Printers Stationers Mailers Typesetters High Speed Web Offset Publication Press Couhseling Designing’ Copy Writing Editing Trade Computer Sales and Services Complete Computer Data Processing Services ED piiNtv *FUTURA PRESS AUSTIN TEXAS FILITURA 512/442-7836 1714 South Congress P.O. Box 3485 Austin, Texas 78764 7 TRADES stiN TEXTS of local, autonomous groups. Biko, who died in police custody after sustaining a severe head injury, had always downplayed his own importance. One of the groups to emerge from the 400 or so organizations that made up the Black Consciousness movement was the Azanian People’s Organization the gap after the government banned all Black Consciousness organizations a year earlier. Its aims were to mobilize workers through Black Consciousness; work for education systems that respond creatively to the needs of the people; interpret religion as a philosophy relevant to black struggle; to expose apartheid; and to work for black unity and the “just distribution of wealth and power to all.” While AZAPO acknowledges the “important role” played by ANC, its insistence on Black Consciousness leads it to oppose certain provisions of the Freedom Charter. Moreover, the majority tendency within AZAPO is that all whites should be excluded from the national liberation struggle because they are part of the problem. As for the class issue, AZAPO has taken the position that all blacks are workers who are exploited by capitalist whites. whose leaders in recent days have borne the brunt of state repression, was formed in 1982 as an umbrella structure for 600 different groups, largely as a reaction to the proposed new constitution. That constitution replaced the existing whitesonly, single-chamber parliament with a tricameral legislature in which whites, their own chambers. Black Africans were left out. Since certain UDF leaders are either relatives or close friends of imprisoned ANC leaders, and because UDF, like ANC, adopted the Freedom Charter, the group is viewed by the state as an above-ground version of the ANC. Like the other organizations, its workings are deliberately cast in vague terms; to do otherwise would ensure immediate annihilation by the government. BLACK WORKERS are the only blacks with any real power in South Africa. When they stop working, white society has to pay attention. For this reason the black antiapartheid unions will be of crucial significance in the coming days. There are some 7.5 million black workers in the country, plus about 1 million more LABEL Indian and Coloured workers. \(White million black workers, 500,000 belong to unions. As the resistance has grown, these unionized workers have become more politically active. Last November there was a general strike in Johannesburg, and then when the police killed a leading union leader early this summer, 100,000 people stopped work. Thirty thousand went to the funeral. Of 500,000 mine workers, 100,000 belong to unions. There are hundreds of unions, but three major groupings are of special significance in the struggle against the f-racist state: the Federation of South largest, with about 125,000 members, mostly black, Indian and Coloured. It is a militant nonracial federation of unions embracing workers across South Africa in iron and steel, auto, textiles, paper, and other corporations. Its strategy is defined along two general themes: nonracialism and a need to establish an independent working-class movement. FOSATU might be a union corollary to the ANC, except that it insists workers cannot look to middle-class leaders to advance their interests. It believes worker power resides on the shop floor, and in terms of analysis and goals bears a resemblance to the American CIO of the ’30s. The Council of Unions of South members, is a much looser federation without FOSATU’s clearly defined philosophy and with a strong emphasis on black leadership. It recruits solely among blacks. Because of the emphasis on black consciousness, CUSA has strong lines of affinity with AZAPO. A third, much smaller, but highly visible grouping is the South African which in many respects is more of a mass political movement than a traditional union, and has a membership that differing estimates place between 7500 to 25,000. It recruits in the black townships where workers live and is closely tied to the United Democratic Front. The union believes that to be successful it must be part of a community based movement and it must be directly political. Three of its leaders are on trial for treason. CUSA has international ties to the AFL-CIO, and some of FOSATU’s member unions maintain relationships with individual American unions. Here then are the bare outlines of the politics of resistance that have helped to propel South Africa into the current revolutionary situation. 16 SEPTEMBER 27, 1985
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