This is the 1993/94 charter of the Nigerian Awareness League. The League has over 1000
members in Nigeria and has suffered harsh state repression including the jailing of activists.
CHARTER OF THE AWARENESS LEAGUE
The AWARENESS LEAGUE, NIGERIA, was founded as a social libertarian organisation inspired by and committed to the ideals, principles, objectives, goals, ends and purposes of revolutionary socialism and anarcho-syndicalism, characterised as the anti-theses of statism as well as their manifestations and institutions thereof.
With capitalism enmeshed in interminable crisis and its institutions - social, economic, political and cultural - increasingly succumbing to fatigue across the globe, the imperative for sustained struggle against the forces of capitalism has never been greater. It is instructive to note that the crisis of capitalism has been most intensive and pronounced in the underdeveloped third world countries.
This is not surprising, to say the least: capitalism's chain was bound to break at its weakest links. Essentially, however, the crisis of capitalism as well as its contradictions retain a global character
expressed everywhere in burgeoning deficits and external debts, trade wars, rising cost of living and declining standard of living worldwide, industrial stagnation and institutional decay.
Inherent in capitalism's crisis is the ever-present contradiction between labour and capital. The process of this development takes the form of class conflicts. At every point in time, the dominant class in society seeks to exploit its access to the means of production to appropriate a disproportionate value of social production to the benefit of its membership whose prerogative it is also, to decide what is to be produced, how and when. Since they do not have any interest in preserving the prevailing order the disadvantaged (class (es)), on the other hand, persist in fighting for the overthrow of the system and the enthroning of a people-based order.
AWARENESS LEAGUE believes that an understanding of the structure, values, reflexes and tendencies of the capitalist mode of production in all its ramifications is crucial to understanding the origins and direction of the present crisis - including the class relations of production. Indeed the cross current of economic ruptures such as inflation, unemployment and mass poverty set in motion by this development are necessary outcomes of the unequal and exploitative character of the global capitalist intercourse expressed in the third world's peripheral participation in it.
Attempts so far to comprehend the crisis of capitalism have tended to exhibit an obsession with equilibrium in a world economy that has demonstrated an incredible capacity for change. The approach fails to recognise the fundamental conflicts in production; the struggle for the control of surplus by the various arms and agencies of capital as well as the state which is central to capitalist production and crisis.
This is where revolutionary syndicalism comes in. In contradistinction to the evils and failings of capital, AWARENESS LEAGUE posits syndicalism as a qualitatively superior alternative with capacity for a revolutionary transformation of society. Revolutionary syndicalism emphasises the overriding place of class unity, class cohesion and class consciousness among all workers, the peasantry and all other exploited social groups. The primacy of sustained class struggle as an instrument of liberation from the yoke of capital is underlined by the fact that capitalism and capitalists will not give up without some fight.
2. PURPOSES AND OBJECTIVES:
The ends of class struggle as AWARENESS LEAGUE perceives it, constitute in the abolition of the state system, its structures, institutions, values, privileges and manifestations such as elections and
political systems and legislative and judicial processes; their replacement with self-managing, self-governing and self-accounting units organised along the lines of libertarian communism, while participation in them shall be on the basis of equality and the voluntary expression of the peoples' free will. These ends do not however include the capture and or exercise of state (political) power either directly or indirectly or through the imposition of a dictatorship of the proletariat.
AWARENESS LEAGUE insists that a radical transformation of the existing land tenure and land ownership systems as well as of property relations is central to the achievement of the objective of the socialisation of the means of production.
Revolutionary syndicalism proceeds from the education of the masses and all working peoples, enhancement of their consciousness and their mobilisation towards the goal of socialisation of means of production using as instruments in this regard strikes, boycotts, sit-ins as well as other forms of mass action identified and sanctioned by members. Besides, AWARENESS LEAGUE may forge alliances, seek collaboration and working agreements with other leftists and leftist organisations, anti- war movement as well as human rights activists, groups and mass organisations.
The AWARENESS LEAGUE upholds the principles and dictates of internationalism convinced that national boundaries and territoriality are but artificial creations. The LEAGUE stands for and is committed to PEACE and rejects WAR, militarism, fascism and racism as well as the acquisition and development of technologies that promote war, militarism and, in turn, undermine peace and peaceful co-existence among nations. The LEAGUE advocates violence only as a form of resistance to the violence and violent methods and tactics of the ruling class its agencies and collaborators or as a form of liberation struggle. To this end, AWARENESS LEAGUE, as an anarcho-syndicalist and revolutionary socialist front proclaims all over the world and insists that no form of collaboration can exist between the ruling classes - the exploiter and their victims, the masses.
Membership and participation in the activities of the AWARENESS LEAGUE are open to all Nigerians and non-Nigerians alike, irrespective of age, gender, creed or clan. Provided that all such or prospective members are committed and subscribe to the ends, objectives and purposes of revolutionary syndicalism and pay the appropriate dues as may be prescribed from time to time.
There shall, however, be three categories of membership:
(i) STUDENT MEMBERSHIP:- This form of membership is open to students of high schools and secondary schools as well universities and polytechnics. Student members are precluded film paying dues
(ii) ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP:- This form of membership is open to all categories of leftists who share in the goals and aspirations of revolutionary socialism and or persons who, as a result of the nature of their work or their places of residence are unable to participate in the day - to - day activities of the LEAGUE but who nevertheless share in the goals, aspirations, fears, ends and purposes of revolutionary socialism and anarcho-syndicalism.
(iii) FULL MEMBERSHIP: - This form of membership is open to all activists of revolutionary socialism and anarcho-syndicalism. Full membership confers on activists full rights and privileges of the AWARENESS LEAGUE.
(i) ANNUAL CONFERENCE: There shall be held once in a year an annual conference to appraise and review the activities of the League, pronounce on policy and elect principal officers. The annual conference shall be the supreme policy - making organ of the LEAGUE. All fee paying members of the league are entitled to attend and vote at the annual conference. Proxy representation is not allowed. All decisions shall be by simple majority vote.
(ii) CENTRAL WORKING COMMITTEE:
There shall be a central working committee made up of all principal officers of the LEAGUE and five ex-officio members elected by the ANNUAL CONFERENCE.
The committee which shall meet at least four times a year will be responsible for political and ideological education, organisation of workshops, publications and bulletins.
Branches of the AWARENESS LEAGUE may be established in villages, towns, cities, local councils and states where there are at least 20 full or associate members. Branches are required to subscribe to the goals and objectives of revolutionary socialism as well as to the authority of the Annual Conference; Central working committee; and principal officers. Branches shall be headed by organising secretaries.
5. PRINCIPAL OFFICERS:
The principal officers of the LEAGUE are: National co-ordinator, Secretary - General, financial secretary and Assistant Secretary. The duties and responsibilities of the principal officers include:
(i) National Co-ordinator:
(a) The National Co-ordinator is the Chief spokesperson for the LEAGUE and is responsible for fashioning and designing policy papers for consideration by the annual conference.
(b) The National Co-ordinator shall, liaise develop and maintain links with all similar organisations abroad on the LEAGUE'S behalf.
(ii) Secretary General
(a) To handle the LEAGUE'S correspondences
(b) To supervise the day- to - day running of the secretariat.
(c) To produce the LEAGUE'S bulletins and publications
(d) To engage in research and writing of articles.
(iii) Financial secretary
(a) To keep record of all financial transactions by the LEAGUE
(iv) Assistant Secretary
(a) To assist the secretary-General especially in the production of bulletins, publications, research and writing of articles.
Every full member as well as associate member is required to pay a fixed annual due which may be prescribed from time to time by the ANNUAL CONFERENCE for the activities of the LEAGUE.
This may be supplemented by donations from members and individuals as well as similar organisations world wide.
(i) The in - house organ of the AWARENESS LEAGUE shall be known as THE REVOLUTIONARY and shall be published on the minimum once a year.
(ii) The league shall, from time to time, publish other regular enlightenment and political education materials and' articles for members and the general public.
(iii) members may contribute articles and materials to any other leftist or human rights journals and periodicals as well as newspapers.