From Links-journal of the Australian
Our passion to destroy capitalism … remains unwavering’: Declaration of the African Conference on Participatory Democracy
Johannesburg Declaration of the African Conference on Participatory Democracy
August 16, 2008
South African Communist Party leader Blade Nzimande addresses the conference.
As comrades and compatriots, gathered in Johannesburg, South Africa, August 14-16, 2008, from all parts of the world, at the African Conference on Participatory Democracy, hosted by the South African Communist Party and the Swedish Left Party under the auspices of the International Left Forum declare the following:.
1. The African continent has been, and continues to be, ravaged by effects of neo-colonialism, the comprador bourgeoisie and imperialism, devastated by curable diseases — amongst them TB, Malaria, underdevelopment, abject poverty and squalor living conditions affecting the majority of its inhabitants amidst its riches. That, the African continent is a repository of rich minerals — gold, diamond, coal, platinum, plants, water and oxygen resources and others.
2. The capitalist system and imperialist forces continue to plunder these riches at the expense of the majority whilst enriching a small capitalist class and some corrupt African leaders chosen to defeat substantive democracy and perpetuate a neo-liberal democratic outlook that promises rights without substance.
3. Our revolutionary support and commitment to the total liberation of the people of Africa, humanity as a whole, the working class, rural communities and peasants, free from exploitation, capitalist slavery and the commodification of human life remains unwavering.
4. Conference called on progressive forces throughout the continent and world to remain combat ready and immersed as the vanguard of everyday battles of the working class, to free the world from imperialism, neo-colonialism with all its remnants and vestiges.
5. Our passion to destroy capitalism wherever it may be, to free society from crass materialism and consumerism and to advance to a society that is democratic, co-operative and communal remains unwavering.
6. Conference committed to struggle and fight for Socialism, which is the only viable solution to the neo-colonial and capitalist crisis, putting human needs before greed.
7. Conference agreed that Socialism is the future and we must build it NOW!
8. Our unwavering solidarity among the progressive forces of the left, to join hands and strengthen organisational capacity to build a world solidarity movement, more organised and structured, assertive and militant.
9. We pledge our progressive solidarity with the left formations that continue to operate under dangerous conditions of illegality for example in Egypt and Cameroon.
10. We pledge our solidarity and continued focus on hotspots around the world that are currently under extreme violent capitalist oppression and in urgent need of relief and basic democratic rights in particular the people of Western Sahara, Darfur, Palestine, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Somali, Burma and so on.
11. We pledge our commitment to the struggle for the total emancipation of women from patriarchy, religious bigotry, capitalism, racial and tribal oppression. Conference condemns the raping of women and girls and all other forms of violence.
12. We condemn in the strongest terms, the practice of child labour and child soldiers; this practice is an abominable true face of capitalism.
13. We resolve to contribute to speeding up the resolution of the land question, especially in Africa, where our people remain landless, homeless and enslaved.
14. We declare that, trade unions are potentially an important component in the struggle for socialism. We pledged to work to build progressive trade unions.
15. We commit to work with progressive forces amongst the working class, women’s organisations, religious, youth, children, the elderly and so on to end this crisis of capitalism.
16. We commit ourselves to build organisational capacity and leadership to promote popular participatory democracy.
17. We pledge our solidarity with the people of Latin America who are struggling to build an alternative society to the barbarism of capitalism based on human solidarity.
18. We pledge our solidarity and support to the Cuban revolution and call for the end of evil USA economic blockade and demand the unconditional release of the five Cuban heroes detained in the USA.
19. That in all the above struggles, intentions and plans of action, participatory democracy must not, cannot and will not be sacrificed for undemocratic, dogmatic and authoritarian practices, so often destroying our best intentions.
20. We call upon all communists and socialists on the African continent to work to exploit all the available democratic space to advance the cause for socialism and to promote networking among African socialists and progressive forces. The SACP was called upon to promote this regular contacts among African progressives.
We, the participants of the African Conference on Participatory Democracy declare unashamedly, proudly and with the greatest passion, that history is not complete, until capitalism and all its vestiges come to a shameful end, and the road of the human race is lit with love for one another and with lit with Socialism.
As socialists we pledge to defend democracy, human rights and political pluralism.
Conference expressed its gratitude to the South African Communist Party and the Swedish Left Party for facilitating and hosting this historic conference on the African continent.
Conference also received and acknowledged messages of support from the communists, workers and radical left forces all over the world for which it was very grateful for.
SOCIALISM IS THE FUTURE. BUILD IT NOW!
Names of organisations present:
1. Communist Party of Egypt.
2. South African Communist Party
3. Young Communist League of South Africa
6. Young Left of Sweden
7. Press Freedom Committee of the Post – Zambia
8. Left International Forum
9. Peace and Democracy Project
10. Development Work
11. South African Political Economy Series
12. Communist Party of Sudan
13. Communist Party of Greece
14. United Democratic Forces – Inkingi (Rwanda)
15. Kabale Socialist Club – Uganda
16. Communist Party of Brazil
17. Centre for Multi Party Democracy – Kenya
18. Left Party of Sweden
19. South African Commercial Catering and Allied Workers Union
20. Public Entity
21. People’s United Democratic Movement – Swaziland
22. Centre for Policy Dialogue
23. Polisario Frente
24. Democratic Progressive Party – Malawi
25. Social Demlocratic Party – Kenya
26. Botswana National Front
27. National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa
28. National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union
29. Communist Party of Lesotho
30. Centre for Civil Society – SA
31. Centre for Policy Dialogue – Zambia
32. Khulumani Support Group – SA
33. MSP (Brazil Landless Workers Movement) – Brazil
34. National Union of Mineworkers
35. National Peasant Union – Mozambique
37. Sikhulasonke Women on Farms
38. Swaziland Youth Congress
39. Communist Party of Cuba
40. Western Sahara Solidarity Forum
41. New Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV)
Statement issued August 17, 2008.