WE WERE THE ANC
Wednesday 4 October 2006 by Trevor
We must fight working class loyalty to the ANC with strong class arguments.
Many times now you can hear ordinary working class people saying: “what Mbeki is doing is not what we want. And we are the ANC. What the council is doing is not what we want – ands we are the ANC. Things which are happening are not supposed to happen. Ask us, because we are the ANC. What ANC government is doing is not what we need. Listen to us, because we are the ANC”. Inside COSATU and the SACP you will hear militants who say: “The ANC of today is not the true ANC. We are the true ANC”. They can go to a meeting of the Alliance when Mbeki is there and say: “that is not the ANC”. They can go to a meeting of the Alliance when Zuma is there and say: “That is the ANC”.
We understand these comrades when they say this. Many of them were there when by our mass action we unbanned the ANC. They were there when in our millions we decided that we needed a national mass organization which would struggle for political power. They were there in the action when we showed that the future is not just going to depend on the bosses and their apartheid government. Like millions others, they took the flag of the ANC into their hands when they did these things. They rescued the ANC from exile and gave it new life. They made it their own on the ground. They made it their own in a struggle for nationalization. They made it their own in a struggle for socialism.
But if you look at the whole history of the ANC, it was not always like that. It was the organization that sometimes supported a qualified franchise. That was saying that only a black elite should join the whites in being allowed to vote. It was the organization that pleaded with authorities. It was the organisation that supported the CPSA when told workers not to strike and go back to work because it was harming the war effort. It was the organization that was willing to stand in elections which were for much less even than the Bantustans. That history of the ANC did not go away when the masses on the ground unbanned it. By their militancy and mass action, the masses made a new history and a new ANC. But still, the old history did not go away.
Now we ask them to trust the truth of their own eyes. “What are your eyes really telling you when you look at the ANC.? When you look at the branches which are gatherings for business men and women who were not in the struggle. When you look at the councilors who are opportunists trying to get rich. When you look at the decisions which say that to be a member of the ANC you must support each and every policy. When you look at the privatisation, evictions, cut-offs, dismissals, attacks against strikers, bannings of marches, arrest of protestors? When you look at Zuma and ask yourself: has he opposed one single policy of this boss’s ANC?”
What are you really thinking when you hear the leaders of the SACP and COSATU tell you: “we oppose what the ANC is doing. But we are the true ANC so we must support it and be loyal – and resist those who want to attack the ANC?”
The time has come now when it is just not true to say: “we are the ANC. The truth is that we were the ANC. But what are we then? Who are we? We are the people who fight for our needs together. We are the people who know that we need a government to help us take that struggle forward. We are the people who know that the problem comes because the bosses own the wealth. We know that while it is in their hands there can never be a solution. That is who we are. So, workers and youth together, we have to take it into our own hands. We are the people who gave new life to the ANC for all these reasons. We are the people who struggled against every obstacle in our way to fight for these things. We are the people who will struggle against every obstacle in our way to continue to fight for these things. We are the people who were the ANC. But we are not the ANC anymore. Because we can not fight for our needs by building the bosses party which fights against us. The time has come to build the workers party so that we can fight together for ourselves and each other. We were fighters in the class war to struggle for workers needs. We were the ANC. We are still fighters in the class war to struggle for workers needs. That is why were are not the ANC
Please use these ideas to win the working class away from the ideological grip of the ANC. The ANC serves the interests of the black and white capitalist bosses. It does not serve the working class and the poor.