South African Communist Party 1935

Refuse to Ship Goods to Abyssinia! Defend the Last Independent Native State in Africa from the Attacks of Italian Imperialism! An Appeal to the Harbour Workers of South Africa

Source: Umsebenzi, June 22, 1935.
Transcribed: by Dominic Tweedie.

Mussolini, the fascist dictator of Italy, is preparing to make war on the last remaining independent ‘Native state in Africa, Abyssinia. Already thousands of Italian soldiers have been sent to East Africa and already there have been attacks on the borders of Abyssinia.

Inquiries are being made in Durban and Capetown by the heads of Italian shipping firms for meat, jam and other foodstuffs to be sent to feed the Italian troops in East Africa.

If we, the workers of South Africa, allow this food to be sent to East Africa, we shall be helping Mussolini to conquer and enslave the people of Abyssinia.

Dockworkers of Durban, Capetown, Port Elizabeth and East London! Refuse to handle any goods destined for Italian East Africa! As workers, both black and white, we appeal to you to resist the war preparations of fascism. The war on Abyssinia may be the beginning of another world war, with consequent destruction of civilisation and the killing and maiming of millions of people. As workers it is your duty to fight against all forms of war and fascism and actively to oppose all preparations for war.

Native dockworkers of South Africa! Remember it is your fellow black Africans of Abyssinia upon whom Mussolini is making war. The independence of Africa’s only remaining black state must be dear to your hearts. You have it in your power to help your fellow Africans against the Italian imperialists. Keep a sharp look out! Refuse to send food to Mussolini’s soldiers. Demand that the food be kept here to feed the starving people of South Africa.

By defending Abyssinia you will be striking a blow against all the white robber imperialists of Africa and bringing nearer the day when the black man in South Africa shall also be free.

District Committee C P Durban, to the harbour workers.