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World’s longest running industrial dispute sets example for us all

Their banner reads: “Ex-Midrand Council Workers in Dispute Since 1994! Dismissed for fighting corruption in 1994 and still fighting today! 20 years of Sacrifice! 20 Years of Poverty! 20 Years of Solidarity!” South Africa’s ex-Midrand Council workers are engaged in what is surely the world’s longest running industrial dispute, a Burston for our times. It… Read more

Struggle for democracy in Swaziland: latest

Red Pepper The second Global Week of Action in Swaziland, organised by the Swaziland Democracy Campaign, which concludes this Friday (9th September), has already scored remarkable successes amid terrible sacrifices. The week marks a new highpoint in the on-going confrontation between an absolute monarchy that for decades has plundered the country and an increasingly emboldened… Read more

“Activist for the epic game”

The Mercury, Durban, South Africa Monday February 28 2011 With the 10th World Cup now under way, 50-over cricket and the event itself are on trial, says one of the game’s most provocative, passionate and analytical followers, Mike Marqusee. Patrick Compton spoke to him. THE famous dictum of historian CLR James: “What do they know… Read more

Small country, big struggle

Mike Marqusee has just returned from a visit with trade unionists and democracy activists in Swaziland. An updated version of this article appeared in The Morning Star on 17 September. Swaziland is a small country with a big problem. The 1.3 million inhabitants of the land-locked southern African kingdom live under the thumb of one… Read more

Looking forward to the miraculous

A preview of the World Cup M Magazine (India), June issue If in the course of a visit to planet earth, an intelligent being from another world attended the great sporting spectacles on offer here, he she or it, without the aid of a translator or explainer, would quickly grasp the essentials of football (even… Read more

The real thing

CONTENDING FOR THE LIVING Red Pepper, April-May 2009 [‘Contending for the Living’ is Mike’s new column for Red Pepper.] Something special took place in Durban in February and though the media have rushed past, we should pause. In solidarity with the people of Gaza, dockworker members of the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union… Read more

A light from Durban

LEVEL PLAYING FIELD The Hindu, 8 March Something special took place in Durban last month when dockworkers, members of the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU), refused to unload a ship carrying Israeli cargo. It was an intervention from below in global politics, driven not by national, ethnic or religious affinity but by… Read more

Apartheid in the ring

Mike Marqusee cheers Dancing Shoes Is Dead: A Tale of Fighting Men in South Africa by Gavin Evans, a hard-hitting memoir of South African boxing The Guardian, 9 February 2002 Ever since the ringside cry of “Don’t let the nigger win!” went up at the epic 1810 bout between the black American ex-slave Molineux and… Read more