The Resistance Committee of al Riyadh (a suburb in Khartoum East) hosted a meeting for open discussion on Saturday, March 11, 2023 under the title “The Choice of the Resistance.” The meeting was advertised on the Facebook pages of many resistance committees and the audience included members of RCs from across the country. The meeting was broadcast live and widely viewed. Mohammed Siddeq reports on the discussion for Middle East Solidarity magazine. Make a donation for a digital copy here.
In recent months the military and militia forces which carried out the coup in October 2021 and civilian parties of the Forces of Freedom and Change and their allies appear to have reached a compromise through a political settlement which claims to set Sudan back on the road towards a transition to democracy.
For the Resistance Committees (RCs) and the other opponents of the settlement, this compromise can only be achieved by overlooking the crimes of the coup leaders, continuing of the path of pre-revolutionary policies in foreign relations and perpetuating economic policies of exploiting the resources of the country for the benefit of the economically and politically privileged class. Also, the compromise involves maintaining the Juba Peace Agreement, which has proved ineffectual and even the security in Darfur and all over the country worsened after it was signed.
On the other hand, the RCs, which adopted the slogan “No negotiation, No partnership, No compromise” in late 2021, voicing their radical stance against the military coup, have been and still are determined to make the choice that fulfils their name. The speaker at the meeting on March 11 was Uthman Abdullah, a member of an RC in Omdurman.
The meeting aimed to discuss three aspects: the current social and political situation from the point of view of the revolutionaries, the necessity of the choice of the resistance and its required tools, and the last part was an open discussion with the audience.
The speaker reviewed the development of the revolutionary bloc and the RCs and their learning by doing, including formulating independent charters in contrast to the RCs’ practice earlier when their positions used to be passive, in a sense that they were reactions to the actions of the political parties.
The charters of the RCs attempt to answer critical questions, he said. Of prime importance to them is the protection of the revolution from being hijacked, as happened in the previous uprisings and is at risk of happening now.
Furthermore, the charters target changing the political and economic structures inherited since the independence of Sudan by establishing the power of the people.
The speaker explained the objectives of the resistance as dismantling the economic power of the Rapid Support Forces and demobilising their troops; terminating the Juba Peace Agreement; convening peace and constitutional conferences, and implementing an economic programme in a transitional period that guarantees that the basic needs of all Sudanese will be met
However, the implementation of the charters and the choice of the resistance has been affected by the economic hardship impacting the membership of the committees and dispersing them to search for work and securing an income for themselves and their families.
Consequently, their organisational capacity was considerably reduced.
The speaker believes that achieving the goals of the choice of the resistance requires that the committees and the revolutionary bloc work to overhaul the organisational capacity and work efficiency through firstly connecting the endeavours of the resistance in the urban centres with those in the peripheries.
This connection is necessitated by the unity of struggle as the people in rural areas suffer from the intensification of state exploitation, evident in the policies impeding or seizing production, in addition to security deterioration.
The charters target changing the political and economic structures inherited since the independence of Sudan by establishing the power of the people.
As for the masses of the urban centres, most of them are working class whose impoverishment is accelerating and deepening due to the same policies.
The RCs are capable of accomplishing this connection because of their broad social background (urban and rural areas) and their roots in different sections of society (students, employees, unemployed, and self-employed) thus enabling activities extended over large networks to connect different groups and constituencies.
Secondly reinforcing the connection and integration of the masses by the joint work with the trade unions and demand-based campaigns, especially since we are witnessing a development in the work of these bodies that is noticeable in the organisation of general assemblies and elections in some unions, and in strikes and protests such as the teachers’ strike and the activities of the various demand-based bodies.
This reinforcement should also be exercised in interactions with the issues facing the committees’ membership, such as tuition fees for students, and taxes and job employment for the self-employed or unemployed.
The speaker concluded that such steps guarantee the committees a continuous presence in their social spheres and thus an organic connection to their problems, gaining new adherents and improving organisational capacity and work efficiency through practice. Hence, coordination, organisation and efficiency produce action plans at the most immediate levels.