political violence

Ron Press anclondon at gn.apc.org
Fri Jun 9 22:34:37 MDT 1995


The last resort is violence.

A bit of history.

The whites came into South Africa in 1632. From then up till 1906
the Africans fought wars against them. In 1906 they lost again.
>From then until 1960 the policy was to use every means short of
the armed struggle. After Sharpville it was clear that everything
had failed and been replied to by violence. Still the movement did
not embark on armed struggle. Then the various groups began to
take to violence. Poquo was one. The movement realized that it did
not lead the people then anarchy would ensue. The political
leaders of the people could not shirk their responsibility. MK was
formed by the ANC and the SACP.

It was not to take action against people but against economic
targets.  SASOL, COEBERG. This continued for some time. The Regime
killed our people indiscriminately. MK cadres on occasions
targeted police and army. The regime killed cadres in neighboring
states. MK bombed the air force spy center in Pretoria.

These MK actions were as yet mostly armed propaganda. But some
civilian targets were chosen by comrades incensed by the killing
of our people.

The struggle continued on many fronts, Trade union with local and
national strikes, demonstrations, boycotts, sanctions and so on.
There was much talk of the armed insurrection. However the masses
were beginning to become angry. The UDF lead by ANC cadres, the
underground, the Trade Unions began to make SA ungovernable.

There were all the classical ingredients for insurrection. For
various reasons negotiations followed etc.

Armed actions were part of a full political program on all fronts
and internationally.

Other countries have taken other directions. Angola fought and won
with a large armed input to the victory. The fighting
unfortunately continues. Ditto Mozambique. What of Rwanda?

it seems to me.

1) Armed action (violence) is a dangerous form of struggle not
lightly to be undertaken. Only to be embarked upon in extremis.

2) Armed action must be under the control of the political

3) Only when the vast majority of the oppressed themselves see
that there is no alternative should armed actions be undertaken.

4) Armed actions change no minds it only destroys the minds of
those whose minds cannot be changed. In this respect it is in a
way an admission of the failure.

5) Beware the terrible cycle of revenge that results.

Ron Press

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