Tag Archives: anti-civilization

Stateless Democracy #2: The Revolution in Rojava Kurdistan, more on anarchist guerilla feminists

Live stream recording – 2014-10-21 21.35 [part 2]

PART 1: http://vimeo.com/debalie/statelessdem…
(there’s more info linked below)

The fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has often been portrayed as a fight between the West and its Arab allies against Islamic ultra-fundamentalists. Over the last several years, however, a progressive Kurdish-led resistance has been forming in Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan) amidst the Syrian Civil War. The resistance has successfully implemented new models of grassroots democracy, gender equality, and sustainable ecology, its members practicing a political project they refer to as Democratic Confederalism. Women and men stand side-by-side in its armed forces in the face of both ISIS and the Bashar al-Assad regime. Despite the resistance’s efforts, Rojava is currently threatened by a massacre, and the international community continues to stand by silently as tragedy unfolds.

This conference discusses the current Kurdish resistance in Kobanê, Rojava against ISIS. With help of representatives from the Kurdish movement as well as specialists in the field, it explores the politics and culture of Rojava and the reasons behind the formation and growth of the self-proclaimed Islamic State. The question as to what and how the international community and civil society can help is also addressed—not only to stop ISIS, but more crucially, to support a movement from within the region that is offering a new democratic horizon from which the world can learn.

Keynote speeches by Dilşah Osman (co-president of the Kurdish Democratic Society Congress in Europe, KCD-E) and Dilar Dirik (PhD researcher and activist of the Kurdish Women’s Movement), contributions by Joost Jongerden (researcher and Kurdish specialist, Wageningen University), Jolle Demmers (co-founder of the Center for Conflict Studies, Utrecht), Jonas Staal (artist), Jasper Blom (Director Scientific Bureau Groenlinks / Green Party), Dilan Yezilgoz-Zegerius (Amsterdam council memberfor Liberal Party VVD, former Amnesty International specialist on Turkey) en Golrokh Nafisi (artist) and many others.

The conference is hosted by New World Academy; BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht; Center for Conflict Studies, Utrecht; and De Balie, Amsterdam.

Stateless Democracy: The Revolution in Rojava Kurdistan is the first of a series of events on stateless democracy organized by New World Academy in collaboration with the Kurdish Women’s Movement.

The Kurdish women’s movement, the Union of Free Women (YJA) has changed its name to the Kurdistan Communtiies of Women (Komalen Jinen Kurdistan, KJK) in order to reorganize itself under a confederal system. The Women’s Movement has issued a statement to announce its name change, stressing the importance of women’s organisation on the basis of the ideological and political requirements for a universal liberation of women.

Excerpt from “Between Nationalism and Women’s Rights: The Kurdish Women’s Movement in Iraq”

kurkWomenWith the fall of the Baath regime in 2003, many Kurdish women activists initially joined with women activists in the rest of Iraq to promote women’s rights for all Iraqis. However, the violence that has engulfed central and southern Iraq as well as the Islamization of politics there, mean that a large number of women activists in Kurdistan have put their efforts into supporting autonomy for Iraqi Kurdistan as a means of defending women’s rights there. Moreover, many Kurdish activists tend to emphasize their difference from Arabs through reference to their desire for women’s rights (as opposed to what they perceive as a lack of desire for women’s rights in the rest of Iraq). Even those women in Kurdistan who believe that it is important to work with women in the rest of Iraq are largely prevented from doing so due to the practical difficulties of travelling to/within the rest of Iraq. However, some women’s rights activists from central and southern Iraq travel to Iraqi Kurdistan for meetings and workshops as it is much safer than other parts of the country.

The comparison with the rest of Iraq has made some Kurdish women more optimistic about the gains that they have made within the Iraqi Kurdistan region, whilst others remain critical of politicians within the KRG. Some women activists believe that Kurdistan politicians are marginalizing women’s rights to concentrate on the “bigger national questions” of Kirkuk, oil, and federalism. Other women activists believe that these questions of Kurdish rights are also inseparable from achieving women’s rights in Kurdistan. However, both the critics and the optimists believe that autonomy for Kurdistan must be respected by the government in Baghdad.

IRAQ: Interview: Between Nationalism and Women’s Rights – The Kurdish Women’s Movement

Source: Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication

GUERILLAgAL

KURDISH WOMEN AND FEMINISM IN GUERILLA WARFARE

Within the movement, Kurdish women have their own party, and even community. In the heart of Qandil Mountains, you can find PKK women do everything by themselves, even building houses and military outposts.

If we compare the women members of Turkey’s parliament in the country’s 17th general election which was held on 12 June 2011 to elect 550 new members of Grand National Assembly, we see a huge difference between Kurdish women deputies in the only Kurdish party and the two other opposition parties. There are 20 female deputies out of 135 deputies from the opposition Republican People’s Party, three out of 53 from the Nationalist Movement Party and 11 out of 35 among the Kurdish Peace and Democracy party.

This is the innovation of Kurdish freedom struggle movement that you cannot find in the whole Middle East region. You can hardly find female political figures in Middle East. This is not to say that some female political figures don’t exist in Middle East, but of those that do they rarely get to the higher positions. But in Kurdish the freedom struggle and political ideology, it has become a system that will go forward in the future.

Bear in mind, the women that are guerrilla fighters are not married and if you ask them about marriage, they straightly tell you “If our land is not free, marriage is meaningless.” This is the same for the male guerrillas as well.

To fight side by side to men, Kurdish women fighters have become the soul of the revolution. Though they are martyred every now and then, but they are so proud that they have dedicated their life to the nation and the land.

PKK women say that they are one hundred percent equal to men, yet they want more! They will never see their families once they have joined the revolution. Once I asked a PKK female guerrilla in Qandil Mountains: “Do you miss your mother?”

“Your mother, is my mother, too. Daily, I see her several times here. My mother is here, she is there, she is everywhere in the country. My mother is my HOMELAND.” she replied

The latest achievement of PKK’s women is that they were able to become the top leaders of the KCK. Bese Hozat became the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) Executive Council Co-President in KCK’s last congress which was held in the beginning of 2013. Despite KCK affiliated parties and organizations impleneting the Co-chair system, KCK had not done so. Consequently the last congress became a milestone for PKK’s female fighters because they were able to acheive equality to men within the political structure of KCK.

Gaining equality and high positions within the PKK revolutionary movement was not handed to women on a silver plate. Women struggled against the patriarchal mentality of men, and through constant struggles they acomplished what they set out to do.

Kurdish women and feminism in guerrilla warfare 

Demonstrators hold Kurdish and Syrian opposition flags during a protest in Kobani

Stateless Democracy: How the Kurdish Women’s Movement Liberated Democracy from the State

New World Summit Brussels- Dilar Dirik from New World Summit on Vimeo.

Dilar Dirik is an activist of the Kurdish Women’s Movement and a PhD candidate in the Sociology Department of the University of Cambridge. Her lecture at the 4th New World Summit is entitled “Stateless Democracy: How the Kurdish Women Movement Liberated Democracy from the State”

Non-Conformity & Creativity Now Listed As A Mental Illness By Psychiatrists

“The nail that sticks up will be hammered down.” – Japanese Proverb

Is nonconformity and freethinking a mental illness? According to the latest addition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, it looks that way. The manual identifies a mental illness labelled as “oppositional defiant disorder, or ODD. It’s defined as an “ongoing pattern of disobedient, hostile and defiant behavior.” (0) It’s also included in the category of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

The manual is used by psychiatrists to diagnose mental illnesses, and it seems that with each new issue a new, made up mental illness is added to the list. This isn’t something new, in the Soviet Union, a systematic political abuse of psychiatry took place and was based on the interpretation of political dissent as a psychiatric problem.  Mental illness has been used for political repression, those who were/are non-conformant and do/did not accept the beliefs of authority figures (like government agencies) face labels that do not represent them at all, and have no scientific backing what so ever. (1)

On the first glance, political abuse of psychiatry appears to represent a straightforward and uncomplicated story: the deployment of medicine as an instrument of repression. Psychiatric incarceration of mentally healthy people is uniformly understood to be a particularly pernicious form of repression, because it uses the powerful modalities of medicine as tools of punishment, and it compounds a deep affront to human rights with deception and fraud. Doctors who allow themselves to be used in this way betray the trust of society and breach their most basic ethical obligations as professionals.” (1)

The entire psychiatric disease model today is based on the theory that a brain-based, chemical imbalance causes mental illness.  Dr. Mark Graff, Chair of Public Affairs of the American Psychiatric Association said that this theory was “probably drug industry derived.” (source)

“There’s no biological imbalance. When people come to me and they say, I have a biological imbalance, I say, ‘show me your lab tests.’ There are no lab tests. So what’s the biochemical imbalance?” -  Dr. Ron Leifer, New York psychiatrist (source)

“If a psychiatrist says you have a shortage of a chemical, ask for a blood test and watch the psychiatrist’s reaction. The number of people who believe that scientists have proven that depressed people have low serotonin is a glorious testament to the power of marketing.”  - Jonathan Leo, associate professor of anatomy at Western University of Health Sciences.  (source)

reposted from Arjun Walia, Collective-Evolution

psychiatry_600

International call for sabotage and direct action against the World Cup in Brazil

On June 12, 2014 begins the world football cup in Brazil, a sporting event which businesspeople, politicians, journalists and sympathizers eagerly await, some because of greed, others because of nationalist exacerbation, a World Cup that has the highest budget ever invested in history (over 600,000 million dollars, and the account is not even closed yet…).

worldCupDumpHowever, beyond the colourful atmosphere, the dances, the carnival, the “cheerfulness”, the reality is different:

In carioca (Rio de Janeiro), the repressive forces that are commanded by the evil born Dilma Rousseff and trained by US counter-terrorist brigades, namely the army, the police or the ironically named Pacifying Police Unit (UPP), led by the militiamen Alexandre Braga and Ezequiel Oliveira de Mendonça, are implementing a policy of extermination against the marginal population, concentrating their attacks in the favelas and the poorest zones of this region. An extermination that is far from diminishing, since the deployment of military police, orchestrated by the chief of police Tarcísio Andreas Jansen and the colonel Marcelo Rocha, has further increased as the inauguration ceremony approaches.

In cities like São Paulo alone, nearly 70,000 families have been displaced during the constructions for the World Cup preparations, while in Rio de Janeiro approximately 40,000 homes have faced the same fate.

The Brazilian State, showing off its progressive and assistentialist reputation, has offered an amount of money to some of the evicted (obviously none of them was from the bourgeois neighbourhoods, since the latter were not affected one bit) which is far from enough to recover their original dwelling, thus spitting on the residents’ dignity, and thinking that money can cover for all the bloodshed.

And when we talk of bloodshed, there have been hundreds of wounded and dozens of dead in Brazil over the past few months.

We cannot fail to mention the repugnant activity of the State, which is assassinating in the most cowardly way children who survive on the streets, in order to receive an estimated 600,000 tourists that will arrive in the country, offering them in turn the hundreds of bodies of women and girls subjected to prostitution.

Military Police hold demonstrators and tourists  in a hotel on Augusta street after they attacked a peaceful protest against the World Cup, the first mass action against FIFA.
Military Police hold demonstrators and tourists in a hotel on Augusta street after they attacked a peaceful protest against the World Cup, the first mass action against FIFA.

These postcards, perhaps unknown to many, are the currency in South America; hence our rage is born of the most sincere hatred, the limited covering of basic needs, the daily submissions and the constant humiliations; hence our rage is not out of boredom or revolutionary pose but is necessary and urgent, and clearly, beautifully violent…

Message posted on Twitter by @caranovanocongr: “NOTICE TO FOREIGN TOURISTS – THERE WILL BE VIOLENT PROTESTS DURING THE WORLD CUP IN BRAZIL. #NAOVAITERCOPA

As anarchists, we cannot remain indifferent to so much misery, so much pain, so much torture and so much death.

Those responsible for these atrocities do not go hiding; they are the sponsors, the multinationals, the society itself that tolerates and encourages this tournament with its passivity and servility.

Of the former, we are able to find offices and representatives in various parts of the globe…; next, all we have to do is adjust the sights and shoot.

From the latter, we do not expect or ask anything, so we call ourselves to act, the anarchist combatants in various regions, the refractories of this filthy order, and the subversives who understand that the only way is direct and real confrontation.

see also;

Brazil: Cops Attack Protestors and Tourists During World Cup Demo

Blackwater Trains Killer Police For FIFA’s War On Brazilians

State Repression in Rio Leaves 2 Dead, 1 in a Coma, Govt & Media Target Black Bloc

For consequence and coherence, in rebellion and action.

For this reason, this statement is not intended to be a mere repudiation, but a clear incitement to conspiracy, sabotage and attack against all the instruments of the system of domination that aims to domesticate us, and specifically in this case, this shitty Word Cup.

So for our part, at the kickoff, we made an anonymous call to the JJ8011 flight of the TAM Airlines from Buenos Aires destined for São Paulo, warning of an explosive device with the aim of sabotaging the normal flow of tourists who arrive in the region dominated by the Brazilian government, either unaware of what is taking place over there or complicit through their apathy.

IF NOT YOU, WHO? IF NOT NOW, WHEN?

Active solidarity with comrades in revolt across Brazil!

Vengeance for those injured, imprisoned and killed by the State!

There will not be a World Cup!

International Solidarity Cell
To Win or Die For Anarchy.

- text reposted from contraInfo, International call for sabotage and direct action against the World Cup in Brazil

other media from revolution news

brazil-evictions-april-11-2014

Indigenous Peoples: Language Revitalization & Gender Identity

At the core of European legal thought is sustaining binaries such as the colonizer v. the colonized, the conqueror v. the conquered, the civilized v. the savage, or the male v. the female. During her lecture on systemic violence at Concordia University, Andrea Smith explains how colonialism legitimized gender violence through the installation of patriarchy, a male system of domination over females (Smith, 2011). Smith (2011) states:

Of course, patriarchy is built on a gender binary system. You can’t have patriarchy unless you have two genders, one that dominates another gender. So consequently, in many Native communities that were not built on a gender binary system, those who did not fit that system were often targeted for destruction as well (at approximately 2:05).

Watch Andrea Smith’s talk on Systemic Violence Against Native Women and Struggles for Land

Lecture at Concordia University: September 30th, 2011 – video by Concordia’s TV station, CUTV.

When settlers first arrived to the Americas, their relations with Indigenous populations were vital to their survival (Mawani, 2001). However, once more settlers began to arrive, the relations with Indigenous populations became more of an inconvenience (Mawani, 2001). By 1867, Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John A. MacDonald enacted the Indian Act, 1867 and this act was (and continues to be) a useful tool to police Indigenous populations (Comack, 2012). Brock Pitawanakwat (2009), in his research on Indigenous language revitalization, argues, “Canadian Indian Policy sought to undermine Indigenous independence and eradicate Indigenous languages” (p. 2). The eradication of Indigenous languages is then essential to colonialism since it promotes policy objectives, like those objectives associated with the enactment of the Indian Act. The primary objective behind the Indian Act was “to get rid of the Indian Problem” (Leslie, 1978). To accomplish this goal, colonizers forcibly removed Indigenous children from their homes to attend residential schools, where they were forbidden to practice their culture or speak their language (McGeough, 2008). Further, Pitawanakwat (2009) states, “the efforts to spread European languages in the Americas were fuelled by the colonists’ desires for administrative efficiency” (p. 2). While these are historical accounts of undermining Indigenous languages, the loss of language as an effect of colonialism still exists today. For example, within Canada, the loss of Indigenous languages occurs “at an even faster rate than the global average” (Pitawanakwat, 2009, p. 1). It has been shown that the main reason for loss of Indigenous language is European colonization and by 2100, it is predicted that only four of the original sixty Indigenous languages will be retained (Pitawanakwat, 2009, p. 1). For Indigenous peoples, the language is directly connected to their culture and from the perspective of the colonizer, it is a sensible policy and practice to prevent Indigenous peoples from both speaking their language and practicing their culture.

Though there are many efforts to restore Indigenous languages and culture, this colonial objective, to get rid of the Indian problem, still manifests itself in other ways in a contemporary context. From a legal perspective, within the Canadian court system, the value of Indigenous languages and cultures are diminished. This undermining of Indigenous languages and cultures is illustrated within the lower court decision in Delgamuukw v. British Columbia (hereinafter referred to as Delgamuukw) (Borrows, 1999). John Borrows, an Anishnaabeg legal scholar, examines how the value of Indigenous languages and culture were belittled in Delgamuukw. In the case of Delgamuukw, McEachern C.J. diminished the importance of Indigenous languages in Canadian law when he did not accept evidence in the form of song or oral history from the plaintiffs, House of Delgamuukw, as proof of Aboriginal title. Specifically, McEachern C.J. (1991) viewed these songs and oral histories as songs, folklore, or mythology (p. 93). Borrows, however, outlines the importance of language for Aboriginal people’s political, economical, and legal systems. He writes, “Indigenous languages and cultures shaped their legal, economic, and political structures, and the socio-cultural relationships upon which they were built. Many of these narratives were considered private property” (p. 9). Indigenous language has formed the basis for Indigenous law, and in relation to colonialism, the loss of Indigenous language indicates a loss of Indigenous political, legal, social and economical systems. The Supreme Court of Canada also established that McEachern C.J.’s decision discovered, “a trend imbricated in the very bedrock of western European legal thought” (Burrows, 1999, footnote 22, p. 29). As noted earlier, central to European legal thought is sustaining binaries such as the colonizer and the colonized, or more specifically, the male and the female.

from: KWE TODAY: fierce indigenous feminism

 

featherCops

Taiwan Protesters Siege Parliament to Stop 4th Nuclear Plant

The Taiwan Parliament has been laid siege again by the public. On Earth Day to protest the construction of the 4th Nuclear Plant of the Ma Administration and to support the hunger strike of former chairman of DPP, Mr. Lin, I-Hsiung. Lin Yi-hsiung Tuesday launched an indefinite hunger strike in protest at a nearly completed nuclear facility.
“It’s very meaningful to be doing something good for Taiwan — I feel very calm,” Lin told a crowd of reporters and supporters before he began the hunger strike.
He added he had been forced into the situation because the authorities had ignored public opinion on nuclear power. He said the majority of people in Taiwan were against a fourth nuclear power plant.

“If anything unfortunate should happen to me, I want my family and friends to know that (those in power) murdered me,” the 72-year-old said before entering a church in Taipei to begin his indefinite fasting.

The confrontation at the Legislative Yuan(Parliament) is getting bigger and bigger now. Some have been injured in this confrontation between the police and the protesters. Even now around mid-night, the public are gathering from all directions to force the legislators to have a righteous policy to terminate the nuclear power forever.

nuclear catastrophe in new mexico: Crews retreat after nuclear material found, Robots brought in, radiation too high for humans

i don’t want to sound alarmist, but because the authorities are dragging their feet, people affected by the leaking radioactive particles from the WIPP nuclear waste storage facility may not be able to be evacuated – they are radioactive biohazards by now. this shit accumulates in our bodies and never goes away. we’ll see if the robot they send in can approach the stuff, but i doubt it will be able to operate very close to the material that’s leaking.

facility meant for longterm storage of nuclear waste caught fire and leaked hot particle radioactive materials in february, injuring at least 13 workers. workers returned to search for the cause, but had to evacuate.

Albuquerque Journal, Mar. 8, 2014: WIPP radiation leak was never supposed to happen — No one knows yet how or why a waste drum leaked [...] setting off a cascade of events that could cripple the nation’s radioactive waste disposal system. [...] before WIPP opened, the [DOE] put the risk of such an accident at one chance in 10,000 to one in 1 million during any given year of WIPP operations [...] only two possible scenarios [...] an exploding waste drum or a waste disposal room roof collapse. [...] “You could have crapped up a whole lot of real estate down there,” [Bob Neill, a radiation safety expert] said. The underground drum fire scenario [...] hypothesized the “spontaneous combustion” of a drum’s contents, rupturing and spreading the radioactive waste inside [a] one chance in 10,000 in any given year of WIPP operations. The “roof fall” scenario [...] was calculated at one chance in a million during a given year [and] could leave a large number of waste drums crushed and leaking. [...] Cleaning up contamination [would] risk of further spreading the contamination. [...] In a formal legal notice, the New Mexico Environment Department said, “It is believed … that the WIPP will be unable to resume normal activities for a protracted period of time.”

Department of Energy, WIPP Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (pdf): WIPP Disposal Accidents– Eight potential accidents at WIPP during disposal operations were evaluated; they are shown in Table 5-18. [...] Potential radiological consequences to the public and maximally exposed noninvolved worker are substantially higher than hazardous chemical consequences, which are very small for most accident cases. Estimated results for members of the public, the maximally exposed noninvolved worker, and the maximally exposed involved worker are presented below and in Table 5-19. Public Population consequences from WIPP disposal accidents were estimated for the 22.5 degree sector west of the site, which includes the City of Carlsbad. The population in this sector is 25,629 and would be affected greater than any other section in the surrounding 80-kilometer (50-mile) region.

WippNight
screenshot from koat7, albuquerque

AP: Crews retreat after nuclear material found at WIPP — Officials: Correct to turn back, contamination was increasing — Robots brought to site for radiation levels too high for humans — ‘Significant amount of information’ will be revealed to public in next few days

AP, Apr. 17, 2014: Crews on their fourth trip into the mine on Wednesday made it into the only active waste storage area and found contamination, [Tammy Reynolds, U.S. Dept. of Energy’s deputy recovery manager] said. The deeper they went into the area, the more widespread the contamination, she said. But the crews had to retreat before identifying the possible source because they had been underground for five hours in protective gear that retains heat and the batteries on their respiratory equipment were running low. [...] The next step is for crews, and possibly robots, to go back down to see if they can identify what caused the leak.

Tammy Reynolds, deputy WIPP recovery manager: “The more they went into panel seven, the more (the contamination) became more widespread [...] They made the correct decision to turn back [...] Everyone was safely returned to the surface.”

John Heaton, former state representative and chairman of the Carlsbad Mayor’s Nuclear Taskforce, WIPP Town Hall, Apr. 17, 2014 (at 7:00 in): I think that next week might a very busy week in that I think that there will be progress to report in terms as to what might have been the cause and also Phase 1 of the accident investigation report. […] I believe — I hate to speculate on this — but there will be a significant amount of information that will come out next week. So I think it will be a very important meeting and I think we need to have adequate time for people to be able to ask questions.

Reynolds, WIPP Town Hall, Apr. 17, 2014 (at 23:00 in): One of the other things we’ve been working on is the contingency plan […] They’ve been working to have robots prepared that in the event that the conditions in the underground don’t allow us to be able to get to the waste space or other parts of the mine later on in recovery activities because of the level of contamination, as a contingency we’re looking at the use of robots. And so there’s a couple of robot operators, they’ve already been to the WIPP site,  today they brought the robots out to the site and they did a demonstration for us […] so that if we can’t go and visibly put our eyes on certain pieces of the mine, the robot can do that for us and feed us back that information.

wippire

WIPP released plutonium and americium, which are long-lived alpha emitters, which can stay in the body for a lifetime. They thus bioaccumulate upon inhalation and ingestion, and even absorption. That is the hidden, dirty, secret. [...] The BEIR VII report is well-known for its Linear No-Threshold Model (LNT), i.e. no safe dose: “the risk of cancer proceeds in a linear fashion at lower doses without a threshold and that the smallest dose has the potential to cause a small increase in risk to humans.” However, BEIR only “focuses on the health effects of low levels of low linear energy transfer (low-LET) ionizing radiation such as x-rays and gamma rays.” And, as pointed out “Most radiation sources have a mixture of high- and low-LET radiation. Compared to high-LET radiation [Alpha radiation is high LET; beta and gamma radiation are low LET], low-LET radiation deposits less energy in the cell along the radiation path and is considered less destructive per radiation track.”

Watch the Senate hearing here

Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Department of the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, published Apr. 9, 2014 (at 3:00 in):

  • Sen. Tom Udall, New Mexico: I appreciate that many in your agency have made it clear that the radioactive releases from WIPP have been at levels that are a public health danger and I’m hopeful that you’re monitoring and verification will continue to support their unfortunately the facts are the two accidents have happened to WIPP that were not supposed to happen — a fire in a mine and a radiological release. DOE oversight has already been found to be lacking and that’s why it’s important to the community that an independent public health agency like EPA be on the ground overseeing the recovery phase to ensure public health is protected. [...]

 - from enenews

all screenshots are from koat7, albuquerque
all screenshots are from koat7, albuquerque