Affirmative Repositioning affirms they are recycling late nineteenth century European rhetoric
By Jobs Amupanda
AR Formative Years – 2014 to 2018
The AR movement was founded on 9 November 2014 as a platform to intensify the fight for the resolution of the land question at the time when the post-colonial state and the former liberation movement have reneged on the promise of the return of the land.
Unlike the assertion of liberal reformist who seek to suggest that our struggle was for liberal virtues, the struggle for our people always had land as its epicenter. From November 2014 to date, we have been committed to the fight for land and housing with significant successes. We have brought the land question back and centralized it in the mainstream national discourse.
It was never central nor part of the agenda of the regime. We managed to mobilize society and sustained the debate and demands of our people, for the return of their land and drumming of the logic of housing as human dignity. We managed to influence policy and get our programme of action, such as the Massive Urban Land Servicing Program, Rent Control, land allocation to the youth and prioritizing first time buyers, adopted as official programmes of government.
We drafted and submitted to the Parliament, the Land Indigenisation Law, this has never happened before in the history of Namibia. We established the People’s Litigation Centre to help the poor who could not access our justice system. Through a series of strategic litigation, we managed to protect the poor in informal settlements and villages from the regime’s arbitrarily evictions and mistreatments. Indeed, we managed to consolidate the unity of the fearless and radical youth. The youth of Namibia love and trust AR to fight for them.
These strides were not without challenges. We have seen our activists imprisoned for defending the poor, the regime set the police, intelligence and soldiers on us. Executive Directors, Vice Chancellors, Chief Executive Officers and various heads of institutions where our activists are employed received instructions from the regime to terminate their employment by any means necessary.
This is on top of the propaganda machinery that seek to project our movement and its activists in all manner of a negative outlooks. All these failed and continue to fail because our struggle is rooted deep in the veins and arteries of our country and its people. All these failed because we are always ready, and so we remain and are often found prepared. From 2014 to 2018, we prevailed because we remained committed to our movement objectives as inspired by these lucid words of Vladimir Lenin, “there are decades where nothing happens and there are weeks where decades happen.” We knew then, as we know now, that what we have achieved is a mere fraction of where we want to be.
In analysing the balance of forces, it becomes clear that we needed to sharpen the skills and orientate our activists so that they are found ready when decisive moments arrive. We had taken counsel from Thomas Sankara who told us that “a soldier without any political or ideological training is a potential criminal.” It is for this reason that in 2018, we declared the year 2019 as the Year of an Activist.
2019- The Year of an Activist
On 15 November 2018, in declaring 2019 as the Year of an Activist, we stated the following: The year 2019, when AR enters the 5th year of its radical existence will be ‘the Year of an Activist’. It will be a year in which we will seek to build the content and character of an Activist. It will be a year in which we will seek to awaken and cause the existence of an activist in each village, settlement, town, constituency and region in our country. It will be a year in which an Activist will realise their individual agency and role in a capitalist society.
The Year of an Activist achieved its stated objectives. Unlike during AR formative years when our activists depended and waited for direction from the movement, our activists became self-directed and self-driven. They took on the corrupt without fail and without waiting. They took own initiatives by embarking on community programmes and standing up for the poor who are under attack by the corrupt elites and plastic politicians.
It was in 2019 when one of our activist, Angelina Immanuel and a strong support system of AR Oshana, made history by standing up to became Namibia’s first female independent candidate. The examples are many. It was also in 2019 when our activists made politics interesting and fashionable. They are now experienced in electoral politics, in practical organising and mobilisation. We can now confirm and affirm that our activists are ready, they have the necessary capacity, are aware of their agency and role in this capitalist state. Our activist are thus ready for action, particularly in 2020.
2020- The Year of National Revolutionary Action (NRA)
To bring about fundamental change, qualifying as revolutionary change, in any society, particularly for the benefit of the oppressed and the poor, it requires two episodes. The first is a revolutionary situation during which two distinct forces exist, with widespread roots in society, seeking to liquidate and quarantine one another.
The two forces can not co-exist and as such one of these must emerge victorious. The victory of one of the forces must result in a fundamental change in society thus creating a new order. It is this order that we refer to as a revolutionary outcome. A revolutionary situation is not equal to a revolutionary outcome. Namibia’s liberation struggle was a revolutionary situation which did not result into a revolutionary outcome.
The Namibia political elite that has concluded an elite pact with the owners of the means of production thus maintaining the colonial property relations represents one force. It is this force that has been in power and not given any opportunity to the youth to shape their own future. This force operationalises capitalism and neo-liberalism in our country. It is this force that is responsible for evictions and housing problem. Indeed, this corrupt force controls the state.
We are the other force, a radical force of the left seeking to restore our people’s dignity. We are the other force fighting for the finalisation of land and housing for our people. We are a force fighting corruption and protecting our people from this harmful force that is selling our resources to foreigners for personal elite benefit. We must quarantine and liquidate this force so that a new order emerges, an order subordinating capitalism and neo-liberalism. An order that will solve the housing crisis in favour of the black majority in genera land the poor in particular.
The 2020 NRA is to manifest in all 14 regions, 121 constituencies and the more than 50 local authorities of our country. It denotes young men and women, with talent and energy, standing up and taking charge of the affairs in their communities. It is a year in which they are to wrestle, in their communities, the antagonistic forces opposed to our struggle through public discourse, established institutions, political power and other means necessary in order to save our country from the corrupt neo-liberal and greedy capitalist antagonistic forces that are the authors, custodians and supervisors of the suffering of our people.
In essence, it is a year in which all AR activists are not only to stand up but enter the stage and take over the podium to give direction to our people. It is for this reason that the AR Consultative Conference on the 2020 Year of the NRA is called and scheduled for February 2020.
We have entered an exciting moment. We have entered a phase coinciding with the beginning of the fourth decade since Independence in which we must deliver revolutionary outcomes from a clear revolutionary situation, for the benefit of our people.