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Marikana Miners Build ICWP in South Africa and Beyond

August 16 is the second anniversary of the infamous massacre of miners from the Marikana platinum mines in South Africa by troops of the ruling African National Congress.  Today, comrades of these fallen are distributing Red Flag to all the mine shafts.

Communist internationalism cannot be contained. The bosses train us to think only of "our" industry in "our" nation, but workers' internationalism spreads like a subterranean fire. In South Africa, this is the case, literally! 

Miners are sharing the copies. When one is finished, one passes the copy to the next comrade. 

The comrade who got this started read the whole International Communist Workers' Party (ICWP) industrial work pamphlet. He called it a "powerful document." 

"Things are tough there," reports a comrade from another South African city.  "The comrade says workers are very encouraged about the news on the Red Flag and are looking up to us.  They feel rejuvenated and look forward to continued ties."

Comrades elsewhere also feel rejuvenated by the news we're receiving from South Africa.  We are looking up to them, too!

As Red Flag goes to press, South African news media are reporting the end of a month-long strike of 220,000 metalworkers and engineers that shut down auto production and halted construction of power plants.    However, some employers are threatening to lock out strikers, so this struggle may well continue.

The union (Numsa) plans to organize a new electoral party for what it calls the "leaderless working class."  But growing numbers of metalworkers and others are taking leadership into their own hands by joining and building the ICWP.

In Seattle, 60 workers and soldiers  signed letters of communist solidarity to the South African strikers. We should have done more of this, in more places, sooner. 

Our comrades in South Africa, emboldened by our Party's modest efforts to build communist internationalism a continent away, decided to write a Party leaflet for the strikers.  They ran out of the first run. They printed more to distribute throughout adjoining working-class neighborhoods. They ran out again.

The growth of ICWP and Red Flag among these industrial workers in South Africa shows that when the most oppressed workers are offered communist ideas, they will take the lead in developing and spreading them to become a force more powerful than the weapons of all the oppressors. 

Industrial workers like the Marikana miners are key to communist revolution.

From the Garment Factories to the Streets:

Political Strike Against Capitalism and for a Communist World

LOS ANGELES—"We are going to have to walk, so what!"

"Why are they going to go on strike?"

"Of course we support the strike!"

These have been some of the comments of workers who are Red Flag readers in the garment industry about the possible strike of MTA drivers.

Thousands of men and women garment workers know about the possible strike. They know that this strike will stop transportation for tens of thousands of workers who are taken to centers of exploitation in the garment industry. Many will have to walk, or use bicycles. Others will get their co-workers, relatives, or friends who have a car to drive them to their workplaces. They have done this in previous strikes and will do it again.

It is more likely than before that garment workers will go  into the streets with political strikes, with slogans against capitalism, its deportations, and wage slavery. Our base can make this leap in critical times, like these today.

An average of 1000 garment workers  receive every edition of Red Flag. They are the basis for many to join study groups, helping to develop the class struggle in their work places and joining the International Communist Workers' Party (ICWP).  If the strike takes place, these workers could take the lead in bringing many garment workers to the picket lines in support of the drivers and also see our potential to organize a communist revolution.

 "I'm sick of this job. Although I work even on the weekends, I can't get out of debt," said a worker. "We will demonstrate our hatred of the factories that are like jails and concentration camps, where the conditions are so bad that the workers have to bring their own water, get their own health insurance, and have to eat in the street."

Let's go into the streets calling on all the other workers to fight for a communist world without borders or the chains of wage slavery.

Thousands of garment workers in the streets demonstrating our repudiation of capitalism would be a great advance in the organization and development of the party of the working class, ICWP. The marches and political strikes would help thousands discuss communist ideas, how to build a world without borders or exploitation. Garment workers and drivers in political strikes would give the working class of the world a guide, a leadership for the goal to follow. This goal is the  struggle to build a society based on producing to meet the needs of the international working class, not for the bosses' profits.

The drivers' strike can be the spark so that other workers don't only support the drivers  morally but go beyond that to go out to protest and organize as the working class with a common dream, to get rid of the chains with which oppress us.

Our strength will not depend on politicians or unions but on the collective strength of the same workers with communist ideas.

The bosses and their press will try to divide us with a pack of lies about the drivers' struggles. They will tell us that the drivers are greedy, that they make too much money, and that it's their fault that the bus fare was raised, etc. But they will not say that it is capitalism in crisis which is exploiting us garment workers, just like it is exploiting the bus drivers.

We should walk,  not to the centers of exploitation but into the streets with the red flags held high and with the slogan of a world without borders or exploitation, fighting for a communist world.

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