We send our condolences to the family, friends and comrades of Sam's. Some of us met Sam when, on very short notice, hastily organized his US tour some years ago. We reflect back on the key and pivotal role Sam and the Awareness League played in Enugu State, Nigeria in the struggle against the then military dictatorship of Abcha.
2014’s national and provincial election circus saw the ANC retain its big majority. Two opposition parties – DA and EFF – grew; the rest fell sharply. Over 13 million never voted, more than the total who voted for the ANC and far more that voted EFF (1 million) or DA (4 million). Four out of ten youth (18-29 year olds) did not even register.
Operations of Exxon Mobil, a multinational firm has been shut down by protesting youths from the host communities in Ibeno, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria following what they described as recurrent oil spills and strings of unfulfilled promises made to the communities. LEADERSHIP gathered that the angry youths who barricaded the main entrances to ExxonMobil’s Quo Iboe Terminal (QIT) said they will never leave the area until the company commences proper remediation on the environment and fulfil promises it made after past oil spills.
In the build up to the 2014 (May 7) 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.
November 26 2013, we saw the first implementation of a new Egyptian law effectively banning any and all protest not approved and regulated by the Ministry of Interior. This is the same Interior Ministry whose soldiers have killed thousands of protesters, maimed tens of thousands and tortured unknown others in recent years. This security apparatus is acting with renewed arrogance since the July coup that returned the Egyptian Army to a position of direct authority.
After an illegal eviction in Cato Crest by the eThekwini Municipality in March this year, shackdwellers occupied an adjacent piece of land. They named the settlement “Marikana”. Since then, two activists have been assassinated -Thembinkosi Qumbelo and Nkululeko Gwala. A third, Nkosinathi Mngomezulu, is in critical condition after being shot by the Land Invasions Unit. A number of activists have been seriously beaten by the police. Other activists, including Bandile Mdlalose and S’bu Zikode of the shack dweller movement Abahlali baseMjondolo who have been supporting the residents, have been threatened with death.
The events of the past couple of days are the latest step in a sequence of events by which the military can consolidate its hold on power, aim towards the death of the revolution and a return to a military/police state. The authoritarian regime of the Muslim Brotherhood had to go. But what has replaced it is the true face of the military in Egypt – no less authoritarian, no less fascist and for sure more difficult to depose.
Six months ago, in the wake of the Egyptian revolution's second anniversary and the protests that marked it, I met up with Nana Elhariry at Talaat Harb, a traffic circle that doubles as a gathering point just off Cairo's Tahrir Square, amidst a surprisingly large and spirited demonstration against sexual violence. An antiwar organizer in the US had insisted I seek her out, given her activist background and familiarity with anarchist and feminist organizing in the city. She quickly became something of a guide, facilitating my introduction to a number of local organizers, particularly in student struggles.