Some of you might be intimidated by the title of this blog – Blogging Global Intifada/National Chimurenga. So I need to explain. The enemies of the people, those who wield power, wealth and weaponry, invent their own scare words and intimidating jargon like “war on terror”; “collateral damage” “globalisation”; “R2P” (Right to Protect); “democracy”; and so on. People also create their own language and terms. Here I use two of these. One is “Intifada”. The other is “Chimurenga”. These words have been with us for years, for decades, even centuries. These are peoples’ words to describe their struggles, their resistance, against oppression and exploitation. Only we don’t use them often enough. Over time, we shall have a glossary of terms that people use in their struggles that we can use interchangeably to describe the common struggles of peoples and communities around the world
Chimurenga is a Shona word derived from the struggle of the people of Zimbabwe since the time of colonisation in the 1880s to now. Zimbabwe launched its Third Chimurenga with the land reform movement in the year 2000. Intifada is an Arabic word, meaning resistance. One of the earliest of these was the uprising against the British colonial occupation in Bahrain in March 1965. In Palestine the people are struggling against occupation and colonisation. The first Palestine intifada lasted from 1987 to 1993; the second from 2000 to 2008. Whether the people have now launched its Third Intifada, we don’t know yet. Time will tell.
It should be clear to all who have been monitoring developments over the last three decades that the global system has become extremely tyrannical in order to maintain the status quo and to keep the powerful in their positions of power. The world’s productive forces (the means of sustaining life on this planet, including science and technology) have developed astronomically during the last 50 years. But they are largely in the service of global corporate power and kleptocratic elite in state power. Also, they have an infinitely destructive component – the weapons of war. The global hegemonic forces use for example drones from the air to kill defenseless civilians on the ground. Under the neo-liberal globalisation of our times millions of people are uprooted and displaced from their lands and homes. They are forced through global Nakbah (meaning “catastrophe”, derived from the 1948 Arab-Israeli war when approximately 725,000 Palestinian people were uprooted and expelled from their homes). At its most conservative, 4.2 billion people (60 percent of the current world population of 7 billion) are uprooted and de-settled. They are abused every day. If they have jobs they are made to work to their bare bones for them and their families to survive. Often they are economic refugees in their own countries and in their own regions from which escape is impossible. There is a miniscule minority of the able-bodied that dares to scale “Fortress America”, “Fortress Europe” or “Fortress Australia”; but they risk death or a fate worse than death.
This bi-weekly blog is about the displaced, the disinherited, the exploited and their conditions of survival. My intention over the next few blogs is to write about how they are enduring, and also putting up resistance. This is my voice on this hugely critical matter of our times. I hope my ideas resonate with yours, and that you will also contribute your voice(s).