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Mumia: Message to Bay Area May Day Visit of National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa
by Longshoreman's Daughter
Wednesday Apr 30th, 2014 6:01 AM
Please join us as we welcome Mphumzi Maqungo, the national treasurer of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) and past chair of NUMSA’s autoworker shop steward network, to the Bay Area over May Day, to discuss current political developments in South Africa.


Thursday, May 1, 7:00 pm, ILWU Hall, Henry Schmidt Room, 400 N. Point St./Mason, San Francisco

Friday, May 2, 12 Noon at UC Berkeley, McCone Hall (Room 575)

Saturday, May 3, 2 pm, Black Repertory Theater; 3201 Adeline, Berkeley (one block south of Ashby BART)




GREETINGS FROM MUMIA ABU-JAMAL TO NATIONAL UNION OF METALWORKERS OF SOUTH AFRICA,
MAY DAY MEETINGS SPONSORED BY THE ILWU AND TRANSPORT WORKERS SOLIDARITY COMMITTEE


(Listen here: http://www.prisonradio.org/media/audio/mumia/message-national-union-metalworkers-south-africa-238-mumia-abu-jamal)


Sisters and Brothers of the International Longshoremen and Warehouse Union and, of your guests -- the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA), I greet you all as militant, historic labor unions who have in the past, the present, and I'm sure in the future, continue the noble struggle for the working class in both countries.

As I write these words, I'm mindful of the horrors brought to us by the unholy alliance between capital and the state exhibited in all its ugliness in the Marikana massacre of August 16, 2012.

NUMSA has rightly called this event a turning point in history, which finds its echo in the shameful Sharpeville massacre of 1960 and the Soweto massacre of school children in 1976. There, school kids took to the streets in protest of new rules forcing the teaching of Afrikaans, the language of white, Dutch descendant settlers in South Africa to Black students. They knew that such a language would be of little use anywhere else in the world other than South Africa.

Here in Marikana, Black mine workers were protesting for a few measly dollars from a foreign mining concern, Lonmin mining. Living at virtually starvation wages, workers fought for a living wage from a consortium making millions off of their labor.

The owners gave orders to South African police to answer their demands with death. The ANC government, in many ways put in power by memories of events like Sharpeville, passed the orders down, and 34 miners and metal workers were executed in defense of capital.

This was indeed a turning point, but not for South Africa alone. This was a global turning point. We hope that this puts a stake into the vampire of neo-liberalism. For when events such as this happen, it shows us the true face of neo-liberalism—that of conservatism and capitalism with a smile.

Welcome NUMSA. May you grow in numbers and militancy.


(From imprisoned Nation, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal, recorded by Prison Radio, for May Day, 2014)




ENDORSERS MAY DAY 2014

LABOR UNIONS:
ILWU Local 10; Sign and Display Local 510; Oakland Education Association

ORGANIZATIONS:
Transport Workers Solidarity Committee (TWSC); CDPH Inter-Union Organizing Committee; United Public Workers for Action (UPWA); Socialist Organizer; Freedom Socialist Party; Socialist Viewpoint; Socialist Action; Oakland Socialist Group; Communist Workers Group; SF Peace and Freedom Party; International Bolshevik Tendency

COMMUNITY:
Oscar Grant Foundation; Lynne Stewart Defense Committee; Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal

INDIVIDUALS:
Angela Davis, activist; Melvin Dickson, Commemoration Committee of Black Panther Party; Mumia Abu-Jamal, framed up political prisoner on slow death row, former BPP; Eddie Conway, former leader of Baltimore BPP, framed, recently released; Larry Pinckney, member Black Activist Writers’ Guild, former BPP




FROM MARIKANA, SOUTH AFRICA TO OAKLAND, CA: THE STRUGGLE FOR WORKERS POWER


The fall of apartheid in South Africa in 1994 was a watershed victory. It culminated decades of struggle by the Black and Colored South African masses, a struggle supported by millions in the U.S. and around the world. The victory brought to power the Tripartite government of the African National Congress (ANC), the South African Communist Party (SACP), and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU).

Now, two decades later, the ANC-led Tripartite government represents big business’s interests -- especially the interests of U.S. and European-based banks and corporations. This has led the government to brutally attack workers who fight back against austerity. Indeed, in 2012, at the Marikana mine, this government massacred 34 striking miners at the behest of the mine owners.

Black poverty has worsened. Inequality has worsened. Trade union officials collaborate with employers against workers, youth, and unemployed. Does this sound familiar? Isn’t the situation similar in the US, with union of- ficials not fighting employer and government attacks on workers, like the machinists at Boeing?

But in South Africa, there’s an exciting new development: for the first time since the fall of Apartheid, there’s a serious challenge to the Tripartite government’s rule, and it comes from the largest and most militant union in Africa. The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) has broken with the COSATU leadership and called for South Africans not to support the ANC in this year’s elections. It is currently building a workers’ party and united front to lead the struggle against the capitalist onslaught of deregulation, privatization, and strike breaking.


We are privileged to present Brother Mphumzi Maqungo, the national treasurer of NUMSA and past chair of NUMSA’s autoworker shop steward network, to discuss these developments.



Thursday, May 1, 7:00 pm
ILWU Hall, Henry Schmidt Room
400 N. Point St./Mason, San Francisco

Friday, May 2, 12 Noon at UC Berkeley,
McCone Hall (Room 575)

Saturday, May 3, 2 pm
Black Repertory Theater; 3201 Adeline,
Berkeley (one block south of Ashby BART)



For updates or to get involved in building for these events, contact the May Day Committee in Solidarity with South African Workers at: twsc [at] transportworkers.org. Reach us directly at (510)325-8664 or (415)282-1908


§Angela Davis: Message to Bay Area Visit of National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa
by Longshoreman's Daughter Wednesday Apr 30th, 2014 9:38 PM
Please join us as we welcome Mphumzi Maqungo, the national treasurer of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) and past chair of NUMSA’s autoworker shop steward network, to the Bay Area over May Day, to discuss current political developments in South Africa.


Thursday, May 1, 7:00 pm, ILWU Hall, Henry Schmidt Room, 400 N. Point St./Mason, San Francisco

Friday, May 2, 12 Noon at UC Berkeley, McCone Hall (Room 575)

Saturday, May 3, 2 pm, Black Repertory Theater; 3201 Adeline, Berkeley (one block south of Ashby BART)





MESSAGE FROM ANGELA DAVIS
ON THE BAY AREA VISIT OF THE NATIONAL UNION OF METALWORKERS OF SOUTH AFRICA (NUMSA)


I wish I were able to be with you today because I cannot imagine a better way to celebrate May 1st, International Workers’ Day, than to be able to hear NUMSA union official Mphumzi Maqungo address a gathering convened by ILWU Local 10. When Jack Heyman invited me to participate, my first reaction was that this encounter between the most radical union in South Africa and the most radical union in the U.S. was one of those historical moments no serious activist concerned about the future could afford to miss. Unfortunately I am currently teaching at UCLA and am unable to be with you in person. But I do want to express my solidarity with and support for NUMSA as it unwaveringly represents the interests and aspirations of workers, and of all those who continue to struggle for a socialist South Africa.

Like so many others around the world, I was initially incredulous when I learned about the Marikana Massacre. How could the New South Africa so aggressively recapitulate the old era? How could the ANC engage in such murderous repression? But then I thought about Stuart Hall’s admonition that “there are no guarantees” and that, in fact, the struggle continues. The ANC has unfortunately aligned itself with the repressive forces of global capital, while NUMSA represents the possibility of fulfilling the historical promise of the struggles against racism, class exploitation, and gender violence in South Africa – and thus also for the world.

I send greetings and solidarity to all of you who will be participating in the events – at Local 10, UC Berkeley and the Black Repertory Theater. And to Mphumzi Maqungo, we support you and are prepared to continue to aid you in your struggle for a free South Africa!


--- Angela Davis




ENDORSERS MAY DAY 2014

LABOR UNIONS:
ILWU Local 10; Sign and Display Local 510; Oakland Education Association

ORGANIZATIONS:
Transport Workers Solidarity Committee (TWSC); CDPH Inter-Union Organizing Committee; United Public Workers for Action (UPWA); Socialist Organizer; Freedom Socialist Party; Socialist Viewpoint; Socialist Action; Oakland Socialist Group; Communist Workers Group; SF Peace and Freedom Party; International Bolshevik Tendency

COMMUNITY:
Oscar Grant Foundation; Lynne Stewart Defense Committee; Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal

INDIVIDUALS:
Angela Davis, activist; Melvin Dickson, Commemoration Committee of Black Panther Party; Mumia Abu-Jamal, framed up political prisoner on slow death row, former BPP; Eddie Conway, former leader of Baltimore BPP, framed, recently released; Larry Pinckney, member Black Activist Writers’ Guild, former BPP




FROM MARIKANA, SOUTH AFRICA TO OAKLAND, CA: THE STRUGGLE FOR WORKERS POWER


The fall of apartheid in South Africa in 1994 was a watershed victory. It culminated decades of struggle by the Black and Colored South African masses, a struggle supported by millions in the U.S. and around the world. The victory brought to power the Tripartite government of the African National Congress (ANC), the South African Communist Party (SACP), and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU).

Now, two decades later, the ANC-led Tripartite government represents big business’s interests -- especially the interests of U.S. and European-based banks and corporations. This has led the government to brutally attack workers who fight back against austerity. Indeed, in 2012, at the Marikana mine, this government massacred 34 striking miners at the behest of the mine owners.

Black poverty has worsened. Inequality has worsened. Trade union officials collaborate with employers against workers, youth, and unemployed. Does this sound familiar? Isn’t the situation similar in the US, with union of- ficials not fighting employer and government attacks on workers, like the machinists at Boeing?

But in South Africa, there’s an exciting new development: for the first time since the fall of Apartheid, there’s a serious challenge to the Tripartite government’s rule, and it comes from the largest and most militant union in Africa. The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) has broken with the COSATU leadership and called for South Africans not to support the ANC in this year’s elections. It is currently building a workers’ party and united front to lead the struggle against the capitalist onslaught of deregulation, privatization, and strike breaking.


We are privileged to present Brother Mphumzi Maqungo, the national treasurer of NUMSA and past chair of NUMSA’s autoworker shop steward network, to discuss these developments.



Thursday, May 1, 7:00 pm
ILWU Hall, Henry Schmidt Room
400 N. Point St./Mason, San Francisco

Friday, May 2, 12 Noon at UC Berkeley,
McCone Hall (Room 575)

Saturday, May 3, 2 pm
Black Repertory Theater; 3201 Adeline,
Berkeley (one block south of Ashby BART)



For updates or to get involved in building for these events, contact the May Day Committee in Solidarity with South African Workers at: twsc [at] transportworkers.org. Reach us directly at (510)325-8664 or (415)282-1908