5 February 2007

Build Democratic Structures Now

At the Communist University, we live and learn.

Linked below is the COSATU response to Christelle Terreblanche’s article on the Nairobi World Social Forum (WSF) as printed in the Sunday Independent, and followed by their Editor’s Note. The latter basically says that Christelle and the “Sindy” did not have information from COSATU and its affiliates in advance. Fair enough. No doubt COSATU could do more than it already does in this regard, even if it is probably the most transparent and media-friendly combine in the country, as well as by far the biggest.

The CU’s speculation that COSATU might have had more representation in Nairobi than South Africa’s other social movements put together turns out to be well wide of the mark, to say the least. We now know of more than 200 individuals in 60 or so SA organisations that took part in the WSF, many of them listed by name in the document linked below. If you want a report-back, you know where to go.

Also linked, and also from Nairobi, from Pambazuka News, an article by Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem contains the following great couple of lines, among many others:

“And this issue of dependence on foreign donors is not just because there are no resources. How come the nationalists freed this continent from the yoke of colonialism without writing proposals to any funder?”

This is closely followed by the comrade’s hilarious listing of MONGOs, BONGOs, GONGOs and PONGOs. If you want to know what they all mean, please read this wonderful article, linked below.

It is the job of a Communist Party, with its mission to educate, organise and mobilise, to build the kind of popular, democratic, allied unity-in-action structures that can secure peace and social progress. The SACP has done a great job at national level with its Red October campaigns, for example. The YCL, too, has formed exemplary relationships with other progressive youth movements nationally.

But at provincial and city level, and at the international level of the African continent, the necessary structures are still rudimentary, or non-existent. Local Party and YCL members must not point fingers at others for this deficiency, or attack people who point it out to them.

The internationalism “franchise” is certainly being milked and manipulated big-time by the Imperialists. It provides acres of newspaper copy all over the world. The ringmasters of the show, of which the WSF is only a tiny part, can press buttons at any moment, producing uproar to order. When the purpose of the uproar has been served, the “issue” goes right back into the closet again.

The issue of Myanmar was certainly used in this way to create an uproar that would mask the invasion of Somalia by the US and Ethiopian military at Christmas time. Now Myanmar is back in the media closet, and Somalia with it. Except that South Africa’s Ambassador to Cuba, Thenjiwe Mtintso, has written an explanation for dummies of why this kind of manipulation must be opposed and confronted. See the link below.

If you still have doubts that games are being played at the UN to make up seem like down and white seem like black, please read the final linked item from Brian Cloughley of Counterpunch.

Click on these links:

Cosatu was in Nairobi, COSATU DGS Bheki Ntshalintshali, Sindy (644 words)

Who went from SA to WSF Nairobi, 2007 - an incomplete list. (lists)

MONGOs, GONGOs and BONGOs, Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem, Pambazuka (1245 words)

Myanmar vote critics missing UN aim, Thenjiwe Mtintso, Sindy (818 words)

Irony of Bush Indignation, Brian Cloughley, Counterpunch (1273 words)


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