Soundz of the South: Elections Serve the System! from “They In On It”

Elections serve the system like chalk board and duster Voting only allows you to choose a new master To hide the ugly ugliness of government with the plaster It’s a shame when you keep recycling these bastards Bourgeoisie democracy is a mockery We don’t want the loaf we want to run the bakery Vote for any party expect treachery You mandating them to feed of … Continue reading Soundz of the South: Elections Serve the System! from “They In On It”

Comrade Mkhululi Sijora Obituary (1982-2016)

From Comrade Mkhululi Sijora Obituary (1982-2016) Posted on July 28, 2016 by Lwazi Ngqingo Cde Kusta’s untimely demise is a great loss. It will be felt by all those who were lucky to cross paths with him and all those who got to hear his music. He never questioned or withdrew his commitment to the struggle for freedom and justice, for a world with less political, … Continue reading Comrade Mkhululi Sijora Obituary (1982-2016)

Analysis: Biko Mutsaurwa, 2013, “The Afrikan Hiphop Caravan: Building a Revolutionary Counterculture”

Biko Mutsaurwa, 2013, “The Afrikan Hiphop Caravan: Building a Revolutionary Counterculture,” The Journal of Hip Hop Studies, volume 1, number 2, pp. 226-231.

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Biko Mutsaurwa is a leading Shona poet, Hip Hop artist and community activist. He is the founder of UHURU Network, an educational trust that uses cultural activism and popular education to advance the struggle for freedom of expression and social justice in Zimbabwe. He is also one of the initiators of the Afrikan Hiphop Caravan. In this article, he provides a brief outline of the lessons to be learned from a decade of Hip Hop activism on the African continent. In addition to providing a short historical overview of the roots of the Afrikan Hiphop Caravan, he outlines the vision of the project: the creation of a
coherent Afrikan Hiphop Movement based upon a strategic orientation towards social movements of the working class and the oppressed.

… In 2004, an affinity group of student activists, Hip Hop activists and socialists established Uhuru Network, based in Harare, as a decentralised platform where members of the Toyitoyi Arts Collective, Imani Media Collective, Impilo Permaculture Collective and Ruzivo Study Circle met and forged theoretical and tactical unity. As a social movement, emerging from the concrete struggles of working people in Zimbabwe against the Economic Structural Adjustment Programs (ESAPs) of the ZANU-PF dictatorship, the Network was from the start decidedly anti-capitalist and anti-authoritarianist. Continue reading “Analysis: Biko Mutsaurwa, 2013, “The Afrikan Hiphop Caravan: Building a Revolutionary Counterculture””

Soundz of the South: Don’t Vote! Organise!

Don’t Vote! Organise!
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In the build up to the 2014 elections, politicians – whether from the DA, ANC, EFF, or PAC – have been calling on us to vote. As part of this, they have promised to meet people’s needs, end poverty and serve communities when they are elected. The promises of all these politicians are lies.

Politicians don’t give a damn about workers and the poor; all they care about is their own power. They will tell us anything to get nice jobs in parliament. When politicians get into the state – whether at a municipal or national level – all they do is pass laws and put in place policies that benefit themselves and their rich friends. They protect their own interests and those of their allies in the form of the capitalists when they are in the state. Far from serving us; they wage a war on us. Continue reading “Soundz of the South: Don’t Vote! Organise!”

Soundz of the South: End Police Brutality

Soundz of the South: End Police Brutality

Over the last few years we have seen many people, protesting for basic rights and a living wage, being killed at the hands of the police. We remember how Andries Tatane was shot over and over with rubber bullets by the police for simply demanding basic services, like water, housing and electricity. We remember too how the state’s judges let these killers off. We also remember how the workers at Marikana were brutally gunned down by the police for striking for a higher wage.

In Khayelitsha too we know that police harass and beat people when they protest. Over the last few months the Progressive Youth Movement (PYM) and SST residents have been demanding the basics of life, like housing and sanitation. But when this happened the police attacked them and harassed them. People can’t even walk in the street in red shirts without being harassed by the police and state. Continue reading “Soundz of the South: End Police Brutality”

Soundz of the South: End poverty, fight for decent jobs

End poverty, fight for decent jobs

The reason why millions and millions of people, especially young people, are unemployed and live in poverty in South Africa is because of the capitalist and state systems. Capitalism and the state lead to all sorts of problems including unemployment, inequality and the oppression of workers, women and people of colour.

Unemployment and poverty are part of capitalism. Anarchists have always said that while workers produce all the wealth under capitalism; through the wage system and the law, this wealth is stolen by the ruling class – made up of the rich and politicians. It is this theft that causes poverty. So while the rich and politicians own almost everything, including the land and factories, most people end up owning almost nothing and are stuck in poverty. It is this which also forces people to sell themselves as workers to members of the ruling class: it is the only way they can survive. This too allows for their continued exploitation – they get only a tiny amount of what they produce in the form of a wage; while the boss and state takes the rest as profit and tax. In effect, under capitalism, workers and the poor are endlessly robbed. The state is then used by the rich and politicians to keep this unfair situation in place – it is the state that protects the rich and politicians and if people protest against how unfair capitalism is, the state steps in to stop them.

People also become unemployed under capitalism because the ruling class hire the smallest number of people possible, and force them to work very hard, to make bigger and bigger profits. This means millions of people don’t have work because bosses want to cut costs by hiring only a few workers not everyone. This means a strange situation is found under capitalism where most workers are over-worked; while millions of other people are unemployed. Continue reading “Soundz of the South: End poverty, fight for decent jobs”

Soundz of the South: By voting we are only choosing our oppressors

With the local government elections approaching, politicians (whether from the DA, COPE, ANC or PAC) are once again crawling out, like cockroaches, to ask for our votes. As part of this, they are once again promising us houses, jobs and service delivery – the usual old recycled lies. The reality, however, is that we don’t have houses and proper service delivery because we live in a system of total inequality – a system of capitalism and the state. The councillors lying to us know this, but they want our votes so that they too can become comfortable and rich.

In fact, there is such bad housing and service delivery because the politicians from the ANC, DA, COPE and the PAC have cut funding for services for years. In the 1990s, under ANC rule, allocations to municipalities for “service delivery” were cut by an average of 85%. The only way municipalities can raise money, therefore, is through charging the poor. It is the state’s policy, and the policy of all political parties, that municipalities must raise funds from service charges. Services, like water and electricity, are therefore only provided to those who can afford them. The poor can’t pay so under this cruel system our water and electricity are cut. On top of that, the poor are made to pay more for services – precisely because they often can’t pay, cost recovery drives councils and utilities to suck every drop they can out of the townships. Township residents pay rates up to 40 percent higher than those in the rich suburbs. And capitalists – the big bosses – have it even easier: industry rates are typically one-sixth of those charged to the suburbs! The poor can’t pay much, and the rich don’t pay much. The result is that most municipalities in South Africa are bankrupt or indebted and cannot deliver the services we are promised. However, this does not mean that central government does not have money. It simply means that the government rather spends it on infrastructure development, like stadiums, that it hopes will make South Africa look like a good place for foreign investors. This happens while the poor are cut off, evicted and forced to have prepaid meters. Continue reading “Soundz of the South: By voting we are only choosing our oppressors”