Monday, May 31, 2021

Chadian Military Council Suppresses Mass Demonstrations Demanding Civilian Rule


May 7, 2021

Chadian Military Council Suppresses Mass Demonstrations Demanding Civilian Rule – Fighting Words (

 Chad military patrols amid unrest. | Photo: Sunday Alamba/AP

By Abayomi Azikiwe

Thousands of people took to the streets in the two largest cities in Chad, N’Djamena and Moundou, on April 27 in the aftermath of the state funeral of slain President Idriss Deby Itno, who had been the leader of this oil-rich state for more than thirty years.

The people involved in the protests were demanding the resignation of the Transitional Military Council which assumed power after the death of Deby on April 20.

This supposedly interim governing structure is led by the 37-year-old son of the former president, the military General Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno. The parliament in the country was suspended by the military council while it was announced that elections will be held within 18 months.

Members and supporters of many mass organizations attempted to march peacefully in the streets when they were attacked by the Chadian security forces. Reports are that the police and military personnel utilized live ammunition to end the demonstrations.

In the security crackdown at least six people were killed and more than 700 were arrested by the authorities. The military ruling council accused the demonstrators of violently attacking them and that they were justified in the use of lethal force.

Opposition parties and organizations argued that the Chadian constitution was violated because it stipulates the appointment of the president of the national assembly in the event of the death or incapacitation of the head-of-state. Instead after announcing the death of the Deby, the ruling military council was declared, absent of any consultation with representative bodies within the legislature.

Additional demonstrations were scheduled to take place after the April 27 attacks on demonstrations and the subsequent arrests and deaths. Nevertheless, the streets were reported to have been calm on Friday April 30 and continued so throughout the weekend.

The 55 member-states African Union (AU) has expressed concern over developments in Chad. AU protocols call for the suspension of any government on the continent which comes to power through military means. These measures are designed to prevent the assumption of power by the armed forces which had been a common occurrence in the first few decades of post-colonial African governance. Oftentimes these coups were coordinated and funded by western imperialist states seeking to maintain their influence.

Chad had been a colony of France from 1900 to 1960 when the country gained national independence. Nonetheless, Paris has maintained a military presence inside the country designed to protect its economic and security interests as the former colonizer.

An article in Africa News on the current crisis in Chad notes the role of the AU, saying:

“A team from the African Union arrived Thursday (April 29) in N’Djamena, Chad on a seven-day Fact-Finding Mission to assess the situation in country and examine ways of a speedy return to democratic rule. Following several days of internal pressure, the delegation will produce a report at the end of its mission which will enable the Peace and Security Council to adopt a definitive position on the measures to be taken. Several member countries have called for Chad to be suspended from the African Union because of the Transitional Military Council’s takeover of power. Many also estimated that this was a coup d’état, as the Constitution was not respected.”

The AU Peace and Security Council issued a communique on April 22 after the takeover by the military regime noting that the regional organization:

“Recalls relevant provisions of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, as well as the Lomé Declaration; and expresses grave concern with respect to the establishment of the Military Transitional Council. Urges the Chadian defense and security forces and all national stakeholders to respect the constitutional mandate and order, and to expeditiously embark on a process of restoration of constitutional order and handing over of political power to the civilian authorities, in accordance with to the relevant provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Chad, and create conducive conditions for a swift, peaceful, constitutional and smooth transition. Underscores the urgent necessity of an all-inclusive national dialogue between all stakeholders in Chad, with the aim of restoring constitutional order and calls on all Chadian stakeholders to immediately engage in the national dialogue.”

The Role of Chad in the Regional Military Strategy of France and the U.S.

Former President Idriss Deby Itno was a military person who came to power through the overthrow of his former leader Hissen Habre in 1990. Habre had been cited for human rights violations while Deby took off his military uniform in exchange for civilian clothing in order to run for political office.

As Deby was praised by Paris and Washington for maintaining stability in Chad, the government and its military forces became a conduit for French and other imperialist interests in West and Central Africa. The military forces were built into an army whose principal aim was to ostensibly fight “Islamic terrorism” in the region along with suppressing its own democratic aspirations among the people.

France through its Operation Barkhane has created an alliance of West African military units which serve as frontline troops in several countries including Mali and on the border areas with Nigeria. The objective of these military alliances is to prevent attacks in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and the Lake Chad Basin territories. Yet many of these Islamic Jihadist groups were initially formed and funded by the imperialist countries to fight against the former Libyan government of Col. Muammar Gaddafi during the counter-revolution of 2011.

The rebel Chadian Front for Change and Concord (FACT) was based in post-Gaddafi Libya while recently on April 11 many of its forces reentered the country after the formation of another United Nations-supported interim government in Tripoli. The aims of FACT seem to be solely centered on the removal of the Deby regime.

Reports indicate that the rebel group was in alliance with Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA). Haftar is a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) asset who after defecting from the Gaddafi-era Libyan military during the Chadian war of the 1980s, relocated to the U.S. and was sponsored by the federal government. Haftar was flown back to Libya during the counter-revolution of 2011 where he has repeatedly sought and failed to seize power in Tripoli. Haftar has been supported by France in his unsuccessful military efforts to become the leader of Libya.

A host of rebel groups have been used in Syria, Yemen and Iraq as well to serve the interests of the U.S. and other western states. Whenever the utilization of these forces contradicts the interests of imperialism they can easily be labelled as “enemies” providing further incentives for Washington and Paris to remain in these geo-political regions under the guise of the “war against terrorism.”

According to the State Department funded Voice of America (VOA):

“Déby presided over one of the largest and most well-resourced militaries in West Africa. His forces provided crucial support to international security efforts in the Lake Chad Basin and the Sahel, where Islamist militant groups have wreaked havoc in recent years. That is likely why Western powers such as France and the U.S. turned a blind eye to the ever-mounting accusations of human rights abuses and to his habit of suppressing political opposition…. If Déby’s son does not earn the loyalty of Chad’s armed forces, the region could lose a key player in the fight against Islamic extremists.”

Yet Paris and Washington are not at all enthusiastic over the prospects of the ascendancy of a civilian government coming to power in Chad which is ideologically and politically opposed to France and the U.S. French President Emmanuel Macron attended the funeral of Deby and praised his role in the putative fight against “Islamic Jihadism.” Macron says he supports the formation of a civilian government. However, it does not appear that France will break ties with the military transitional council pending the holding of multi-party elections.

Situation in Chad Reflects the Crisis of Governance in Post-Colonial Africa

Although there are 54 independent states on the African continent, with the Western Sahara still suffering under the colonial occupation of the imperialist-backed Kingdom of Morocco in the northern region, due to the legacy of colonialism and enslavement, the AU member-states face formidable challenges in gaining genuine independence through the control of economic and military affairs. The U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and France’s Operation Barkhane are proof that these leading imperialist states have no interest in leaving the continent to resolve its own problems.

The struggle against neo-colonialism and imperialism must be led by the African workers, farmers and youth. The military and police forces which are largely trained, armed and financed by the western states, cannot provide the revolutionary leadership required to bring the type of social change which can empower the masses to make the transition from peripheral capitalism and neo-colonialism to socialism and African unification.

Wall Street’s Drumbeat for War with China Continues Under Biden


May 4, 2021 

Ships of the U.S. Seventh Fleet threaten China. | Photo: pintrest

By Chris Fry

In March 2016, alt-right chief Trump adviser Steve Bannon announced:

We’re going to war in the South China Sea in five to 10 years. There’s no doubt about that. They’re taking their sandbars and making basically stationary aircraft carriers and putting missiles on those. They come here to the United States in front of our face – and you understand how important face is – and say it’s an ancient territorial sea.

In February that same year Bannon then lumped in this war threat against China with his anti-Muslim bigotry:

You have an expansionist Islam and you have an expansionist China. Right? They are motivated. They’re arrogant. They’re on the march. And they think the Judeo-Christian west is on the retreat.

When Trump took office, he imposed huge tariffs on China. He boasted that these would massively increase jobs for U.S. workers. In fact, it did just the opposite.

Begun during the Obama administration, Trump also stepped up the U.S. Navy’s parades of warships just off the Chinese coast, proclaiming this as a “freedom of navigation” doctrine. But since it is commercial shipping to and from China that mostly goes through those waters, this was clearly a prelude for a military blockade of China. The Chinese navy has never paraded its fleet of warships off the coasts of the U.S., although it is legally entitled to do so, because it knows that this would be a provocation for war.

Trump along with his Democratic Party opponents and the corporate media supported the “independence” movement in Hong Kong, a territory seized from China in the first of Britain’s infamous “Opium, Wars,” designed to force China to import massive amounts of that addictive drug grown in then British Indian colony. Both Britain and the U.S. seek to recapture their commercial colony from socialist China, despite the pro-China stance of most of Hong Kong’s working class.

But the biggest flashpoint remains Taiwan, which historically belongs to China. It was seized from China in 1903 by Japan and occupied until the end of World War II. It was then returned to China. When the People’s Republic of China (PRC) under the leadership of Mao Zedong achieved victory in 1949, leaders of the old Kuomintang regime fled with a million of their followers to the island of Taiwan, murdered tens of thousands of Taiwan’s residents, and established a dictatorship called the Republic of China (ROC). They declared themselves the actual government of China. For thirty years, the U.S. backed up this fantasy with the Seventh Fleet ready to assist them with “regime change” in China that of course never happened. The U.S. even prevented the PRC from assuming their seat in the United Nations.

In 1979, the PRC, now under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping, joined a “united front” with U.S. imperialism against the Soviet Union. That same year the PRC mounted a terrible attack on Socialist Vietnam. It also began to open its vast labor market to U.S. and Western corporations. In return, President Carter renounced the “Sino-American Defense Treaty” which promised the government in Taiwan military support. He recognized the PRC as the sole government of China and established diplomatic relations. In 1972, the U.S. had agreed to hand over China’s UN seat to the PRC. Despite appearances, this U.S. strategy was designed to undermine and destroy the socialist state in China., which ultimately failed.

In 1992, there was a meeting between officials of the PRC and the ROC in Hong Kong, at that time still a British colony. The results of that key meeting were called the “1992 Consensus”. The statement from that meeting stated:

Both sides of the Taiwan Strait agree that there is only one China. However, the two sides of the Strait have different opinions as to the meaning of ‘one China.’ To [sic] Peking, ‘one China’ means the ‘People’s Republic of China (PRC),’ with Taiwan to become a ‘Special Administration Region‘ after unification. Taipei, on the other hand, considers ‘one China’ to mean the Republic of China (ROC), founded in 1911 and with de jure sovereignty over all of China. The ROC, however, currently has jurisdiction only over Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu. Taiwan is part of China, and the Chinese mainland is part of China as well.

Talks held between the two governments continued in 1993. Visits by officials from both occurred in 2005. Airline flights were begun between the island and the mainland. Tourist visits began, and the PRC sent two pandas to Taiwan in 2008. It seemed that China’s reunification was definitely on the horizon.

But as the PRC became more and more developed, right wing forces calling for the “independence” and “sovereignty” of Taiwan, a clear violation of the 1992 Consensus, grew in strength. Their thugs physically attacked Taiwan residents who favored a negotiated peaceful reunification with the PRC. In 2016, the misnamed Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which defined Taiwan as an independent country not part of China, won the Taiwan election. They renounced the “one China” agreements.

Just as the U.S. had created the puppet regime in South Korea in 1950 and fought a war to prevent reunification, just as it had violated the 1954 Geneva Accords by establishing a puppet regime in South Vietnam and waged a brutal but unsuccessful war against that small but determined country, the Trump regime, just as it did with Hong Kong, openly backed the Taiwan “independence” movement, to separate it completely from China.

During the Trump administration, for the first time in 40 years, high level U.S. officials made diplomatic visits to Taiwan, laying the groundwork for possible recognition of Taiwan as an independent country, a violation of the 1979 agreement declaring Taiwan as part of China, as well as the 1992 Consensus.   A huge nearly $2 billion U.S. arms deal was signed with Taiwan, and the Pentagon began offering assistance with Taiwan’s offensive missile program. Fleets of U.S. Navy ships, bristling with guns and missiles, paraded between the mainland and Taiwan.

Trump’s foul racist attacks on China, accusing them of creating the Coronavirus pandemic, have sparked many attacks on Asian people across the U.S., which have continued into President Biden’s term.

Biden’s smooth transition to attack-China policies

While proclaiming himself the “orderly” and “competent” alternative to Trump, Biden has wasted no time in continuing the multi-front anti-China campaign on behalf of U.S. imperialism. Taiwan’s ambassador was invited to Biden’s inauguration. This is the first time for that since 1979. Biden’s State Department announced that the U.S. support for Taiwan is “rock solid”.  In his April 28th speech to Congress, Biden marketed his “job, jobs, jobs” program to his Wall Street patrons as one designed to re-assert U.S. hegemony over China:

We’re in competition with China and other countries to win the 21st century. We’re at a great inflection point in history. We have to do more than just build back better — than just build back, we have to build back better. We have to compete more strenuously than we have. 

Biden has made no move to end the massive Trump tariffs on Chinese-produced goods. A March 25th CNN article states:

A report from Moody’s Analytics found that the tariffs cost 300,000 jobs and 0.3 percentage points in US GDP during the first year they were in effect. 

Economists also assume that some of that cost is passed on to the consumer. An estimate from JPMorgan Chase found the tariffs cost the average household about $600 a year and a separate study from researchers at the NY Fed, Princeton, and Columbia University, estimated the cost at just north of $800 per household each year.

These tariffs, meant to hamper the Chinese economy, have failed to stop the Chinese economy from emerging from the pandemic with a high growth rate.

When Trump took office in 2017, he imposed travel restrictions on all persons entering the country from Muslim nations . This sparked massive militant protests across the United States, even shutting down some major airports against this anti-Islam bigotry.

Trump and Biden accuse China of genocide

Low wage workers forced to work grueling 10 hour shifts with so few breaks that they must pee on the floor or into soda bottles, forced to attend propaganda meetings where they are told they must not resist bad working conditions, always under  the eye of TV cameras monitoring their unbearable work pace. Is this a “concentration camp” in Xinjiang province with the Uighur workforce? No, it’s what mostly Black workers face at the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama.

Wailing toddlers torn from their parents arms and placed in cages, women being raped and sterilized while in detention centers, all to instill terror in a people because of their ethnicity, which meets the definition of genocide under international law. Is this China attacking the Uighur people? Oh no, it’s Boss Trump and Henchman Steve Miller mistreating asylum seekers from Central America.

On Trump’s last day in office, his Secretary of State Pompeo made the false and outrageous charge that China’s treatment of the largely Muslim Uighur minority in the Xinjiangv province is genocide. On that same day, without any evidence or investigation, Biden’s nominee for Secretary of State, Antony Blinken,made clear his and Biden’s agreement on this with Trump and Pompeo. This accusation has met universal approval by the entire U.S. and Western corporate media. An article in Greyzone in 2019 analyzed the source of this charge:

While this extraordinary claim is treated as unassailable in the West, it is, in fact, based on two highly dubious “studies.” 

The first, by the US government-backed Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders [based in Washington, D,C,], formed its estimate by interviewing a grand total of eight people.

The second study relied on flimsy media reports and speculation. It was authored by Adrian Zenz, a far-right fundamentalist Christian who opposes homosexuality and gender equality, supports “scriptural spanking” of children, and believes he is “led by God” on a “mission” against China.

It must be noted that as recently as February 2, 2018, B52 bombers dropped bombs on Uigher camps in its war in Afghanistan, and it locked up Uighur people in the infamous Guantanamo concentration camp for years without trial. Certainly the U.S. is no friend of the Uighur people. This U.S. hypocrisy is clearly designed to slander the PRC and justify its threat of war to the U.S. populace.

In response, the Chinese Foreign Minister addressed the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Feb. 22, saying “basic facts show that there has never been so-called genocide, forced labour or religious oppression in Xinjiang”.

“The door to Xinjiang is always open. People from many countries who have visited Xinjiang have learned the facts and the truth on the ground. China also welcomes the High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit Xinjiang,” Wang said, referring to UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet, whose office has been negotiating terms of access to the country.

Undiplomatic attacks against China

It did not take long for the Biden administration to make threats on the diplomatic front. In a speech on March 3, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said:

“Our relationship with China will be competitive when it should be, collaborative when it can be, and adversarial when it must be. And we will engage China from a position of strength,” Blinken said in a speech laying out the Biden administration’s foreign policy vision.

“China is the only country with the economic, diplomatic, military and technological power to seriously challenge the stable and open international system — all the rules, values and relationships that make the world work the way we want it to,” said Blinken, who delivered his address at the State Department.

Two weeks after Blinken’s speech, he and a U.S. delegation met with officials from the PRC in Alaska. As a March 18th Politico report stated, the meeting was contentious from the start:

Chinese officials had earlier tried to cast the Alaska event, which is to consist of at least three sessions over Thursday and Friday, as the potential new beginning of a longer strategic dialogue.

But the U.S. side has described the gathering as a “one-off” attempt to convey American frustrations with Beijing and get a sense of where Chinese leaders stand on various areas of dispute.

Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi told reporters:

We do not believe in invading through the use of force, or to topple other regimes through various means, or to massacre the people of other countries, because all of those would only cause turmoil and instability in this world.

As we well know, U.S. imperialism, under whatever administration, has no such restraints.

To be continued in Part 2 – Pentagon gears up for war

Wall Street’s Drumbeat for War with China Continues Under Biden


Wall Street’s Drumbeat for War with China Continues Under Biden – Fighting Words (

May 5, 2021 

Chinese fleet patrolling the South China Sea. | Photo: YouTube

By Chris Fry

Biden has pledged to remove U.S. troops from Afghanistan, a move that is 20 years overdue. But as welcome as that news is, if it is actually carried out, it appears one main motive for this is to engage in preparations for a new war with a technologically more advanced foe. Biden’s Defense Secretary implied that very point in a speech at the Pacific Command on April 30:

“The way we’ll fight the next major war is going to look very different from the way we fought the last ones.

“We can’t predict the future,” Austin said. “So what we need is the right mix of technology, operational concepts, and capabilities – all woven together in a networked way that is so credible, flexible, and formidable that it will give any adversary pause.”

The Pentagon’s top Asia Pacific commander, Admiral Philip Davidson, in his March 9 testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, laid out a timeline for a U.S war with China very similar to Trumpist Steve Bannon’s (see part 1) He called for a massive military buildup in the region that was music to the ears of every war contractor and their minions in Congress:

“I worry that they’re [China] accelerating their ambitions to supplant the United States and our leadership role in the rules-based international order… by 2050.

“Taiwan is clearly one of their ambitions before that. And I think the threat is manifest during this decade, in fact, in the next six years.”

He called on lawmakers to approve the installation on Guam of an Aegis Ashore anti-missile battery, capable of intercepting the most powerful Chinese missiles in flight.

Guam “needs to be defended and it needs to be prepared for the threats that will come in the future,” Davidson said.

In addition to other Aegis missile defense systems destined for Australia and Japan, Davidson called on lawmakers to budget for more long-range weaponry “to let China know that the costs of what they seek to do are too high.”

“A wider base of long-range precision fires, which are enabled by all our terrestrial forces – not just sea and air but by land forces as well – is critically important to stabilize what is becoming a more unstable environment in the western Pacific,” Davidson said.

While the Pentagon has said it was in favor of placing such missiles in the region, allies in Asia have so far appeared to be opposed to the idea of hosting them.

Davidson said, however, that missile defense was not enough to deter a potential adversary:

“Missile defense is the hardest thing to do. And if I’m the manager of a baseball team, if I can have the best defenses in the world but if I can’t score some runs, I can’t win the game,” Davidson said.

“Winning the game” against the PRC is a top topic of discussion in the myriad of “think tanks” connected to the Pentagon, as well as the right-wing corporate media. The alt-right Washington Examiner published an April 30th article titled “How to Fight China in the South China Sea”, where various war strategies were discussed. According to the article’s author, Tom Rogan, the goal of the U.S. Navy should be to turn “the Chinese navy into coral reefs.”

One of the U.S. general staff’s main complaints about the U.S. strategy in the Vietnam War was the White House exercised too much restraint on “local commanders” (which is an absurd notion given the massive firepower unleashed on the people of Vietnam). Concerned that Biden’s White House might do the same, the article quotes the Hudson Institute think tank’s Bryan Clark’s dangerous strategy to ensure that “local” commanders can spark or enlarge the conflict without waiting for orders from higher up or civilian officials because the Chinese commanders are “fanatical,” a typical racist trope:

He [Clark] pushes for a shift from the current hierarchical, centralized command structure to a heterarchical structure which sees command authority localized. This is necessary in that any South China Sea fight will take place in an “extremely contested electromagnetic spectrum environment.” This will disrupt communications, and battlefield awareness at range. It is thus “incumbent upon us to have the decision support tools for [any warship] commander to be able to operate effectively in the contested environment with those forces. [These commanders] can’t just [fight] based on tactics or doctrine that they’ve learned or that they’ve gained through habit, because the opponent can figure that out and predict it.”

While Clark is on the money here, the Navy’s obsessive discipline approach to its best fleet commanders is deeply problematic. Aside from the submarine force, the Admirals have encouraged a culture of risk avoidance rather than one of aggressive risk taking. That is not a good recipe for confronting fanatical Chinese fleet commanders.

It should be remembered that it was a phantom non-existent “enemy attack” by North Vietnamese gunboats in the Tonkin Gulf that was used by the U.S. to escalate the war in Vietnam in 1964. Now these militarists want to actually use the intense confusion created by cyber warfare to allow hot-shot local commanders to escalate minor or accidental incidents into full-scale war without authorization from civilian officials.

Biden drafts imperialism’s junior partners into war

One big difference between Trump’s and Biden’s anti-China campaign is that Trump chose to “go it alone” versus the PRC, imposing tariffs outside of the World Trade Organization and sending the U.S. fleet into the South China Sea without enlisting NATO or other allies to intimidate the PRC.

Biden is actively drafting U.S. imperialism’s junior partners into this escalating potential war. In an April 27th article, CNN reports that Britain is deploying an eight-ship strike force, led by the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, in May to the South China Sea as well as the Taiwan area. The article clearly defines what the target of the UK’s show of force is, quoting the British government’s defense review:

“China’s increasing power and international assertiveness is likely to be the most significant geopolitical factor of the 2020s,” the review said, describing Beijing as “the biggest state-based threat to the UK’s economic security.” 

Rather than blame Brexit for the UK’s economic woes, the British government under U.S. pressure blames China. Other capitalist countries are sending warships into the area.

In response to Biden’s building this anti-China military and propaganda mobilization, China held high level meetings with Vietnamese officials on April 26th to manage disputes and resolve differences over the South China Sea. And it has pledged aid to pandemic-ravaged India despite a sometimes-violent border dispute:

 Wang Xiaojian, a spokesman for the Chinese embassy in India, said the country had the firm support of China’s government and its people in the fight against the pandemic. “We will encourage and guide Chinese companies to actively cooperate with India to facilitate acquiring medical supplies, and provide support and help according to India’s need,” he said, in an embassy statement on Monday night.

The left must mobilize the masses against a new war

There have been voices of concern raised among some in the corporate media over this Trump/Biden push for war with China.  An April 2nd article in the Nation magazine is titled “Are the U.S. and China Stumbling into War? ”The author describes the Pentagon strategy under Biden:

For Washington in the Biden era, assertive military maneuvers in the East and South China Seas are a way of saying: No matter how far such waters may be from the United States, Washington and the Pentagon are still not prepared to cede control of them to China. This has been especially evident in the South China Sea, where the US Navy and Air Force regularly conduct provocative exercises and show-of-force operations intended to demonstrate America’s continuing ability to dominate the region—as in February, when dual carrier task forces were dispatched to the region. For several days, the USS Nimitz and the USS Theodore Roosevelt, along with their accompanying flotillas of cruisers and destroyers, conducted mock combat operations in the vicinity of islands claimed by China.

Nevertheless, it is clear that Wall Street, the whole corporate media and leaders from both political parties stand united behind this new military adventure against the PRC.

It should be remembered that it was Lyndon Johnson, the author of Medicare, Medicaid, and the War on Poverty as well as Civil Rights legislation, who escalated the Vietnam War, despite opposition from such historic figures as Malcom X, Muhammed Ali and Martin Luther King. It was the “compassionate conservative” George W. Bush who launched the war on Iraq on false pretenses and started the endless war of occupation in Afghanistan, despite millions who poured into the streets in protest.

It was “Yes we can!” Obama who first “pivoted to Asia,” which began the first parade of U.S. warships off the coast of China.

Joe Biden presents himself as a “nice guy” (although he supported Bush’s wars in the Middle East). He has signed the massive COVID rescue package and proposed a popular huge “infrastructure” bill. He has supported the conviction of Derek Chauvin for the brutal murder of George Floyd and saluted the union movement. At the same time, he is escalating the conflict with the PRC into a confrontation billed as a contest between the U.S. and the “authoritarian” and even “genocidal” China.

This is the history of imperialism. Reforms are granted so that the mass of workers and oppressed will quietly accept Wall Street’s new military adventures. The billionaire class dreams that these will generate huge profits and sustain U.S. corporate hegemony over the rest of the world. The corporate media tries to whip the masses into a pro-war frenzy.

These dangerous military provocations under Biden could easily lead to a catastrophic war with millions of casualties, not among the war profiteers on Wall Street and their minions in Washington of course, but among the masses of workers and oppressed. Progressives must not let that happen! The war drive against China must be challenged at every level! No to war! U.S. imperialism out of Taiwan and the South China Sea!

May Day 2021 in Detroit

May 24, 2021

By Fighting Words Staff

May Day Detroit 2021 in Detroit – Fighting Words (

May 1 is International Workers Day around the world.

In Detroit activists gathered at Grand Circus Park to hear speakers and musicians.

Struggles surrounding the need for a $15 per hour minimum wage; immigrant rights for all documented and undocumented peoples; international solidarity with Yemen, Palestine, Africa,  the Philippines and all oppressed and fighting groups around globe.

Various organizations co-sponsored the rally and marched from Grand Circus Park to City Hall where a rally was held to demand justice for Ma’Khia Bryant, killed by police in April.

These groups included Moratorium NOW! Coalition; Fight for 15; Detroit Will Breathe; Michigan United; Michigan Liberation; March for Black Women; Anakbayan; Yemen Liberation Movement; among others.

Lift Up Filipino Working Women This May Day


May 4, 2021 

By GABRIELA USA – National Alliance of Filipino Women

Lift Up Filipino Working Women This May Day – Fighting Words (

For Immediate Release

May 1, 2021

Reference: Irma Shauf-Bajar, Chairperson,

On May 1st, International Workers’ Day, GABRIELA USA highlights the rise of Filipino women workers and working women all over the world, organizing for livelihood, rights, and liberation. Workers continued to experience intensified hardship this year, as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to exacerbate the already existing economic crisis. Despite this, workers have valiantly fought back against cuts to jobs and wages, as well as worsening conditions in their workplaces and communities.

The struggle of workers today for better working conditions and rights is reminiscent of the militant battles fought by the working class in the United States 135 years ago, and which gave birth to International Workers Day. In 1884 capitalists used child labor and workers commonly labored for 10 to 16 hours a day, in unsafe conditions and without breaks. In the summer of 1884 labor organizers (many of whom were immigrant workers) called to begin a nationwide mass movement, starting on May 1, 1886, for an eight hour work day.

Two years later on May 1, 1886, more than 300,000 workers across the United States exercised their collective power and walked off their jobs as part of a national strike to demand an eight hour work day. Days later on May 3, a peaceful protest in Chicago turned violent when police attacked and killed picketing workers. The next day 176 police attacked and shot at 200 people,  killing four workers. Labor leaders were rounded up and arrested because of their political beliefs and their union organizing.

More than 100 years later, workers continue to face extreme exploitation and repression, and the labor movement continues the struggle. Filipino women workers put their lives on the line at their jobs everyday while they provide services to the public, making them vulnerable to contracting COVID-19 and running the risk of exposing their family members and others living in their household. In the U.S., Filipino healthcare workers bore the brunt of a failed, privatized healthcare system that neglected the need for adequate PPE, mass testing, and an overall plan to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. A National Nurses United (NNU) report covering September – December 2020 revealed that at least 30% of nurses in the U.S. who died of COVID-19 related deaths were Filipino (approximately 74 of 245 nurses).

When lockdown measures lifted in the U.S., essential workers also found themselves in precarious conditions at work. Filipino women working in child development and daycare centers returned to work without adequate face masks, gloves, and little to no information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. In Washington D.C., a group of Filipino women workers at a daycare center contracted COVID-19 once they returned to work and found that employers were not prepared for protocol measures. Massive cuts to education has resulted in cut hours and layoff at work, leaving many trying to file for unemployment compensation.

Meanwhile in the Philippines, state neglect in addressing the needs of working class families during the pandemic has led to women initiating community-driven efforts to provide for the most vulnerable through community pantries.

“The women organizing the community pantries back home are mostly housewives who stayed home during lockdown, but now their time is better spent helping their communities. A lot of young women are organizers of the community pantries. Organizers have been involved in other mutual aid efforts, food drives, etc. and take on other roles in being providers for their communities,” stated Pauline Jenny Non with Community Pantry PH.

Just like the women who organized the community pantries in the Philippines, Filipino women workers across the globe are organizing their communities and are collectively rising to fight against exploitation and repression. In response to the dire conditions of Filipino healthcare workers under COVID-19, GABRIELA USA organizations have united to take action in support of their demands for more protections, safe jobs, housing, healthcare and public health, and not militarization.

“On International Workers Day, we continue the fight for fair working conditions, for workers rights, and for those who have given up their lives for the struggle against exploitation,” said Irma Shauf-Bajar, GABRIELA USA Chairperson, “We continue the fight for liberation of our people and with workers of the world against exploitation and oppression!”

SACP International Workers' Day 2021 Message as Delivered by the SACP General Secretary Dr. Blade Nzimande, at a COSATU Hosted Hybrid Virtual and Physical Rally, Gauteng Province

1 May 2021

Programme Director, Vice President of COSATU, Cde Mike Shingange.

President of the ANC and the Republic, Cde Cyril Ramaphosa.

President of COSATU, Cde Zingiswa Losi.

Cde Thulas Nxesi, Deputy National Chair of the SACP.

All Alliance leaders and the democratic movement.

The workers of our country and the world.

This is the second International Workers' Day we celebrate under the global COVID-19 pandemic. That is why today we remember all those we lost to the deadly virus, both in our country and globally, including workers and working-class leaders. By the end of April 2021, the deadly virus had killed over 3 million people globally, of whom over 54 thousand deaths occurred in South Africa, including health and other frontline and essential workers.

The most immediate task and challenge facing workers and the progressive trade union movement both locally and globally is to intensify the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic on all fronts. The development, production, and access to vaccines to all is the most immediate battleground, especially access for developing countries populations.

The single biggest obstacle to access to vaccines is what we refer to as vaccine imperialism-the actions by the big multinational pharmaceutical corporations headquartered in the United States and Western Europe, backed by their governments, to impose draconian conditions, imperialist in content, for supplying vaccines to Global South countries.

For instance, the United States and Western Europe headquartered big multinational pharmaceutical corporations demanded that our country must set up an insurance scheme in case something goes wrong, thus, they do not want to take responsibility for the efficacy of their own vaccines. Today, we call for action by all progressive trade unions in our country to challenge the greed by these big multinational pharmaceutical companies.

The United States and Western European countries are also driving vaccine nationalism, among others involving buying more vaccines than they need for their populations, which are 14 per cent of the total world population. We need to rise against imperialism on all fronts, including in the battle against COVID-19 itself as a front of struggle, and confront vaccine nationalism. We must struggle for vaccines and vaccination as a right and not a commodity! An essential component of this struggle against vaccine imperialism and nationalism is the fight for COVID-19 patents waiver so that Global South countries with vaccine productive capacity can produce the vaccines to make them available to all as public goods and vaccination for all as a public healthcare service.

That is one reason in our message on this important occasion, the SACP centenary year International Workers' Day, we say, Put People Before Profits! We say, let us Learn from the Past of our liberation struggle against colonial and apartheid oppression, let us Intensify our Activism, let us Deepen the Struggle Against Capitalist Exploitation and Imperialism, let us Build Momentum Towards, Capacity for, and the Elements of Socialism in the here and now. We say, in short, Socialism is the Future-Build it now!

Another set of workers struggles that the SACP pledges to support are the struggles against retrenchments and undermining of collective bargaining rights. It surely cannot be that the negative economic impact and the brunt of COVID-19 must be carried by workers alone. Forging a wider progressive trade union unity in action to advance the common interests of the workers should include strengthening the fight against retrenchments. Let us not allow our belonging to different worker federations to stand in the way of joint action for common interests, for common demands, and against retrenchments, among others.

The SACP also calls for the government to take the lead in ensuring that the dispute with public sector workers is resolved through the courts, but by taking it back to the negotiating table. The SACP does not expect our own government not to honour bargaining agreements with public sector workers. This also sets a very bad example for private capitalist bosses who think they can now embark on unilateral actions thus undermining the collective bargaining system that South African workers fought so hard for.

One of the biggest enemies of the working class in the current period is that of corruption, both in the public and private sectors. Yes, corruption is rife in both the public and private sectors, as it is being currently exposed by the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture. Corruption in the public sector involves not only those located in the public sector but also corrupt elements form the private sector.

On this day, we also call upon workers and all our trade unions to close ranks and jointly intensify the struggle to fight the scourge of corruption. Workers and trade unions should also be asking themselves as to where they were as state resources were being stolen through state capture networks. Never, and never again, as Nelson Mandela would have said, should workers be found wanting in not confronting state capture and all other forms of corruption.

We wish to take this opportunity to thank you, President, in your capacity as the President of the ANC, for your frank engagement with the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture. The SACP welcomes the latest decisions and actions taken by the ANC to deal with corruption and factionalism within its own ranks.

The SACP, COSATU and all the democratic forces must unite in support of the decisive stance by the ANC to deal with corruption. However, at the same time we must remain vigilant that those who find themselves in a corner do not try to weaponise the struggle against corruption to manufacture lies and baseless allegations as part of their fight-back strategy. Such tactics are used to try and undermine the determination of the ANC to implement its resolutions.

The web of state capture and factional networks thrives on the fake news and disinformation propaganda. These factionalist networks use both the new media platforms and traditional media outlets, such as the print media, especially compromised media outlets, to spread fake news and disinformation. They do this both to defend those implicated in real corruption and to drive a smear campaign against those genuinely committed to fighting real corruption.

The fight against corruption must also be accompanied by the struggles to defend and deepen our democracy, by seeking to unite the widest possible sectors of our society to defend our gains, to isolate and defeat all counter-revolutionary actions by those driving attempts to steal our organisations in pursuit of corruption. We should all say with one voice, our Alliance and our democracy are not for sale! Defending and protecting collective bargaining is part of defending our hard-won democratic gains!

The working-class also needs to intensify the fight against neoliberalism and its austerity agenda in the here and now and seek to advance alternative economic policies that stand to benefit the workers and poor of our country. This must be done at the same time as we struggle to dismantle the networks of state capture. This is what we mean, as the SACP, when we talk about the struggle on two fronts.

The SACP calls upon and commits to join the workers of our country in fighting the scourge against gender-based violence as part of deepening the struggle against oppression and exploitation based on gender.

The SACP joins COSATU in pledging our support for an ANC victory in the forthcoming local government elections. However, this is not a blank cheque. We join the President of the ANC by supporting his call that local government elections must be used by our people to flush out corrupt councillors. Similarly, as the SACP, we will not support imposed councillors or those who are in ANC electoral lists through corrupt and fraudulent means or who are imposed on communities. We call upon the ANC to ensure electoral lists that are inclusive of its Alliance partners and popular candidates in communities!

The SACP wishes on this day to strongly condemn actions by organisations like Solidarity and Afri-Forum in opposing the international solidarity brigades of Cuban doctors and engineers. These organisations, relics of the apartheid past, were beneficiaries of a racist labour relations and governance regime that never allowed black people to train and become artisans, technicians, and engineers. They remain silent with continuing racism and patriarchy in many of South Africa's workplaces, including murders of farmworkers and community members by racist farmers in farming areas.

Let workers of our country recommit themselves on this day to fight racism wherever it occurs, especially in our workplaces.

To succeed as organised workers, as class-conscious workers, and as the Communist Party, we must consolidate and strengthen our unity. We must organise the unorganised into progressive trade unions, and politically into our national democratic revolutionary front, paying special attention to political education and recruiting advanced cadres into the Communist Party to strengthen its vanguard character. The Communist Party reiterates its call for wider progressive trade union unity in action, behind the common interests of workers.

Let us defend the unity of the workers, the unity of the ANC and the unity of our Alliance. Let us unite to build the capacity of our state to transform society for the better. Let us defend and strengthen our state-owned enterprises to build a better economy based structural transformation going to the root of our economic problem and consequent broader social and political problems.

Let the workers join a broader revolutionary front to go to the root of our problems, and work to uproot the capitalist system and its exploitative methods.  






Hlengiwe Nkonyane

Communications Officer:

Media Liaison & Digital Media Co-ordinator

Mobile: +27 79 384 6550


Office: +2711 339 3621/2

Twitter: SACP1921


Facebook Page: South African Communist Party

SACP Condemns Apartheid Israel on its Attack on Palestinians

12 May 2021

The South African Communist Party (SACP) strongly condemns Israel on its attack on Palestinians and its US-backed colonisation of Jerusalem, and calls upon the United Nations to exert extensive pressure on the Israeli regime to abandon its apartheid policy on Palestine. Apartheid, declared a crime against humanity by the United Nations, was bad for South Africa, and it is also bad for Palestine – though the measures being undertaken by Israeli regime appear to be even worse than those that were imposed in South Africa.

The SACP stands in unconditional solidarity with the people of Palestine in their resilient fight against the Israeli apartheid regime. We support all efforts across the world aimed at the strengthening of international solidarity, as well as democratic and peaceful activities in support of the oppressed Palestinian people.

In continuation of its apartheid policy on Palestine, the Israeli regime continues with its plans to evict Palestinians from the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah. Following peaceful prayers by Palestinians at Al-Aqsa over the weekend, Israeli forces attacked worshippers and also engaged on military air strikes in Gaza, destroying Palestinian lives and structures. Consequently, over 36 Palestinians, including 12 children, have been killed by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza while hundreds have been seriously wounded.

Every day, Israel demonstrates its intentions to destroy the lives of the Palestinian people and have absolute control over Palestinian land in its pursuit for its colonialist and imperialist agenda, backed by the US government. Successive Israeli apartheid regimes have relentlessly violated all international agreements on the resolution of the crisis it has imposed on the Palestinian people, additionally intensifying illegal construction of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land. On the other hand, over the decades, the people of Palestine have genuinely abided by all international agreements and well-meaning compromises for the peaceful resolution of the conflict caused by Israel.

An apartheid state, regardless which one it is and where it is located, must be isolated in the same way or more as the South African apartheid state was isolated. The world must therefore isolate the Israeli apartheid state.

The SACP reiterates its support for the two-state solution based on the pre-1967 borders with a viable Palestinian state. The SACP calls for Israel to evacuate all occupied Palestinian land with immediate effect unconditionally. The United Nations needs to apply real pressure on these international criminals and force them to abide by international law! Peaceful resolution to the Palestinian question must also be bound up with justice.



Dr Alex Mohubetswane Mashilo

SACP Central Committee Member:

Media & Communications


Hlengiwe Nkonyane

Communications Officer:

Media Liaison, Multimedia & Digital Communications Platforms Co-ordinator

Mobile: +27 79 384 6550


Office: +2711 339 3621/2

Twitter: SACP1921


Facebook Page: South African Communist Party

SACP Free State Welcomes the Appointment of the ANC Interim Provincial Committee in the Free State Province

26 May 2021

The South African Communist Party (SACP) in Free State welcomes the appointment of the ANC Free State Provincial Interim leadership Committee, as announced by the ANC National Working Committee (NWC). The Party views this as an important first step in an attempt to unite and renew the ANC and consolidate Alliance relations in the province.

The SACP in the province urges the interim leadership to spare no energy in uprooting and dealing with the challenges confronting the ANC, its structures and communities, in their historical manifestation. This is the moment to rebuild genuine structures of the ANC and this calls for a transparent and inclusive process of organisation building. It also requires firm and decisive action against ill-discipline and factionalism that has been rearing their ugly head in the movement.

The SACP Free State calls on the interim leadership to pay urgent attention to the deteriorating state of municipalities and governance in the province and address the rampant victimisation of workers, particularly in municipalities. Addressing the apparent problems of service delivery across the province and intensifying the fight against corruption as well as addressing causes of ongoing and sporadic community protests will help the ANC reconnect with the masses.

The SACP in the Free State is committed to work with the interim leadership in rebuilding our movement and restoring its credibility as an effective instrument of liberation in the hands of our people. In this regard, the SACP calls for bilateral and Alliance engagements geared towards consolidating Alliance efforts and joint programmes necessary to confront the challenges of unemployment, poverty, inequality, underdevelopment and corruption in our province. A united, reconfigured and campaigning Alliance is necessary in the province, especially given the upcoming local government elections.


For enquiries, please contact:

Bheke Stofile – SACP Free State Provincial Secretary

Mobile: 071 600 4899

Phillip Kganyago – SACP Free State Provincial Spokesperson

Mobile: 071 896 0157



Dr Alex Mohubetswane Mashilo

SACP Central Committee Member:

Media & Communications


Hlengiwe Nkonyane

Communications Officer:

Media Liaison, Multimedia & Digital Communications Platforms Co-ordinator

Mobile: +27 79 384 6550


Office: +2711 339 3621/2

Twitter: SACP1921


Facebook Page: South African Communist Party

SACP Welcomes ANC NEC Meeting Outcomes on Fighting Corruption, and on Several Other Aspects

10 May 2021

The South African Communist Party welcomes the steadfastness of the African National Congress on the implementation of its constitutional imperative, that its office bearers, public representatives, and members charged with corruption or serious crime in a court of law must be suspended temporarily pending the outcomes of their cases if they do not step aside voluntarily themselves. The ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) created an equal opportunity, allowing all those who are implicated to step aside within 30 days.

To support the ANC, the SACP will continue its discipline to do the same, to take the same action against any member of the Party who may be charged with corruption or serious crime in a court of law.

The steps taken by the ANC will contribute by no small measure, will show leadership by example, to the national imperative to fight corruption. This will dissuade those who may be tempted, against getting involved or complicit in corruption.

We reiterate our stance in support of the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, and against weaponisation of corruption allegations. The tendency involves fabricating corruption allegations and spreading misinformation in pursuit of a false fight against corruption. To emerge victorious in our genuine organisational, Alliance and national imperative to end corruption, we must build wider patriotic unity against such tendencies, while encouraging real corruption to be reported, with evidence, to relevant law enforcement authorities.

The SACP is firmly behind the ANC, and calls upon all members in our broad movement to rally behind the ANC's constitutional imperative to fight corruption, to protect and ensure that every rand and cent in public revenue is spent to look after the needs of the people. We need undivided focus on serving the people selflessly, on transformation and development to tackle unemployment, poverty, inequality, and unequal development.

Unity of revolutionary purpose is essential towards the goals of our shared Alliance strategy, the national democratic revolution, outlined in the Freedom Charter.

The SACP reiterates its support for the organisational reunification of uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) veterans. The ANC and the SACP built the MK jointly on the foundation of the armed struggle networks that had already been created by the SACP, as President Nelson Mandela says in his book, Long Walk to Freedom. The SACP will take part in the organisational reunification of MK veterans, ensuring that it is based on verified, real MK veterans, and the true values of the MK.

In the same vein, the SACP wishes to attach great importance to the necessity to drive the reconfiguration of the Alliance to function optimally towards accomplishing its historical mission, our shared strategy. To this end the Alliance Political Council adopted a common paper.

The SACP welcomes the ANC NEC decision in support of the Alliance Political Council outcomes for the public service wage bill dispute to be resolved as a matter of urgency. We wish to stress the importance of engagement in good faith and compliance with bargaining agreements both in the public and private sectors. It is unfair for any employer to not follow their own processes, blame this on workers, and use the blame game to undermine bargaining agreements.

The SACP welcomes the ANC NEC decision in support of the Alliance Political Council recommendation on the implementation of non-trading holidays.

We further welcome the stance by the ANC NEC on tackling all forms of gender domination and gender-based violence.

The SACP shares the same perspective with the ANC on the outcomes of its NEC meeting regarding the need to deepen solidarity with the people of Cuba against imperialist aggression, and the need to deepen our organisational, Alliance and national ties with Cuba. The SACP reiterates its call to the United States to lift its illegal blockade of Cuba and evacuate the Cuban territory of Guantanamo Bay unconditionally and with immediate effect.

We also share with the ANC the same perspective on solidarity with the people of Western Sahara and Palestine, and call upon Morocco and Israel, respectively, to end and reverse their occupations of Western Sahara and Palestine unconditionally and with immediate effect.

The SACP welcomes regional support to end the crisis in Mozambique and expresses solidarity with the people of Mozambique.



Dr Alex Mohubetswane Mashilo

SACP Central Committee Member:

Media & Communications


Hlengiwe Nkonyane

Communications Officer:

Media Liaison, Multimedia & Digital Communications Platforms Co-ordinator

Mobile: +27 79 384 6550


Office: +2711 339 3621/2

Twitter: SACP1921


Facebook Page: South African Communist Party

SACP Africa Day Statement

25 May 2021

Tribute to the revolutionaries who played a key role towards the founding of the Organisation of African Unity

The South African Communist Party (SACP) guided by its centenary theme, Put People Before Profits, under the Party’s overall strategic theme, Socialism is the Future—Build it now, pays tribute to all the African revolutionaries who played key roles towards the founding of the Organisation of African Unity, the forerunner of the African Union.

In celebrating Africa Day this year, we reflect on the historical struggles that the African people waged, chiefly against colonialism and imperialism, but also the national democratic struggles waged by Africans within their own countries against dictatorships and undemocratic changes of governments. African countries still have the task of resolving internal problems while at the same time waging the struggle to achieve freedom from imperialist domination and exploitation.

Call for unity to end the legacy of colonialism and free African countries from imperialist domination and exploitation

In Africa, no true freedom, in any form, can exist without eliminating the legacy of colonialism, colonial relations and overcoming neo-colonialism and imperialist domination and exploitation. Imperialism not only maintains but also deepens the colonial legacy of uneven development between the African countries underdeveloped during colonial rule and their imperialist exploiters and former colonisers located in the Global North.

There are countries in the continent whose budgets are under the yoke of donor funded dictates. Many African countries are chained to the whims of the international finance organisations and economic policy dictates by the IMF and World Bank.  The subordination or subversion of the development of national and continental sovereignty undermines democracy. The African people must develop productive capacity to support the transformation and development of the continent. To this end, mutually beneficial international relations with fraternal countries can play a key role.

The Southern African region continues to be beleaguered by the legacy of colonialism and apartheid both of which have led to the economic depression of the region. Our continent, its resources and labour were exploited under colonial domination by the imperialist powers of the Global North. This contributed by no small measure to development in the Global North countries that benefitted from colonialism and that continue to benefit from ongoing imperialist domination and exploitation of the countries in our region and continent. We need a stronger regional approach to development in Southern Africa, in the same way as we need to advance and deepen the African revolution. Uneven development in the region will continue to cause problems within each country, between countries and impacting on the continent. 

Solidarity among the African people in their various day-to-day struggles is crucial, including in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in which once again imperialist exploitation is manifest in the form, for example, of vaccine imperialism.  

Solidarity with the people of Mozambique against attacks

The SACP calls for solidarity with the people of Mozambique in defence of their country against the recent attacks in which many have been killed and wounded, forcing more to be internally displaced while others had to flee their country to neighbouring countries for refuge. There are signs already that the Mozambican economy has taken heavy battering since the attacks began, with some of the major industries being brought to a halt. Over 50,000 people affected by the attacks needed urgent humanitarian assistance in April. In addition, close to a million people face food insecurity in Northern Mozambique and over 700,000 people are currently displaced because of the conflict.

Solidarity with Communist Parties in Africa

We also send our solidarity to all Communist Parties in Africa in their struggles to unite the working class and other progressive strata in their respective countries and as they wage the struggle against imperialism and anti-communist attacks.

Solidarity with the people of Swaziland struggling for democracy  

The SACP reiterates its solidarity with the people of Swaziland struggling for democracy. The SACP calls for the immediate and unconditional release of the Swaziland National Union of Students’ Secretary General, Comrade Bafanabakhe Sacolo, and all the incarcerated protesters who were arrested on Friday 21 May 2021, and also extends its solidarity to the Communist Party of Swaziland in its 10th founding anniversary, the People’s United Democratic Movement and other democratic formations in the struggle for democracy.

The SACP reiterates its call for the unconditional release of Amos Mbedzi from unjust incarceration in Swazi prison and strongly condemns his human rights violation by the Swaziland authorities.

As we celebrate Africa Day, the people of Swaziland, largely composed of the youth, are engaged in fierce struggles against police violence, a reality in Swaziland since the inception of the absolute monarchy in 1973. This happens within the context of democratic struggles in a country where the iron-boot rule of the absolute monarchy, which maintains absolute control on the executive, legislature and judiciary continues to deepen along with deepening mass poverty.

Solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe

The SACP expresses its solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe against the background of the economic meltdown that has been ravaging the country for decades now, deepening unemployment and poverty and driving forced economic and political emigration. The democratic space secured by the liberation struggle in Zimbabwe is crucial. It should be protected and expanded as opposed to violence and other human rights violations.

Solidarity with the Communist Party of Kenya against attacks by the authorities

The SACP reiterates its solidarity messages to the Communist Party of Kenya which has been receiving anti-communist blows from the authorities. On 7 April 2021, Kenyan police invaded the headquarters of the Communist Party of Kenya which led to the arbitrary arrest of Party workers and leaders in Nairobi. It is anticipated that the Party in Kenya will face more attacks from the authorities curtailing the democratic space. Thus, more revolutionary voices must rise up against the April 7 attacks on the Communist Party of Kenya.

Solidarity with the people of Sudan

Sudan remains unstable, politically, economically and otherwise. The SACP thus expresses its solidarity with the people of Sudan as well as the Sudanese Communist Party. We also reaffirm our solidarity with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement.

Democratic Republic of Congo

One of the world’s richest countries in terms of natural resources, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has been barraged by internal strife for many decades. These instabilities have been largely fuelled by external factors, in this instance the various international mining corporations competing over the DRC’s resources. Imperialism has and continues to drive the problems in the DRC. The situation in the DRC has often spilled over in various ways into neighbouring states, the Southern Africa region and the continent at large. The African people need to unite both in the Southern African region and the continent at large to tackle the problem in the DRC not only focusing on its effects but also its root causes and structural driving forces.

Solidarity with the people of Western Sahara against occupation by Morocco 

It is crucial that Africa Day is celebrated without any hypocrisy among Africans, including the African Union. The continuing colonial occupation of Western Sahara by Morocco remains a serious problem. The SACP reiterates its solidarity with the people of Western Sahara. The African Union must rescind its regrettable 2017 decision to accept Morocco as a member state. It marked a reversal of freedom aspirations of the African people. By accepting colonialist Morocco as a member state, the African Union tacitly accepted the policy of oppression of one nation by another. Our government must unapologetically pile pressure on the African Union in solidarity with the people of Western Sahara for Morocco to end its occupation of their land.

The SACP conveys its message of solidarity with the Polisario Front on its 48th founding anniversary. 

The imperialist forces must be held accountable for their military attack and interference in Libya and its results

The role of the USA and NATO continues to beleaguer the people of Libya, some of whom have since been sold as slaves to capitalist firms across the Mediterranean. The decade-long violence that has led to untold number of casualties and destroyed the Libyan economy is a direct result of the military attack and interference by the USA and NATO in the internal affairs of Libya in 2011, in violation of international law, even circumventing the African Union. The imperialist forces must be held accountable for what they did in Libya and for its results.

Southern Cameroons

The SACP expresses its solidarity with the people in South Cameroons against killings and other human rights violations.

Fighting corruption and advancing democratic sovereignty in Africa

The SACP stands firmly opposed to all forms of corruption, including corruption committed by African leaders. Defeating imperialism and establishing the sovereignty of Africa, that is, for Africa to freely run its own affairs without interference from external forces, will require revolutionary leadership, in other words leadership which will be accountable to the African people. African leaders must never hide behind their skin colour or their African origins when they have committed crimes against the people, particularly when they have been corrupt and destroyed the peoples’ economies. Corrupt African leaders only serve the interests of imperialism; to keep the African economy underdeveloped and at the mercy of the West or other powerful foreign powers. Such leaders must be opposed by the African people everywhere they emerge.

These struggles will not be overcome by mere wishes for unity and strength, however. The African people must organise themselves into revolutionary organisations, in particular organisations which are decidedly and decisively anti-imperialist.

The SACP calls upon more revolutionary political parties, progressive trade unions and other anti-imperialist forces to unite under the banner of the African Left Networking Forum (ALNEF).

The SACP will continue to offer its solidarity to the African working class. The SACP will also, directly or indirectly, make practical contributions to the strengthening of Communist Parties across the African continent in the ongoing working-class struggle for a socialist world.



Dr Alex Mohubetswane Mashilo

SACP Central Committee Member:

Media & Communications


Hlengiwe Nkonyane

Communications Officer:

Media Liaison, Multimedia & Digital Communications Platforms Co-ordinator

Mobile: +27 79 384 6550


Office: +2711 339 3621/2

Twitter: SACP1921


Facebook Page: South African Communist Party 

C.L.R. James (aka, J.R. Johnson): Merguson Has an Obligation to the Negroes

21 April 1941

The Negro’s Fight, Labor Action, Vol. 5 No. 16, 21 April 1941, p. 4.

Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

Walter Merguson is a Negro foreign correspondent for the Pittsburgh Courier. He and George Schuyler, the Courier columnist, are two of the best journalists in the profession. Merguson some months ago beat the big capitalist press in a news scoop from Paris. He is the only correspondent in Europe whose account of the Battle of France makes sense to me.

What really happened during those seven days or so when the French line was falling steadily back to Paris? Both Hitler and the French general staff have published figures of a few thousand dead on both sides. Most people seem to have accepted it. I don’t, I believe there is a deliberate conspiracy to prevent the mountains of dead from being known for fear of the terrible revulsion against the war which the revelation would cause. Merguson says that the French retreat was covered by three-quarters of a million black soldiers. He says they were not all killed in the fighting, but that they were captured, disarmed and then shot down like animals. His figures are probably exaggerated but I believe he has more of the truth than I have seen anywhere else.

The importance of Merguson was that he was sent to France especially to report on Negroes and in so doing he has been able to throw illumination on many aspects of the imperialist struggle which have escaped the other commentators.

Merguson Finally Sees the Truth

Now Merguson, ever since the war began, has been a fanatical admirer of French civilization. Week after week he sent factual, vivid descriptions of the life of the African troops in France. He praised their quarters, their food, the absence of race prejudice, the freedom with which they mingled with the French population. He approved entirely of these hundreds of thousands of Negroes being fattened to die for French democracy. When some Negroes in Great Britain denounced the French imperialists, Merguson attacked them. No use to point out to Merguson the merciless exploitation of millions of French colonials. No, the French in France treated Negroes well. It was therefore good to die for French democracy.

Then came the French collapse. Overnight the French capitalists found that fascism was better than democracy. Merguson’s eyes have been opened and he starts to howl. Listen to him in the Courier of April 5:

“I am convinced that I, like so many of my countrymen, have been duped, have been led into a fool’s paradise.

“I am witnessing on the scene the passing of a France that was, if nothing more, unfaithful to the trust that we had placed in her and unmindful of her obligations to her subjugated black colonials.”

Well, well. So Mr. Merguson has learned something.

“We have nothing to lose from the downfall of France except our yoke. She was as ruthless, cunning and diabolical as any other imperialist power.”

But He Now Has a Chance

Fine words, Mr. Merguson, but what of all these years that you were encouraging the blacks to fight for French democracy? What are you going to do to atone for the mischief you helped to cause? Yes, you, Mr. Merguson, helped. You did not know any better? OK. Anyone can make a mistake. But you were more intelligent than most. You had knowledge and opportunities of information. But you made a mistake. Too bad. But you have a chance now to show that you are an honest man and not an opportunistic faker.

French imperialism cheated the Negroes, did it? British imperialism, German imperialism, all you see are no good! What about American imperialism? This is your chance, Merguson. Tell the American Negroes how French imperialism deceived you and warn them against American imperialism. When you do that, when you tell them to fight against the enemy at home, then we will believe you. But you are no ordinary worker who has not had a chance. You had every chance and we want more from you than simple repentance.

C.L.R. James (aka, J.R. Johnson) On the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Easter Rebellion: Ireland and the Revolutionary Tradition of Easter Week

14 April 1941

From Labor Action, Vol. 5 No. 14, 14 April 1941, p. 3.

Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

Easter Sunday morning, 1916. [1] Three o’clock. James Connolly, Irish revolutionary leader, was talking to his daughter and. some of her friends, all asking why the revolt so carefully prepared had been countermanded.

Connolly knew that the arms from Germany had been intercepted, he knew that the arrangements had broken down, but he knew that the British government was going to strike. He could not let the revolt be stamped out without resistance. It seemed to him, and rightly, that the resulting demonstration would be too great. He would fight, come what may. There was a chance that if they held out long enough the whole country might rise. But, whether or not that happened, the blow had to be struck. It was in this spirit, long range revolutionary calculation, that Connolly sent the message to his followers calling on them to begin.

They prepared a declaration of the Irish Republic, signed by Thomas Clarke, Sean MacDiarmada, P.H. Pearse, James Connolly. Thomas MacDonagh, Eamonn Ceannt, Joseph Plunkett. About noon the next day a body of Irish volunteers marched down O’Connell Street, apparently on parade, In reality they were marching en the Post Office and they seized it. At that same moment, small detachments seized other key points in the city. A little over a thousand men, workers, and a few intellectuals at their head, had challenged the whole British Empire.

They held the center of the city for over five days. By Friday, 60,000 British soldiers were fighting 1,000 Irishmen while Dublin blazed in flames. The revolutionaries hoped that the country would follow them – but nothing happened, nothing at any rate that could then be seen and measured. On Saturday, President Pearse ordered the surrender. To even sympathetic observers it seemed that the Irish had merely once more shown themselves a brave but irrational and unpredictable people. Except Lenin, who wrote fiercely in their defense, not only as revolutionaries but in defense of the circumstances of their revolt.

A History of Bloody Repression

To understand this noble, but apparently futile heroism one must have some idea, however rough, of Ireland’s past at British hands.

It is customary to speak of Turks in the Balkans and Tsarism in Poland as classical examples of imperialist barbarism. Nothing in six centuries of European history has ever equalled the British strangulation of Ireland. To get some adequate idea of this, one has to study the histories written by Irish nationalists, and printed in Ireland. No British historian would dare to write the history of seek the truth under the thick cake of lies that British history, official and unofficial, has laid over the facts. If he wrote it, no British printer would print it.

Ireland was, many centuries ago, one of teh foremost civilized nations of the world, far in advance of the British, a country producing Catholic scholars of European reputation, and the home of a flourishing association of free clansmen. The British fell upon them after the Norman conquest and plundered them for nearly 800 years. Rape and massacre and arson – arson, massacre and rape. That is the history.

The worst was perhaps Cromwell. Ireland is divided into four great counties, of which Connaught is the most remote and the wildest. Cromwell ordered the Irish to clear out of the three counties and go to Connaught. “To hell or Connaught.” Every Irishman knows that phrase. It signalled the depopulation of a country. That was long ago. Two hundred years later the British did it again. Hitler is doing it today. The British will do it tomorrow again. What is there to choose between the ruling classes of Europe?

Deliberately Starving a People

Ireland was the natural port of call for vessels from America. Today the empty warehouses, centuries old, still can be seen in Cork and other seaport towns. Britain strangled the trade, ruined Irish industry, stole Irish land, evicted Irish tenants, made Irish Catholics pay to support English bishops, taxed Ireland to pay British debts, bribed Irish parliamentarians (Englishmen and descendants of Englishmen) to sell out Ireland.

There is no crime in the horrors of imperialism which the British did not perpetrate against the Irish people for the “benefit of Ireland.” The last and greatest was the famine of 1847. Not one Irishman need have died. The potato crop failed. But while the millions of Irish starved, ships laden with corn sailed out of the harbors to make profits for the British landlords. Parliament voted $250,000 for Irish relief, and $500,000 for the rebuilding of His Majesty’s stables the same year. And as a million people starved and died and epidemics raged, the London Times wrote that an Irishman would soon be as rare on the banks of the Liffey as a red man on the banks of the Hudson.

Revolt after revolt had failed, chiefly through the cowardice of the Irish petty-bourgeoisie and the influence of the priests, both of whom hated the British but were more afraid of the revolution. After 50 years, the Liberal Party almost got a limited Home Rule Bill through Parliament. The Tory landlords started to build an army and swore they would revolt. So much for British democracy! It was in this highly charged atmosphere that the 1914 war broke out and the British began to overtax and oppress the Irish people to make them pay for a war, which they claimed, among other things, was to defend Ireland.

Connolly Organizes Rebel Forces

Revolutionary feeling was, to all appearances, low. During the Boer War the British had denuded Ireland of troops and there had been no revolt. The British government therefore taunted the Irish Nationalists in the House that revolutionary spirit in Ireland was dead. But these Irish Gandhis talked about revolution only to threaten the British. They were as afraid of it as the British garrison, and as soon as war broke out they declared a truce. “All for the war.”

In Dublin, however, James Connolly, a revolutionary Marxist, had been writing pamphlets and organizing labor, with some success. When Sir Edward Carson and the Irish aristocrats began to form their army in 1913, Irish revolutionaries countered with a volunteer army. But when the war broke out, Connolly took the lead with the Irish citizen army, a force consisting at the most of a few hundred men centering chiefly in Dublin. Apart from Lenin’s Bolshevik Party, this was the most extraordinary revolutionary organization that Europe had seen for centuries.

It was organized for the purpose of making a revolution, and making it soon. Connolly was determined that the war would not end without a revolt. There would be no repetition of Ireland in the Boer War and taunts of the British parliamentarians. He felt that all the Irish wanted was a lead and he was ready to give it. His followers were workers, chiefly members of the Irish Transport and General Workers Union. They drilled with rifles openly, under the eyes of the British garrison. They had orders that whenever called, at day or night, they were to leave whatever they were doing and assemble. At half-past three in the afternoon the call would go out. Cab drivers would leave their cabs standing in the streets, office workers their desks, assistants their shop counters, workers their jobs. Whatever they were doing, wherever they were doing it, they would stop, run for home, and ten minutes after Connolly had sent the word around, the streets of Dublin would be filled with men running, jumping on trains without paying, while buttoning up uniforms and buckling on bandoliers.

The British government was powerless to interfere. One of its agents visited Connolly’s office. Connolly drew a revolver on him and told him to get out. And the brave Briton, facing death or liberty, chose liberty.

The revolt was finally planned for Easter, 1916. Arrangements had been made for cooperation with the volunteers and other revolutionary forces of- the nationalist movement. Roger Casement, a famous explorer and humanitarian, had sought arms from Germany. But the liaison service failed. The German ship arrived and signalled but contact was not made. Word for action was sent and then countermanded. There was wide support – it was no hare-brained rash adventure – but it was far more conspiracy than mass revolution. Connolly hoped to set fire to the tinder which he knew Ireland was. He failed. The shot which killed him seemed the end of revolutionary Ireland for a generation. But he died full of hope. He was a thousand times right, mistaken though he was in his tactics and immediate objectives.

British Brutality Provokes New Rising

The British authorities had been trembling since 1914. They didn’t know what Ireland was thinking. They knew that a revolt had been planned, but they hesitated to strike because of the possible consequences. Now they thought they knew what Ireland thought and felt. The people were quiet – dazed. The bourgeois and petty bourgeois press condemned the senseless adventure, as they called it. Wherupon the British determined to strike while the going was good and to crush the revolutionary movement. Day after day they shot leaders of the Irish Citizen Army, and exulted over it in the press. The Irish bourgeoisie protested. On May 12 Connolly was lifted out of the hospital, propped up on a chair, and shot. The British shot and shot. They would wipe them out. And as the slaughter continued, Ireland woke again, the whole country, from end to end.

Under Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins, the Nationalist movement began to grow. By 1918 Ireland was seething. Connolly and the Easter martyrs were national heroes. At the first election after the war, over 70 of the 100 delegates were Sinn Feiners, pledged to no cooperation with Britain. The Volunteers, the Irish Republican Army, the remnants of the Citizen Army began to prepare. From below, the civil war boiled over and the revolution began, anywhere, anyhow, without leadership, without order – a nation fighting instinctively for freedom.

Guerilla Warfare from Start to Finish

The history of that revolution is written in pamphlets and letters and the memories of the Irish people. No book has even faintly touched it, pitched battles of any scope there were none, until very late and then between Irish and Irish. It was guerilla warfare from start to finish. Michael Collins never had more than 2,000 men in his band. But he had the flower of the nation behind him.

Lloyd George could send a quarter of a million men into Ireland within 72 hours if he wanted to. He dared not do it. He couldn’t trust his own soldiers. He was pretending that the Irish were loyal, except for a few bandits. He had to dig into the garbage-and collect every crook, tough and scoundrel he could find; and sent them to Ireland to save Ireland for democracy. They and the police and the garrisons fought it out with the Irish in the streets of Dublin and wherever they found each other. At any minute, in any town of Ireland, the bullets rattled in the streets. With thousands of pounds on his head, Michael Collins went about his business in Dublin, with his plans in one pocket and a revolver in another. Eamon De Valera worked in hiding, under orders of the revolution. On a night every coast guard station in Ireland was burned down. Banks, post offices, customs houses, police station were systematically destroyed by guerilla bands.

Men did things which would have been laughed at as ridiculous in fiction. Dan Breen fought through the campaign, street fighting and raiding, and lived to become a deputy with 42 bullet holes in his body. Over and over again he routed half a dozen British soldiers. He and two friends fought, their way out of a house surrounded “by scores of British soldiers. He would go to his mother’s house to sleep. The British soldiers would come paying their routine visit and ask her when last she had seen him. “He is upstairs sleeping,” she replied once, and the detachment fled like a flock of chickens down the street. He was the greatest of them all, but every Irish village had its Dan Breen.

Years of Bitter Civil War

Meanwhile the international scandal grew. The American Irish were sending money and bringing pressure to bear through Washington. Irishmen high in the British civil service were sabotaging and acting as spies for Collins. In the tangled European situation, Britain’s voice could not be raised, while she was murdering Irishmen by shooting them down at football matches. The British workers were demonstrating for their own demands and against the invasion of Ireland in crowds a quarter of a million strong. The Manchester Guardian and the Quakers led a journalistic agitation. Egypt was pounding at Britain. The British garrison was disintegrating. The British could fight no longer. They sought peace and skilfully drove a wedge between the farmers and the petty bourgeoisie on the one hand and the Irish gentry and business men on the other. A partial peace was signed.

Ireland lost Ulster and the movement ended in a bitter civil war. The social question was beginning to emerge from the national question. The IRA, the real mass organization in contact with the people, in 1921, as in 1914, fought a purely national struggle. But the Irish question is the land question, and after two or three years of civil war it was beginning to find voices. The inevitable next stage would have been an agrarian revolution. The Irish compradores fell back and took help from British imperialism against the incipient social revolution.

British banks still dominate Ireland, but some of the chains have been struck off. Today De Valera knows that if he were to countenance aid to Britain, his doom would be sealed. Connolly had made a tactical mistake, but his faith, in the Irish hatred of British imperialism was a profound revolutionary faith, based on knowledge of his people, revolutionary courage and intuition, and a deep understanding of Irish history. His rashness was valuable beyond the timid caution of a thousand lesser men.

Either in Connolly’s Way, or ...

Easter week was the herald of the Irish revolution and the first blow struck against imperialism during the war at a time when the Irish revolutionary movement in Europe seemed sunk in apathy and the futile squabblings of exiles in cheap cafes. Today, 25 years after, Europe is moving through the same cycle, but this time in a society so exhausted by economic crisis and political strike, so starved and. badgered by barbarous governments, so shaken and stunned by the shocks of war, so weakened for the gigantic shocks that both sides are preparing for each other, that we can watch for the break which must appear in the artificial structure of organized repression and coercion which holds the continent in chains and drives millions to mutual destruction. It may flare and be stamped out as Connolly’s revolt flared and was stamped out. But it will count, for the reasons that Connolly’s counted. Because it shows the way out, the only way out, for people who must find a way or perish.

Note by MIA

1. “1919” in the printed text, but from the context this is obviously a misprint as well as being factually untrue.