Thanks, all for making this commitment to start from the beginning again.
We have chosen to build a new home because the homes that we have been building thus far can no longer accommodate our dream of freedom. The formation of the Black First-Land First movement is a response to a historical necessity. 20 years of ANC rule has indicated more than enough that black people are not liberated and can not be liberated by the policies and practices of the ANC thinking. Many people think, the problem of the ANC is who is it’s leader. They believe the problem is that the ANC does not actually implement the good policies and does not follow the Freedom Charter (FC) as it ought to.
This is a wrong reading! The ANC with its ideologies starting with the FC, were never aimed at ending white supremacy but rather aimed at INTERGRATION. The ANC never really asked the questions: Who owns South Africa (SA)? What do we do with those who dispossessed us of our land? Instead the FC says, “South Africa belongs to all who live in it – both black and white”. This is a statement of surrender and selling out on the land question.
The land clause of the FC says, “the land shall be shared by those who work it”! Why would we work for our land? It was stolen from us and we want it back, ALL OF IT!
Having given AWAY our land rights in 1955 via the FC, in 1994 the same ANC made policies that sought to maintain the commitment to the lie that SA belongs to all who live in it. They committed us to buying back our land. The consequence is that only 8% of the land has been bought back at more than R50 billion. It will take us more than 100 years to buy back only 30% of the land.
Why is land so important? Because all the SA realities that puts blacks at the bottom comes from land dispossession!
BLF is committed to putting black first. To do so we have to get the land first. It is for this reason that any compromise on land must be rejected. Land is the basis of our freedom!
GLOBAL CRISIS OF CAPITALISM
BLF is formed during the period of the ongoing global crisis of capitalism. A few years ago 2007/8 capitalism was on its death bed. It was keep alive by bail outs. We saw the emergence of the occupy movement that highlighted that 1% of the world owns all the wealth and that this needed to end. Soon after that we saw the Arab Spring which was ultimately appropriated by imperialism and ended up in the tragedies we see in Libya and Egypt, amongst other countries. This was so because there was a revolutionary moment without a revolutionary movement.
We have seen in Europe and north America following the left wing electoral governments of Latin America a massive shift to social democracy away from just capitalism (market fundamentalism).
The world is searching. In Canada, in USA, in UK, in Greece, in Spain, in Italy we see the emergence of a left wing type of social democracy. Swear words like “socialism” are back in fashion. We must learn from these white experiences with it’s crisis of capitalism.
In the Black world we saw, in October last year, the burning down of parliament in Burkina Faso! That was after 27 years of the assassination of our brother and leader Thomas sankara. The people of Burkina Faso stood as one and said enough is enough! That event remains one of the most important in our times – BURNING DOWN OF PARLIAMENT!
We also witnessed the rise of black resistance in the USA through the historic development of the BLACK LIVES MATTER movement. Black people are being shot in the streets of the USA not for any other reason than that we are black! As BLF we put black first! We shall accordingly seek ways and means to remain engaged with our brothers and sisters in the USA.
At home, we must acknowledge the development of the RHODES MUST FALL MOVEMENT. The students of UCT have fired the first shots! We see that there is campus based resistance that is wrestling with racism and white supremacy in historically white universities. Truth is – even the so called black campuses which are apartheid and neo-apartheid enclaves need “decolonisation”.
We must support and elaborate the service delivery protests that our people are engaged in. These are heroic local struggles against the anti black ANC rule.
ONE SOLUTION – BLACK FIRST LAND FIRST
The combined global and national political and economic crises show that the ruling classes and political classes have no answers. Now they are caught up in a nasty trap of a vampire that has to drink its own blood to survive. They are just giving us more of the same. They belong to a dying day, we belong to a living day!
The political scene in SA is dominated by political organisations that all subscribe to the same ideologies. They don’t want to touch the land stolen by whites. They don’t want to put blacks first.
With the help of the media they have invented false battles which will not solve the problems of our people. The “pay back the money” campaign is one such invention. These organisations are turning their internal differences, mainly created by fall-outs for the management of tenders, into a national pre-occupation. They all believe and celebrate the Freedom Charter. They have no fundamental differences between themselves. They are only fighting superficial battles around personal interests. Hence their politics are purely personal and as such driven by the need to publicly insult and humiliate others.
BLF is going to fight to grasp corruption at its root! When we do that, all shall see that the root of corruption is white supremacy! We going for the big bucks not small change! Yet another strategy to move our focus from the real enemy and another instance of invented false struggle – is around “fighting corruption” where only black people are projected as the corrupt ones. We are going to change this. BLF is going to go after the billions stolen by the apartheid government and white corporations. We know where this money is! We are going to demand it back!
A revolutionary crisis is emerging! This needs revolutionary organisation, foresight and preparedness lest it would be squandered into a compradoreial compromise and reproduce the ANC “surrender hailed as victory”.
The snake eating practices, and hero worshiping of leaders through blind following is part of the mental and emotional breakdown of the neo-colonial system. There is a collective mental meltdown. Our people need messiahs! To this end any messiah would do – even the one that tells them to eat snakes! They eat snakes and attack each other in service of their messiahs but they never attack the enemy!
Fanon speaks eloquently about this seeming madness of the native! He speaks of the readiness of blacks to fight each other but not the settler and to this end how our people descend into magic, the occult, horror and zombies.
It’s a dance of avoidance – the xenophobia, the open madness in Shosanguve of people simulating homosexual sex in public! “Attack fighters!” is part of this madness of avoidance. Even the holy man, Pastor Mboro is now on the “attack mood”. Basaba abelungu, bashaya abantu abamnyama!
BLF MUST operate above the madness, to ask the real questions again:
1.What is the fundamental contradiction?
2.Who is the enemy?
3.What are we fighting for?
The fundamental contradiction is white supremacy located in slavery (first encounter) and colonialism (second encounter) which is rooted in the dispossession of our land. The cumulative effect of these processes has ensured that blacks are last in everything! The BLF revolutionary call shows clearly how bad things are.
We blacks are last on land ownership (more than 80% of our land is owned by a mere 35 000 white families and trusts”.
ANC IS NOT THE PRIMARY ENEMY!
Let’s start by saying the ANC is not the primary enemy, it is only the body guard of the real enemy which is the white capitalist settler stock which has stolen our land, labour and African sense of being. Even if we defeat the ANC tomorrow we shall not have defeated the real enemy.
However, defeating the ANC is the precondition for the defeat of the settler stock. But our struggle is not primarily against the ANC. The ANC is a dangerous diversionary tactic. As we keep on saying: 1994 complicated our lives and didn’t end the order of oppression.
WHAT ARE WE FIGHTING FOR?
This is an important question. Essentially we want to be free! We understand that freedom is dependent on firstly the return of the land. We struggle to create a new society where suffering shall have ended! This shall be a socialist society! In this fight we learn from the past- Sankofa style.
Our decision to start form the beginning is because we are convinced there is no revolutionary movement that is fighting for black people and for land. We see people who are busy running and celebrating but not organising for revolution.
You all know what happened towards and at the NPA. After we tried to “save the soul” of EFF. We were too late. The corpse was still warm but the soul was gone! We had to come to this realization and stop performing mouth to mouth resuscitation with a corpse. We have been involved in consultations in the past few months. Three options emerged:
1.Shut up, keep your head down and hope for truth to return in 5 – 10 years.
2.Join the United Front of Irvin Jim and Vavi.
3.Form a new organisation to fight for change.
The weight of the debate fell in favor of option three. On 13 August this year we published a Revolutionary Call to build a new movement. The response has been great! Last weekend we held our first meeting of the national interim leadership in Johannesberg. The provinces were represented and a way forward agreed. Now we can report that ALL provinces each have a Coordinator and a Convenor. This is great progress!
We are happy to say that all provinces are now represented in the national leadership structure!
There are committees doing Media and Communications, International Relations and Policy Drafting.
On my part I wish to say that 3 to 4 October presents the most important challenge for us. We need to bring together delegates from the provinces. That event is the litmus test for our new revolution. We have to make it happen to make our battle easier. This date is the preliminary date for our policy conference where the BLACK MANIFESTO shall be adopted.There is no magic or trick to building the organisation. We must just work and work hard!
In conclusion I say: You are the first layer of the self-selected leadership of our movement, we salute you as the path finders! You have the task of guiding, shaping, forming, giving content and character to our movement. We are brought together by the idea of revolution – that’s our primary call!
There are many questions we need to clarify:
What is the BLF? Is it an NGO, a social movement or a political party?
Our response is that BLF is a revolutionary movement, established to overthrow the current order by “any means necessary”.
Shall the BLF contest elections?
Our response is that if the majority of our members say fighting elections is a viable option to maximise our chances to make revolution, we shall participate in elections.
Can I be a member of BLF and also be a member of another political party?
Our answer must be NO! we are building a unique movement here that calls for 100% dedication.
Does the BLF include white members?
The answer is that if there are white people who agree with our agenda let them open a white wing and pursue the struggle for land return without involving us.
What is the BLF’s ideological orientation?
It is Black Consciousness and Pan Africanist and embraces the leadership values of Thomas Sankara.
We must ask. what is different that BLF brings? There is no point in repeating the experiments of the parties and movements we come from. We must build on higher different kind of politics. We need to work on “anti-politics – political engagement”, using politics to end politics! We are not a government in waiting! We want to overthrow the government! We do not want uninformed numbers! We want revolutionary numbers!
Today we shall confirm the interim leadership of GP which shall help us build a new revolutionary movement and which is going to inspire our people to desire real freedom and security and to fight for it! We must be patient. We are at a building phase and we must be flexible. Most importantly. please don’t imagine that you know what BLF is, because no one knows! We are building from scratch! Here we all have no experience. We must be careful about the experiences we have of the past organizations – they don’t belong here!
Let me say, our door must remain open to black people. We must be quick to forgive those who are insulting and attacking us. That’s the burden of black radical politics. And I hope in a year I shall not hear, “Where were you when we were in Cresta, when it was not fashionable to join BLF”!
I thank you!
6 September 2015
Windsor East Recreation Centre, Randburg
BLF GP Meeting
National Convener: Andile Mngxitama