The TakeitBack Movement realises the importance of struggle to win democratic social and economic rights that the poor working masses and youth are being denied due to the nature of the subsisting system that puts profit first before people. Therefore, we participated actively in the fightback of hundreds of members of the Mushin community in Lagos against fraudulent, crazy and estimated bills, which took place at the Marina office of the Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) on 16 April.
We the oppressed and suppressed people are much more in numbers than the handful of rich people who exploit and oppress us. But we have to organise our strength by generalising our struggle. We can do this by marching together at the barricades with those fighting against the oppressors, pointing out the similarities of our struggle, and winning the trust of the people, whom we are part of.
A classic example of this truism was demonstrated when the Ijora community invited TIB and the Socialist Workers and Youth League (SWL) to a meeting which deliberated on how to expand the fight against epileptic electricity and crazy bills, after we took part in the protest by the Mushin community.
The meeting which took place on 20 April at Ijora Badiya was organised by the Ijora Landlords and Tenants Association. And they also invited community leaders from several Local Government Areas in Lagos state. The intervention of members of the TIB and SWL helped to underline the fact that the chaotic, unjust and unreliable situation of access to electricity for poor working-class people is part of a more systematic problem, which is the nature of capitalism.
We spent time explaining the need to connect our immediate struggles against fraudulent electricity billing to the imperative of building a revolutionary coalition for system change, with broader demands. We also pointed out the centrality of the working-class movement for victory in this struggle, based on its strategic position in creating the wealth appropriated by the capitalists.
The community leaders appreciated our argument and welcomed our view. We agreed to work together in fighting for a better society. This will include organising public education sessions and mobilization together. The first step in this regard would be towards the May Day. It was on this basis that the meeting forthwith resolved as follows:
- That we schedule a pre-May Day meeting to unite all of orces around specified demands
- That we will all mobilize for a protest rally to the venue of the workers day commemoration
- That we will make collectively work to tackle social issues of concern to the communities, beyond electricity.
On a general note, members of the Ijora community who participated at the meeting showed a very high level of enthusiasm to be part of the struggle. With continuous programmes of actions, this community show the way for many other communities that “freedom cometh by struggle”.
by Sanyaolu JUWON