anarchism in africa

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ftony
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Mar 29 2007 10:48
anarchism in africa

hi folks

just wondering about what sort of anarchist activity there is in africa. i understand that zabalaza in south africa do a lot of stuff, and there's the awareness league (IWA-affiliated?) in nigeria, but i was just wodnering what's going on out there because we don't really hear much about it...

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Steven.
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Mar 29 2007 11:12

The Awareness League nothing has been heard from in years.

Zabalaza apparently do some activity in Swaziland:
http://libcom.org/news/article.php/african-anarchist-swaziland-arrest-29...

There was some libertariany anti-capitalist group in Kenya, but not heard anything from there in a while... Morocco and Algeria the French AF have some contacts in, er I'll have a think...

There was a group in Zambia which died with its main member it seems:
http://libcom.org/history/choongo-wiltsar-1964-1999

We offered zabalaza a forum on here, they seemed very interested and replied to a couple of emails but then nothing.

IrrationallyAngry
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Mar 29 2007 15:38

So is the awareness league definitely gone then?

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Steven.
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Mar 29 2007 16:06

As far as I'm aware.

Boom boom.

But basically I believe yes, though I don't believe its status with respect to the IWA has changed, so I imagine that's not their position...

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georgestapleton
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Mar 29 2007 16:13

The CNT vignoles has loads of contacts in africa. Check out http://www.afrique21.org/

martinh
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Mar 29 2007 16:39

Yeah, the CNT (Vignoles) have some good links, though there has been some controversies over some of the stuff that's been in Afrique XXI. It should be remembered that there are several organisations that are part of the collective that puts it out, some of whom at least aspire to government. sad

I recall someone telling me that one of the French CNTs had contacts in Algeria, and I know that there are anarchists or anarcho syndiclaists in Morocco (I think the CGT of Spain had contact there - but there's info on that on anarkismo I think and it was covered in Freedom).

The FA of France also have historic contacts with a libertarian school in Senegal.

Anglophone Africa is a different picture - no one has had any contact with the Awareness League for some time (4-5 years at least I think) and I don't think there are any contacts outside of SA/Swaziland. I know the Zabalaza folks were trying to build links with people in neighbouring countries, but I don't think they had a lot of success.

Regards,

Martin

ftony
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Mar 30 2007 12:37

it's really nice to hear of people finally getting organised in swaziland. their king is a proper nutter.

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Sifuna Zonke
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May 7 2007 15:05

There are also some anarchists and libertarian revolutionaries in Zimbabwe, mostly involved in social justice and cultural resisitance I think. They played a part in organising the "Uhuru Youth Festival" at the Southern African Social Forum in 2005.

There also may have been some anarchists in Angola, but it may also be that it was one guy and a computer, based in the UK.

The ZACF has members in Swaziland and there's the Anti-Capitalist Convergence in Kenya, which is a leftist mix with anarchist members.

There are also some university students and/ or lecturers in Nigeria and Uganda who have written to ZACF expressing interest in anarchism, but probably no organised anarchist presence.

The following were also recently represented at the I07 conference in Paris:

AFRICA
Algeria (SNAPAP), Morocco (UMT, CDT, ANDCN, paysans pauvres, FDR-UDT), Tunisia (CGTT), Guinea (CNTG, CEK, SLEG), Cameroon (CSP, CGT Liberté), Côte d'Ivoire (CGT-CI), Djibouti (UDT), Congo RDC (LO), Mali (Cocidirail, Sytrail), Benin (FNEB, UNSTB, AIPR), Burkina Faso (UGEB, CGT-B, AEBF), Madagascar (FISEMARE).

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OliverTwister
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May 7 2007 18:53

Welcome to the boards, JB.

There may be some confusion if you post here regularly as there is another poster named "Joe_Black2"

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Sifuna Zonke
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May 8 2007 11:44

thanks! so i see, albeit too late. is there a way to change user names? i can't find such a facility on my accout settings.

syndicalist
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May 8 2007 11:54

As I've written before, it appears to the WSA that the AL has diminished their activities. Our initial contacts with the AL go back nearly 20 years and the last few years there's been scant communication. Perhaps the nucleus of the AL is operating, but there's no way to know for sure.

it's disappointing not to know what's going on with the AL. On a personal level, I hope that all of the comrades are well. That none of them have subcumbed to illness and the like.

While I appreciate the IWA's desire to want to have the AL listed, it seems a bit off, at this point, to list an organization that no one seems to have heard from in a good long while. But that is certainly up to the IWA.

It appears tha the African's who attended I-07 appear to be mainly affiliated with the mainstream trade unions (not a criticism, but an observation). So I'd really like to hear peoples impressions of the African comrades who attend I-07.

Gotta run.

rata
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May 8 2007 12:35
syndicalist wrote:
While I appreciate the IWA's desire to want to have the AL listed, it seems a bit off, at this point, to list an organization that no one seems to have heard from in a good long while. But that is certainly up to the IWA.

Well, since it is clear that sometimes the conditions under which Sections are working are not friendly towards enabeling massive communication, there has to be a procedure which is followed to claim that some Section is not existent anymore. The case of Bulgarian BKT is a good example - the commission was set up, and that issue passed 2 congresos (or was it only one?) and a plenary meeting, so that it was determined for sure that the organization doesn't exist.

If I remember correctly (and I can be wrong, since I don't have the archive at my hand right now), 2000 IWA congreso, or the following plenary, gave 6 months period for IWA Secretariat to establish contact with AL, or they would be considered non-existent. The AL comrades than sent their contributions for the immigration conference i.e. established contact, but where not able to attend due to the fascist visa laws of fortress Europe. Since that happened, the issue of their status was not raised again. Which doesn't mean that it will not be raised in the future, if Sections see the need to do that.

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May 8 2007 12:37
Joe_Black wrote:
thanks! so i see, albeit too late. is there a way to change user names? i can't find such a facility on my accout settings.

You can't, but if you say on here or PM me what you'd like it changed to one of the admins will change it.

Welcome to the site!

syndicalist
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May 8 2007 13:00

Rata wrote: "Well, since it is clear that sometimes the conditions under which Sections are working are not friendly towards enabeling massive communication, ."

I'm aware of this as the WSA worked with the AL (pre-IWA) while they struggled under military regimes. Even at that time there was irregular snail mail communication. So I'm not exactly sure if what you describe above is exactly the problem. It might be, but I think the AL has (very sadly indeed) diminished.

As for internal IWA proceedures, i leave that to the IWA to sort out.

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May 8 2007 19:25

During i07 someone told me, that there is still some Awareness League activity in the North but that any e-mail contact was lost since internet access is awfullly expensive in Nigeria. Given the fact, that many Awarness League militants have (had) access to college or university ressources I am not sure whether this lack of access really might be the reason. If even M.M. is not any more in contact with S.M. this is a bad signal.

As for the people from african countries present at the i07, the ones I talked to are propably not anarcho-syndicalists. But many of them might well be some sort of state-independent class-struggle unionists. Which is more than I would have expected. But I guess no matter if Africa, Asia or Latin America: if we are looking for union contacts (not tiny political groups), it will be very difficult to find any anarcho-syndicalist contacts there. But on the other hand nobody was born as an anarcho-syndicalist (except certain children in some spanish family clans wink and during i07 it is was quite a good experience for me, that the unionists from Western and Central Africa we met are least quite interested in an open towards what we have been discussing.

syndicalist
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May 9 2007 12:00

Good to hear that there's some AL activity! I'd like to know some of the specifics if possible (PM if need be).

I usually never rely on emailing alone to Nigeria. Our snail mail doesn't seem to get answered at this point either. So it makes me very curious about things. Again, I hope that the comrades are well, even if they are acting in a diminished capacity.

In regards to the other Africans not being anarchists, I suspected that. When we approached, for example, the NGWF in Bangladesh we knew they weren't anarchists. But through contact, discussions, information and patience one can only hope to that these class concoius rebels will understand, appreciate and become anarcho-syndicalists.

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Sifuna Zonke
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May 14 2007 15:06
John. wrote:
We offered zabalaza a forum on here, they seemed very interested and replied to a couple of emails but then nothing.

We're reconsidering the offer (if it still stands), and will make a decision this weekend.

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Steven.
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May 14 2007 15:13
Joe_Black wrote:
John. wrote:
We offered zabalaza a forum on here, they seemed very interested and replied to a couple of emails but then nothing.

We're reconsidering the offer (if it still stands), and will make a decision this weekend.

One better option than a group forum, which we're noticing has its problems, is that we could set up an Africa regional forum.

for example we set up the Middle East forum the other day ( http://libcom.org/forums/middle-east ) after someone originally suggested an Anarchists Against the Wall forum.

A general Africa forum might have the added benefit of being a space for more general issues related to Africa, and might encourage heavier usage and a wider range of contributors, than a ZACF-specific one which might have quite low traffic.

Anyway let us know what you think - but we at libcom are now keener to develop regional as opposed to group-specific forums.

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Sifuna Zonke
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May 14 2007 15:30
John. wrote:
One better option than a group forum, which we're noticing has its problems, is that we could set up an Africa regional forum.

Sounds good to me, I'll get back to you after the weekend though, once we've discussed it collectively. But it does make more sense.

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Steven.
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May 14 2007 16:22
Sifuna Zonke wrote:
John. wrote:
One better option than a group forum, which we're noticing has its problems, is that we could set up an Africa regional forum.

Sounds good to me, I'll get back to you after the weekend though, once we've discussed it collectively. But it does make more sense.

Ok cool let us know. We're very keen to help facilitate communication, especially amongst the Anglophone countries. We could potentially make it a bilingual English/French forum as well, like the Japanese-English one, say.

syndicalist
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May 15 2007 12:52

Of interest....

Counter-power
by Michael Schmidt & Lucien van der Walt - ZACF, southern Africa

A radical new work on anarchist & syndicalist theory & history

Counter-Power Volume 1 (Black Flame: The Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism) will be published in the USA in August, followed six months later by Counter-Power Volume 2 (Global Fire: 150 Fighting Years of Anarchism and Syndicalism).
From Amazon.com:

Black Flame is the first of two volumes that reexamine anarchism's democratic class politics, its vision of a decentralized planned economy, and its impact on popular struggles in five continents over the last 150 years. From the nineteenth century to today's anticapitalist movements, it traces anarchism's lineage and contemporary relevance. It outlines anarchism's insights into questions of race, gender, class, and imperialism, significantly reframing the work of previous historians on the subject, and critiquing Marxist approaches to those same questions.

About the Authors:

Lucien van der Walt teaches development, economic sociology, and labor studies at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Besides the history of anarchism and syndicalism, he researches contemporary labor struggles and neoliberal restructuring in the region. He's published in a wide range of local and international journals, including Capital and Class and the South African Journal of Political Studies.

Michael Schmidt is a senior investigative journalist for the Independent Newspapers Group, based in Johannesburg. He specialises in writing on defence, intelligence, Africa, labour, social movements and extraparliamentary politics. He has a wide range of experience covering conflict zones including Chiapas, Guatemala, Lesotho, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lebanon and Darfur in print and for radio.

http://www.anarkismo.net/newswire.php?story_id=5603&condense_comments=false#comment4732

syndicalist
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Jun 24 2007 02:17

If there are any Nigerian comrades out, I'd be very interested in in hearing about the situation on the ground.
---------------------------------------------------
Nigeria's unions end fuel strike
Nigeria's trade unions have called off their general strike over a recent rise in petrol prices, after talks with government officials.
Union leaders said they had accepted the government's proposal to freeze petrol prices for at least a year.

http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/mpapps/pagetools/print/news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6233968.stm
http://libcom.org/news/nigeria-general-strike-approaches-over-fuel-price-hikes-11062007
http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/06/20/africa/AF-GEN-Nigeria-Strike.php