[Marxism] The xenophobia outbreak in South Africa: Strategic questions facing the new social movements | Links

glparramatta glparramatta at greenleft.org.au
Tue Jul 22 04:11:07 MDT 2008

By *Oupa Lehulere*

June 2008 -- The township of Alexandra outside Johannesburg, South 
Africa, has a long history of resistance to oppression and exploitation. 
In the late 1950s Alex (as it is popularly referred to) was the centre 
of bus boycotts against increases in fares and of struggles against 
apartheid, in the 1980s Alex was the centre of building street 
committees that represented what were then called ``organs of people’s 
power’’ – forms of alternative government to the apartheid state, and in 
2002 the event that announced the presence of the new social movements 
on the South African post-apartheid political landscape – the 
20,000-strong march led by the Social Movements United – took place in Alex.
The fact that it was Alex that would go down in history as the township 
that expressed most publicly the reactionary attitudes held by 
working-class people against fellow working-class people from other 
parts of Africa throws into sharp relief the process of political and 
organisational decline that has been underway within the South Africa’s 
working class since 1994.


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