||Wolpe Lectures & Reviews 2006
|The Iraq War and the Responsibility of Resistance George Galloway 21 December 2006
A call to leadership: The role of Africans in the Development Agenda
Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane 30 November 2006
Wars in the Middle East : What Citizens Movements Can do Phyllis Bennis 24th August 2006
Vans, Autos, Kombis and the Drivers of Social Movements Aswin Desai 28 July 2006
The greatest threat to future stability in our country vs the greatest strength of Abahlali baseMjondolo movement SA. (shack dwellers) Sbu Zikode 30 June 2006
The power of critical Pedagogy Peter McLaren 25 May 2006
The Gender Implications of the Zuma Health Trial Pregs Govender 18 May 2006
Review of the Galloway Wolpe Lecture: The Iraq War and the Responsibility of Resistance
Shannon Walsh, 21 December 2006
The blood of some is more valuable than the blood of others,
lamented staunch anti-war critic and anti-imperialist George Galloway
to a packed house at last week's Harold Wolpe lecture at UKZN.
Spectators overflowed into the aisles as the powerful orator inspired
and provoked the audience with his analysis of the war on 'terror',
the responsibility of resistance and the growing movement against
British MP Galloway is the founder and vice-president of the Stop the
War Coalition UK, a group that mobilized over two million people onto
the London streets against the war in Iraq. He has been an active
supporter of the Palestinian cause since the 1970s and also
participated in anti-apartheid campaigns.
Galloway borrowed Sir Peter Ustinov's definition of terrorism to frame
his discussion: War is the terrorism of the rich, and terrorism is
the war of the poor . Death and violence, he entreated, is no
different for one person than it is for another, whether experienced
from the heights of the World Trade Center or by shrapnel fire in
Fallujah. Yet for the powerful, the deaths of Americans, Canadians,
Israelis, and other Westerners means more than the deaths of Iraqis,
Afghans, Palestinians and others who are poor, black, or Muslim.
Galloway linked Bush and Blair's colonial aspirations in Iraq to those
of previous imperialists who pillaged and destroyed that which they
did not understand. He reminded the audience that over a thousand
years ago Iraqis had one of the first and most extensive libraries in
the world, had developed sophisticated agricultural methods, invented
Algebra, conceptualized 'zero', and made many other significant
contributions to human history. Is it any surprise then that Iraqis
will defend their country to their deaths? Would British citizens not
do the same, Galloway enquired, if the Nazis stood upon their doorstep
threatening to destroy their history and kill their people? The fact
that we may even ponder this question belies a racist assumption that
'these people are not like us'.
While he touched on many topics, from the illegitimate occupation of
Iraq and Afghanistan to the current fixation on Sudan since the
discovery of oil there, Galloway focused his talk on a call for South
Africans to support the movement against Israeli apartheid.
Galloway joins an increasingly large international community,
including Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former US president Jimmy
Carter, who are naming Israel an apartheid state and calling for
boycotts, divestments and sanctions. Just this week John Berger,
Arundhati Roy, Brian Eno and 93 other authors, filmmakers, musicians
and performers called for a cultural boycott of Israel. Thousands of
people in South Africa launched the movement against the second
apartheid in Israel at the World Conference Against Racism (WCAR) in
Recently, Archbishop Desmond Tutu was barred from entering Israel.
Galloway bemoaned the lack of response by the ANC to this insult given
Tutu's worldwide admiration. Why is the South African government not
saying, Tutu in or the South African ambassador out?
Galloway was clear in maintaining that Zionism, contrary to some
common perceptions, is not synonymous with being Jewish or Judaism,
but rather describes the colonial and imperial project of the state of
The Zionist movement has been responsible for the expulsion of
thousands of Palestinians from their land, the massacres of 1948,
1967, 1982, and the invasion of Lebanon this past summer. The
international boycott, divestments and sanctions campaign comes from
an understanding that Zionism is founded on a colonial and racist
project that has displaced, exploited, and repressed millions of
Why use the term apartheid in relation to Israel? Israeli apartheid
uses similar methods to exclude Palestinians and institutionalize
racist separation to those used by the apartheid state in South
Africa. For example, Israel forcibly removes Palestinians from their
land and has created pass laws that make it illegal for non-Jews to
own state land. Palestinians must carry ID cards at all times to
avoid detention or deportation by the Israeli army, they are unable to
travel on Israel-only roads, and must pass through military guarded
security check points to move in and out of the refugee camps in which
they must live. Israeli prisons hold more than 10, 000 Palestinians
who suffer routine torture, and now Israel is building a 20-foot high
concrete Apartheid Wall to enclose Palestinian areas.
Ehud Barak's call for Peace through Separation: We are here and they
are there is an example of the premise on which Israeli state
policies have been formed.
During the days of South African apartheid, we would bring South
African goods to the till in Britain and drop them to the floor in
front of the shopkeepers in horror, decrying that these good were
spoilt, stained with the blood of South Africans. Why are you carrying
the goods of another apartheid state in your shops?
Galloway focused on practical examples of how South Africa contributes
to supporting Israeli apartheid. Pick & Pay, for example, carries
Israeli produce and Israeli diamonds are polished in South Africa.
Boycott, as Mandela reminds us, is not a principle but a tactic to put
pressure on unjust governments. Everyday acts of resistance can make
a difference, as they did in the past.
Galloway lambasted divisive politics that present criticism necessary
to keep power in check as anti-American or anti-Jewish. Many Jews and
Westerners are united with others throughout the world in calling for
Orlean Naidoo of the Westcliff Residents Association had some other
thoughts about building solidarity and supporting international
movements in the context of post-apartheid South Africa.
While Naidoo thought Galloway's message was powerful and inspiring,
she was disappointed that his criticisms of the ANC focused on South
Africa's diplomatic relations with Israel.
Some of the same people here tonight say we are anti-war but don't
address the war on the poor in South Africa. How can we deal with
international apartheid when the class divide here is so strong?
Naidoo saw the struggles of the poor as the common ground that must be
addressed in order to overcome apartheid everywhere.
The government is at war with the poor here at home by cutting off
water, electricity, and evicting people. We might be anti-war, but
what about the class war? We need to speak the truth about our own
Hizbollah’s war against Israel
By George Galloway - Morning Star, August 2006
There can be no doubt that the Israeli assault on Lebanon has been a
huge failure for the Israeli government and a huge setback for the US
neocons’ desire to attack Iran. Hezbollah has not only not been defeated
by the enormous technological might of the Israeli Defence Force, but
has emerged pretty much intact and strengthened in terms of its popular
support in Lebanon. In Damascus and Tehran all those who would resist US
imperialism are cheering. In Tel Aviv the Israeli government has been
plunged into crisis. And all the pro-Western autocratic Arab leaders
will now be sleeping much less easily in their beds.
I welcome these developments wholeheartedly. But what a cost has been
paid in destruction of life and property. More than a thousand innocent
Lebanese civilians, many of them women and children have been killed by
Israeli missiles and bombs. Hundreds of thousands were driven from their
homes. And billions of pounds of damage was inflicted on Lebanese
infrastructure. This was all done in the name of retrieving two Israeli
soldiers, seized by Hizbollah in the hope of exchanging them for
hundreds of Lebanese prisoners illegally held by the Israelis. Those in
Israel who launched the assault on Lebanon are guilty of war crimes, and
so are those in the White House and Downing Street who gave them the
green light and blocked any UN resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire.
However nothing the Israeli Defence Force did could destroy the
Hizbollah resistance. Indeed as the conflict dragged on, the number of
missiles discharged by Hizbollah increased rather than declined. Far
fewer Israelis died than Lebanese and far less destruction was inflicted
on Haifa and northern Israel than on every part of Lebanon. But the
Israeli forces' reputation for invulnerability has been undermined,
perhaps for ever.
We now have an uneasy ceasefire, the Lebanese army moving into the south
of Lebanon and the promise of a French-led ‘international’ force under
UN mandate, although the French, clearly worried about the peace
lasting, are only promising to send 200 soldiers. But if displaced
Lebanese families are slowly returning to the destruction wreaked on
their villages, towns and cities, the Israeli assault on the
Palestinians continues. Yesterday I was forwarded an email from a
refugee camp outside Nablus which had been brutally attacked by the
Israeli Defence Force, once again killing the innocent and the young.
The Palestinian question has been eclipsed in the media over the last
few weeks but the situation in the Palestinian Authority remains
extremely grave as a result of Israeli attacks. We should remember that
some 10,000 Palestinian prisoners are currently languishing in Israeli
prisons, many of them routinely tortured. And a dozen democratically
elected members of the government of the Palestinian Authority have been
seized and imprisoned. We hear cant and hypocrisy from Bush and Blair
about their commitment to spreading democracy and yet Israel has with
international impunity launched wars against the democratically elected
governments of Lebanon and Palestine. The only democracy Bush and Blair
are interested in is ‘democracy’ which guarantees delivering a
pro-Western government. But what everyone has to understand is that
until there is justice for the Palestinians and until there is an end to
the occupation of Iraq there will be no lasting
Speech in Boston, September 2005, part of George's US speaking tour
Brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, ladies and gentleman. Thank
you very much for that wonderful introduction and that wonderful welcome.
We in the occupying countries have only one choice to make. Whether we
are with the occupier, or whether we are with the rights of the occupied
to struggle to be free of that occupation. That’s the only question that
should concern us. This is a subject to which I shall return when I talk
about the struggle of the Iraqi people to free themselves from the
foreign occupation which has been illegally and violently imposed upon them.
I want to deal with this broader question. You see, these airplanes on
9/11 may have appeared to come out of a clear blue sky. But in fact,
these monstrous mosquitoes flew out of a swamp of bitterness, and hatred
and enmity, which exists against us, throughout the world, but most
markedly in the Muslim world. It is a swamp that we have flooded with
new grievances on a regular basis. And in that swamp mutates the kind of
monsters who can believe that killing thousands of innocent people in
the United States of America, or killing innocent people on buses and
underground trains in London, is a way to punish the guilty people in
America and England.
This mutation is a powerful mutation. It is pregnant with dangers not
only for us, but also with real dangers for the people of the Muslim
world themselves, for as professor Keach just said to you, the main
recruiter of support for this mutation is not bin Laden. It is not any
of the Islamist obscurantists who wish to feed upon it. The greatest
recruiter, the greatest creator of this hatred, bitterness, and enmity
are the leaders of Great Britain and the United States themselves. And
you see, the British Parliament was recalled just days after 9/11. I was
lucky enough to speak in that debate, and if you’ll forgive me quoting
myself, this is what I said. “If we handle this crisis the wrong way, we
will create 10,000 new bin Ladens.” Is there a sentient being left in
this land who believes other than that we did handle it the wrong way,
and that we created not 10,000 new bin Ladens, but hundreds of thousands
of new bin Ladens throughout the Muslim world? This is the problem we
Instead of draining the swamp of the bitterness and hatred by reversing
the policies and the prejudices that watered that swamp, we embarked
upon a course of action that deepened, ever-deepened, that swamp. And so
we made a bad situation worse. So we made even more people hate us even
more intently. What kind of policy is that? How can it be a policy
toward terrorism if that policy creates more terrorism? How can it be a
policy toward making us safer if it actually puts us in greater danger?
How can it be a policy to move forward, when it is a policy that takes
You see, I listened to Mrs. Bush and Mrs. Blair—Mrs. Bush II—I’m coming
to Mrs. Bush I later. I listened to them in a synchronized radio
broadcast in which they invited us on the first anniversary of 9/11 to
remember those heartbreaking messages of love and farewell left from
their mobile phones by those American women on those airplanes, on the
answering machines of their loved ones. They asked us never to forget
those heartbreaking messages—as if we could. But as I said at the time,
just because Afghan women don’t have mobile telephones, and their
families don’t have answering machines, it doesn’t make their deaths
delivered form the sky any less obscene than those American women killed
But when I said it, as I looked around the Parliament at the powerful
people to whom I was saying it, I knew that for them that apparently
self-evident truth was not a truth at all. We have to face up to this,
for the rich and powerful people who rule our countries and our world,
the blood of some people is more valuable than the blood of other
people. The blood of American and British and Israeli and Western people
for them is worth more than the blood of poor, Black, Muslim people from
other parts of the world. Nobody counted the dead in Afghanistan.
Nobody is holding a minute silence for the dead people in Fallujah.
Nobody’s raising money at charity concerts for the massacred in Jenin in
Palestine. They don’t count the same. This is an undeniable truth, which
may yet be ungrasped by most of our own people, but was long ago grasped
by the people of the poor world, and most precisely by the people of the
Muslim world. The people of the Muslim world know that we care more
about Israelis than we care about Palestinians; that we care more about
Americans than we do about Afghans; and that we care more about British
people than we do about Iraqis. And they are mad as hell about that.
They are mad as hell about that.
Now, at the time of 9/11, people asked me. OK, well if not this, what?
If not the unleashing of overwhelming deadly force by the richest and
most powerful countries in the world against the poorest and most ragged
people on the earth, then what? What would drain this swamp? And I said,
there are three things in particular that we need to do. First is to
stop the unending, bottomless, and unconditional support for General
Sharon’s Israel and its occupation of the Palestinian people, and its
dispersal of the Palestinian people around the world. This is a key
question, and in the United States you have to grasp this—and even some
people in the antiwar movement have not grasped this. This Palestine
question is the flaw at the heart of the West’s attitude to the East, of
the non-Muslims’ attitude to the Muslim world. You see, the double
standards that are so brazenly obvious to the Arabs, to the Muslims, and
to many others—but not alas to our legislators—are at the core, a
cancerous core, of this crisis in relations between East and West.
Iraq was broken on the wheel of economic sanctions because of the need
to demonstrate the unacceptability of the acquiring of other people’s
territory by force. It was broken on the wheel of sanctions, and a
million Iraqis died—most of them children. Most of them died before they
even knew they were Iraqis—but dying for no other reasons but that they
were Iraqis— on the grounds that no regime must be allowed to acquire
weapons of mass destruction. Iraq was broken because of the need to
impose the authority of the resolutions of the UN Security Council.
But Israel has occupied other people’s territory by force for decade
after decade after decade. Israel we know—thanks to the whistle blowing
of the brave Israeli hero Mordechai Vannunu, who spent nearly two
decades in solitary confinement for telling us—Israel is in possession
of hundreds of nuclear weapons and the missiles with which to land them
on any and all Arab capitals. Israel sits on top of a mountain of
chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. Israel has broken more UN
Security Council resolutions than all of the other countries in the
world put together. Yet Israel is not subject to economic sanction or
Thanks to the United States of America, Israel is endlessly rewarded
with money and weapons and political and diplomatic support, precisely
for its breaking of these resolutions. We may not see it that
way—indeed, in the United States it seems to me precious few people see
it that way. But I can tell you in the Arab world, in the Muslim
world—around the world—that double standard is as plain as can be.
The second thing that had to be done to drain this swamp was to end the
agony of the Iraqi people. I went to Iraq in 1993 and 1994. I had never
been to Iraq before. It was the only Arab country I had not visited. I
would not have been welcome there if I had, indeed I would have been
arrested as a known and vociferous opponent of the Iraqi dictatorship. I
used to be demonstrating outside the Iraq embassy in London when British
ministers and businessmen were going in and out selling them guns and
gas. I never take any lectures from anybody about the dictatorship in
Baghdad. But you see, when I went there in 1993 and 1994—before there
was any oil-for-food program, when there was mass starvation in the
land, when the suffering was literally unbearable to watch, which is why
so few Western politicians went there to see it—I saw mass funerals of
little children, who were dying at the rate of one every six minutes of
every day and night. I listened at the door of the labor ward in a
hospital in Baghdad as a woman gave birth by caesarian section without
anesthetic, for there was no anesthetic to be had.
When I went there in 1993 and 1994, I was very clear, as was a brave
American politician called David Bonnier, a Democratic Party
congressman, once the chief whip on the hill. I haven’t heard of him in
a long time, I assume he’s out of politics now. He described this policy
as infanticide masquerading as politics. And that is exactly what it
was. I argued after 9/11, that as well as changing course on the issue
of Palestine, we had to end this crucifixion of the people of Iraq
because we have fallen out with the dictator that we helped into power,
we armed, we made strong, we encouraged to attack Iran, and invaded to
halt the Islamic revolution of the Ayatollah Khomeini.
And the third thing we would have had to have done, is to stop propping
up the puppet presidents and the corrupt kings who rule the Muslim world
almost without exception from one end to the other—not one of whom would
be in power for five minutes if it were not for the military, political,
diplomatic, and financial support of your country and mine. Which is why
Muslim people don’t know whether to laugh or cry when they hear George
Bush and Tony Blair talking about liberty. The masses in Pakistan, for
example, who one day had a general who had seized power in their
country, who wore a uniform, who was subjected to an arms embargo, who
was suspended from the British Commonwealth, who was routinely
described, indeed memorably described, by President Bush just before his
first election, when he was asked in that wonderful question and answer
session about the names of world leaders with whom he’d have to be
dealing in a few weeks.
Bush was asked who was the ruler of Pakistan. And he said, “The
general.” And the interviewer asked, “Do we have a name here? General
who?” And Bush answered, “We just call him the general.” Well, of
course, very soon they stopped calling him the general. He stopped being
a military dictator who had seized power illegally, exiling and
imprisoning his opponents. He became not General Musharraf, but
President Musharraf, a great and wise statesman who must be given all
the weapons and all the help he needed to follow Washington’s orders all
the more precisely. Indeed, he was even allowed to acquire—what?—nuclear
weapons, the very pursuit of which (fruitless as it turned out) had led
to Iraq being crucified and a million Iraqis slaughtered.
Or we could look elsewhere. We could look next door to Palestine, to the
great state of Egypt. Mr. Hitchens and Co. tell us that one of the
fruits of the attack on Iraq is that there’s now democracy in countries
like Egypt. Where last week, the president, who has ruled for
twenty-four years, was reelected with 88.6 percent of the vote, in a
rigged election where he chose who was allowed to oppose him, where he
controlled all of the media, and where he even imprisoned his main
opponent just a few months before the election. As a matter of fact,
President Hosni Mubarak got more votes in this democratic election than
he got in what he admitted was a rigged election six years ago. He got
84.6 percent of the vote in the rigged election, and 88.6 percent of the
vote in the free and fair election, just to encourage the other rulers
to go down that route.
But of course, we didn’t do any of these things. We didn’t stop
rewarding Sharon, we stepped up the rewards to Sharon. We didn’t stop
killing Iraqis. We killed even more of them. We didn’t stop propping up
the dictators in the Muslim world, we enhanced and increased our support
for those dictators. Indeed, let me give you the surprising news: The
security forces of Colonel Muammar Qadhafi are now being trained at
Sandhurst, Great Britain’s West Point. His army officers are being
trained at Sandhurst, and his intelligence officers are being
trained—god help them—by the British intelligence services, MI5 and
MI6—so Qadhafi’s done for. Now, did Qadhafi become less of a dictator
after the attack on Iraq? Who are these security forces being employed
against? Is Qadhafi’s army to defend him against an external aggressor,
or is it for use against his own people to keep Qadhafi in power, and
likewise his intelligence services. We know the answer very clearly to
these questions. So what do you think the Libyan people think when they
hear Tony Blair talking about liberty and freedom, when they know that
Qadhafi’s forces are being trained by Tony Blair’s military and
So we did all the wrong things, and we made the world an even more
dangerous place than it already was.
And that brings us to Iraq. You know, if democracy means anything, it
must mean the holding to account of political leaders for mistakes—let’s
be charitable and call them mistakes—as big as this one. Everything that
George Bush, Norm Coleman, and the American and British political class
told us turned out to be a lie. And everything the antiwar movement told
us turned out to be right. They told us that Iraq had links with
al-Qaeda. It turned out to be a lie. But it’s certainly true today.
Every al-Qaeda supporter in the world is descending like spores on the
open wounds we’ve created in Iraq. And just like in Afghanistan, later
to travel around the world and practice what they’ve learned in Iraq.
They told us that hundreds of thousands of foreign soldiers invading and
occupying an Arab Muslim country would reduce Islamist fundamentalism. I
said at the time, you know, if you believe that, you really need medical
help. Is there anybody outside the Oval Office or 10 Downing Street who
believes now that Islamist extremism is less as a result of what we’ve done?
They told us that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. I’m not even
going to waste your time by developing that point. Because the worst lie
that they told is the one I want to focus on. They told us that the
Iraqi people would welcome these foreign invaders with flowers and with
rice. But instead the Iraqi people have welcomed the foreign invaders
with something much hotter and much more sharp. That’s where Cindy
Sheehan and the other military families in the U.S. and in Britain come
in. Because you see it’s their sons who are paying the blood price for
that lie. And it wasn’t that they weren’t warned. The antiwar movement
warned them repeatedly that if you invade Iraq you will be opening the
gates of hell. The Iraqi people will fight you with their teeth if
necessary, to repel your invasion.
And to think otherwise is to be guilty of a racist fantasy. That alone
of all the people on the earth, the Iraqis would welcome foreign armies
to invade their country, occupy it, and begin to loot and steal their
things. What kind of people would welcome such a thing? Is there a
people on the earth who would welcome such a thing? If, god forbid,
somebody landed in my country, some foreign army invaded my country,
occupied it, installed a puppet government there, and proceeded to steal
its things, every self-respecting person in Britain would fight that
occupation to the best of their ability, and that’s what’s happening in
Iraq, exactly what’s happening in Iraq.
And that’s why we have to be clear about this question. I’m coming to an
end now, making an appeal to you for clarity on this question. It’s what
I said right at the beginning of this speech. It’s not our duty to
design the Iraqi resistance, or to design whatever political settlement
will emerge when the foreign occupiers leave—as they will have to leave.
We have only one choice to make as citizens of the U.S. and of Great
Britain. It’s one that George Bush coined for us when he said, “You’re
either with us or against us.” Well, you’re either with your country
going around the world, invading other people’s countries, occupying
them and stealing their things, or you’re against it. And if you’re
against it, you must be there on the 24th of September in Washington,
D.C., to tell the world that you are all against it. Thank you very much
Wolpe Lecture, A call to leadership: The role of Africans in the Development Agender
Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane, 30 November 2006
What is leadership?
Its link with accountability?
How do these relate to development?
What kind of development do we want?
What do we have currently?
A critical analyses of leadership in the continent.
Current development landscape
How can this status quo be influenced by leadership and increased accountability?
What our role is, as Africans in the Development of our continent?
Role of civil society
Role of grassroots organizations
Particularly zoom in on the monitoring function
The model of the African Monitor
Ladies and gentlemen.
Prior to coming here I was warned of the caliber of speakers who have stood on this floor. I am honored to follow on their footsteps. I did worry though, that as a mere preacher, their shoes might be too big to fill. Nevertheless, it is good to be here with you today.
Africa has been on the lips of many for decades. Many have been plotting, sweating and colluding to speak on behalf of Africans about Africa’s development.
a) Colonial rule
First came the colonial rulers with their legacy of slavery, economic expropriation and racially divisive tendencies. We know that colonial rule and its legacy in the continent was more devastating than some of the worst natural disasters such as famine, floods, etc. We do not need rocket scientists to tell us that colonial rule in Africa was particularly focused on exploiting and extracting the continent's natural resources. Infrastructure was built to exploit and extract copper, timber, oil, gold, etc from the continent. It is partly because of this system of extraction and exploitation that infrastructure in the continent is severely limited and unable to contribute to equitable development that benefits all. I will not spend time going into Gallagher and Robinson’s (1953) argument that beyond economic exploitation and political domination, colonialism was also about humanitarianism. To argue that is to argue that the husband who beats up his wife daily is doing it for her sake. It is a fallacy, at best. In fact, studies such as those done by Bertochi and Genova (1996), and Young (1994) prove that Africa’s development crises can be directly traced to European colonial rule. But we all know this, ladies and gentleman. This is why we stand proud to remember people like Nkwameh Nkrumah of Ghana, Seako Toure of Guinea, Namdi Azikiwe of Nigeria, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania and Patrice Lumumba of The Congo, to mention a few, who ushered in the era of
independence in the 1960s.
Following colonial rule came independence, which marked an important historical milestone in the development and growth of Africa. It symbolized the awakening of the continent and its people to fight for what was theirs, and claim back ownership of their destinies. In its editorial on the 4th January 1960, the Rand Daily Mail wrote:
The sixties opened in an atmosphere of expectations, of heightened awareness of pending change. In a few years’ time
Africans will be governing the greater part of the African Continent. This will be a decade of great change for the world and for Africa. Can we in South Africa hope to escape the implications?
During this era, we can still see in the history books remnants of the tendency for others to speak on behalf of Africans about Africa and its development. In this category, I want to distinguish three role players.
Firstly we see the former colonial powers garnering together in attempts presumably to fix their mistakes and assist in the regeneration of their former colonies. If we continue to use the metaphor of a battered wife - imagine her lying in bed with broken ribs and bleeding wounds while the same inflictor of pain nurses her back to health! In all fairness, one would have to be careful not to dismiss completely the efforts of the colonial power’s post colonial rule, as some good came out of it.
However, it is necessary to look retrospectively with a critical eye and acknowledge that there were instances where we should have simply cut all ties in order to prevent further exploitation and continued dependence, and claim back our dignity.
The second category of role players during independence, speaking on behalf of Africans about Africa, was the international community, represented by multilateral institutions. The incredible effort put behind pushing a structural adjustment agenda that further diminished the capacity of African countries to grow and develop is astounding, even today. Again in this instance, Africans listened to others telling them what was good for their own economies. Many have argued this to be expanded exploitation and imperialism.
The last set of role players who determined to speak on behalf of Africans is a curious group. They are the number of Africans who rose up at the time of independence to lead their people astray and exploit resources for personal economic gain. Our mistake was to assume that because they were Africans, they would fight the cause of Africa. These Africans dared to speak from a point of legitimacy, when in fact they were no different from the exploiters of the colonial legacy who had nothing but greed in their hearts.
There are other factors that contributed to our stagnation for example those well illustrated in the case of Ghana in the early 70s. In Moaletsi Mbeki’s article in the Cape Times last week he quoted what he calls a ‘classic case study in
development studies’. I quote:
‘In the 1950s and 1960s, Ghana was way ahead of Korea in terms of incomes and exports per capita but from the early 1970s Korea overtook Ghana and streaked ahead at such a pace that today Korea’s per capita income is 20 times Ghana’s.’
Apparantly the World Bank summarized this state of affairs thus:
‘Korea’s exports per capita overtook Ghana’s in 1972, and its income level surpassed Ghana’s four years later. Between 1965 and 1995, Korea’s exports increased 400 times in current dollars. Meanwhile Ghana’s increased only by four times, and real earning per capita fell to a fraction of their earlier value.’
Moaletsi Mbeki adds:
Africa’s economic crisis went hand in hand with a profound political crisis. Coups d’etat, civil wars, dictatorships and interstate wars became the order of the day. In turn, violent political conflicts accelerated the flight of skills and capital, fuelling the downward spiral in the quantity and quality of social services provided in most African countries.’
c) Development actors
In the context of independence and democratisation during the last decades we have noticed an increasing rise in the contributions made by Africa’s development partners to Africa’s development. Hundreds of millions of rands have been spent in Aid to Africa again to develop the continent. And of course for years these millions were accompanied by prescriptions of where the monies could be spent, how they could be spent and over what period. Again, in these instances others continued to speak on behalf of Africans about Africa’s development.
To qualify this statement, I must add that I have noticed that there is a wind of change blowing throughout the development community in recent years. There is a growing recognition that development cannot happen without the people who are its beneficiaries. I would even go a step further and say that development must be led by the people who will be its beneficiaries.
Going back to my initial thesis then, we must ask ourselves a few difficult questions to explain why the tendency for others to speak on behalf of Africans about Africa has persisted from generation to generation since colonial rule and slavery.
What has been the motivation of others to speak for us and participate so heavily in our affairs?
Why have we Africans allowed others to speak for us and determine our future?
What is the opportunity cost of letting others speak for us when we can speak for ourselves?
Instead of answering these questions myself, ladies and gentlemen, I will refrain from doing so to give you an opportunity to ponder on them. I would not want to be seen to be speaking on your behalf!
2. Highlighting the Role Africans have played in the past.
Before I go any further let me stress this point to avoid confusion and misunderstanding. My thesis is not that Africans have been sitting around while others were busy stewing and stirring the pot. I stand proudly here today as an African and name leaders who have shown us great courage, leadership, vision and action. About 40 years ago, the doyen of
pan-Africanism, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, made an impassioned plea: ‘Africa must unite or perish.’ This was in May 1963 when the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) signed the Charter for Unity in Addis Ababa. One of the key tenets of the OAU’s Charter remains as valid today as it was then – that African countries should ‘co-ordinate and intensify their co-operation and
efforts to achieve a better life for the peoples of Africa’.
I am proud to relate stories of ordinary people in communities who have stood high above their circumstances to instigate change in their own localities. I think of the woman in a village in the Eastern Cape who takes in children whose mother is lying in bed sick with the HI Virus. Or the community that starts a poultry farm to generate income for local children to go to school.
I am proud to recognize African governments who have put programmes in place and channeled resources to ensure that people on
the ground benefit from development. I recognize teachers, police, professionals, young people who are passionate about this
continent, and who individually and collectively make a difference by waking up every morning to do their best. I even recognize and applaud those who are not from the continent, but who desire the best for the continent for no personal gain.
These are friends of Africa who have spent resources and their time in dialogue with the continent planning, strategising and implementing formidable programmes.
All these amazing role players have worked hard and changed the direction of development in big and/or small ways.
Today however I will not focus on this breed of people, as they are on the right track to enable the continent to reach its potential.
I want to open a debate and facilitate discussion about those of us who have become complacent about Africa’s development. I want to speak to the legacy that has led the whole world to think that it is acceptable to think for Africans about Africa’s development. I want to call for action that will enable all of us to stand up and speak in one voice about Africa and its
In every place in the world to which I have traveled, I have listened to impassioned debates about what Africa needs and what is wrong with the continent. These discussions often go beyond opinion, which all of us are entitled to. There is often a tone of self-righteousness and assumed ownership and power even in instances where ordinary citizens are talking about the continent.
I want to argue today that enough has been said about what the donor should and must do. Enough has been said about what multi-lateral companies should and must do. Enough has been said about international big business and investments. Even I have been known to call upon these actors to act in ways that are fair and just. These calls are on target and necessary at relevant forums.
But today I am talking to you, fellow Africans. I talk to you as an African, and as an advocate for development that brings improvements to the lives of the people on the ground. I want to talk about what we as Africans should and must do to fast-track development in the continent. I want to expand on what kind of African will participate effectively and cause progressive change in the fight against poverty; the race towards the millennium development goals; and the challenges of
racism, ethnicity, war and conflict.
3. The role Africans must play in Africa’s Development Agenda
I do not need to expand on why we need to act, and why we need to act now. Nearly 3 billion people in the world live in abject poverty, a majority of whom are on this continent. As we speak, a number of countries are engaged in some or other form of conflict within the continent. Levels of unemployment are continuing to increase; access to primary health care, education and municipal services is minimal; and the HIV epidemic is on the rise.
The time for accelerated action is now.
The question then is: “What needs to be in place in order for such acceleration to happen?”
The need for collective ownership of Africa’s development agenda cannot be over-stated. It is time for Africans to stand up with one voice and collectively think about the continent, strategize about what works and speak effectively about what does not work. The dialogue needs to take place within countries, between countries, between sub-regions and within continental structures. I know that for South Africans it is difficult to understand the concept of inter-dependence and dialogue with
the rest of the continent. Much of that is founded on the apartheid regime that ensured that even within our country we behaved as islands. This culture must change.
It is encouraging to see that our own government is an active participant within SADC, the AU and in bilateral relationships with African countries. Civil society is starting to organize collectively across the continent with several campaigns such as Make Poverty History, the Global Coalition Against Poverty and the Millennium Campaign.
Collective ownership of the development agenda will inject a sense of urgency in each of us about what needs to be done, and what needs to stop. It will enable us to claim back the power to change our context both as individuals and as organization.
Collective ownership dismisses the notion that development is the function of governments, and puts the responsibility for well-being on the collective shoulders of the masses, civil society (including business and the academia), as well as governments.
Overturning the Power balance
The current landscape of Africa’s development does not give much confidence that Africans own the power to make decisions about their own development. Theoretically, and according to good development principles, Africans should be the determinants of their own destinies. We all agree on this. However the political and economic systems of the world are a bit more complicated than that.
With the current economic systems, countries must rely on outside investors to help their economies grow; outside donors to spend on development; an unjust trade system to acquire economic wealth. Out of these variables, which should African people insist on having decision making powers on? I cannot name all of them, but here are a few thoughts:-
African people should be able to make decisions about how they will spend Aid money contributed to their own countries. They should be able to identify spending gaps, such as infrastructure for water, sanitation, roads, and channel resources to where the greatest need is. Furthermore, they should be able to control what kinds of assistance comes into the country, and say NO to undesirable types of Aid. The same should apply to forms of debt relief, or loans accepted by our governments.
Africans should be able to make their own decisions about economic policies. The list goes on. Without wanting to suggest violence, it is necessary for African people to adopt a level of arrogance in protecting their own welfare.
At the level of the grassroots, ownership means the involvement of ordinary people in policy debates and law making policies that will affect their welfare, both at a country and regional level. It means creating spaces for politicians to listen to ordinary citizens, and allowing for free flow of information to inform citizens of crucial decisions and processes.
Over-turning the power balance does not mean assuming that Africa does not need help. It does not imply carelessness either.
It means being in a position to say what type of help will be accepted, when and how. Without this sense of power, collective ownership of the development agenda will not mean anything.
Broad Participation and inclusivity
Broad participation and inclusivity is the logical outcome of collective ownership. When people believe that they have a responsibility to do something, as well as the power to make decisions, their participation becomes almost automatic.
Attempts to increase participation therefore must start at the level of shifting misconceptions and giving power to the people as it were.
It is important to mention that broad participation must include harnessing the voices of Africans to become more visible in the international development agenda. There needs to be increased visibility of efforts by Africans already existing to impact positively on development. There also needs to be a strengthening of networks and collective efforts to speak effectively. This will ensure that among the plethora of actors speaking on Africa’s development, that Africans are the
If ever there was a time for visionary, creative, imaginative and dynamic leadership in Africa, it is now. We need a leadership that is accountable, a leadership that is driven by a deep desire for sustainable livelihood for all its citizens and a leadership that guarantees and upholds fundamental human rights for everyone created in God’s image.
We applaud the establishment of the African Union and its subsidiary bodies whose fundamental objectives are good governance,
accountability and transparency.
I believe that it is urgent that there be a meeting of minds of statespersons and other opinion-formers in Africa on the need
to take the aspirations of Africans further. Political leaders should be looking beyond mere bilateral or regional economic agreements, to ambitious concordats, such as that which has seen the European Union flourish.
The concept of an Economic Union of African States needs urgent support backed by research to ensure that it will benefit the greatest number of people. Such a Union would co-ordinate economic activity in the continent of Africa for the general well-being of its people. It would ensure inter alia that:
Africa would never again be marginalized, thereby becoming the begging bowl of the world;
Africa’s resources would never again be exploited;
Africa would not become the dumping ground for environmentally repugnant refuse, such as nuclear waste; and
Conditions exist for attracting investment capital from all parts of the globe into the continent of Africa.
The African Monitor – a model for Africa’s participation in the Africa’s development agenda
Let me spend a few minutes sharing with you what I think is a good model for increasing participation of Africans in Africa’s development.
The African Monitor is an independent continental body set up to act as a catalyst to monitor development funding commitments, delivery and impact on the grassroots, and to bring strong additional African voices to the development agenda.
Its premise is that Africans must speak for themselves and become more visible in the international development agenda.
It believes that increased capacity of Africans – especially at grassroots level – to monitor development implementation will be an effective way of increasing collective ownership, power and participation of Africans in their own development.
The African Monitor aims to systematically monitor development promises, by looking at the volume of commitments, timeliness, delivery results on the ground, quality of aid, and prioritization. Promises from both African governments and donor governments will be looked at.
It will also look at trade policies and business regulations, in order to analyze how these hinder or enhance the ability of African countries to deliver on development.
The AM will engage African governments and support their efforts to meet the MDG’s by 2015, by tracking progress, assisting in integrated policy making and facilitating increased stakeholder participation.
Also, the AM will measure the benefits of development programmes in Africa focusing on targeted sectors, in order to draw lessons from local communities about what works and what does not. The intention will be to listen to local voices and channel information through to decision makers at local, national and international level.
The AM will not monitor just simply for the sake of it. It will monitor with the intention to effect change, to speed up the rate of delivery and increase the rate of effectiveness. The advocacy strategy of the AM will be spearheaded by a group of high level independent African figures – the Togona. Togona is a word from Mali, which means wisdom. Our ‘house of wisdom’ will be the ambassadors of African Monitor, lending their weight in support of local communities in their development aspirations and experiences.
Besides Monitoring and Advocacy, the African Monitor will perform two other critical functions:-
1.We will build networks of African voices across key stakeholder groups for stronger promotion of the development agenda at
the grassroots. The intention will be to increase the dialogue between the different role players by hosting and participating in multi-stakeholder forums; as well as initiating and participating in processes that create spaces for an interface between 2 or more stakeholders. The AM will endeavour to create opportunities for grassroots participation as well
as strengthen grassroots networks to enable such participation.
2. The AM will also promote grassroots participation by galvanising African Voices to speak for Africa’s development. The chorus
from these voices will strengthen the culture of accountability and increase transparency. These voices should complement the call for the kind of governance culture that can support a selfless approach to the utilisation of resources meant for the poor. The AM will also support communities to develop programme monitoring skills as well as to develop the capacity to call for accountability from local authorities.
The African Monitor is but one example of the kinds of initiatives Africans should be engaging with to accelerate the pace of development in the continent. Role players must be called to account on what they are doing, and its impact on the ground.
Ordinary Africans are best placed to call for that accountability and ensure that what needs to happen happens.
I have submitted to you today that there is a need for a sense of urgency in implementing and participating in development.
There is also a need to become bolder in our demand for delivery from ourselves as well as our development partners. I have argued that in that process, the grassroots have a significant role to play in the delivery through monitoring and advocacy.
I hope that as we discuss we will think critically about what role we can carve out for ourselves as well as our organizations. I am sounding the alarm, calling to arms against poverty and domination to all those of you who will hear it.
Review of Wolpe Lecture by Phyllis Bennis: Wars in the Middle East : What Citizens Movements Can do
Lubna Nadvi, 29 August 2006
At a time in our contemporary global history when both state and non-state violence is being unleashed on civilian populations across the world in a variety of guises, and citizens continue to bear the costs of what has effectively become institutionalized tyranny in many parts of the globe, the central question that we are all no doubt forced to deal with is,
what can ordinary people do to address the challenges of such tyranny?
Phyllis Bennis, a veteran activist, author and commentator on global citizen’s movements based at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, delivered the Harold Wolpe Memorial Lecture last Thursday, 24 August, at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal Centre for Civil Society. She began with a tribute to Wolpe, whom she characterized as providing an
internationalist vision, which he brought to a local or nationalist context, and the spirit of connecting the global with the local animated her own address.
From state sanctioned wars, to institutionalized marginalisation of poor people who are increasingly being subjected to human rights violations on a daily basis, the average citizen can arguably be considered under siege. Cruel, profit-based government and corporate policies seek to isolate and indeed brutalise people, who are simply trying to make a basic living.
Nowhere have these policies been more effectively applied than in the Middle East region, whose oil and other natural reserves have become the bane of its civilian populations, while greedy and opportunistic Northern states manufacture wars and articulate a facile Global War on Terror, so that they may conveniently occupy these nations, under the pretense of “liberating” them from dictators and bringing “democracy” to their shores.
Bennis’ lecture focused in large part on the US Empire, and its hegemonic quest to dominate the world. She contended that a major aspect of this agenda links up integrally with what is currently occurring in the Middle East in the form of wars and occupations, perpetrated primarily by the imperial agents that constitute Empire.
Virtually everything the United States government does works against the interests of people. Bennis’ ideas coincide with those of Arundhati Roy, Noami Klein and Tariq Ali, who at similar Wolpe Lectures at UKZN argued that the United States leads the agenda of corporates and first world state bureaucracies in their collective bid to disempower and marginalise citizens voices.
Bennis refers in particular to the policy of war-mongering adopted by the Bush administration and its coalition partners, which is commonly referred to as GWOT or Global War on Terror, which she argues has effectively become synonymous with the consistent implementation of state sponsored aggression towards any form of dissent against the governments of empire.
When citizens in the Middle East or indeed anywhere else vehemently protest against being invaded and occupied, or resist on behalf of those civilian populations that are subjected to such treatment, they are usually labeled as terrorists.
The GWOT machinery spins into immediate action, through its extended structures of surveillance, detention and often torture and death, seriously violating civil liberties and universally guaranteed human rights. Most often innocent people become the victims of state and police brutality.
What can citizens movements do to counter these violations of civil rights? Bennis alludes to a New York Times article in the wake of protests by millions of people around the world, against the impending war in Iraq in 2003. The NY Times declared in February 2003, that a second superpower had emerged, and that this new superpower was a global citizens
movement which demonstrated a collective principled objection to the war. According to Bennis, this also resulted in the United Nations refusing to legitimize the war through its own structures. So, even though the global citizen’s movement was unable to actually stop the war, it did according to her arguably still make an impact.
While one could possibly agree with this position, i.e., that there were minor tangible benefits to the act of global citizen protest, within the context of the Iraq war, it does nevertheless raise critical questions around whether citizens actually do have the power and influence to change the course of world events.
Indeed in light of the recent war that unfolded in Lebanon, where the Israeli state deliberately dropped aerial bombs on civilian communities, leaving them helpless and vulnerable, and the world community watching in utter disbelief, the tragic reality in this particular instance was that no amount of global civil society mobilization was able to stop huge civilian
losses, particularly within the Lebanese civil population, in the face of Israeli state aggression.
Hezbollah provided a strong military resistance against Israeli aggression. But the question of whether militias actually protect or instead expose civilian populations to greater vulnerabilities, emerges as an overarching question.
Bennis raises doubts about whether Hezbollah’s strategies remain a viable option for the rest of the region or indeed can be applied to other regions.
This does not mean that there are no possibilities for effective citizen mobilization within certain frameworks.
Bennis suggests that a variety of international tools such as International Law and Charters on Human Rights place a certain degree of responsibility on citizens, that these tools be used effectively to articulate certain outcomes and that they actually don’t have any meaning unless they are strategically enforced.
There is, however, a degree of cynicism within certain circles, at the idea that such tools still retain any efficacy within a contemporary international relations context. The argument that existing charters do actually make a contribution to protecting human rights, may once have had some substantive merit, where it not for a very flawed and citizen unfriendly United Nations Security Council structure which allows the United States in particular, to continuously veto decisions and resolutions that attempt to hold either it or Israel accountable for war crimes and other infringements of international law.
This concern applies equally to all matters conducted within the ambit of the UN, including the task of accountability relating to economic and trade issues, which have conveniently been relegated to bodies managed by those who service the structures of Empire, virtually emasculating alternative blocs who seek to advance the interests of marginilised nations.
It would appear that the United Nations is only as powerful as its collective membership allows it to be and the space for citizens to make tangible contributions through existing mechanisms has become seriously constrained as a result of its obdurate bureaucracy and dubious diplomatic rhetoric.
Notwithstanding these clearly obstructive factors, Bennis holds out hope for a programme of citizen action that will impact on oppressive government policies, particularly as they relate to ending invasions and occupations of countries in the Middle East. She makes particular reference to the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa, as an example of an effective citizens movement and she believes our post-apartheid nation has a great degree of potential for challenging Empire.
Her argument relies heavily on the premise that South Africa has consistently been an active participant within the United Nations on questions around the Middle East, acting in favour of the Palestinian struggle for independence and refusing to join the coalition that instigated the war in Iraq. This position does, however, require a nuanced analysis which must factor in the reality that the current South African government vacillates between articulating occasional progressive foreign policy on the one hand, and engaging in dubious patron client politics on the other, with Empire always hovering on the horizon, seriously compromising any moral capital it may have acquired as a liberation movement.
Indeed our government seeks occasionally to position itself as a progressive force with regards to the ongoing dilemmas in the Middle East, yet acts completely contradictory to the spirit of such a progressive politics by aligning itself and making deals with the very forces that are responsible for the suffering of Palestinian, Lebanese and Iraqi
civilians. As a consequence, can we really consider the South African government a voice of moral authority on the Middle East?
However, there does exist great potential for a powerful South African citizen’s movement which actually has already shown itself to be fairly effective and indeed very vocal on the African continent, on the key questions that affect the region.
If such a citizens’ movement can be effective beyond merely just mass protest on issues relating to the Middle East, this clearly requires a serious rethinking of strategic modes of engagement. Bennis points to the very real possibility of the same strategy that worked very well during the anti-apartheid struggle: boycotts, sanctions, divestments and general isolation, targeted in particular at Israel.
She emphasizes that such a campaign must however be focused and should target companies such as Caterpillar which manufactures bulldozers that destroy Palestinian homes. Such campaigns have been in effect for many years now, however clearly there needs to be a re-energising of efforts to isolate Israel and its supporters, who continue to pursue an aggressive agenda against civilian populations in the Middle East region.
In the final analysis, Bennis provides a clear and rational articulation of the challenges that must be addressed in order for a resolution of the ongoing dilemmas in the Middle East. Her argument that citizens’ movements ultimately hold the power to effect change as a challenge to empire, is commensurate with the generally held belief within the global Left that it is only radical and progressive action by civil society that can tackle the major challenges faced by the majority of the people of the world, and indeed civilian populations of the Middle East.
Her enthusiasm that South Africa (in particular its’ government) has the potential to make a serious contribution to this programme of action, arguably needs to be tempered by considering where South Africa actually locates itself as a nation, and where its broader allegiances lie. Clearly a distinction must be made between civil society in South Africa, which still retains moral credibility and the South African government that has arguably lost it.
Given that state institutions in most parts of the globe are generally becoming increasingly hostile to civilian populations, it is clearly citizens’ movements that must rise to the challenge of protecting themselves and indeed the most vulnerable amongst them, from such hostility. Future generations will no doubt judge us by the choices that we make in our time.
Vans, Autos, Kombis and the Drivers of Social Movements”
Ashwin Desai 28 July 2006
This paper is a contribution in an on-going debate in Durban concerning the nature of left, radical politics in this city and the orientation of but the latest crop of social movements that has, since 1998, taken root here. It happens in the context of wall-towall (and somewhat dubious) coverage of these social movements in the academic literature and fairly intense debate and even contestation within an activist and social movement leadership community about the political meanings to be attached to particular social movements. Specifically, the modus operandi of those most responsible for shaping the representations and receptions of these movements within a broader South African activist community and in the wider academic literature is analysed. However, the critique put forward is deliberately general, to enable both a constructive and non-defensive debate on these issues, as well as to describe a general phenomenon that plays itself out all over this country and, I would venture, in many other parts of the world too. While I urge a complete rethink in the way left academics presently relate to – and sometimes impose themselves on - grass-roots organisations, I write this paper much more in a spirit of self-criticism than as polemic against them.
Complete Speech in PDF Format
THE GREATEST THREAT TO FUTURE STABILITY IN OUR COUNTRY VS THE GREATEST STRENGTH OF ABAHLALI BASEMJONDOLO MOVEMENT S.A.
Sbu Zikode,30 June 2006
S'bu brings Zulu to the lecture for the first time
Many things have been said. Many things have been seen. Many policies have been passed. Many people have voted. But what has been done has not been done for the poor. It has been done for the rich. The poor are outside. We have no country. This is not the democracy that the poor fought for. We must ask, are we citizens of this country? If we are not then who are we and where are we?
I am afraid. Every day is an emergency in the jondolos. I am afraid that the AIDS epidemic and poverty are the greatest threat to future stability in our country. Our people are dying. Our people are struggling just to survive. Our desperation and anger can go in many directions. I am afraid that it won’t always go the people who are getting richer while we suffer.
I remain afraid when I see how much is said at the high level of government. I am afraid when government and the NGOs and academics speak about the poor all the time but so few want to speak to the poor. I am afraid when it becomes clear that our job is just to vote and then watch the rich speak about us as we get poorer.
We have seen that when the wild forests and plantations of the rich are on fire there are often large helicopters with hundreds of tons of water to extinguish the fires. But when our shacks are on fire the helicopters and ambulances are nowhere to be found. Mhlengi Khumalo, a one year old boy died in a fire in Kennedy Road. When this happened there was neither briyani nor Durban Electricity on the scene. Helicopters only come for us when we want to march. The state comes for us when we try to say what we think. We must understand this lesson very well. We are on our own. We have no choice but to fight. It is not about us but our children, our nation and our country S.A.
I become ever more afraid when I see that so much money is being spent at the high level e.g. at conference centres, hotels, uShaka, stadiums, etc and that so little is being spent at the grass root level where most of our people live and suffer.
Communities have had enough death. Families are not only facing this high rate of mortality but must also face the funeral expenses which also threaten our safety. It is clear that Aids breeds poverty and poverty breeds Aids. Both must be fought if we are not to be afraid in the future. It is warned that this is not about making small changes to policies. This is a class struggle. This is a struggle between the Haves and Don’t Haves. Our society can only be saved if the Don’t Haves win this struggle. If we loose this struggle everyone will have to live afraid for ever. Everything will be broken everywhere.
Des D'sa, S'bu Zikode and Annsilla Nyar
However I am brave now. More and more thousands of us are becoming brave. We are brave enough to fight this struggle now. We are brave because for the first time in history of this country, South Africa, the poorest of the poor are saying that it is time for us to begin to say “This is who we are. This is where we are. This is how we live. This is what we feel. This is what we think. This is how we want things to be done so that we can live without fear.’
ABAHLALI BASEMJONDOLO MOVEMENT (SA) is the hope of the hopeless, the home of the homeless, the voice of the poor of the poorest. It is the ground for He/She who knows not that She /He knows not that He/She knows not but knows that the poor suffer, knows that this country is rich and knows exactly what made and makes this country rich. Our movement seeks to bring the government to the ground, to bring the institutions of government & the private sector to the ground. We fight to bring policies that affect our people under the control of our people. We are realistic. We start where we are but we fight to bridge the gap between the rich & the poor. We fight to make those who are blind to poverty to be able to see the poverty
that we see. We work to show those who are blind to the power of the poor to see the strength of the strong poor. The threat of fires, storms, illnesses, police brutality and government repression make it clear that if we do not stand up now and act together, then, I am afraid, the poor citizens would once be remembered to have not survived to be part of the beauty of this nature.
The Shack Dwellers (Abahlali baseMjondolo) ave acknowledged that, the majority of this country & this continent and this world are the poor who are often undermined. This has made it possible for us to mobilise the broader communities who feel neglected by the State. It is the very same poverty and neglect by the State that throws us together in our settlements and from that togetherness we become strong. Our masses, our unity and diversity is our strength, our pain, our voice. We have become the strong poor. The politics if the strong poor is an anti party politics. Our politics is not to put someone in an office. Our politics is to put our people above that office. And when we have finished with one office we move on to the next office. Our politics is also not a politics of a few people who have learnt some fancy political words and who expect everyone to follow them because they know these words. Our politics is a traditional home politics which is understood very well by all the old mamas and gogos because it affects their lives and gives them a home. In this home everybody is important, everybody can speak and we look after each other and think about situation and plan our fight together. We believe that housing policy does not only require housing specialists, rich consultants and government. We believe that housing policy requires, most importantly, the people who need the houses. But we also know, as poor communities and as Shack dwellers that the broader poor have no choice but to play a role in shaping and re-shaping this country in to an anti-capitalist system. This is the task that the betrayal of our struggle and the struggles of our ancestors has given to us. We are on our own. We have to fight this fight. Although we will fight for land and housing in the city we know that this is not only a fight for land and housing in the city. Giving reasonable budgets to democratic development in district municipalities and advancing rural areas will mean that people will no longer have no choice but to leave their homes and build shacks everywhere. If the shackdwellers do not belong to this country then they must be sent back to where they belong.
If they do belong here, then they are entitled to all the benefits of the soil of South Africa.
DEVELOPING AN ALTERNATIVE
The alternative, the direction of our struggle, will come out of the thinking that we do in our communities. We are doing this thinking all the time in our communities. Tonight we can use this opportunity to do it here. Let us start with some questions. I will ask these questions now and then we can turn this lecture into a meeting. The world is full of lectures.
Lectures usually come to us as one more way of making us sit quietly while rich people think for us. In our struggle we need meetings where everyone can speak and think together.
Have the poor Durban shackdwellers succeeded in their struggle for land and housing in the city? What has been won? What must still be won? What have we learned from our struggle?
Have the Western Cape QQ Section and Anti-Eviction Campaign succeeded in their struggle for housing? What can be learnt from their struggle?
Have the South Durban Communities succeeded in their fight against the threats from the Engin refinery and the generally poisonous environment? What can be learnt from this struggle?
Have the flat residents such as Bayview, Albert Park, Sydenham Heights, New Lands and Phoenix been attended to? What must still be done? What can we learn from this struggle?
Have Bachu, Baig, Xulu, Shezi and Dimba been removed from the offices of the community? Why are these people imposed on
us? What should we do about it?
Have the deaths of Monica Ngcobo , Tebogo Mkhonza, Komi Zulu and Mhlengi Khumalo brought about any changes in our communities? What have we learnt from these deaths? Why are our people being killed by the police, by fire, by councillors?
Why does no one high up seem to care?
What stops the poor from becoming the political majority of this country in which they are the majority of citizens? What stops us from deciding the policies that affect our lives? What stops from being in control of our future?
What strategy will force the blind government to see and get the deaf government to hear? What strategy will force those who are rich to share, those who do not give account to account?
How can we unite our struggling communities and movements to make them stronger?
I am optimistic that the “will” of the poor will soon be done simple because the poor are the majority of this country and the majority is beginning to speak for itself. We have the courage to do what must be done. But this optimism can only be kept for as long as democracy prevails so democracy must be protected and deepened. This is why we took Sutcliffe to court when he tried to ban us from marching. Comrades, let us now think about these questions together
AMAVAN, IMOTO, AMATAXI NABASHAYELI BEMIZABALAZO
Ipeji lokuqala kwiphephandaba leSunday Times, lomhlaka 9, July 2006, lirecoda ukuthi “iBlack economic empowerment yenze izicebi ezingu 5 880 zase Ningizimu Afrika kulonyaka ophelile. Lesi sibalo singaphindwa kathathu masilinganiswa nokuthuthuka komhlaba wonke. Manje sesisesigabeni sesine esakha izicebi, emuva kwe South Korea, India neRussia.
Cishe onke amagama aphathiwe: Smuts Ngonyama, Mohammed Valli Moosa, Popo Molefe, Cheryl Carolus, Manne Dipico no Patrice
Motsepe bahlangene ngepolitiki kulenkangaso ephethe. Indlela abakha ngayo imali iletha ukumangala okukhulu.
“I thayikhuni yezimayini engu Mzi Khumalo ingenye yezi ezi sizakele kuqala. Kuthiwa wenze imali enga nge R1 billion edilini eyodwa ekuqaleni kwa 2002. U Motsepe, wayeyi khontracta yezimayini, sowenze okucishe kufane noMzi, emunyakeni olishumi okucishe kufane nje ngomphathi we Pick ‘n Pay Group uRaymond Ackerman, lokhu ukwenze ngeminyaka elishumi nane.”
Imizwa iyakhombakalisa kulezinshintsho. Lona oletha amaPorsche eningizimu Afrika kuze awadayise, watshela iphephandaba i Sunday Times ukuthi uzozama ukukhuphukisa isibalo sokuletha ama Porsche kusukela ku 250 kuya ku 400, ngokuthi adingwa kakhulu ngabantu abamnyama bamabhizinisi. iAston Martin lethengisa imoto, seyithengize 40 kusukela ekuqaleni kwalonyaka. Lezimoto zibiza kusukela ku R1.5 kuya ku R3.5 million. Kubathengi abangamashumi amane, abangamashumi amabili bamnyama.
Izwe lezicebi libonakalisa njenge nqubeko yabantu abasebenzisa imali njengendlela yokuqeda kungezwani kwabantu, bese bakhombisa ukuthi bangenzani ngalezimoto eziphuma kulamanye amazwe abazithengayo.
Kepha ke, akusiko ukushayela noma lezimoto zalabacebi bamabhizinisi lengifise kubhekana ngakho kuleliphepha.
Kuleliviki elilandelayo kwiphephandaba leSunday Times, belibhekene nokuhlupheka, kodwa kupeji 5. Abangu 11 million kulabahluphekile baphila ngama social grants. Indlela yekuhlupheka kulabahlala emafami nemijondolo yasemadolobheni ingizwisa ubuhlungu. Kodwa lendaba kuleliphephandaba beyizwelana naba hluphekile, kepha laba labahluphekile bebasolo benziwa abantu abaphila izimphilo ezingenalo ithemba. Akukho okushiwo njengeku hlangana kwalabo labahluphekile, izicelo abazenzayo nokuthi bahlangane kanjani ukulwa nohulumeni obabukela phansi nalobenzela phansi. Akukho okwashiwo ngalemizabalazo levumbhukile noma
ngenombolo yemizabalazo ebe khona kwileminyaka endlule, eyodwa yesicebi semamiliyoni. Akukho akwafunwa ngendlela yekuhamba lesebenziswa ngulabazabalazayo.
Mhlambe kwabayinto enhle, ngoba ngiyesaba ukuthi bekuzovelani kube lombhali maphepha wabhekisisa ukuthi obani ababeshayela lemizabalazo, kuma van, imoto nakumataxi, lokhu ngizobuye ngikhulume ngakho.
Ukwakha imphilo engenayo i Capitalism, izivumelwano lohulumeni lanazo ukuthi amabhizinisi azokwakha imisebenzi aphinde futhi alethe intuthuko. Laba labahluphekile batshelwa ukuthi kufanele bahlupheke kwezikhashana khona bazothola ukuthuthuka kwesikhathi leside. Kepha imicabango yokuletha izizwe kulabour-market seyihlulekile kuyo yonke iniNgizimu. Okwenzekile ukuthi abobhizinisi abancane bathathe yonke imali, lohulumendi omusha unikeza ama social grants njengendlela yokuthi kungabi khona imizabalazo.
Lokhu kungiletha kulenkulumo yemizabalazo. Iningi yalemizabalazo ihlanganiswa abantu abaningi bemiphakathi. Bazezindaweni ezihlukene, banezizathu eziningi, solokhu babukelwa phansi. Labantu abazabalazayo baphuma kwimiphakathi ehluphekile.
Labanyenzi kulabo labazabalazayo bayaziwa hhayi ngoba banodlame kodwa kungukuthi badonsa abantu abaningi abaphuma ezindaweni
ezingakahlupheki kangako, kepha ezinezifiso lezifana nezabo. Ngalamanye amagama badonsa ‘abantu bemizabalazo abaphuma
ekuzabalazeni nohulumeni waphambilini, bafika bathola ubunzima emiphakathini. Laba bantu bemizabalazo baletha izinto ezinyenzi, njengemali engasiza ekuthuthukiseni kwemizabalazo lulelizwe. Izincwadi zamanyuvesi, amaphephandaba abhaliwe, amacala ezinkantolo, izimali zamabhasi, imihlangano, nezikibha ezenziwako.
Kepha okubi ukuthi lababantu bemizabalazo beza nezifo zemizabalazo ezithathelanako. Ngalesinye isikhathi baye baphume bafune abantu abangajoyina amaphathi abo. Ngalesinye isikhathi basebenza njengebasebenzi bamaNGOs labadinga ukuthola izizathu zekubakhona, bese bazifaka kwimizabalazo lezofakwa kuma proposals.
Kunzima ukucabanga abazabalazile labakwazile ukuphila izinyanga ezingu 6 lapha eniNgizimu Afrika, lakwazile ukuthola lusizo elihlangahlangeni, elinalabantu abahlukene engiceda ukubabala. Kuyamangalisa, ke, ukuthi sekufundwe kakhulu ngema social movements, kepha labantu bangephandle abadlala imisebenzi omkhulu bakwazile ukubalekela uqinongo olubalulekile. Asesicale ngoku bheka ukuthi yini bathiwa bangephandle, kokucala nje.
Abantu abangenele imizabalazo zingathi behlukile kunalabo bebalwa nohulumeni waphambilini ngoba bahlangene ngezinkinga zekuswela. Labo bebazabalazela uhulumeni waphambilini bebahlangene ngezizathu zekuqindezeleka neku gcilazeka. Abantu abazabalazayo bahlangene ngezicelo abanazo kanye nezifiso zekuthi baphumelele ukuzifeza. Ukuhlangana okuneqiniso, ukukhululeka wethu sonke kumizabalazo, ngeziqiniseko lapha eThekwini, njengokwazi kwami, kuhlangana ekufezeni lezo zicelo, nekwakha izihlangano nabaholi makufanele. Kukubeka ngalamanye amagama, izizathu zethu emizabalazweni kungukuthi zithola ukufezeka kwalezikufunako noma ziphikisa ipolicy. Kuloku i komradi i komradi ngoba ngumuntu esihlala naye, futhi inezifiso zethu, kanye ujoyine inhlangano yethu. Abantu abangahlukumezeki ngokubabeze kwe manzi noma ukususwa kwezindawo zabo zekuhlala bangebantu bangaphandle, singathi bangemakomradi lamileyo.
Isiphetho salendlela abazabalaza ngayo, ababhekwa ngayo, sizengakatholakali izindlela lengenza labo labazabalazayo ukuthi bakhulume nalabo labangaphakathi. Kodwa ikhona indlela ezinayo esiza ukuthi sikhulume. Abantu bangephandle banozwelo, banezimali kanye futhi banokusizana. Labo abaphakathi banokuhlakanipha kanye nemandla. Abaholi bakuleminye imiphakathi banenhlonipho, nomusa kanye nokuphuthuma kuletha itaxi noma mabili ekusizeni.
Ngadabuka ukufunda inkulumo leyenziwa ngulomunye ofundile owathi abafundile bavumelekile ukujoyina imizabalazo yalabahluphekile ngoba bahlele be toyi-toyi, laba abafundile badingekile ngoba “bacabanga kahle”. Ngizoke le “zinhlangano” zabantu bangaphandle laba abahlala emizabalazweni yebantu njenga bantu abafundile ukuze bathole ukuthi imibono yemizabalazo iyini. Abazabalazayo bayafundwa ukuze lokhu abafundile labakucabangayo ngalabazabalazayo kuphumele ebaleni. Kule conference lena, kube namaphepha lathuliwe lapho khona kuthiwe amanye ema komradi akhombisa lokhu noma lokhu kupolitiki entsha. Ngicela nikwazi ukuthi loku kukhomba ukuthi benza ngathi bahlangene naye loyomfundi wase wathathwa kabi kanye futhi wabathemba
ukuthi ukhuluma nabantu lakabathatha njengema komradi.
Isikhathi sekuthi ngibuze sesifikile. Njengoba thina esingaphandle kwalabo abafundile sifuna ukwazi ngabanzi ngeze politiki yabantu abahluphekile, babobani labo abafuna ukwazi ngathi, ngulababemariseshi? Kepha kufanele ukuthi siqhubeke ngokuthi imicabango yethu ngomphakathi yande, kepha kwenziwa yini ukuthi sihlukanise lemicabango yethu nakulabo
abasiqhuqhuzelako kanye lesibhala ngabo. Lokhu kubhekekile kulabo abathi bona bangabafundi kuphele, hhayi okunye. Abanga yifihli imibuzo yabo labafuna ukuyibuza.
Inkinga ekhona ngalokufunda nokwaziza ngemizabalazo kungukuthi kwenziwa kube yinto enkhulu kakhulu, lesinye isikhathi kuyakhiwa. Sonke ziyakhulisa izinombolo ukuthi sazise abamaphephandaba ukuthi inombolo zebantu abakumashi bangakhi. Inkinga yalokhu ingozi yokuthi, ungakufananisa nedonga lapho khona bantu nezihlangano bawele khona ngoba behluleka ukuveza izithembizo enzenzelwa ezikhundleni zabo. Lokhu kuhambisana nalomucabango wokuthi abantu abahluphekile bazithombe zeqiniso, uma bahlangana ngekukhululeka, kumasha kwabo kuzoqhubekisa inkululeko.
Okwa manje into yokuqala efanele siyazi ukuthi yonke imizabalazo ekhona kulesikhathi, samanje kufanele yaziwe ngendlela efanele. Angeke kubekhona inkulumo yokuthengisana noma kuza umongameli wohulumeni, eletha icheque-book esandleni, noma enza iminikezo eyanele yokuthutha abantu abahlala emijondolo kuze baye eVerulam. Kepha kufanele ukuthi siqonde ukuthi izicelo zemizabalazo kufanele zifakwe phakathi kwazonke izinfaniso zekuqindezelaka nokuhlukumeza komsebenzi owaziwayo kumuzi weRDP onezizaga eziphansi zogesi namanzi. Singaba nezizathu sokutshela abanye okunye, kepha akufanele ukuthi siyengane. Okwesibili
kukhona isazizo ezithi akukho ukunyakaza, ayikho imicabango engaphuma, futhi engathathwa nengenziwa ukuthanda kwabanye
abantu. Sibonile ukuthi ukucabanga kwabantu abamnyama kutshengiswa imphumelelo yokulwa nokulingana kwabantu ezweni lethu.
Sinabo abantu phakathi kwethu abafuna amandla abo kuphela nezidingo zabo kuphela.
Lokhu okunye kungiletha ukuthi ngikhulume ngalabantu abasiza imizabalazo yasemphakathini. Kunemibhalo emincane ngendlela yemizabalazo yokuthembela kuma NGOs, nabaseshi, nalabasizanayo be middle-class, nebameli. Ngifisa ukwenza lesaziso ezilandelayo ngendlela eyamlekile. Angiqondile ukulwisa umuntu. Isikhathi sifikile ukuthi ngicwayise ngabafundile abathanda kujoyina kulomzabalazo, kodwa besebenza okunye okungaqondene nabanye abafundile kulomzabalazo. Ngokwazi kwami ngalokhu, labantu abafundile bakhuluma kakhulu ngenkululeko. Kodwa abanankinga ekubhaleni ngomzabalazo nabaphathi bawo. Kusuke kuhlukile uma izinto zenkululeko zingahambi ngendlela efanele. Mabebuza izinga ekuyo lenhlangano, kufana nokuhlasela lenhlangano. Lenkinga lana, Komrades ibalulekile.
Ngelinye ilanga ngagibelisa abantu abalwela umzabalazo, ngababuza ukuthi bacabanga njani ngendlela iSACP ibheka ngayo iANC. Bebangazi lutho, futhi lokhu kujwayelekile. Ngababuza ukuthi bake bathola izazizo ezibhaliwe ezifana njenge za Steve Biko
‘Ngibhala Ongikuthandayo.’ Babekangaze bayibone. Ngamangala. Lokhu kwangitjela ukuthi, abantu abahluphekayo abanakwa.
Labafundile bazitjela ukuthi abahluphekile bazofunda lokho okuthi ‘Bafunda engikuthandayo.’
Ukuzwela kungaba yingozi, ngoba umuntu oyedwa akayedwa ekunzimeni. Into yokugcina engizoyibheka namhlanje, ingendlela abantu abafundile abasebenza ngayo. Lokhu kukhombisa ukuvelela ngokwenza abantu abaphathayo. Lokhu kwenza abantu bathembele.
Lokuzwana kusiza abaphathi ngoba ibona abathola izinto eziningi.
Lokucabanga kwalabafundile abaphuma kwiacademi, bayabancoma kulezinye izindawo (esikhathini esiningi yibona). Loku kudinga ukubhekwa okukhulu. Ngicabanga ukuthi lokhu kufanele kuthethwe phakathi kwama rank enu. Ngiyacabanga ukuthi thina sonke abafundileyo sibe nendlela efanele yenkulumo. Nivumelekile ukuthi ningene kulenkulumo. Ningeza izozifunda thina. Ningeza nizobona indlela ezisebenza ngayo.
Kwekugcina, singabavimba kanjani abashayeli bamavan abangaziwa, ekushayeleni amavan ethu. Singenza njani ukutshintsha imizabalazo yethu kuze ingabi njengamaTaxi lapho khona noma ngabe ubani ongangena noma enepolitiki enjani ezomenza aye kumashi elandelayo. Ngamanye amazwi singayithola kanjani imoto ezovumela isimo sethu, indlela eqondile nefanele.
Sidinga ukuthi siqonde ukuthi kwenziwa yini ukuthi, noma ngabe siyathanda noma asithandi singumphakathi. Sidinga ukuthi zithole indlela yokuqhumana nani ngalesikholelwa kukho ngaphakathi ezinhliziweni zethu. Isizathu sokuthi sisondelane nemiphakithi, akukhona ukuthi siyanidabukela noma sichamuka endaweni eyodwa. Kepha kungukuthi sifisa ukuthi niphumelele ezicelweni zenu, njengenqenye yokulwa nenkululeko.
Laba abaphatheke kabi nalaba abalimazekile ngaleliphepha, ngiyaxolisa. Kufanele ukuthi ngiqine ngemavi a Frantz Fanon lathi “ isiko lifuna ukuthi izinxabano zethu zixhazululwe eningini. Esimweni lesi esinokuhleka phakathi singcono ngoba zikhululekile futhi ekugcineni zifuna izinto ezifanayo.”
A Review of Peter McLaren's Wolpe Lecture: Freire's Critical Pedagogy and Contemporary Liberation Struggles
Ntokozo Mthembu 26 May 2006
For most activists and educators who are familiar with critical literature, the term ‘pedagogy’ is immediately associated with the well known Paulo Freire, author of Pedagogy of the Oppressed. The relevance of this greatest of teachers to our time was brought out by the traveler, scholar, writer and thinker from the University of California – Los Angeles, Prof. Peter McLaren. He has written several books and also contributed articles in various journals and books; some of his works include Pedagogy (Hampton Press, 2005), Marxism Against Postmodernism in Educational Theory (with Dave Hill, Mike Cole, and Glenn Rikowski), Che Guevara, Paulo Freire, and the Pedagogy of Revolution (Rowman and Littlefield, 2000), Revolutionary Multiculturalism: Pedagogies of Dissent for the New Millennium, (Westview Press, 1997); Counternarratives, (with Henry Giroux, Colin Lankshear and Mike Peters, Routledge, 1997), and Critical Pedagogy and Predatory Culture, (Routledge, 1995). He also authored Life in Schools: An Introduction to Critical Pedagogy in the Foundations of Education (Allyn & Bacon), which is now in its fourth edition (2002).
Prof. McLaren revisited the theory of critical pedagogy during a Harold Wolpe Memorial Lecture organised by the Centre for Civil Society at UKZN on 25 May 2006. He began with a brief historical background of Freire. Freire was engaged in imparting literacy skills to peasants and workers, which came to be known as the Freirean approach. McLaren further noted the link between Freire and Wolpe, the South African activist and educationist to whom he dedicated his lectured.
In addition, he noted that these two thinkers happen to “share” some commonalities in their lifetime in their different “worlds”. They were both imprisoned and went to exile in opposition, fighting against what was happening against humanity in their own countries. He added that these teachers – Freire and Wolpe -- returned from exile in 1980 and 1991 respectively and established institutions of learning.
McLaren mentioned that he did not intend to compare these teachers but to talk about the critical educational pedagogy work done by these teachers. He said that critical pedagogy sets a terrain of unity, dialogue, learning and love. He went on to say love does not attach itself but it heals, nourishes and unifies. McLaren highlighted that the teachings of Freire state that you must avoid being theoretical because what is present is only practicality.
McLaren argued that a situation wherein people start to be more theoretical is seen in a country like the US. He said such a situation is evidenced by the fact that the Right Wing fanatics propose to pass the so-called Academic Bill of Rights. He said this Bill is threatening critical pedagogy but also threatens the whole world of knowledge and education systems. The Bill also aims to police and track each and every move of each student or teacher and track phone calls and the types of books that are read. In short, this means a war has been declared against the environment that will enable students and teachers to engage in the meaningful critique in the process of learning.
McLaren also argued that education is far from neutral, as the teacher selects what to impart or not to the students based on his or her political preference. He further noted that teachers need to move from a point where they challenge students’ common sense because this is where knowledge starts from and begins to grow. This makes him ask questions such as “What is permissible and impermissible?” This also reminds him of a student he met in Puerto Rico in the 1980s. He said the student approached his teacher citing that “Black people hate us”. He said he loved the manner in which the teacher of that particular student handled and dealt with the student’s views, as he guided and nurtured the student to learn within the relevant context. McLaren noted that we need not to forget that we are in the struggle for economic justice and that freedom is about to having options to choose from.
He further highlighted that recently he was in Venezuela, where he met President Chavez and discussed the issue of deepening the teachings of critical pedagogy. McLaren highlighted that critical pedagogy teaches us to challenge the notions of liberalism and create possibilities of creating alternative economic systems from capitalism. He further highlighted that it also emphasises the development of local self reliance initiatives in dealing with livelihoods of a particular community. In addition, revolutionary pedagogy is a tool to organise and also a knowledge that unites the multitudes of people to a common objective. He noted that alternative economic systems from capitalism will not be seen under the conditions where workers are forced to sell their labour power. He argued that it can only be possible in a state where workers are in charge of the means of production, not selling their labour power, and that means workers need to overthrow capitalism and pave a way for a new economic system. He also noted that critical pedagogy attempts to simplify the ideas and the language to the level of the community. He highlighted his visit to Chiquaqua, Venezuela, where he was approached by a pupil from the elementary school who told him that s/he likes his book on pedagogy and read it with his/her father. He also noted that the teachings of Freire tell us that when you write you must be simple. He argues that if your writings were favoured or interesting to the reader, then the reader will revisit them to further extend his/her knowledge.
McLaren also shared some of his experiences with Freire about the manner of educating students. He said Freire approached him and asked how he conducted his classes with students, whether he shares or converses with students. Then, Freire told him that he must never live his ideas but must extend the context of debates, language, critiques, and discipline in which his ideas take place. Critical pedagogy teaches us that teaching should be within a social contextual framework. He cited that in the US social movements have adopted critical pedagogy and it has been domesticated there. Freire argued that there are no rules for creating a critical language, understanding that it is about finding a deeper understandingabout a particular situation and seeking alternative solutions. McLaren highlighted that there is a need for the social movements to link at a transnational level. He said ordinary people need to assess the writings of Freire as they are engaged in wars for social justice.
Therefore, McLaren argues that the pedagogy of the oppressed makes people understand how to resolve their problems and also creates space for sharing knowledge. He further argues that each individual can select his or her language in dealing with or using critical pedagogy in addressing social problems faced by that particular society. He also notes that what has been proposed in Venezuela by Chavez to deepen critical pedagogy is just another format where the majority population participate and is also an experiment that can succeed or fail. In closing, McLaren highlighted that, presently, the left movements have failed to come up with the alternative solutions to the current problems posed by capitalism faced by the communities today.
In addressing questions that were raised by the participants, he highlighted that the Wolpe Lecture can be also regarded as another language that is being applied, as the academic institution context we are in dictates the language to be
Peter McLaren is currently Professor of Education, Graduate
Education and Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles.
Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 1948, and raised in both Toronto
and Winnipeg, Manitoba, he earned a Bachelor of Arts in English
Literature at Waterloo University in 1973 (he specialized in Elizabethan
drama), attended Toronto Teachers College and went on to earn a Bachelor
of Education at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Education, a
Masters of Education at Brock University’s College of Education, and a
Ph.D. at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of
Professor McLaren is the author, co-author, editor and co-editor of
approximately forty books and monographs. Several hundred of his
articles, chapters, interviews, reviews, commentaries and columns have
appeared in dozens of scholarly journals and professional magazines
since the publication of his first book, Cries from the Corridor, in
Professor McLaren’s most recent books include Capitalists and Conquerors
(Rowman and Littlefield, 2005), Teaching Against Global Capitalism and
the New Imperialism (with Ramin Farahmandpur, Rowman and Littlefield,
2005), Red Seminars: Radical Excursions into Educational Theory,
Cultural Politics, and Pedagogy (Hampton Press, 2005), Marxism Against
Postmodernism in Educational Theory (with Dave Hill, Mike Cole, and
Glenn Rikowski, Lexington Books), Che Guevara, Paulo Freire, and the
Pedagogy of Revolution (Rowman and Littlefield, 2000), Revolutionary
Multiculturalism: Pedagogies of Dissent for the New Millenium, Westview
Press, 1997; Counternarratives,(with Henry Giroux, Colin Lankshear and
Mike Peters, Routledge, 1997), and Critical Pedagogy and Predatory
Culture, Routledge, 1995. He is also author of Life in Schools: An
Introduction to Critical Pedagogy in the Foundations of Education (Allyn
& Bacon) which is now going into its fifth edition (2006).
Professor McLaren has presented distinguished lectures at a number of
North American, European and Latin American universities and continues
to speak and write from a transdisciplinary perspective in four areas
for which he has become well-known internationally: critical pedagogy,
multicultural education, critical ethnography, and critical theory. He
lectures regularly throughout Latin America and Europe. His works have
been translated into seventeen languages.
McLaren's book, Life in Schools: An Introduction to Critical Pedagogy
in the Foundations of Education (Allyn & Bacon), has been named one of
the 12 most significant writings by foreign authors in the field of
educational theory, policy and practice by the Moscow School of Social
and Economic Sciences; the list includes Pedagogy of the Oppressed by
Paulo Freire and Deschooling Society by Ivan Illich. See:
Professor McLaren is the inaugural recipient of the Paulo Freire Social
Justice Award presented by Chapman University, California, April 2002.
He also received the Amigo Honorifica de la Comunidad Universitaria de
esta Institucion by La Universidad Pedagogica Nacional, Unidad 141,
Guadalajara, Mexico. He was a recipient of a “Lilly Scholarship” at
Miami University of Ohio, guest-lectured at the University of British
Columbia, Canada, as a “Noted Scholar”, presented the Eminent Scholar
Lecture at The Ohio State University, and delivered the Claude A..
Eggerston Lecture at the Annual Meeting of the Comparative and
International Education Society. Four of his books were winners of the
American Education Studies Association Critics Choice Awards for
outstanding books in education. Recently, he was awarded an honorary
doctorate by the University of Lapland, Finland.
In 2005, a group of Mexican scholars and activists estabished La
Fundacion McLaren to promote the development of critical pedagogy in
See: http://lefthook.org/Ground/Pozo082004.html .
A Review of Peter McLaren's Wolpe Lecture 25 May 2006: Freire's Critical Pedagogy and Contemporary Liberation Struggles
By Ntokozo Mthembu
Kumashoshozela amaningi kanye nakubafundisi uma kukhulunywa ngezimfundiso ezifundisa ngokubheka ngeso elibukhali, basheshe bakhubule izimfundiso ezimayelana nombhali owaziwayo u Paolo Freire, umbhali wencwadi i-Pedagogy of the Oppressed.
Ukubaluleka kwalothisha onohlonze kangaka kulesiskhathi esikuso kulethwa umhambi, umfundi, umbhali nosolwazi ophuma eNyuvesi
yase California e Los Angels, u Prof. Peter McLaren. Usebhale izincwadi eziningana futhi nalapho ebhale iziqephu emabhukwini amaningi; eminye yemisebenzi yakhe ifaka i- Pedagogy (Hampton Press, 2005), Marxism Against Postmodernism in Educational
Theory (kanye no-Dave Hill, Mike Cole, beno-Glenn Rikowski), Che Guevara, Paulo Freire, and the Pedagogy of Revolution (Rowman beno-Littlefield, 2000), Revolutionary Multiculturalism: Pedagogies of Dissent for the New Millennium, (Westview Press, 1997); Counternarratives, (beno Henry Giroux, Colin Lankshear and Mike Peters, Routledge, 1997), kanye nethi Critical Pedagogy and Predatory Culture, (Routledge, 1995). Futhi wabhala i- Life in Schools: An Introduction to Critical Pedagogy in the Foundations of Education (Allyn & Bacon), okumanje isesigabeni sesine sokuhlewa (2002).
U-Prof. McLaren uvakashele imicabango yenjulolwazi ngenkathi ekhuluma kwi Harold Wolpe Memorial Lecture ebihlelwe i- Centre for Civil Society at UKZN ngomhlaka 25 May 2006 lapho aqale ngomlando omfushane ngo Freire. Lapho ethi Freire wayematasatasa nokufundisa ukubhala kubasebenzi abalimayo kanye nabasebenzi basezimbonini, okuyilapho lapho olufike lwaziwa ngokuthi uthi uhlelo lokufundisa luka Freire. McLaren uyaqhubeka uxhumanisa u-Freire kanye noWolpe, okwakuyisishoshovu sezemfundo okunguye okhunjulwa galezizihlelo zokufundisa.
Ukwengeza, uthe lezizinjulalwazi ezimbili kwenzekile ukuthi zibe nezinto “ezifanayo” ezimpilweni zazo ezindaweni “ezahlukene”. Bobabili labosolwazi baboshwa futhi baya nesekundingisweni bengahambisani nokuhlukumyezwa kwamalungelo abantu emazweni abo. Uphi wangeza wathi labothisha - Freire and Wolpe- babuya ekudingisweni ngo 1980 nango 1991 ngokulandelana kwabo bafike basungula izikhungo zokufundela.
McLaren uthe akaqondile ukufanisa labothisha kodwa ukhuluma ngezimfundiso sokubuka ngeso elibanzi okungumsebenzi owenziwe ilabothisha. Uthi izimfundiso zokubuka kabanzi zibeka indlela yobumbano, ukuxoxisana, ukufundisana kanye notando. Uqhubekile wathi uthando aluzincikisi kodwa luyelapha, lukhulise futhi luhlanganise. McLaren uveze ukuthi izimfundiso zika Freire zithi nqaba ukugcina ngokucabanga kuphela ngoba njengamanje into ekhona okubambekayo.
McLaren uxoxa uthi isimo esinjengaleso sibonakala uma abantu sebeqala ukugcina ngokucabanga kuphela kubokala ezweni njenge- US. Uthi lesisimo sibonakala ngoba ontamo-lukhuni baphakamisa ukuthi kuchibiyelwe umthetho okuthiwa i- Academic Bill of Rights. Uthi lomthetho ohlongozwayo usongela imfundiso yokubheka kabanzi futhi isongele lonke ulwazi kanye nemfundo yonkana.
Uthi lomthetho futhi uhlose ukuqapha futhi ulandele yonke iminyakazo yabafundi noma othisha futhi ilandele nezingcingo kanye nohlobo lwezincwadi ezifundwayo. Ngamafushane, lokhu kusho ukuthi impi isiphakiwe eqondene nesimo sokufunda esizovumela abafundi nothisha ukuthi bakwazi ukuzfundisana ngendlela ephusile yokubheka ngeso elibanzi.
McLaren uthi futhi imfundo ikude kabi nokungachemi, ngoba othisha bakhetha into abazoyifundisa hayi ukuthi umfundi ozikhethelayo akafuna ukufunda. Uqhubekile wathi othisha kufanele basuke emqondweni wokufaka insele kubafundi ngolwazi olungahluziwe ngoba ilapho ulwazi luqala khona lukhule. Lokhu kumenza abuzw imibuzo enje ngokuthi “Ini evumelekile futhi ini engavumelekanga?” Futhi lokhu kumkhumbuza umfundi owahlangana naye e- Puerto Rico ngo-1980s. Uthi umfundi wamthshela uthi “
Abantu Abanmnyama bayasizonda”. Uthi wayithanda indlela uthisha owayidingida ngayo loludaba okungumbono womfundi, njengoba wasekela futhi wamkhulisa ngendlela yokufunda ehambisana nesimo. McLaren uthe kudingeka singakhohlwa ukuthi isemzabalazweni wokulwisana nokwabiwa knomnotho ngokungalingani futhi inkululeko imayelana nezindlela okhetha kuzo.
Uqhubeke wakhanyisa ukuthi maduzane ubese Venezuela, lapho ahlangane no Mongameli Chavez lapho abadingide ngokusabalaliswa kwezimfundiso zokubhekla kabanzi. McLaren uphinde wathi izimfundiso zokubheka ngeso elibukhali zisifundisa ukufaka inselelo izimfundiso zokudla ngayedwana futhi nokwakha amathuba olunye uhlelo lokuhwebelana kunobungxiwankulu. Uphinde washo futhi ukuthi iyagcizelela ukuthuthukwiswa kwamathuba okuzimela kwizinto eziphathelene nokuphila komphakathi mumbe. Ukwengeza, izimfundiso zoshintsho oluphelele kuyisikhali sokuhlanganisa futhi kuwulwazi olubumba izinkulungwane zabantu ukuthi ziphokophele ndawonye. Uphinde wachaza olunye uhlobo lohwebo kunobunngxiwankulu ngeke lubonakale kwisimo laho abasebenzi besaphoqelekile ukudayisa amandla. Uqhubekile wathi lokho kungenzeka lapho abasebenzi bebusa izindlela zokwakha umnotho, hayi bedayisa amandla abo, futhi lokhu kusho ukuthi abasebenzi kudingeka bawuketule umbuso wobungxiwankulu kuze bavule indlela yohwebo olusha. Uqhubile wathi izimfundiso zokubheka kabanzi Bizama ukucacisa imibono futhi nolimi ezigabeni zomphakathi.
Uchaze ngokuvakasha kwakhe e Chiquaqua, Venezuela lapho wahlangana khona nomfundi webanga eliphansi wamtshela uyayithanda incwadi yakhe ngezimfundiso sokubheka kabanzi futhi uyifunda noyise. Uphinde wachaza ukuthi izimfundiso zika Freire zisitshela ukuthi uba ubhala kufanele kucace. Uthi uma imibhalo yakho ithandwa noma abafundi beyithanda, lokho kusho ukuthi umfundi uzophinda ayifunde incwadi yakho andise ulwazi.
McLaren uphinde wasabela ulwazi lwakhe no Freire mayelana nendlela yokufundisa abafundi. Uthi uFreire waxhumana naye wambuza ukuthi uzifundisa kanjani izingane, noma uyabelana noma axoxisane nabafundi. Uthi ke Freire wamtshela ukuthi angalinge ashiye imacabango yakhe kodwa kumele andile indlela yokuxoxisana, ulimi, ukubheka ngeso elibukhali, futhi nangendlela ulwazi luqhubeka khona. Izimfundiso ngeso elibukhali zisifundisa ukuthi ukufundisa kufanele kuqhubeke esimweni lapho sihambisana khona. Uthi e-US izinhlangano zomphakathi sezithathe indlela yokubheka ngeso elibanzi futhi luyakhiswa khona. Freire uxoxa uthi awukho umthetho yokwakha ulimi olukhuluma kabanzi, nokuqonda ngokuthola ukujula kokuqonda mayelana nesimo esithile futhi ufana ezimnye izixazululo. McLaren ushilo ukuthi sikhona isidingo sokuthi izinhlangano zomphakathi zixhumane ezigabeni zomhlaba. Futhi washo wathi nomphakathi udingekile ukuthi ucwaninge imibhalo ka Freire njengoba isempini yobulingisa.
Ngakho ke, McLaren uthi izimfundiso zokubheka kabanzi kwamampofu zenza abampofu ukuthi baqonde indlela yokuxazulula izinkinga zabo futhi yakhe nendawo yokwabelana ngolwazi.Uquhubekile wathi wonke umuntu engakhetha ulimi uma edingida nge noma esebenzisa izimfundiso zokubheka kabanzi ekuxazululweni kwezinkinga kulowomphakathi.Uyasho futhi ukuthi lokhu okuphakanyisiwe e-Venezuela u-Chavez yokwandisa imfundiso zokubheka kabanzi iyenye indlela lapho iningi labantu libamba Icaza futhi kuwumzamo ongaphumelela noma ungaphumeleli. Lapho, esevala, McLaren ishilo ukuthi njengamanje, izinhlangano ezingahambisani nobungxiwa zisahlulekile ukuqhamuka nezinye Izixazululo ezinkingeni ozikhungethe ezidalwa ubungxiwankulu namhlanje. Ephendula enye yemibuzo ebibuzwa abalaleli, uthe i- Wolpe Lecture ingabukeka njengokuthi enye yolwimi olungasetshenziswa, njengoba izikhungo zokufundela zinendlela ezitshela ulimi okumelwe lusetshenziswe uma kufundiswa izimfundiso zokubheka kabanzi.
|| Tribute to Harold Wolpe plus links to selected seminar programmes