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On the passing of Nelson Mandela, listen to his own words

By staff

_Quotes from Mandela on racism, armed struggle and communism _

Nelson Mandela, a leader of the South African struggle for national liberation, passed away today, Dec 5. Mandela led the African National Congress, and along with South African communists, founded the armed struggle group Umkhonto we Sizwe, After 26 years in prison, the national liberation movement of the African masses, supported by a broad international anti-Apartheid movement, won his freedom. The official racial segregation and discrimination of Apartheid was brought down and Nelson Mandela elected president of South Africa.

The U.S. government supported Apartheid and opposed Mandela – keeping President Mandela on the U.S terrorism list up until 2008. The U.S. government has instituted laws such as the Patriot Act and NDAA and reversed other civil rights laws like the Voting Rights Act of 1964, reminiscent of apartheid South Africa.

It is important to study and understand Nelson Mandela the freedom fighter in his own words:

Mandela On Struggle:

“Only through hardship, sacrifice and militant action can freedom be won. The struggle is my life. I will continue fighting for freedom until the end of my days.”

“It is revolutionary…precisely because the changes it envisages cannot be won without breaking up the economic and political set-up…to win the demands calls for the organization, launching, and development of mass struggles on the widest scale.”

“The most vital task facing the democratic movement in this country is to unleash such struggles and to develop them on the basis of the concrete and immediate demands of the people from area to area. Only in this way can we build a powerful mass movement which is the only guarantee of ultimate victory in the struggle for democratic reforms”.

“The majority of South Africans, black and white, recognize that apartheid has no future. It has to be ended by our own decisive mass action in order to build peace and security. The mass campaign of defiance and other actions of our organization and people can only culminate in the establishment of democracy.”

Mandela on Apartheid, Racism, and Discrimination:

“The Government takes measures to protect White people in one way and Black people not at all.”

“Our most potent weapon against this [AIDS] virus is education. We have, perhaps, for some time, allowed ourselves to believe that like other epidemics it will come and go; that the great advances of our time in science and technology will offer us appropriate quick intervention. The key to our success is our own collective effort. The time for rhetorical arguments and victim blaming has passed. Now is the time for action.”

“As long as…people are denied the democratic vote, they shall have to vote with their feet.”

Mandela on Freedom:

“No power on earth can stop an oppressed people determined to win their freedom.”

“We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”

Mandela on the U.S.:

“If the United States of America or Britain is having elections, they don't ask for observers from Africa or from Asia. But when we have elections, they want observers.”

“What I am condemning is that one power, with a president [George W. Bush] who has no foresight, who cannot think properly, is now wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust.” -- Iraq War speech (2003) Mandela On Workers:

“I think we may sometimes be at fault in not stressing and repeating the importance of the organized participation of workers in our struggle.”

“What has characterized workers in our country, has been the determination not to be isolated from the rest of society, not to be misled that Unions must only concern themselves with shop-floor issues.”

Mandela on Communism:

“Communists have always played an active role in the fight by colonial countries for their freedom, because the short-term objects of Communism would always correspond with the long-term objects of freedom movements.”

Mandela on Armed Struggle:

“I admit immediately that I was one of the persons who helped to form Umkhonto we Sizwe, and that I played a prominent role in its affairs until I was arrested in August 1962.”

“50 years of non-violence had brought the African people nothing but more and more repressive legislation, and fewer and fewer rights.”

“Secondly, we felt that without violence there would be no way open to the African people to succeed in their struggle against the principle of white supremacy. All lawful modes of expressing opposition to this principle had been closed by legislation, and we were placed in a position in which we had either to accept a permanent state of inferiority, or to defy the Government. We chose to defy the law. We first broke the law in a way which avoided any recourse to violence; when this form was legislated against, and then the Government resorted to a show of force to crush opposition to its policies, only then did we decide to answer violence with violence.”

“As violence in this country was inevitable, it would be unrealistic and wrong for African leaders to continue preaching peace and non-violence at a time when the Government met our peaceful demands with force.”

#UnitedStates #Remembrances #AntiRacism #Apartheid #SouthAfrica #NelsonMandela #Communism #UmkhontoWeSizwe #AfricanNationalCongress