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Opening the Front Line Against Apartheid! A celebration of the mass strikes of 1973

by WIN
There will be an international panel on the 1973 anniversary of the South Africa Duban worker uprising against the apartheid regime.
A celebration of the mass strikes of 1973
A Workers’ International Network meeting
Sunday 14th May at 8 AM California Time

Fifty years ago, at the height of apartheid, came the greatest strike movement in South African history. Early in 1973, in Durban – South Africa’s major port, and Africa’s biggest – 100,000 black workers spontaneously took strike action to demand two or three times their wages. In wave after wave of rolling action over many months, workers demanded higher wages, equal pay for women workers, and trade union rights. Black workers subjected to ultra-exploitation through the cheap labour system struck out and demanded their rights. The strike movement spread from sector to sector: from the docks to the brick yards to the massive textile mills to the municipal workers, throughout the region and beyond. Here was the class rising to its feet, acting as a massive force: marching in the city centre, confronting the police, and preparing to build mass unions. Powerful and non-violent, it paralysed the police and forced concessions and reforms from the regime. These strikes are barely mentioned in the official histories of resistance. Hear the workers' chants and songs of the time! Our discussion opens up a hidden chapter of workers’ history.

What happened then, and what are the lessons of that uprising?
What were the driving forces behind the strikes?
How were black workers able to break through the militarised police?
Have the demands of 1973 been met: for a living wage, for gender equality and the right to strike?
Why did this movement not lead on to the foundation of a mass workers’ party?
These are some of the issues that were debated at the workers’ conference held in Durban earlier this year.

Join us in celebrating the 50th Anniversary and preparing the way forward!

David Hemson – at that time a textile union organiser who drafted demands, addressed strike meetings and helped launch four of the rising unions – will present a photographic exhibition of this historic event.

Jabu Nala, daughter of the renowned union leader Junerose Nala, will be chairing the discussion.

WIN meetings start at 4 pm London time, which is currently on British Summer Time: 3 pm Greenwich Mean Time.
8 am California
11 am New York
4 pm London
5 pm Paris, Berlin and Central Europe
5 pm South Africa

The Workers' International Network is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting
Topic: WIN Meeting
Time: May 14 2023 04:00 PM London
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 839 8380 2454
Passcode: 005241
One tap mobile
+442034815237,,83983802454#,,,,*005241# United Kingdom
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