With the Guerrillas in Angola

by Don Barnett, Liberation Support Movement
Richmond, Canada
September 1976
40 pages
Type: Pamphlet
Coverage in Africa: Angola, Tanzania, Zambia
Coverage outside Africa: Canada, Portugal
Language: English

The pamphlet says Don Barnett, founder of the Liberation Support Movement, died of a heart attack on April 25, 1975. Barnett taught and wrote about revolutionary armed struggles throughout the imperialist system, particularly in Africa. He saw himself as an "intellectual revolutionary," rather than a "revolutionary intellectual." Barnett worked in North America to carry out some tasks of revolution; he also lived in Africa for extensive periods, documenting struggles for national liberation. The pamphlet, written by Barnett, describes a visit in Angola beginning at a temporary camp some 30 miles inside Angola from the Zambia border, where the MPLA held its First Eastern Regional Assembly on August 22-25, 1968. It was attended by some 200 people, including members of the Comité Director and six foreign journalists. Barnett was invited to visit Angola by President Agostinho Neto. The population within 100 miles of the Zambia border is very thin; but since the opening of the Eastern Front in 1966 over 4,000 Angolan peasants have fled as refugees to Zambia. Portuguese bombings and burning of villages are the main threats. This vast Eastern Region can now be considered semi-liberated. During the dry season, some truck convoys - usually with air cover - are sent in with Portuguese supplies and troops, but bridges have been destroyed and road transport is under threat of guerrilla ambushes. The Portuguese also burn the bush surrounding their posts and barracks to remove the natural cover, making surprise guerrilla attacks difficult in that season. During the long rainy season, the Portuguese must fly in supplies to their bases; rivers swell and flood the flatlands and valleys, which become shoulder-high with water. The savannahs grow green to eight feet and are impossible to burn; fields, previously readied, are planted with cassava, maize and millet, and the forests grow thick with natural cover. Guerrillas make their major offensives during the rainy season. Barnett’s visit was during the dry season, and he saw evidence of burnt-out forest and savannah and village after village that had been razed to the ground. When the bombings started in late 1966, the peasants abandoned their traditional villages and garden crops near the rivers; some were herded into concentration camp "hamlets" near Portuguese posts. The pamphlet mentions Seta Likambuila, MPLA, Medical Assistance Services (SAM), Anival Luwaza, Comrade Biekman, grenade fragments, Zone "C" Commander Mundo Real, People’s Stores, funje, Malasa, and the Center for Revolutionary Instruction (CIR).

This item was digitized by JSTOR which provided it to the African Activist Archive Project.
See: https://www.jstor.org/site/struggles-for-freedom/southern-africa/liberation-support-movement-pamphlet-collection/
Used by permission of former members of Liberation Support Movement.
Collection: Liberation Support Movement Pamphlet Collection