Hundreds of workers are striking against non-payment of bonuses, for an end to racism, and improved conditions at Sierra Leone’s largest diamond mine in Koidu. Following a blockade of the entrances and clashes with scabs, the armed forces were deployed, who opened fire on the workers, killing two and injuring many others.
Two interesting new articles on the self-organised wave of strikes in South Africa that has now spread from the mines to the farms (self-organised militancy began in the shack settlements in 2004). With militant mass strikes organised outside of the unions many sense that new political possibilities are in the air.
Ben Fogel on South Africa after the Marikana Massacre. The article also provides a critique of left strategy that orientates towards COSATU, the SACP and the state rathering than popular struggles.
The coverage of the Marikana massacre seems to start with the mass killings of 16 August. But that’s not where, or how the violence started, and it wasn’t rivalry between unions, either. Rewind a few days and prepare for goosebumps: you’ll find a web of conspiracy around two murders which not reported in the media and ended in no arrests, but scared the living daylights out of the workers before the weeks of horror started.