UNITED FRONT BUDGET DAY DEMONSTRATIONS GETTING ONTO THE STREETS
The United Front had some successful demonstrations against the National and Provincial austerity budgets resented by the ruling ANC.
These were the first mobilisations as the United Font coming together on the streets and were very important as placing a marker for future actions.
In Cape town, some 3000 activists drawn from the DLF, Housing Assembly, students from colleges and a large contingent of workers on strike at SA metal all combined to give the march a noisy and militant atmosphere.
In Johannesburg some 1000 comrades attended the short march through the main street of Jhb and ended up outside the legislator. Some sixty percent of those attending came through the veins of the Democratic left Front alongside new community forces attracted to the newly formed United Front. It was important to see some students from the universities in attendance. Very few NUMSA showed, those that did were mainly officials, this can be understood as the problems of demonstrations during work hours, very few workers would have been able to take time out to attend the event.
All the attending organisations were given a space to address the protestors; all speakers were very militant, addressing the inequality that people experienced and the need to mobilise to increase the power of the United Front.
In the North-West, some 500 activists assembled in the Town of Mafekeng, this was a good show as people had to be transported from across the province to attend, resources were short and logistical problems associated with this matter were experienced. Nevertheless, old alliances were once again cemented and a future for better mobilisation and local actions for the 21st March Human Rights Day were mapped out to build the United Front.
The United Front is still in its infancy, getting out on the street on demonstrations against the Government Austerity budgets were some of its first activities held. The spirit to build the movement was found by all those that attended the actions. The Front needs to prove itself in action as a way of puling in more community organisations, students and union activists outside of Numsa and giving hope that it can have an effect to win the demands that people so desperately need to improve their lives.
The EFF have set a high bench mark of militancy to meet in this respect, however the potential that the United Front has which the EFF cannot match is that it can bring in a wide layer of organised workers who can strike at the heart of capitalism, not only on the streets but at the work place. This hurts the bosses and government the most.
The pressing task then for the United Front is to ensure that it wins the active support of its working-class base in NUMSA, by bringing them out onto the streets of protest and extending this into other unions. This will give the United Front a solid base and give strength to community organisations which often find themselves isolated and unable to make a dent against an intransigent ANC in government.
VIVA –UNITED FRONT -VIVA