E-NEWS BULLETIN 4 May 2018Links to present possibilities
The violent clashes that broke out this week between the communities of Siqalo and Mitchell’s Plain underlined the futility of Mandela and Tutu’s ‘Never and never again’ of the new Rainbow Nation. It seems to be apartheid and racism, again and again. Here, middle class ‘Coloured’ communities united in racist indignation against a poor ‘African’ squatter community demanding basic services. The racism on Facebook groups is naked, unashamed or unaware, with references to residents of Siqalo as “black rubbishes” and calls for ‘them to go back to the Eastern Cape’. There have been ongoing tensions between the two communities with the one more concerned about their property prices and crime, instead of showing solidarity with the Siqalo community and ensure improvements to living conditions in the informal settlement. Their concerns about crime were also shown to be hypocritical when local gangsters were called in to fight against protesters. Ironically, Siqalo has many “Coloured” residents too.
While some crimes of racial capitalism multiply, there was some repair this week of its historical damages with the announcement on Thursday of a settlement agreement between the major gold mines and the lawyers representing workers who acquired silicosis and tuberculosis while employed. Details of the settlement indicate that the plaintiffs in the class action have made a concessionary deal. The likes of claimants who have minor silicosis (lost 10% of their lung capacity) will be awarded R70,000 while those with second degree silicosis, R250,000. Given how debilitating the disease can be, this amount does not come near to a just restitution for the damages workers have suffered. Again, another instance of an Apartheid legacy injustice with White Monopoly Capital paying token compensation to miners and their families. Silicosis is still an occupational hazard in South African mining and this class action settlement will not cover those miners inhaling silica dust now. Working class Black lives are not better protected by the settlement and still do not matter.
The situation was calm at Siqalo informal settlement on Thursday morning following a protest for land, housing and provision of better services by the City of Cape Town. The protest, which saw the barricading of Jakes Gerwel Drive with burning tyres and communal waste containers, resulted in a counter-protest from the township of Colorado Park. wwmp.org.za/
The Agreement provides meaningful compensation to all eligible workers suffering from silicosis and/or tuberculosis who worked in any of the defendants’ gold mines from 12 March 1965 to date. This is the very first class action settlement of its kind in South Africa. oldcollab.co.za/
Rival events held on 1 May show unequal support for Saftu and Cosatu. Cosatu held its main Workers’ Day event in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. Though Cosatu pulled out all stops to draw the crowds, it only filled three-quarters of the 10,000-capacity stadium. Meanwhile at the nearby Saftu rally, there was standing room only. groundup.org.za/
After many years of resistance to stop the government’s attempts to issue a mining licence to an Australian company, Mineral Commodities Ltd, the case launched by the community of Xolobeni in Mbizana in the Eastern Cape was heard in court for the first time last week. news24.com/
High on the list of capitalist priorities, and thus of priorities for left-wing resistance, is the goal to privatize everything from education to nature to policing and soldiering. With that in mind, here’s a list of some recent “negative externalities” of privatization. counterpunch.org/
James Le Mesurier, a British ex-mercenary, founded the White Helmets in 2013. The group has been lauded for its “humanitarian” efforts in Syria, but they have actually functioned more as a logistics and propaganda arm of Syria’s al-Qaeda branch, complete with training from Le Mesurier. mintpressnews.com/
‘Chaos’ is an appropriate term to describe the situation in a turbulent region. With no immediate prospects for the stable, peaceful, and democratic state that hundreds of thousands of demonstrators called for during the 2011 uprisings, what went wrong? amec.org.za/
The Party of Socialism and Freedom (PSOL), a leftwing breakaway from the Workers Party that has governed Brazil since 2003, did quite well in the October 2014 election, especially in the State of Rio de Janeiro. PSOL represents a different way of doing politics on the far left in Brazil. Unlike most other organizations on the far left, PSOL does not see itself as a party in the Leninist mold, but is rather a pluralistic organization that contains several different political tendencies with different histories. newpol.org/
Many of those who long chastised Palestinians for using armed resistance against the Israeli occupation are nowhere to be found, while children, journalists, women and men are all targeted by hundreds of Israeli snipers who dot the Gaza border. counterpunch.org/
The incident in the Menashe Regional Council, near Haifa in northern present-day Israel, was brought to light in recent days when Palestinian citizens of Israel took photos of what was happening. electronicintifada.net/
Local news from Khayelitsha, East London, Port Elizabeth, Alexandra and Orange Farm in English and isiXhosa
In recent decades, the spread of information technology, industrial automation, and other innovations has inspired visions of a coming “postindustrial society of services,” in which the proletariat as it existed in earlier eras would effectively disappear. However, even a cursory survey of the reality of contemporary global labor markets belies this myth. monthlyreview.org/
A Southern California man who built a sizable business out of recycling electronic waste is headed to federal prison for 15 months after a federal appeals court in Miami rejected his claim that the “restore discs” he made to extend computers’ lives had no financial value, instead ruling that he had infringed on Microsoft Corp. latimes.com/
Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft are among high tech giants fighting to maintain an unregulated environment at the WTO that strengthens their monopolies and puts developing countries at an extreme disadvantage. therealnews.com/
Classical philosophers/economists like Adam Smith and David Ricardo would view today’s credo of infinite economic growth, forever more, with horror. Ricardo, similar to the father of capitalism Adam Smith, believed in the concept of a “stationary state” when the land gets fully exploited and material progress comes to an end. counterpunch.org/
Much is and will be written comparing the student uprisings in the late 1960s in the United States and the current turmoil in some French universities. Strikes by various unions accompanied and accompany the strikes in France so that, on the surface, comparisons between the late 1960s in the U.S. and 2018 in France seem to have some validity. counterpunch.org/
Orientalism hit the right note at the most momentous occasion when the postcolonial world at large most needed it – when the condition of coloniality needed a thematic and theoretical decoupling from the framing of capitalist modernity at large. aljazeera.com/
This newsletter is intended as a special and alternative news, information and knowledge source for all who are interested in issues relevant to promoting political, social and economic equality and the eradication of poverty. The articles contained herein are obtained from various electronic media platforms and do not necessarily reflect the views of WWMP.