BASF: Conference Report, 8 July 2018

The Bangladesh Anarcho-Syndicalist Federation (BASF) held a conference in Sylhet, Bangladesh on 8 July 2018.

The federation’s secretariat organized the conference. With the participation of selective representative members of local different federations, about half of the participating delegates were women, and the other half were men. International Workers’ Association (IWA) secretary, Laury Akhi was present as a special facilitator and chief guest.

In the Conference, workers' delegates said that the concept of “anarcho-syndicalism” is absolutely new in our country and also our region. Up to now, there has been a totalitarian labor movement as part of the outrageous, authoritarian politics dominating here.

The ongoing labor movement has done some positive work, but in general, it has produced a class of people who use their class privileges and resources for their own interests. In some cases, people in the political sphere who are not a part of the working classes enjoy their privileges and benefits that are possible due to the subjugation of our class.

in Bangladesh right or left Politicians use the working classes to satisfy the needs of political parties and not for working-class emancipation. They use toiling people political power games. The laboring classes are currently dependent on the whims of politicians. Unfortunately, about above 85% of the movement unions of working classes also using bourgeoisie political power purpose. The attending delegates said that in order to strengthen the true labor movement, the existing revolutionary workers’ associations would have to create free labor organizations in their own workplace.

Labor delegates also said, the practices and mindsets of tea garden owners and factory managers, and state officials. Most owners do not follow labor laws and show little interest in self-regulation. Factory owners believe that workers would earn even less in the informal sector than they do in the factories. it is identifies this belief as a key component of owners’ traditional attitudes toward workers’ rights.

The conference's special guest, IWA secretary, Laury Akhi gave an overview of the international workers' movement and its struggles, with insights of the struggle in Poland.

She said that the people of the laboring classes are the creators of all human civilization, but they have been victims of oppression, exploitation and various deprivations throughout the ages.

Farm workers produce food while they do not get food; clothing workers make clothes, but they do not have the clothing they need; workers build cars and roads and are the basis of civilization, but they do not have respect nor status in present society.

Laury Akhi said that after the 1917 Bolshevik revolution in Russia, the laboring class hoped that their fate and socio economic condition would change. But under the Bolshevik’s “revolutionary” politics, the old, oppressive social system was replaced with a new  red oppression.

The Communist Party replaced the czar. The legitimacy of the State was the ruling idea.  And this manifested in a strict authoritarianism that was imposed on all the people, including peasant and workers, establishing state patriarchism. The country became a prison in the name of socialism. As a result, people built up resistance against the oppressors. But the Communist Party ruthlessly suppressed dissidents and protests. Many people were killed in Russia.  Mass murders and disappearances were part of daily life.

To the delegates’ agreement, Laury Akhi insisted that the anarchist movement’s trend in Bangladesh must not be authoritarian or cadre-based socialism. Rather, common people must freely participate in independent associations, federations, and confederations.

The most effective work will be to create workers' organizations in every sphere of production. Farmers' and workers' association will be formed in the factory and fields. Similarly, news staff, shopping malls and other services and organizations will be formed in those areas. Each organization will then be able to maintain and protect their own self-interests by voluntarily forming federations with one another. The development of anarchist society will accelerate through federations.

July 8th, 2018, Sylhet, Bangladesh

{We implore you to help develop the anarchist struggle in Bangladesh by donating money through their new website. Even small amounts of money in western currencies will go a long way in helping develop workers’ centers, education, strike funds, co-ops, and poverty relief.}

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