LALIT of Mauritius sends you our solidarity for your 7th Socialist Workers & Youth League (SWL) Convention. LALIT means “Struggle” in Mauritian Kreol. We, like you in Nigeria, are a marxist political organisation in Mauritius working towards revolutionary socialism.
We were born in 1976 out of organising a monthly socialist magazine called “Class Struggle”. Our militants were active in a pre-revolutionary mass strike here in 1979: of a general strike movement that we are marking the 40th anniversary of this year. Since 1979, the strongest pillars of the organised working class mainly in the sugar industry, in the docks, and in transport both numerically and politically have been weakened by mechanisation, centralisation, and privatisation. The sugar industry is no longer viable, yet the capitalist class demands State subsidies to persist with planting cane on most of arable land. It also sets up gated luxury villa communities on the land to sell off on the international real estate market. So agricultural land that could have used productively is being destroyed.
We in LALIT are working towards political mobilisation for democratic and popular control of the working class on land utilisation as well as the vast 2.3 square kilometres of ocean that constitutes most of Mauritius. It is the only form of control over land and sea use that will ensure real production, job creation, food security, housing for the working class.
Part of Mauritius, the Chagos islands is still under UK-US military occupation, 50 years after independence from Britain. Our political work on the land question includes decolonising and demilitarising the Chagos, the Chagos being a part of Mauritius excised by the British colonial State prior to independence to make way for the infamous US military base on one of the Chagossian islands, Diego Garcia. This military base is a permanent threat to working people of Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
This week, the UN General Assembly voted 116 to 6 for a resolution presented by Senegal on behalf of African States demanding that UK stop its colonial occupation of the Chagos and restitute it in 6 months. This happened after the Mauritian State with the support of the African union went to the International Court of Justice and got an Advisory Opinion ruling that UK had wrongfully detached the Chagos prior to independence and had thus not completed the decolonisation process. Putting a case at the ICJ as part of a series of State initiatives to expose and isolate the UK-US military occupation of Chagos is something we have specifically campaigned both nationally and internationally for in the last 20 years, as part of the struggle to decolonise and demilitarise the Chagos, and part of the larger struggle for working class control over the land and the sea.
Conscious that revolutionary socialism can only succeed if it is an international process;
Conscious of the need for renewed forms of internationalism in difficult and challenging times we live in;
We express our solidarity with you as you meet for your 7th SWL Convention. It is heartening for us to know that other revolutionary socialist organisations in the region are working towards revolutionary socialism. Our links with you, however modest, are precious to us: we see these links as being the seeds of a socialist internationalism that is potentially very strong.
We are with you in the struggle for socialist revolution.