March 2020 - ROAPE
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March 2020

Activists and researchers from across Africa speak about the impact of Covid-19 on their countries. Writing from Kenya, South Africa, Burkina Faso and Nigeria and Zimbabwe, Femi Aborisade, Heike Becker, Didier Kiendrebeogo, Gacheke Gachihi, Lena Anyuolo and Tafadzwa Choto look at how the crisis is taking shape – how governments are using the virus as a cover for wider repression, and the broader context of capitalism, climate change and popular struggles for radical change....

In an interview with roape.net, ecosocialist and writer Ian Angus discusses the environmental crisis, the Anthropocene and Covid-19. He argues that new viruses, bacteria and parasites spread from wildlife to humans because capital is bulldozing primary forests, replacing them with profitable monocultures. Ecosocialists must patiently explain that permanent solutions will not be possible so long as capital rules the Earth....

For nearly fifty years, one figure has embodied revolutionary politics in Senegal: Omar Blondin Diop, a young activist and artist who died in 1973 while imprisoned at Gorée. Our understanding of liberation movements in Africa tends to focus on struggles in colonial settings, yet Florian Bobin argues that sixty years after Senegal’s independence, Blondin Diop’s life, work, and legacy helps reveal what revolutionary politics looks like in a neo-colonial state. ...

The legacy of the past weighs heavily on Ethiopia’s modern political life and is frequently manifested in crises that topple regimes and threaten the state’s survival. ROAPE’s John Markakis seeks to fathom the reasons for the repeated failure to resolve them. In this blogpost he highlights the root causes that need to be confronted if meaningful reform is to be achieved....

In the South African House of Assembly, on 6 September 1966, Dimitri Tsafendas knifed to death Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd. Shortly after, Tsafendas was declared to be a schizophrenic who had no political motive for assassinating Verwoerd. Declared unfit to stand trial, Tsafendas went down in the history books as a deranged murderer. Harris Dousemetzis exposes one of the great lies in South African history and shows that Tsafendas was an extraordinary man, with deeply held communist and anti-racist politics....