US Hands Off Iranian Tankers

US Hands Off Iranian Tankers

Iranian Oil Tankers

Black First Land First (BLF) applauds Iran’s courageous decision to send five oil tankers with fuel to the revolutionary government of Venezuela in direct defiance of the US economic and naval blockade of Venezuela. We further laud the resistance of Venezuela to the US sanctions imposed on it.

This encourages, which BLF welcomes, the further defiance of other countries sanctioned by the US towards defending and securing self-determination and national sovereignty internationally.

Any military action by the US against the Iranian tankers is in contravention of international law and would amount to international piracy. By Trump’s own admission Venezuela is currently surrounded by the US military. We strongly denounce all US military actions aimed at undermining the efforts of Iran to get the much needed fuel to Venezuela.

We remember the cowardly killing on 3 January this year of the Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani who together with the Iranian people resisted U.S. imperialism for many decades and was instrumental in defeating US terrorist proxies that unleashed genocide in the Middle East region. Long live Soleimani!

As an anti imperialist Black Consciousness (BC) organization, BLF stands in solidarity with oppressed nations against imperialism. We recognize that irrespective of a country’s unique national characteristics, imperialism is the main enemy of the world’s oppressed nations.

We demand that the U.S. complies with international law and not interfere with the Iranian oil tankers porting in Venezuela.

BLF says, “US Hands Off the Iranian tankers“. We also call for an end to the US economic and naval blockade of Venezuela.

Issued by the National Coordinating Committee of Black First Land First (BLF NCC)

24 May 2020

Contact details

Black First Land First Email:[email protected]
Technical Advisor, International Relations: Shantha Balakrishna
Cell number: +27 67 838 9955
Deputy President: Zanele Lwana
Cell:Cell: +27 79 986 7225

R350 SRD Grant: BLF calls on Minister Zulu to take the poor seriously

R350 SRD Grant: BLF calls on Minister Zulu to take the poor seriously

Minister of Social Development Ms Lindiwe Zulu

Black First Land First (BLF) is shocked that almost 60 days into the Covid-19 national lockdown, the poor remain excluded from state help. The reports in the media that to date only 10 people have started receiving the Special COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) Grant of R350 (which is expected to be paid per month for six months), is an insult and must not be tolerated.

The government didn’t waste time in making R540 billion available to the white owned banks. Big business continues to be given millions of rands whilst the poor are starved.

BLF has written to the Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, and suggested the most effective way to distribute the relief to the poor. We told her that:

“Voting stations are institutions of the state and are located throughout the country within close proximity to the people. Call for volunteers to assist officials and also use the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to set up a basic administrative process at these voting stations. Give the poor their money in voucher type bills. All you should ask from each person is to produce her/his identity document which in turn should be stamped against receipt of the voucher. Requiring the poor to produce proof of residence and bank account statements and using WhatsApp is not necessary. Neighbours can vouch for each other if you are really hellbent on receiving proof of address.”

It now looks like there is no seriousness to help the poor.

BLF rejects the R350 SRD Grant because we know that a mere 10% of the Covid-19 stimulus package of R500 billion would put R1700 a month in the hands of the poor. The insult of R350 per month for six months constitute a mere 2% of the R500 billion. Now it’s clear that even the meager R350 SRD Grant is being delayed. BLF calls on the Minister of Social Development and the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) to take the poor seriously.

We note the silence of the parliamentary parties. The poor are being starved for the last 60 days. This is intolerable and must be addressed pronto.

Issued by Black First Land First, National Coordinating Committee of (BLF NCC)

22 May 2020

Contact Details

Black First Land First Mail: [email protected]

Zanele Lwana
(BLF Deputy President)
Cell: +27 79 986 7225

Covid-19 Baragwanath Hospital: BLF calls on President Ramaphosa to solve the crisis in maternity wards NOW

Covid-19 Baragwanath Hospital: BLF calls on President Ramaphosa to solve the crisis in maternity wards NOW

President Cyril Ramaphosa

Last night Black First Land First (BLF) received a complaint from its Treasurer General, Comrade Thandiswa Yaphi, who in the maternity ward of Baragwanath Hospital awaiting, with several other expectant mothers, about the unfortunate conditions that they are currently faced with. Many of patients in the maternity ward are awaiting to be allocated a bed (since Friday on her part) so that the process of child birth can be induced. She reached full-term pregnancy of 40 weeks over a week ago.

We are further informed that the pregnant patients at the the hospital have been placed in quarantine for being exposed to the Covid-19 virus after a woman had tested positive for the infection. This is understandable to lessen the risk of spreading the virus.

The problem is that there’s no plans in place generally to secure the needed beds, staff and supplies more so in public healthcare facilities to address the challenges in the maternity wards. And
evidently this is precisely the case with the maternity ward in Baragwanath Hospital.

The hospital lacks the necessary facilities to accommodate the pregnant women and new born babies. Women in the maternity ward have been sleeping on benches for 2 consecutive nights, with 4 stretchers being provided on the third night. To compound matters, frontline workers who have been exposed to the virus at the maternity ward have gone on strike for fear of spreading it. The patients are consequently left to fend for themselves.

There is generally a huge lack of adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers (like nurses) who consequently together with the patients are nakedly exposed to the risk of contracting the virus.

Moreover public healthcare facilitates like the Baragwanath Hospital are understaffed (including the maternity wards) to respond appropriately to the challenges during the coronavirus crisis. There is further a lack of counseling support for both frontline workers and patients regarding maternity matters.

President Ramaphosa, in his COVID-19 R500 billion stimulus package announcement, gave nothing towards effectively increasing the capacity in healthcare facilities so as to deal with maternity issues during the period of the Covid-19 pandemic. Furthermore, frontline workers (especially nurses) who are required to see to patients without the necessary protection and relief are laying down their tools. All this is to the immediate detriment of the patients including newborns in maternity wards who are thrust into a state of despair and vulnerability.

BLF has been trying in vain to get the intervention of the Gauteng MEC for Health via the numbers +27 74 054 3826 and 011 933 9837 since last night – to secure the protection for the women and newborn babies.

We now call on President Ramaphosa to immediately address crisis in the maternity wards, especially in Baragwanath Hospital. We demand that:

1. All pregnant women be given beds.
2. Additional staff be deployed to attend to patients in the maternity wards.
3. Testing for the Covid-19 virus be conducted without delay on all those exposed to the virus.
4. Frontline workers be given adequate PPE.
5. Government acts ethically to save lives.

Issued by Black First Land First, National Coordinating Committee of (BLF NCC)

18 May 2020
Contact Details

Black First Land First Mail: [email protected]

Zanele Lwana
(BLF Deputy President)
Cell: +27 79 986 7225

4th Birthday Quiz on Black First Land First

4th Birthday Quiz on Black First Land First

Black First Land First (BLF) turns 4 today. Here’s some general knowledge questions and answers about the organization:

Questions

1. What is BLF’s Philosophy of Liberation?

2. What is BLF’s vision?

3. What is BLF’s minimum program?

4. What is BLF’s desired end goal?

5. What is the objective of BLF?

6. Who is the enemy of Black people?

7. What about gender relations?

8. Why does BLF want to go to parliament? Is parliament not a bourgeois institution?

9. Once in parliament, will BLF not be fat cats?

10. What will BLF do for Black unity?

Answers

1. BLF’s philosophy of liberation is Black Consciousness as principally developed by Steve Bantu Biko, Pan-Africanism as principally developed by Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe and the leadership ethos as elaborated by Thomas Sankara.

2. Black people must come first in all areas of life. White people, if at all, will benefit as a byproduct of blacks being served first.

3. Radical Economic Transformation (RET), which puts land first and has the best possibility to unite all black people irrespective of party political affiliation.

4. To usher in a Black socialist society where exploitation and oppression cease to exist. The wealth of the nation shall be equitably shared.

5. BLF is a Black Consciousness organization. It’s objective is accordingly to struggle for the emancipation of black people.

6. White Monopoly Capital (WMC) which is a system of power which benefits all white people and disadvantages all Blacks.

7. South Africa is a racist, capitalist and patriarchal society shaped by white supremacy. The question of women’s liberation is central to the emancipatory process, but there can be no ending patriarchy outside of ending white supremacy itself.

8. Yes, parliament is a bourgeois institution, but it can be used to assist the revolutionary process in two main respects:

i) To provide a platform to agitate for radical proposals and educating the masses.

ii) To provide much needed resources to fund the revolutionary movement outside parliament. In approach, BLF holds that we must be “anti-politics politically engaged”, meaning we must use politics to end politics.

9. BLF Members of Parliament (MPs) will not be paid a salary which is much higher than the Marikana workers minimum wage of R12 500. BLF will use the rest of the salaries to build the movement outside parliament.

10. BLF will work to unite all black political parties on the basis of Radical Economic Transformation (RET). We shall strive to set up a non-partisan parliamentary caucus for all pro-RET MPs.

Know your BLF.

Issued by Black First Land First, National Coordinating Committee of (BLF NCC)

14 May 2020

Contact Details

Black First Land First Mail: [email protected]