[Photo + speech]: Prof Lucien van der Walt at fees protests: “Free higher education, complete national liberation,” at “Rhodes” University, 19 October 2015

Speaking at Rhodes, Monday 19 Oct, 2015Personal statement by “Rhodes” University professor Lucien van der Walt:

“Rights are not given from above but won from below. Fight for free higher education as part of the struggle for change and completing the black working class national liberation struggle in South Africa. Move the struggle from individual VCs and universities to confront the neo-liberal capitalist state which has gutted university spending from the 1980s, starting with NP, continuing with ANC.

Existing individual university incomes literally cannot fund the fees. The issue is not to recut a shrinking cake by budget tweaks but to tackle the state that shrinks the cake. Build student-worker-staff alliances, conscious of the revolutionary tasks, as basis for deeper change, a larger transition, working-class driven, for a libertarian (free, anarchist) self-managed system that can complete the struggle against all oppression, exploitation and domination.” ‪#‎feesmustfall‬ ‪#‎nationalshutdown‬ ‪#‎zumamustfall‬ ‪#‎blademustfall‬

About Lucien van der Walt
I teach at Rhodes University, the Eastern Cape. I’m South African, born and bred. I am currently also involved in union education and have a background in social movement and left-wing activism, the Workers’ Library and Museum, the Anti-Privatisation Forum, and the National Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU). I’ve presented papers at more than 120 conferences and workshops, published in key journals like 'Capital and Class' and 'Labor History', have co-edited 3 journal specials (these on global labour history, African labour, and unions in the Global South), and written well over 130 other articles, papers and entries. I was Southern Africa editor for the 2009 'International Encyclopaedia of Revolution and Protest' (Blackwell). My focus has been on South Africa, but I have also done research in Zambia and Zimbabwe. I won the 2008 international 'Labor History' thesis prize, and the 2008/2009 Council for the Development of Social Science Research prize for best African dissertation, for my PhD thesis on South African anarchism, syndicalism and black militants. I have several books, including 'Negro e Vermelho: anarquismo, sindicalismo revolucionário e pessoas de cor na África Meridional nas décadas de 1880-1920,' 'Anarchism and Syndicalism in the Colonial and Postcolonial World, 1880-1940: the praxis of national liberation, internationalism, and social revolution' (co-edited with Steve Hirsch, Brill, 2010/ 2014) and 'Black Flame: the revolutionary class politics of anarchism and syndicalism' (co-written with Michael Schmidt, AK Press 2009).

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