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Black First Land First as a learning movement

By Andile Mngxitama

On Saturday, 13 August, the Black First Land First movement held their first political induction in Orlando East, Soweto. Below is a message from BLF Convenor on the induction.

Our movement is a revolutionary movement committed to ending all forms of oppression at once. Our movement recognises that the primary contradiction (white supremacy) over-determines secondary contradictions (patriarchy, homophobia, tribalism, colorism, afrophobia (which is incorrectly called xenophobia), and many others).

Furthermore, our movement moves from the concrete premise that “the dominant ideas in society are those of the ruling class”. This means that the socialisation institutions such as the family, church, school, media and informal institutions of culture and sub culture all conspire to reproduce the dominant ideas of a capitalist, white supremacist patriarchal society. All individuals in society are shaped by these institutions which produce and reproduce the main oppression and its allied secondary oppressions.

From the above realisation we understand that the revolutionary movement is engaged in a process of re-education through theoretical education and through practical struggle to form a fighting movement against these dominant practices which are harmful to our people and the revolution itself. The revolutionary movement must reflect on the kind of society we must establish post the revolution. A key principle towards this objective is that “we do not come to the revolution fully formed as advanced revolutionaries”, we come to the revolution as products of the racist, patriarchal, white supremacist society. The revolutionary movement becomes a school of unlearning. An environment conducive to learning must be created where all those holding backward ideas and practices, including those who lapse, can benefit from the learning organization.

Our movement should also develop responses to backward practices such as patriarchy through guidelines and policy of good revolutionary conduct. Once policy is established all members must be assisted to understand the logic of the policy and the policy itself. The leadership of the organization must then enforce the policy guided by the principle of creating a learning organisation where criticism and self criticism are instruments of cadre development.

A learning organization is not driven by retribution at first transgression of the line. A more restorative approach should be developed.

The induction workshop held on the anniversary of the publication of BLF’s “revolutionary call” identified the challenge of personal relations as an arena where backward patriarchal practices find expresion. This realisation raised the question of what is the policy of BLF on personal romantic relationships.

The workshop mandated the National Coordination Committee (NCC) to develop policy on the matter. A three person committee shall be appointed to develop policy which will be adopted by the NCC by December 2016.

The workshop also recommended that recruitment of women into our movement is the responsibility of all, more so the male comrades. Similarly the workshop encouraged all members to do revolutionary work inside their own families and with their partners. Furthermore, it was identified that children must not be left out at the level of child-care and political education – the proposed policy shall also address this dimension.

The three person committee shall be announced before the end of August 2016. Lets continue learning together to build a revolutionary movement so as to realise a revolutionary overthrowal of the current anti-black society in order to realize the Socialist Republic of Azania.

Andile Mngxitama is the National Convenor of the Black First Land First movement

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