18 January 2007

Organised Working Class

Umsebenzi Online is back with a major statement, drawing quick comment from the Business Day. See the link below for Umsebenzi. Reactions will be covered tomorrow. Hard copies should be available at today’s Joe Slovo Memorial Lecture in COSATU House (10th floor) at 10h00. See the link below.

Renee Grawitzky, writing in Business Report yesterday, exploits the humorous and friendly (and well received) remarks of Ashwin Desai made as an invited guest of COSATU, plus a NALEDI report also commissioned by COSATU, to argue in effect that COSATU should now be taken over by management consultants, and remade in the mould of the “third way”. This, of course, is very far from what Comrade Ashwin would actually recommend. See her article, linked below.

Journalists are only able to talk like this, over the heads of the people’s democratic mass organisations, because the human character of those organisations is concealed by the mass media. Renee Grawitzky, as a former editor of the South African Labour Bulletin, should know better than to ignore the actual human texture of this, the largest organised component of our democracy. This is not like some capitalist company, to be traded by anonymous speculators and picked over by consultants.

To illustrate this for her and everybody else’s benefit, here linked below is a shortened version of an even more extensive Profile of COSATU. We are looking at an organisation of two million dues-paying members, thousands of shop stewards, and a well-hardened and well-structured leadership cadre. COSATU deserves much more detailed attention in the mass media, and a lot more respect. Follow the links below. This document is a major resource. Let us hope that Renee and other journalists make good use of it.

The YCL is still growing. How do they do it? See the linked flyer below (from Comrade Thando in Buhle Park).

The last linked item is the Ceasefire Campaign press statement on Somalia, released yesterday. The Ceasefire Campaign is the main existing South African mass movement for peace. This statement is very welcome. The tide is turning on Somalia. We have information that there will in fact be demonstrations at the World Social Forum in Nairobi next week. And there should be.

Please note that Wikispaces are off-line for maintenance. Hence today’s documents have been archived on our Google Group web site instead of the usual one. If the links do not work for you, the documents can be found under Pages, with the exception of the COSATU Profile, which is under Files, at the Group web site at
http://groups-beta.google.com/group/Communist-University .

Click on these links:

Umsebenzi Online, Vol 6, No. 1, 17 Jan 2007, The Policy Year (2403 words)

Cosatu has key to Adult World, Renee Grawitzky, Business Report (1112 words)

Profile of COSATU, January 2007 (Database, MS Word file download)

Join the Young Communist League (Flyer for recruiting drive on Saturday, January 20th)

Ceasefire condemns US action in Somalia, Ceasefire Campaign (365 words)


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