E-NEWS BULLETIN 16 February 2018Links to present possibilities
#handsoffGuptas – the Black First Land First picket sounds out the call of retreat that with Ajay Gupta currently on the run from the Hawks, seems a last gasp for the parasitic family. Yet with no defenders, the killers of Marikana have had no need even to run. No one has been prosecuted for a massacre that played out – partly at least – in front of television cameras. SAFTU has, with the publication of interviews with police officers at the site of the killings away from the cameras, called for those responsible for the repression of Marikana workers to be prosecuted. In this, Zuma is an accused but so is his successor.
But democracy wobbles atop a litany of injustice. A sudden discovery of conscience and enthusiasm for ‘corruption busting’ cannot mute the redress of land expropriation and violence that made this country and region as unequal as it is. Apartheid did not die and with the resilience of racism and undiminished white privilege, apparently was legalised in 1994. We need to be asking how this system has been so successful at protecting its beneficiaries and perpetuating itself. Answering this question might begin to explain why a working class hero, who led mine workers in a strike that shook the Apartheid regime and negotiated its end, would soon after liberation have a fortune massed upon his head and who could describe the Marikana strikers as ‘dastardly criminal’. Ramaphosa – we see you!
Love? In this week pierced by Valentine’s Day, Twitter joked that Zuma had chosen the day of his resignation maliciously to dump his sweetheart, South Africa. All jokes contain a kernel of truth; here it is that emotional attachment is only camouflage for material benefits, as Russian Bolshevik, Alexandra Kollantai observed about marriage. The joke is on us then and the romance ongoing. This is, however, no dismissal of love, only a lament for its conscription to underwriting systems of power – and an appeal for more connection, as the Ancient Greeks understood to be cohering their city state together, from one person to another, from individuals to the community, from home to the polity.
They include all those in government, Lonmin and police management who planned, organized and approved this murder. They including former National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega, former Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, former Mining Minister Susan Shabangu and former President Jacob Zuma, must be arrested and charged with murder. saftu.org.za/
PRASA had sought to reverse the historic victory workers scored when on the 21 November 2017 the Labour Appeal Court upheld the appeal launched by SAFTU’s affiliate, the National Transport Movement and reinstated 700 PRASA workers with full pay backdated to 4 February 2013. wwmp.org.za/
The Gauteng provincial government’s resistance to paying Constitutional damages to the families who lost their loved ones in the Life Esidimeni tragedy, may be tied to the fear of accepting greater responsibility. bhekisisa.org/
In 1991, the ANC convened a housing policy conference in Johannesburg. Thozamile Botha, once in exile and formerly a trade unionist, warned: “In many former colonial countries, the post-independence trends are that only the Black elite is able to move to the city center or former white only areas. The people who have been in the forefront of the liberation struggle are easily forgotten.” africasacountry.com/
Sampie Terreblanche – the recently retired economist – shows that state capture, which is associated with the Gupta family in SA, haunted the country before democracy. His support for democracy earned him the wrath of the National Party, and his support of a wealth tax ostracised him in democratic SA. businesslive.co.za/
Procrastination, time wasting and fobbing off questions is what people in authority often resort to when they don’t want to face up to reality or answer difficult questions, says Terry Bell in his latest Labour Wrap. And this past week has provided several excellent examples in the fiasco surrounding the so-called JZ transition. fin24.com/
The stock market, for all of its seeming mystery, is more of an emotional barometer for the rich than a reflection of material production. Abstracted from the lived experiences of those it exploits, it reflects the jubilation and depression of the wealthy. Monday’s historic stock market dip was primarily caused by the news that wages had improved slightly for workers. counterpunch.org/
Julian Assange’s latest attempt to have his outstanding UK arrest warrant dropped has failed in what stands as one of the most blatant and cruel examples of the British legal system being wielded as an instrument of persecution against a man whose only crime is speaking truth to power. counterpunch.org/
This radio documentary on public sector unions in Puerto Rico representing teachers and utility workers looks at the resistance they are mounting to Puerto Rico’s Governor’s plans to privatize their services, and about challenges faced by the labor movement and workers following hurricane Maria. radio4all.net/
Add one more thing to the list of retro things young Americans are rediscovering: unions. According to the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think tank, 76% of new union members in 2017 were younger than 35. motherjones.com/
After decades of ever-declining numbers of formal transport workers, an Ugandan transport union is on the up. It now has close to 60,000 members, with the significant intake of informal transport workers such as minibus taxi drivers, bicycle taxi drivers and motorcycle drivers giving the union a new lease of life. equaltimes.org/
Governments are responsible for 55 percent of the murders of activists, campesinos and environmentalists, according to a damning new report by human-rights organization PAN Asia Pacific based on an analysis of 21 countries. telesurtv.net/
The global economy created a record number of billionaires last year, exacerbating inequality amid a weakening of workers’ rights and a corporate push to maximize shareholder returns, says Oxfam International in a new report. time.com/
A recently released World Bank report shows that the wealth of sub-Saharan Africa has been steadily declining over the past several decades, as transnational corporations extract mineral wealth without adequately compensating the region, says economist Patrick Bond. therealnews.com/
So Gaza is suffering because the Palestinians can’t get along. The article in the New York Times only gets to the Israeli blockade on Gaza — cutting it off from the world, shooting up its fishing boats, flooding its waters with sewage, and killing a wheelchair-bound demonstrator across a fence — in the 12th paragraph (and twice glancingly after that). mondoweiss.net/
Rather than heeding the warnings from the UN to open up Gaza’s blockade and allow vital aid, what we have witnessed over the course of the last decade is a periodic all-out Israeli assault on Gaza’s vital infrastructure. According to an expert hydrologist, 97% of Gaza’s drinking water has been contaminated by sewage and salt. mintpressnews.com/
Local news from Khayelitsha, East London, Port Elizabeth, Alexandra and Orange Farm in English and isiXhosa
Precarious work in higher education is by no means specific to universities in the Global North. Whether in the United States, in Germany, in South Africa or in Turkey – all countries that represent global or at least regional hubs in higher education and academic research – increasing numbers of academics are having to deal with precarity. global-labour-university.org/
Alexandra Kollontai was one of the most prolific Bolshevik writers on the issues of gender, love, and marriage. Like any good Marxist, Kollontai saw love not as an eternal and immutable feeling, but rather as a historical construct — one that has changed drastically over time. leftvoice.org/