Class Struggle and Resistance in Africa

Class Struggle and Resistance in Africa

Leo Zeilig

Language: English

Pages: 224

ISBN: 193185968X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

“Cutting-edge.”—Patrick Bond

“This fascinating book fills a vacuum that has weakened the believers in Marxist resistance in Africa.”—Joseph Iranola Akinlaja, general secretary of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, Nigeria

“[An] excellent collection.”—Socialist Review

“Read this for inspiration, for the sense that we are part of a world movement.”—Socialist Worker (London)

“Grab this book. Highly recommended.”—Tokumbo Oke, Bookmarks

This collection of essays and interviews studies class struggle and social empowerment on the African continent.

Employing Marxist theory to address the postcolonial problems of several different countries, experts analyze such issues as the renewal of Islamic fundamentalism in Egypt, debt relief, trade union movements, and strike action. Includes interviews with leading African socialists and activists.

With contributions from Leo Zeilig, David Seddon, Anne Alexander, Dave Renton, Ahmad Hussein, Jussi Vinnikka, Femi Aborisade, Miles Larmer, Austin Muneku, Peter Dwyer, Trevor Ngwane, Munyaradzi Gwisai, Tafadzwa Choto, and Azwell Banda.

Leo Zeilig coordinated the independent media center in Zimbabwe during the presidential elections of 2002 and, prior to this, worked as a lecturer at Université Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, Senegal. He then worked for three years as a lecturer and researcher at Brunel University, moving later to the Center of Sociological Research at the University of Johannesburg. He has written on the struggle for democratic change, social movements, and student activism in sub-Saharan Africa. Zeilig is co-author of The Congo: Plunder and Resistance 1880–2005.

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the privatization of the state in Africa. Each of these periods, from stateled socialist development to the neoliberalism of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank have failed to bring economic development for the overwhelming majority of Africans. This failure and the role of Stalinism will be the subject of the earlier sections of this chapter. Later in the chapter we address the issue of contemporary workingclass and popular struggles and their revolutionary potential. The

government-controlled National Federation of Workers' Unions of Benin (UNSTB). By the end of the year the capital, Cotonou, was convulsed by mass demonstrations. When Kerekou attempted to befriend demonstrators during one of these protests he was jeered and threatened, forcing him to flee. In February 1990 the National Conference of Active Forces declared itself sovereign and dissolved Kerekou's national assembly. Obstinately he still insisted, "I will not resign, I will have to be removed."

preeminent-has become a central focus in the global hunt for oil supplies. Oil explorations have proliferated. The Gulf of Guinea in WestAfrica has become an area of frenzied and contested activity that has seen international corporations competing for oil contracts. The commodity boom-another important element in the recent scramble-has been fueled by additional demand from China, and to a lesser extent India. Africa has again become a disputed site for geopolitical competition, today between

focus to the movement. The DMNL and the unions opposed sympathy action in support of the strikers. The protests were halted, and the Free Officers banned all rival parties in January 1953.29 Rapid but uneven economic development had created a bourgeoisie that was too weak to confront imperialism, and the 1940s were years of decline for the Wald. Other political forces such as the Muslim Brotherhood, which had grown to five hundred thousand members by 1948, were paralyzed by the lack of a clear

determinant of their alliances with either political parties or civic groups and for their own purposes. Recently this realization has made the movement rethink its approach to issues including social, economic, and political questions. At present there are trade unionists looking into social and economic alternatives in Zambia, which will be the basis for their future engagement on broad national issues including political choice. What has been the politics of the ZCTU and the Mineworkers'

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