May, 2016

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The 2016 Local Government Elections

Executive Committee statement

The 3 August local government elections come against the background of the worst crisis the ruling capitalist class has faced since the ANC came to power. On the one hand, the crisis in capitalist rule is reflected on the political front in the intensification of the struggle for control of the ANC and a realignment of the forces making up the different ANC factions. On the other hand, the crisis is reflected in the continuing decline in support for the ANC amongst the population in general. The openly corrupt presidency of Zuma has made it impossible to stop or even slow down this process (see the article Zuma & the ANC Must Fall).

The looming possibility that the ANC will be unable to form majority administrations in the key metros of Nelson Mandela Bay, Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni causes fear amongst the strategists of capitalism. They are looking further down the road and see in the distance the loss of the ANC’s majority in parliament in 2019 and with it the weakening of its most important ally in the preservation of the post-apartheid capitalist order.

This crisis in the stability of capitalist rule is itself a reflection of the impasse of South African capitalism. On the economic front, growth is at its lowest since 1994. With the threat of a credit downgrade looming it is unlikely to recover for the foreseeable future. The economy, trapped in the quicksand of the world economic crisis, continues to sink and a new recession is likely. Poverty and inequality remain entrenched. Unemployment is going up not down, reaching a twelve year high of 8.9 million at the start of this year.

The crisis of capitalist rule is further reflected in the capitalist class’s lack of a convincing “Plan B” either on the economic or the political fronts. Even with the likely increase in votes for the DA and EFF on 3 August there is no credible replacement for the ANC that can both safeguard their system and simultaneously divert the anger and frustration of the masses into safe channels.

 

Coalitions

But the timing of the election cycle gives the capitalist class an opportunity to experiment at the local level with what, at this stage, looks like their only future option – the possibility of coalitions (two or more parties putting their seats together so that between them they have a majority).

Many pundits have started to warm to the idea of coalitions, pointing out that they are “normal” in the “mature democracies” of Europe. But coalitions have been forced upon the ruling class in these countries because the capitalists have been unable to create parties that can command the support of the majority of the electorate as in the past. This has particularly been the case as their traditional parties have lost mass support. Coalitions are not a sign of stability but of crisis. They have proved no more stable under the pressure of economic crises and the anger of the masses. But ultimately, the form of capitalist rule makes only secondary differences to the unfolding of the class struggle. For example, in Italy and Greece in recent years, the Eurozone economic crisis has led to one coalition government after another. An important consequence was to expose to the working class that they have no party of their own and in that sense coalitions further deepened the crisis of capitalist rule.

Publicly the ANC has stuck its head in the sand and refused to discuss coalitions, saying its only aim is winning outright majorities. But we can be certain that behind closed doors they are carefully looking at possible partners in the metros where they could fall below 50%. The Democratic Alliance has been more cautious and refused to answer whether or not they would enter coalitions, and if they did, with whom they would be willing to work. It is not the most likely scenario that the 2016 elections will result in any local ANC-DA coalitions. But in the future, if capitalism is seriously threatened by a mass movement of the working class, coalitions between these two parties on the basis of their shared support for the system are not ruled-out.

Covering all their bases, the strategists of the capitalist class are even prepared to contemplate what even a year ago would have been considered unthinkable, coalitions involving the EFF. Looking at the danger of the ANC, their main instrument of rule, being unable to continue commanding the votes of a majority by the 2019 election, or even suffering further splits, and the DA still unable to gain mass support amongst blacks, in desperation they have begun to make serious efforts to seduce the leadership of the EFF. But political courtship is one thing and marriage quite another. Any local coalitions emerging from these elections will allow the capitalist class to test out the role that the EFF leadership could play in the future to support capitalism when threatened by mass working class struggle.

 

The EFF and “coalitions of a special type”

Unfortunately, the EFF leadership is falling into the coalition trap and putting forward an unprincipled and opportunistic policy of “coalitions of a special type”. Godrich Gardee, EFF secretary-general, has said that where the EFF is in a position to be ‘king-maker’ it will assist other parties to become an “absolute governing party”. This can only mean helping either the ANC or DA in to power to pursue anti-working class policies. Gardee continues: “By giving you our votes in the council to be a government in Tshwane, the condition is that you give us the votes to be a government in Johannesburg, and vice versa”.

There is not even a hint of an understanding from the EFF leadership that a revolutionary policy toward participation in the capitalist state must be based on strict independence from the capitalist parties. Further, elected positions must be linked to, and assist the building of, a mass movement in the workplaces, communities and on the campuses. The EFF leadership’s “coalitions of a special type” demonstrates that their aim is not to replace capitalism but simply to take over its management.

We call on EFF members to oppose this opportunism. A genuine revolutionary policy would do nothing to help stabilise the rule of the capitalist parties, let alone help them into power. We can already anticipate the cry, “but that is not practical politics!” But at this stage of the class struggle, refusal to help place capitalist parties in power would not mean a simplistic ‘non-cooperation’ policy. For example, where a new law is proposed, even by a capitalist party, that would improve the lives of workers, communities and young people, the law should be supported. But support must be on a case by case basis and not linked to any kind of ‘deal’ with the capitalist parties. To do so would mean the EFF taking political responsibility for capitalism and the attacks on the working class this requires.  On this principled, and we would argue ‘practical’ basis, reforms can be fought for without the need to trade principles. But even then, the key task remains the building of a mass movement outside of the capitalist state to support not just the struggle for reforms, but the replacement of capitalism with socialism.

EFF members should send a clear message to their leaders – no coalitions with capitalist parties, of a “special type” or otherwise!  A clear statement from the EFF refusing to do anything to support the formation of ANC-led or DA-led administrations would force the ANC, DA and other capitalist parties to either work together in coalitions and expose their shared big business agenda or to form minority administrations that would be more vulnerable to the pressure of a mass movement.

That the EFF leadership would rush head-long into an opportunistic policy is not a surprise. Since their formation, the capitalist class has been working to tame the leadership, unfortunately with success. On the fundamental questions of nationalisation, land and the privileges of office the EFF leadership has retreated. The continuing fiery rhetoric of Malema against “white monopoly capital” does not disprove this. Indeed, the capitalist class will turn a blind eye, effectively encouraging them to maintain that rhetoric, as an important reformist safety valve for the anger of the masses so as to act as barrier for any genuine anti-capitalist radicalisation. Leon Trotsky, in explaining the role of the reformist social democratic parties in Europe in the 1920s pointed out that if they “simply repeated everything said by the bourgeois parties, [they] would cease to be useful to the bourgeoisie. Upon secondary, intangible, or remote questions, the social democracy not only may but must play with all the colours of the rainbow, including bright red.”

 

Eastern Cape United Front

As we have warned previously, those hoping that the metalworkers’ union NUMSA would play a role in ensuring an alternative would be in place for this election have now been disappointed. However, the NUMSA initiated United Front’s (UF) Eastern Cape structure is reportedly standing candidates, with the main focus on Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB). Those communities and workers giving support to the campaign will see it as a step towards the building of a mass working class alternative and in that spirit it must be welcomed. A local NMB opinion poll showed that the United Front could poll up to 34%, demonstrating again the enormous support that would exist for a working class alternative.

However, the decision to stand in Eastern Cape appears to have by-passed the UF’s national structures which have so far distanced themselves from the campaign, which seems set to take place in ‘splendid isolation’ from the rest of the country. More worryingly, there is a danger that the UF is being used as a vehicle, either for the political ambitions of former ANC figures that left the ANC after losing factional battles, or for factional battles inside NUMSA itself linked to their upcoming congress. It remains to be seen on what programme the Eastern Cape UF will stand. All the ANC’s factions, current and former, were pro-capitalist and anti-working class when in office. If the Eastern Cape UF is serious about presenting a genuine alternative to the ANC, it will have to break with the pro-capitalist policies of all its factions and do nothing to help continue those factional wars outside the ANC.  WASP will support a vote for the Eastern Cape UF if it is clearly based on a working class socialist programme (see our draft socialist civic programme below).

This development underlines again the missed opportunity resulting from the passing of the “NUMSA moment” (see Has the “NUMSA moment” passed?). If the UF had developed over the two and a half years since NUMSA’s Special National Congress with an understanding of its role in assisting the creation of a socialist mass workers party, as WASP argued, it could have played an important role in linking up communities in an actual united front, preparing the ground for a wider electoral challenge in these elections. However, even now, it is not too late to use these elections to breath fresh life into that process. We encourage communities and workers supporting the Eastern Cape UF campaign to work to ensure that this electoral challenge lays foundations for the unification of working class struggle and a future socialist mass workers party.

 

Build the movement

So, despite a possible new situation in some of the metros, important because of their decisive position in the life of the country and as centres of working class struggle, the vast majority of people will wake-up on 4 August with the same ANC-run or DA-run administrations that they had before. For the working class, the dominant feature of the 2016 local government elections will be the absence of a mass socialist alternative. In the 2014 national and provincial elections the largest constituency was the 14 million who did not vote. In 2016, this is again likely to be the largest constituency.

But the likely increase in votes for the EFF compared with their 2014 result, not to mention the NMB opinion poll referred to above, are a reflection of the search for an alternative amongst important sections of the masses and the youth in particular. It is also likely that the trend towards increasing numbers of independent and community candidates will continue, reflecting the desire of communities to take democratic control of their own destinies. This entire situation underlines once against the crying need for a socialist mass workers party to unite the struggles of workers, communities and youth, and organise, alongside the mobilisation of mass struggle to raise living standards, a decisive challenge to the capitalist parties at the ballot box.

Unfortunately, the Workers and Socialist Party will not be standing candidates under its own banner. Whilst we were able to stand in the 2014 national elections, straining every resource we had to do so, the demands of a local government election are – counter-intuitively – even greater. Submitting one central list of candidates in the national elections that everyone in the country can vote for is straightforward compared to the logistics involved in contesting over 250 councils and metros and finding candidates for the 10,000+ councillors positions that will be contested. We have ruled-out contesting even a handful of municipalities so that we can continue to concentrate on consolidating our position in the #OutsourcingMustFall movement and supporting the Socialist Youth Movement to consolidate their hard-won positions on the campuses following the #FeesMustFall movement of last year.

To our members, supporters and sympathisers who are understandably disappointed by this decision we appeal to you to help us build the party so that we do not find ourselves in this position again; help us found branches, recruit members, raise financial subscriptions and first and foremost organise and lead struggle.

Even though WASP will not be on the ballot paper, we are not abstaining from the political processes that will develop around the elections. The local election’s focus on communities and service delivery is an opportunity to take forward the vital work of building a country-wide socialist civic federation. We call on community organisations to register with the Independent Electoral Commission so that they can stand their own candidates as important preparatory work not only for such a federation but for a future socialist mass workers party. The election offers the opportunity to develop a programme of struggle addressing demands for service delivery and the accountability of elected representative (below is WASP’s draft socialist civic programme).

In Ekurhuleni WASP is supporting the Palmridge Community Forum. We can add others to this list on the basis of discussions, for example the Bolsheviks Party of SA and the Operation Khanyisa Movement. But we can already say that it will be impossible for WASP to produce a comprehensive central list of all the independent and community organisation candidates that we could recommend a principled vote for. Rather, our members and supporters should be guided by a candidate’s willingness to (1) commit to a programme of struggle, inside and outside of the council chamber, to meet the needs of the community, and a willingness to (2) commit to be accountable to a genuine mass and democratic community structure. Communities should consider requiring candidates standing in the election to adopt WASP’s policy of election subject to the right of recall and limiting the income of elected representative to the average of a skilled worker.

Where community organisations do not have the time to register they should organise mass meetings where the different ward candidates can listen to the demands and needs of the community. But whoever is elected, the task of building mass independent community organisations must not be postponed. Based on the development of this work a conference could be called later in the year to begin the work of uniting in one democratic federation all genuine community organisations. This will be a far more significant contribution to the struggle for service delivery and accountability in local government than everything that is likely to take place in the run-up to the 3 August ballot.

 

Draft Socialist Civic Programme

 

Organise our communities for struggle

  • Build democratic, accountable mass community organisations in every community.
  • For accountability and complete transparency in our community organisations. Leaders to be accountable and recallable. Mass community meetings to decide on all major issues.
  • Link-up all community organisations in a country-wide socialist civic beginning at local, municipal and provincial level.
  • Organise disciplined community struggles and begin to coordinate those struggles through the civic federation.
  • Build up to a community general strike and national service delivery day of action including a national march, reaching out to other sections of the working class for support – the trade unions, the youth etc.
  • Nothing for communities, without communities. Scrutinise the work of local councillors and local councils. Delegates from community structures to observe all council meetings and report back; organise lobbies and protests outside meetings where this is refused.
  • Oppose tenders, outsourcing and privatisation in public works; demand that councils open the books on all tenders to inspections by representative of community structures.
  • Organise a mass challenge to corrupt and ineffective councillors in the 2016 local elections.

Create jobs, share out the work fairly

  • Country-wide civic federation to campaign and fight for a fully-enforced national minimum wage; mass job creation programmes so that everyone who wants a job can have one; labour registers that can match job vacancies with workers; and a mass apprenticeship programme with a guaranteed jobs at the end to tackle youth unemployment. Campaign and fight for a basic income grant.
  • Community organisations to establish labour desks and build links with trade unions.
  • Community labour desks to draw up registers of the unemployed and their skills; all local businesses, including foreign businesses, must employ a quota of workers from these registers, the number depending on the circumstances of the business. These registers to be regularly inspected by representatives of the community to protect against corruption.
  • Community labour desks to organise rotas for casual workers, South African and foreign, to ensure all have a fair chance to earn a regular wage.
  • Community labour desks to campaign for compliance with anti-labour broking legislation.
  • Stop greedy bosses abusing foreign workers and undercutting wages! Trade unions to organise foreign workers. Community organisations and local businesses must agree community-wide minimum wages enforced by community organisations.

Business competition

  • Country-wide socialist civic to campaign and fight for state supported cooperatives of small farmers and small businesses; a public wholesale goods network to provide cheap bulk supplies; provision of affordable credit to existing small businesses and those wishing to open a small business; price controls and guaranteed markets.
  • Community organisations to create forums to encourage cooperation between local and foreign business networks in defence of their common interests against big business.

Housing allocation

  • Country-wide socialist civic to campaign and fight for a mass house building programme to provide everyone with a decent home with adequate and cheap electricity, water and sanitation; build tar roads to replace every gravel road.
  • Housing waiting lists to be under the democratic control of community organisations. Kick out corrupt councillors and gangster building developers!
  • Fair and objective criteria to be used to prioritise housing allocation, including current housing situation, number of dependents and length of time on waiting list. Need must determine allocation. Housing waiting lists to be regularly inspected by representatives of the community to protect against corruption.
  • Fight evictions and forced removals. Campaign for cancellation of all rent and rates arrears for working class communities.

Environment & health

  • Community organisations to campaign for full involvement in the design of houses and the planning of communities. Communities should have the final say on the implementation of all development plans.
  • Integration of community health care workers into a holistic health care system.
  • Community organisations to campaign for oversight of environmental planning to combat pollution, the dumping of toxic wastes and the health impact of industrial activity.

Electricity

  • Community struggle to fight electricity cut-offs! Campaign for cancellation of all electricity arrears for working class communities.
  • Country-wide socialist civic to campaign for massive investment in renewable energy to address the ESKOM electricity crisis.
  • No to pre-paid electricity meters. For a sliding-scale of tariffs – the more you earn the more you pay. Adequate and free basic electricity provision for unemployed and pensioners.

Education

  • Country-wide socialist civic to campaign and fight for free, high-quality and accessible public education including programmes to eradicate illiteracy and to support out of school youth and adults to access community, further and higher education
  • Community structures to re-establish parent-teacher-learner committees to place education under democratic community control; mobilise to block School Governing Bodies being used as rubber stamps for anti-working class policies.

Crime & Xenophobia

  • No to crime and drugs. Campaign and fight for high quality, free, drug rehabilitation programmes including centres staffed by competent professionals for addicts. Community organisations to exercise oversight and review drug-policing policies to combat corruption and the waste of resources. Report all drug dealers and other criminals to the police and campaign for their removal from the community.
  • Participate in the Community Policing Forums and fight for community oversight of policing to combat corruption, harassment and the waste of resources; organise community-watch programmes under the democratic control of community organisations with the mass participation of the community.
  • Organise mass community mobilisations against gangsterism and organised crime.
  • Organise to stop xenophobic violence. Organise community-watch programmes under the democratic control of community organisations with the mass participation of the community to protect foreign residents and foreign businesses against xenophobic violence.

Women and gender rights

  • Country-wide socialist civic to campaign and fight for equal pay for equal work; fight for paid parental leave for all workers (men and women); fight for free, state-funded and high-quality pre-school education for all. Link up to the trade union movement.
  • Campaign for training on gender-based violence for all law enforcement and court officials.
  • Community organisations to campaign against domestic violence and rape in communities; community-watch programmes to take up defence of women with the full participation of women; campaign for shelters and housing to give everyone the freedom to leave abusive relationships.
  • Community organisations to campaign against hate crimes against LGBTI people, including corrective rape; community-watch programmes to take up defence of LGBTI people with the full participation of LGBTI people.

Lessons of #FeesMustFall

by Trevor Shaku

This article appears in the current issue of Izwi Labasebenzi.

The FMF movement started in 2015 by successfully resisting a proposed tuition fees increment across universities in SA. However the “second” wave of struggle towards free education, is limping. This arises from various factors.

The three meetings held by FMF representatives towards the end of 2015, representing over 20 different institutions constitute some of the most progressive since the advent of this liberal capitalist democracy in 1994. But these meetings also had important weaknesses that account for the current state of the movement, the most important of which were on programme and leadership.

 

Programme

A programme is a guide to action – the strategies and tactics to achieve programmatic objectives and the foundation on which a programme of action can be developed. As such, it is always going to be a point of reference in weighing the successes and pitfalls of the #FMF movement, to engage in strategic reflection; to assess progress, learn the lessons of the preceding period, and develop projections for the future.

The purpose of such evaluations cannot simply be to share experiences e.g. anecdotes about clashes with the police.  A program can concretise these experiences and give them a meaningful form and translate them into a guide to action in the next confrontation with managements and government.

Despite the fact that the demand for free education enjoys overwhelming support, action in the second wave has focussed on registration, accommodation, racism and language. However, the battles over these questions took on the character of skirmishes between a student minority and management, rather than the mass confrontation as was the case especially during October 2015. The active support of the mass of students had cooled and become passive.

Recognising this, the government tried to turn the concession forced out of it to its advantage by trying to drive a wedge between the mass and the militant minority, to try to re-establish the authority of the discredit ANC-aligned Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA), and to restore law and order, encouraging management to use force.

In these circumstances the #FMF found itself unable to retain its unity and coherence. #FMF had no clear programme, no democratically controlled-structures, and no recognised democratically elected leadership. In fact it had been argued that the movement was at its most democratic by not having democratic structures, by not having a democratically debated ideological vision, and by not having a democratically decided programme of action. This led to confusion about the way forward.

Without a perspective based on recognition of the relationship between the struggles of students and workers against the government’s neo-liberal capitalist policies and for socialism, #FMF was deprived of the opportunity to achieve ideological clarity and flowing from that, programmatic and organisational cohesion.

Without a coherent programme which guides us into action, the #FMF has been loose, without a nationally coordinated programme. Unfortunately the few inter-provincial meetings/national meetings that have been called failed to address this central question.

For example, the handful of SYM and other comrades at the meeting of 11 December 2015, warned that the lack of a programme would create a situation where decisions will be made campus by campus. Campuses will begin and cease strikes at will based on the balance of forces on each campus. Even if they opted not to protest, this would be decided locally at each campus rather than in concert with the movement as a whole.

This approach is highly problematic. It defeats the purpose of posing a countrywide united front of students to create sufficient pressure to compel the government to concede to our demands for free education. The absence of a programme, the comrades warned, will create pockets of protests with either weak national solidarity, or none at all, from within and outside the student community which the government could easily crush. This perspective has already been confirmed by events this year beginning from January.

Whilst victories can be won with local campaigns and protests, you cannot fight structural problems in isolated pockets.

Some comrades felt that a programme would be seen as an imposition of ‘resolutions’ on different campus constituencies. Therefore they left the question to individual institutions to decide. This in reality meant we are premising the hopes and successes of the #FMF movement on spontaneous skirmishes on individual campuses rather than a coordinated cross campus uprising based on a concrete coherent programme of action.

Everything that has happened since January has borne out our warnings. The movement has not been able to achieve the heights of mass involvement of especially October 2015. Instead it has fluctuated, with pockets of protest breaking out on different campuses in an uncoordinated manner. This is not to downplay the brave role comrades play in these protests. However, with the help of the PYA, media, the police, private securities and the higher education ministry, these struggles have been successfully disaggregated and suppressed. Without a programme adopted after democratic debate across all institutions, it was not possible to unite all campus constituencies around one common goal and line of march.

The lack of programme in reality leaves #FMF without a backbone. A programme by itself does not resolve anything; it requires the establishment of structures and leadership, that as its custodians, can be held accountable for its execution.

 

Leadership

From the failure to appreciate the central importance of a programme flowed the lack understanding of the importance of leadership. Revulsion against the popular concept of “leadership” characterised by the suppression of the voice of ordinary members, the sidelining of dissent, leaders answerable only to themselves and members obliged to blindly follow the line of march dictated by the leadership, is natural and correct.

To reject the concept of leadership in totality, however, is to throw the baby out with the bathwater. It is not possible to implement a programme without structures in which individuals are allocated responsibility for its specific elements – that is a leadership.

Our leadership model must be based on the principle of elections subject to the right of recall. The resemblance between this and the traditional model would be only in form. It would differ entirely in its modus operandi. All decisions would be debated and adopted democratically by the membership collectively. The whole purpose behind the idea of leadership is to avoid a headless movement where accountability is non-existent.

Accountability ensures the execution of the programme, and, where necessary, the reworking of its tactics. Without leadership we remain uncoordinated nationally. It has meant that #FMF lacks the capacity to withstand government and management retaliation or even to mobilize legal and financial resources efficiently.

The serious weakness the lack of leadership leads to was reflected in our failure to respond to accusations of FMF being a “third force” funded by the CIA. There was no response to these malicious allegations primarily because it was everybody’s responsibility to have done so if they wished.

This approach in reality translates into it not being anyone’s responsibility to respond. These allegations which will be used as justification to down on us heavily in future, needed a firm and clear response. We are not a conspiracy group that is planning a coup de’tat; we are concerned youth who want a better life and have a right to free education.

 

The implications of these weaknesses

History does not dance to our tune; instead it is us who are subject to its tune and must dance to its rhythm. Revolutionary science expressed in Shakespearean language demonstrates this clearly by saying; “There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, leads on to (great) fortune”.

In essence this emphasizes the importance of time and action. It is important to warn that demoralization is as much a feature in the historical period as confidence and optimism is. The discontent of the students which arises from their immediate material conditions of unaffordability and inaccessibility will not always be there. The pro-capitalist government and its neoliberal economic masters will step in to reduce the magnitude of the pressure of immediate material conditions. They have already done this in the reported increase in the NSFAS budget for the year 2016. This aspect played a crucial role in demobilizing students this January and thus weakening the potential of protest.

So if we do not prepare ourselves with a leadership and a concrete program we will surely be unable to harness the revolutionary tides that are looming ahead. There is an enormous potential for protests ahead of us which will be provoked by deregistration of students and general financial difficulties that students face as a result of no funding. We must be in a better position to harness this tide, because if we fail to we will be damaging our venture.

The tendency to avoid leadership and program seems to be tied to the idea of de-linking student struggles from the broader struggles facing other exploited and oppressed sections of society. We cannot be subject to academic liberals’ method of partitioning disciplines instead of taking an integrated approach that looks at life in its totality. The bottom line is that we are fighting a highly organized system, imperialist capitalism. Free education is just but one battle front in this war. Calling for free education is to raise a structural question, and must therefore be tied as a transitional tactic of agitation to the entire struggle against imperial capitalism. Any attempt to untie the struggle for free education from the entire struggle of the toilers is a recipe for incorrect tactics and enormous weaknesses to be exploited by those who want to destabilize this movement.

It is this situation that encouraged the reactionary bigotry of the EFF/Pasma grouping to call a #FMF meeting and to build an apartheid wall to exclude LGBTQI activists. The fact that the #FMF has no official leadership in effect gives any grouping the right to call a meeting in its name.

The Socialist Youth Movement condemns in the strongest possible terms the exclusion and physical assault on LGBTQI activists. Reactionary bigotry of this nature has no place in our movement. But the most effective defence against this type of degeneracy is to place #FMF firmly on a democratic footing, organisational and strategic coherence by debating and adopting a programme of action, and the structures to implement it.

 

What then?

There is a need for reconstitution. The progressive groupings in the student community nationally have begun with talks to reconstitute what are the finest combative sections of the #FMF into a Free Education Movement (FEM) campaign with a clear ideological outlook, and programmatic and organisational coherence. The theoretical confusion and illusions that characterised the #FMF movement, and characterises what is left of it, need to be ironed out marching into the FEM.

The highly revolutionary task placed upon the shoulders of working class students at this current juncture is to establish a new broad radical organization of their own. This is because the #FMF has laid the basis for a founding of a new broader student movement. SYM will participate fully in the creation of a new broader progressive student movement, and invites other progressive forces to do the same. On the one hand we cannot let adventurists and populists to continue riding on the genuine course of our people for their end. On the other we have to present a progressive student alternative as opposed to PYA.