDAY committee is made up of representatives from each of the workers' groups, CDHTL - the East Timorese Human Rights Commission and SIL - the Sahe Institute for Liberation. The goals of the East Timor May Day celebrations are to campaign around the right to organise and bargain collectively and for the right to participate in the development of Labour Laws and Labour Rights
It is vital that international trade unions and progressive organisations assist in supporting MAY DAY in East Timor. The May Day Committee calls for support in cash, banners, posters and information pamphlets, T-shirts and identification for crows control marshals, music and equipment, donations of trophies and messages of solidarity.
Contact the May Day Committee at
Green Left Weekly celebrates 400 issues
|In March, Green Left Weekly produced its 400th issue. This was a special
occasion for all those people in Australia and the world who have contributed articles,
photographs, cartoons, funds, and their time and energy to Green Left Weekly. Many readers
and supporters of Green Left Weekly sent messages of solidarity which were published in
the 400th issue.
The SACP congratulates Green Left Weekly for this achievement. We look forward to continue working together continuing to break the media monopoly and strengthen all campaigns against inequality, injustice and ecological destruction and fighting for socialism.
Celebrating the Communist Manifesto
Oration by John Foster, secretary of the Scottish Committee of the Communist Party of Britain and a member of the party's political committee at the anniversary of Karl Marx's death (12 March 1883).
Three years before the publication of the Communist Manifesto Marx wrote his famous words: "Philosophers have only interpreted the world; the point however is to change it." Marx counted himself among the millions who have struggled for change. This is what the Communist Manifesto is about. How people collectively make history. Not as individuals - however heroic. But people together. As classes.
The Manifesto was written precisely to win a mass understanding of how this could be done. It is written sharply, plainly, with great brevity of expression. This is why it remains a best seller. The Manifesto seeks to explain the secret of those moments when working people as a whole take history into their own hands, become "the self-conscious, independent movement of the immense majority" - and change society.
One word sums up the answer given by Marx and Engels: democracy. Real democracy - and not the weasel words of Blair, Clinton and Albright. Marx and Engels argued for a democracy that liberated that eventually made it possible to secure a society "in which the free development of EACH is the condition for the free development of ALL."
For Marx and Engels this meant addressing the issue of economic power and control. The Manifesto argues what is still a hard, difficult idea for many people. Political structures by themselves do not bring democracy. Class power intervenes. The key issue remains who controls the means of production. Political power, say Marx and Engels, must always represent "the organised power of one class to oppress another". To pretend otherwise is simply to endorse this oppression - and to conceal how it can be overcome. That was why, to secure democracy, the working class itself had to act COLLECTIVELY as a class to change the economic basis of society. Marx and Engels put this very precisely: "The first step in the revolution by the working class is to raise the working class to the position of the ruling class, to establish democracy.
"The working class will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degrees, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralise all instruments of production in the hands of the state, that is of the working class organised as the ruling class." In 1848 this statement was amazing not just for its clarity but for its foresight. Across almost all Europe and the rest of the world most people were not workers, but peasants, small farmers and self-employed producers. Only in one country, Britain, did the working class constituted a majority. Marx and Engels stuck obstinately to this central point. Non-class groupings might appear immediately more radical and revolutionary. Other sections of society might suffer greater hardship. The working class alone had the potential to change society. This was because of what created the working class - and what the working class created. Collectivism. Capital's power depended on competition, on dividing workers among themselves by whatever method, gender, ethnic background, skill. Workers had only one weapon in return. They had to organise. The contradictions of capitalism itself forged the organising principle for the new order. The grand historic sweep of the Manifesto was designed to demonstrate two things. One was that human progress from one stage to the next always depended on class struggle and class power. The other was that the working class would do so in a new way: as a majority.
The Manifesto breathes working class internationalism in every sentence. Collectivism can have no boundaries. But the Manifesto is also quite clear about state power. "Though not in substance, yet in form, the struggle of the working class with the bourgeoisie is at first a national struggle. The working class must first of all settle matters with its own bourgeoisie. Working class internationalism can be no stronger than the sum of each national contingent. These are the stakes. They remain exactly the same as when Marx and Engels wrote the Manifesto. They demand the courage of the Communists of 1848. Working people still have nothing to lose but their chains. They still have a world to win.
|Eminyakeni emithathu ngaphambi kokushicilelwa komqulu owumkhobandlela
ebukhomanisini (iCommunist Manifesto), uMarx wabhala amazwi akhombisa ubunqalabutho athi
"Izinjuli seziwuhumushile umhlaba kwaphela, kodwa okusalele ukuthi awukaguquki".
U-Marx wazibeka njengomunye wezigidi-gidi ozabalazela ukuthi lubekhona uguquko.
Yilomkhombandlela womqulu wamakhomanisis oyikho. Obalula ngokuthe bha ukuthi ukubumbana
ekwenzeni izinto yikhona okuletha inqophamlanda. Kodwa uma singonkomo edla yodwa siyoba
izehluleki, ngisho ngabe silangazelela kanjani ubuqhawe. Sithi abantu mababumbane.
Lomkhombandlela walotshelwa khona lokho ukuze kuzuzwe ukutholana ngokomqondo kubantu ngobuningi babo, ekutheni lokhu kubumbana kungenzeka kanjani. Ubhalwe ngokushaya esikhonkosini, waqonda nqo, ube futhi ubeka izinto ngesikhulu isibindi. Yingakho usathengwa ubuthaphuthaphu.
Lomkhombandlela uzibeka obala izimfihlo zesikhathi lapho abasebenzi nabampofu bakwazi ukuzuza umlando, ngokuthi bathi "singabacindezelaw, siwumbutho omele abaningi abazithola begqilazeka kwezomnotho, sizimisele ukuguqula impilo yabantu"
U-Marx beno-Engels babeka kanjena ngalokhu okuthiwa yintando yeningi (democracy). Intando yeningi yangempela,hhayi lokhu kusengwa ezimithiyo koBlair, Clinton benoAlbright, yintando yeningi lapho khona kunenkululeko eletha intuthuko kubo bonke abantu, hhayi incosana. Ku-Marx beno-Engels lokhu kusho ukubhekana zinhlose namandla ezomnotjo nokuphathwa kwawo. Lomkhobandlela ubeka izinto ezijulile esivame ukungazinaki, lezo ezokuthi ukuzuza amandla ezepolitiki akusho ukuthi lokho kkusho intando yeningi. Yilapha indaba enkulu ivela khona lena youbugaba (class). Okusemqoka ukuthi wubani ophethe amatomu kwezomkhiqizo. Amandla ezepolitiki, abalule "amandla obunye ubugaba ekucindezelweni kobunye"
Ukubalekela lamaqiniso kufana nokuzinikela encindezelweni nokubalekela ukuveza ukuthi lokhu kunganqotshwa. Yingakho ke njena, ukuze sithole intando yeningin, isigaba sabasebenzi bebonke kufanele sibumbane njengesigaba ukuze siguqule isimo somnotho sabantu. U-Marx no-Engels bayishaya esikhonkosini, bathi "Igxathu lokuqala ekuthathweni kombuso ngabasebenzi ukunyusela izinga labo libe sesigabeni sokubusa, ngokwakha intando yeningi"
"Abasebenzi bayosebenzisa lamandla ezepolitiki,ngendlela ehlelekile bawathathe amandla ezomnotho kozisu ezibomvu - ongxiwankulu bawabeke qithi ezandleni zesizwe esiyobe sesibuswa ngamadlela-ndawonye" Lamazwi kawa ngathusa kakhulu ngoba ayeyishaya esikhonkosini ebeka amaqiniso athi bha, ikakhulukazi uma ubheka ukuthi kwabe kuwunyaka wo-1848. Ngalesosikhathi cishe i-Yurophi nomhlaba wonke abantu abaningi babengebona abasebenzi kodwa babephila ngokulima nemfuyo abanye bengabakhiqizi abasafufusa.
Kwabe kungelamaNgisi kuphelaizwe lapho abasebenzi babebaningi khona. Amaqeqebane amaqenjane angalwi impi yobugaba angabukeka eyizibodlamlilo ezimisele ngomzabalazo woguquko olukhulu kanti mpeleni kusuke kuwumlilo wamaphepha . Abasebenzi bebodwa nje yibona abanamandla okuletha izinguquko ezingunaphakade. Lokhu kungenxa yendlela abasebenzi abakhele ngayo - nalokho osekwenziwa abasebenzi, ubumbano. Amandla ongxiwa ancike emncintiswaneni nasekuhlukisaneni abasebenzi ngandlela zonke, ezifana nobulili, ubuhlanga kanye nokuhwepheshe. Abasebenzi banesikhali samandla esinye nje vo, yileso sokuba yinhlangano. Umlando omkhulu owenziwa umkhombandlela kwaba ukuveza izinto ezimbili. Oyokuqala yileyo yokuthi abantu bathuthuka kusuka kwelinye izinga ukuya kwelinye kuncike emzabalazweni wezigaba nasemandleni azo. Okunye wukuthi abasebenzi bangakwenza lokhu ngendlela entsha, lapho ngisho beyincosana.
Lomkhombandlela ubalula ubuzwe-jikelele (internationalism) kwabasebenzi. Ubumbana alunamingcele. Lomkhombandlela ucace bha ngamandla kahulumeni. Umzabalazo phakathi kwabasebenzi nongxiwankulu uqala ekhaya. Abasebenzi kufanele baqale balwe nongxiwankulu ezweni labo. Ubuzwe-jikelele kwabasebenzi angeke kuqine uma kungeyona inhlanganisela yabasebenzi umhlaba wonke. Lamaqiniso ayohlale enjalo, njengoba abekwa uMarx benoEngels. Adinga isibindi esavezwa amakhomanisi awo-1848. Abasebenzi namanje akukho okuyobalahlekela ngaphandle kozankosi. Basalwele umhlaba okufanele bawunqobe.
The history of International Women's Day
The 08th of March is International Women's Day celebrated as a national holiday in many countries around the world. The SACP issued a press statement saluting millions of women throughout the world who fight gender oppression. We do not know of any other political party, which did this in SA. Even worse, only the Sowetan newspaper covered the SACP statement as a letter. Other newspapers did not even cover International Women's Day itself!
When women of all countries come together to celebrate their day, they can look back on a tradition of nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development.
International Women's Day is the story of ordinary women making history. Over the centuries, women have fought to take an equal part in society.
In ancient Greece, Lystriata started a sexual strike against men in order to end war. During the French Revolution in 1789, Parisian women marched calling for the right to vote and "liberty, equality, fraternity" for women.
The idea of an International Women's Day came up in the early 1900s. The early 1900s were a period of expansion and struggle, booming population growth and radical ideologies.
In 1909, the Socialist Party of America declared 28 February as the first American National Women's Day in the United States. American women continued to celebrate it on the last Sunday of February until 1913.
Socialist International calls for an International Women's Day
In 1910, the Socialist International meeting in Copenhagen established an International Women's Day. The proposal was greeted with unanimous approval by the conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, which included the first three women elected to he Finnish parliament. No fixed date was set for this day.
As a result of this decision, International Women's Day was marked for the first time on 19 March in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. More than 1 million women and men attended rallies. They demanded the rights of women to vote, hold public office, vocational training and equality at work.
Less than a week later, on 25 March, the tragic Triangle Fire in New York City took the lives of more than 140 working women, most of them Italian and Jewish immigrants. This event influenced an improvement in working conditions and labour legislation in the US.
Russian women set the pace of the Russian Revolution
As part of the peace movement against Wold War 1, Russian women celebrated their fist International Women's Day on the last Sunday in February 1913. Elsewhere in Europe, on or around 08 March of the following year, women held rallies to protest war and to express solidarity with their New York sisters.
With 2 million Russian soldiers dead in the war, Russian women chose the last Sunday in February 1917 to strike for "bread and peace". Political leaders opposed the timing of the strike, but the women went ahead anyway.
The rest is history - 4 days later the Czar was taken out of power and the provisional government granted women the right to vote. That historic day fell on February 23 on the Julian calendar used in Russia then, but on 08 March on the Gregorian calendar used elsewhere.
Since those early years, International Women's Day has become an international day for all women. The growing international women's movement has helped make the commemoration a rallying point for women's struggles internationally.