[Marxism] (Fwd) Zim sanctions call by labour, and 1 week trial

Patrick Bond pbond at mail.ngo.za
Wed Jul 16 01:47:03 MDT 2008


(Finally, a crucial breakthrough in strategy. This is an excellent 
development. If, like the refusal to handle Mugabe's attempted import of 
3 million Chinese bullets via Durban in February, the trade unions can 
pull off such a strong surgical worker-worker sanction, it will be 
potentially formidable for raising confidence levels and assessing the 
way forward on this crucial tactic: "The meeting agreed to oppose 
Western powers-initiated sanctions other than sanctions targeted at the 
leadership of the illegal government. We however support actions 
initiated by workers of the region, continent and the world over, under 
the leadership of SATUCC, ITUC-AFRO and ITUC as a whole. In this regard 
the meeting called on COSATU, SATUCC and the rest of the workers 
everywhere to refuse to handle goods destined for Zimbabwe and Swaziland 
for an initial period of one week, which will be extended if no progress 
is made in the realisation of our demands." Now, can Southern African 
social movements pick up the pace too? Mid-August protests against SADC 
should be quite invigorating.)


Declaration of TU/CS Zimbabwe-Swaziland meeting

Patrick Craven, COSATU National Spokesperson, 15 July 2008

Declaration of preparatory meeting for trade union and civil society 
international solidarity conference with Zimbabwe and Swaziland.

Leaders of the Congress of South African Trade Unions, the Zimbabwe 
Congress of Trade Unions, the Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions and 
the Swaziland Federation of Labour met today, 15 July 2008, to prepare 
for an important international conference to be held in Johannesburg on 
10-11 August 2008, to mobilise solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe 
and Swaziland in their struggle for democracy and human rights.

Both countries pose a massive challenge to the people of Africa. Recent 
developments threaten to roll back the spreading trend towards democracy 
in Africa. That is why this solidarity conference is so important. It is 
an opportunity for the workers of Africa to lead a campaign of the 
people of Africa to demand the establishment of democracy and respect 
for human rights in two countries where these concepts have been 
trampled upon in the past period.

2008 is a year of elections in both countries, but in neither case does 
the process resemble any accepted standards of democracy. Zimbabwe has 
witnessed an election stolen by a regime which was defeated on 29 March. 
Swaziland remains an absolute monarchy in the premier league of human 
rights offenders, in which opposition parties are banned and the 
proposed ‘election’ is a sham.

The meeting agreed on the need to build the capacity of the trade union 
movement into a neatly weaved programme of action. Whilst responding to 
the hostility of the political environment, it must also not neglect the 
primary responsibility to workers as the core constituency of the trade 
union movement

The Southern African Trade Union Co-ordinating Council (SATUCC) and 
individual affiliates in the region need deeper engagement to 
institutionalise solidarity as a permanent feature of the regional trade 
union movement, in both Zimbabwe and Swaziland. In creating a network of 
trade unions throughout the region, organised and acting in solidarity 
with Zimbabwean and Swazi workers, it will constitute a broad solidarity 
front of the working class in the region

We need to identify companies, organisations and individuals or even 
families who might be associated with the ruling regimes, either 
politically, economically or otherwise as beneficiaries of the current 
system for further targeted action and isolation, starting with exposing 
them and their activities

We need to clarify our approach to the on-going negotiations in 
Zimbabwe, without forgetting to anticipate the emergence of such a 
possibility in Swaziland. In doing so, we must develop scenarios and use 
various models of transitions and government of national unity, as 
reference points. In this regard we must also clarify further, the role 
of civil society in political negotiations, to ensure that the majority 
of our people are not mere spectators in the processes that are 
unfolding, so that they become only preserves of elites.

On Zimbabwe

On Zimbabwe the meeting expressed a preference for an interim 
government, where an independent person altogether, either a judge or a 
reverend, runs the state in the interim, with the different parties 
selecting ministries of their choice under his/her oversight, with 
parliament as an existing institution responsible for promulgating laws, 
until proper elections are held.

The reasoning is that the 29th March election outcome was legitimate, 
notwithstanding its own limitations, and can form a useful basis for 
such a possible configuration. This transitional government of national 
unity must not last for more than two years.

The meeting agreed to oppose Western powers-initiated sanctions other 
than sanctions targeted at the leadership of the illegal government. We 
however support actions initiated by workers of the region, continent 
and the world over, under the leadership of SATUCC, ITUC-AFRO and ITUC 
as a whole.

In this regard the meeting called on COSATU, SATUCC and the rest of the 
workers everywhere to refuse to handle goods destined for Zimbabwe and 
Swaziland for an initial period of one week, which will be extended if 
no progress is made in the realisation of our demands.

We agreed to work with the rest of civil society to stage a mass protest 
and rally when the SADC heads of states summit is convened in South 
African on 15-17 August 2008. The protest march and rally will be held 
on 16 August near the venue of the summit.






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