The Coalition for Revolution has called for unflinching struggle of working-class people and youth for total liberation in 2021. This call was made in a New Year statement of the coalition where it observed that “there will be decisive class battles this year”.
In the statement signed by its co-conveners, Baba Aye and Gbenga Komolafe, CORE also demanded the immediate and unconditional release of Omoyele Sowore, Juwon Sanyaolu and Michael Adenola who were arrested in the early hours of January 1 for organising a peaceful crossover night candlelight protest.
The three comrades were beaten up and taken to the “abattoir” – which is the SARS Federal Capital Territory headquarters. This assault, CORE points out “is a message from the regime that it aims to snuff out any dissenting voice as it rolls out further anti-poor policies.”
The country has slipped into its worst recession in four decades and the Maj-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.) regime, in line with the dictates of the IMF and World Bank, intends to make the poor masses bear the burden. Thus, while the prices of basic food items and cost of living in general have skyrocketed, we are also likely to see further increases in fuel pump price – compounding an already terrible situation for millions of working-class people and youth.
Rattled by the EndSARS protests last October, the state is now exceedingly jittery of mobilisations from below and will redouble its repressive machinery to try stifle these. But nothing can stop an idea whose time has come.
And the CORE co-conveners stated that: “The time has come for system change, Buhari and the corrupt, exploitative, and oppressive regime of the rich few which he represents must go. We want a better Nigeria, we want a better world, and we will mobilise and fight for our total liberation.”
Last year was probably the most historic year in history. It showed that even during the most challenging public health emergency there can be massive and renewed organising from below. We witnessed some of the largest mass struggles in history last year.
These included the Black Lives Matter movement which erupted after the killing of George Floyd in the United States and swept across the globe, and the EndSARS revolt in Nigeria which marked the mass awakening of a generation to struggle against police brutality, repression, injustice, and systemic bad governance.
We must draw inspiration and lessons from these. The state will do its utmost to break us. But we are many and they are few. The people united and determined cannot be defeated.
Building such unity requires establishing tangible linkages between the organisations and struggles of working-class people and youth in the workplaces, communities and on the streets, towards ensuring robust, unflinching revolutionary pressures from below for total liberation.
In concrete terms this means that we must demand payment of the national minimum wage in one thirds of the states of the federation yet to start paying this, in the first place, meagre amount. We must stand against all cuts in wages and job losses and insist on workplace safety.
We must insist on democratic and effective end to insecurity with the masses as the subject and not mere objects of finding a solution to the perpetual state of physical along with economic insecurity that has become our lot. These and several other democratic rights explicitly stated in the CORE Charter for Total Liberation provide a programmatic basis for deepening the struggle for system change.
These also include staunch defence of the freedoms of expression and association which were violated by the arrest of Sowore, Juwon and Michael, and which are critical to organising.
The struggles already unfolding in 2021 will be monumental. And we will see more of such repressive measures. But these acts will not delay the regime’s day of judgment. To fan the embers of revolution and emancipate ourselves as the exploited and oppressed classes, our tasks as revolutionaries are to educate, mobilise and organise.
by Muda OGIDAN