Briefing from ROAPE Volume 2 Number 4
Revolutionary Working Class Party Declared
A Revolutionary Working Class Party Declared in Ethiopia On Saturday. September 13, the Ethiopian military junta, commonly known as the "Derg", celebrates a year in power with a fanfare which the late autocrat, Haile Selassie himself would have envied. Millions of dollars are being spent on the pageantry to mark the day. Yet, the famine which took the lives of hundreds of thousands of peasants and was partly responsible for the downfall of the previous feudo-bureaucratic regime, is still raging in many parts of the country. The 1974 popular uprising, in which workers, peasants, rank and file soldiers, revolutionary intellectuals, and democrats took part sounded the death knell of the feudo-bureaucratic regime of Haile Selassie. The masses frustrated the attempts of the two governments led by the aristocracy to halt their advance and give fresh lease of life to its class rule by promising inadequate reforms. The historic general strike of March 1974 by the Ethiopian working class was by far the most effective mass upsurge against the feudal autocracy. As other democratic forces rallied behind the workers, the general strike opened a new chapter in the struggle for social justice and democracy. All institutions, statal and private, cracked up one after the other.