From:   Doug Singsen <>
Sent time:   Tuesday, October 11, 2011 8:27:03 AM
To:   september17 <>; NYC ISO <>
Subject:   [september17discuss] South African Municipal Workers Union supports OWS
Attachments:   image001.png   image002.jpg   



If You Fear Losing Your Job or Have Lost it Already.....Find an Occupation Near You!


11 October 2011


As predicted by progressive commentators, the global economic crisis that is currently shaking the capitalist world to its core has resurfaced, and with a barbarous vengeance. Throughout what used to be called the ‘free world’, workers and the poor across all continents are being bullied by retrenchment, homelessness, poverty and stymied by a relentless ideological mystification so that they will carry the burden of the current crisis. 


It is indicative of the paucity of thinking amongst the global capitalist elite that they are incapable of innovating a way out of the current crisis without reference to the tired and over used refrain commandeered by Thatcher , that there is no alternative. What is proposed is essentially the same old package of tricks, of prolonged and deepened austerity, mass unemployment, cuts in social provision, and the need to further bail out the financial institutions.  Of course, defence spending, tax breaks for the already wealthy, and a further polarisation of wealth remain on the hidden part of this agenda.


For these reasons this Union has been deeply heartened by the growth of popular occupations on Wall Street, the bastion of capitalism, and in many other cities across the world, of mainly, but not exclusively, young people, who have in turn encouraged much wider sections of society to join them, including trade unions, pensions organisations and many other sections of civil society. The reaction by the US government has been instructive. First it tried to ignore the protesters, but more came. Then it started arresting them, but more came. Then they started spreading dirty propaganda about those protesting, but more came!  It’s not difficult to see what lies behind the smear tactics and anti-democratic responses of the increasingly discredited Obama government. For years and years, the Achilles heel of the anti-globalisation movement has been the relatively limited response of working people and the poor inside the main capitalist countries, despite the valiant efforts of activists.


It appeared as if the capitalist lie of there being no alternative had paralysed whole populations! Events of the last week have shown this to be blatantly untrue. Within each of the occupations that are unfolding, whether they are on Wall Street, in Athens, Cairo or Madrid are discussions about the nature of the capitalist crisis, and what needs to be done to create a new agenda for sustainable and equal development.


Millions of people across the world are beginning to feel the exhilaration of standing up against those who see the world as a profit machine and nothing else. They are beginning to test their ideas. They are beginning to look again at the possibility of building a society based on human solidarity and other fundamental principles as opposed to the anarchy of market forces.   This couldn’t have happened at a better time!


We therefore take this opportunity to send our warmest solidarity greetings to all those who have taken the first vital step in the direction of building a new society from the old, and who have rejected the lies that have been peddled to preserve a system that is dependent on the exploitation of people and the natural resources that belong to all of us. We stand four-square with those who condemn all attempts to divide us, on the basis of ethnic, religious, nationality, gender or sexual orientation lines. We say thank you to all those who have initiated these activities, and we urge them to carry on so that the numbers involved grow and grow.


We urge all of our friends in the trade union movement and in social movements to join an occupation near you including here in South Africa. Make the links with communities that are engaged in struggles, give each other support, share human and material resources to this effect, and encourage others to do likewise. Discover our common ground, and break with the sectarian and blaming culture that has plagued many of our campaigns. Seize the opportunity to begin to lay the foundations for a new chapter in our struggle for a world based on the needs of all of our people, and not just a bankrupt elite.  


For further comment, contact SAMWU’s International Officer Steve Faulkner, on 0828175455.

Issued by;


Tahir Sema.
South African Municipal Workers' Union of COSATU
National Media and Publicity Officer
Office: 011-331 0333.

Fax:     0866186479.
Cell:     0829403403.

Also visit SAMWU’s website; and @Tahirsema