THIS HAS ALL HAPPENED BEFORE – DOESN’T MEAN IT HAS TO HAPPEN AGAIN!
as heated street battles rage between anarchists and fascists in austria, spain,and greece, we must remind ourselves that the inevitable social chaos which follows economic collapse WILL be exploited by the ruling powers to increase their authority over us. this is where they are headed, whether we like it or not, and the banksters will use the fascists – as they always have – to wage a war of attrition against the unruly, starving masses, striving to maintain their lives and dignity in the ruins of an economy which was purposely burnt to the ground by unindicted financial terrorists in government administrator’s clothing.
BE FOREWARNED, THOUGH – THE FASCIST STREET THUGS WILL BE ABSORBED INTO A “LAW AND ORDER” POLITICAL PARTY.
unsurprisingly, seeing as how many cops and other populist authoritarians are fascists already.once they’ve served their purpose, the fascists will be exterminated, too, in order to make the new technocratic institutions of power appear to be humanity’s saviors.
in depression-era germany and italy, fascists rose to power through street mobs. much the same as they are attempting in greece, via the golden dawn party. peronistas in argentina did likewise.
now more than ever, it is easier to discern everyone’s enemy, in every land – the banksters, their toadying politicians, ginormous corporations, evil scientists, murderous enforcers, child-molesting cult leaders…the shit never ends.
most of the court systems on this planet are based upon the religious delusions of megalomaniacal european aristocracies. how humiliating is it to be kept in servitude by figments of other people’s imaginations?
-ROMANUS PONTIFEX, JANUARY 8, 1455 - the doctrine of discovery
“[W]e bestow suitable favors and special graces on those Catholic kings and princes…intrepid champions of the Christian faith…to invade, search out, capture, vanquish, and subdue all Saracens and pagans whatsoever, and other enemies of Christ wheresoever placed, and…to reduce their persons to perpetual slavery, and to apply and appropriate…possessions, and goods, and to convert them to…their use and profit…“
There you have it, spelt out in fairly clear language – His Excellency, Pope Babyraper the Umpteenth, authorized his co-conspirators to go out and rob, murder, rape, and plunder in every land which had not been “saved” by J-Zeus, the dying/resurrecting sun deity. At the time of the edict, that was around 85 percent of the inhabited world.
It’s easy enough to dismiss this document as an out-dated relic of a long-gone era.
The problem with that is, this is the SINGLE, LEGAL DOCUMENT that created the court systems of the US, Canada, Australia, much of Latin America and the Caribbean, the Philippines, most of Africa, swaths of Asia…
This single document is the foundation for laws before the US Supreme Court when considering matters of copyright, property, regulation of corporations, and trade agreements. Yeah, all that bullshit about separation of Church and State…just window dressing. Without this Roman Catholic doctrine, the foundation for rule of law by the court systems in just about every nation on earth goes straight out the window.
Ever heard of a place called Latin America? No one spoke fucking Latin in the god-damn 15th century. Except for the Catholic Church clergy and lawyers – who established the court systems that preside over these places to this day! And that’s why it’s refereed to as Latin America, because of their Latin legal systems.
Think this is a ridiculous over-simplification (I get that a lot)? Ever read a US law book? See all the Latin phrases? When exactly was it that Latin-speaking people inhabited the US? Isn’t US law supposed to be based on English court systems? And just what is the foundation of English law? Again, written in Latin. Little known fact: “Empress of the Holy Roman Empire” is one of Queen Lizzie the 2nd’s titles.
INTER CAETERA, MAY 3, 1493
“…in our times especially the Catholic faith and the Christian religion be exalted and everywhere increased and spread…and that barbarous nations be overthrown…”
This Papal decree is so much a part of the Great American Mythology that it was referenced by none less than US Chief Justice John Marshall in an 1823 decision, JOHNSON v. MCINTOSH, 21 US 543 to assert American authority over indigenous Peoples. His decision legalized exploitation, theft, and genocide by establishing that indigenous Peoples were indeed not quite people, not being Christians and all, so anything done to or against them is all good and well, and the Good Lord’s work as well, hallelujah!
And why should it be overturned? It’s necessary to dehumanize indigenous Peoples in order to rob, rape, and murder them wholesale, even over the objections of the more squeamish members of the invading society.
This notion that indigenous Peoples must be “saved” from their ignorant, savage existence by having the gifts of religion and poverty bestowed upon them fuels wars even in the 21st century. This idea has been enacted through many expressions over the years: saving souls, bringing them civilization, educating them, making them into citizens of the state, development. This is the doctrine of Manifest Destiny – that god almighty has given Europeans superior weapons in order to subjugate other Peoples. Most of whom were not warlike, and almost none of whom had standing armies.
This is the notion of Progress. Lands previously untouched by the foul hand of the West had to be incorporated into the European legal systems in order for European aristocracies to rule over them, for the benefit of the Europeans. It is solidly, irrefutably white supremacist to the core, an excuse to commit genocide and feel good, even proud, for doing it. There sure are long lists of names – venerated in every nation overrun by Europeans – of murdering, ignorant scum who slaughtered indigenous Peoples and later became well-respected members of the communities where they dwelt. Some of these genocidal pieces of shit are Saints in the Catholic church.
This Progressive ideology has never been refuted by anyone with a Eurocentric worldview. It enables people who depend on markets for everything they need for personal survival – but who must first find a master to serve in order to access markets – to think of indigenous Peoples as poor, filthy, ignorant savages. Even though the indigenous Peoples are able to hand craft everything they need. Food, clothing, shelter – what they can’t do for themselves, is often available from others, as sharing is much more widespread in Peoples who do not have the concept of “poverty” in their lives. They mostly live in abundance.
Hell – right now, pharmaceutical corporations are falling all over themselves to get at indigenous healers in the field. They are making billions of dollars off of the knowledge and experience of indigenous Peoples, then they have the audacity to cry about “intellectual property rights.”
And to FINALLY arrive at the main point I want to make here – Socialism and Marxism are not in any way different from any of the other ideologies of Progress. Indeed, Marx himself stated that indigenous Peoples must submit to proletarianization or disappear from the world. Anyone who did not slave for a master for monetary gain was a lumpen, and Marx saw them – always the majority of the population in industrialized nations – as reactionary, enemies of the working class. He used much the same rationale we hear today from far-right racists: Lumpen want to take our jobs (scabs). They are criminals. They are no-good layabout alcoholics and drug addicts. They are whores. They are ignorant. As someone who has spent much of his adult life either homeless or in prison, but always struggling against the coercive forces of elite rule, I gotta say a big, ol’ “Fuck you!” to orthodox Marxists.
There are Marxists I have some respect for – libertarian and autonomous Marxists are at least breaking from the orthodoxy of building a Party to centralize power. Some groups that started out as Marxists have evolved to the point that they no longer spout fiery working-class rhetoric. Instead, they humbly ask the communities they rely on for support what their group can do to help them. Likewise, the trend in anarchy so far in the 21st century is for revolutionaries to focus on building autonomous communities instead of taking over industry. Except – of course! – in the industrialized West.
In Europe and North America, the white working classes are terrified of losing the few precious scraps of privilege they’ve been allowed until now. Still clinging to their notion of Progress, orthodox Marxists, Anarcho-Communists, and Syndicalists refuse to let go of racist, outdated 19th century ideas that see them – the true and only revolutionaries – as the saviors of the world. Anyone who dares to challenge them and join the rest of humanity in the 21st century is silenced as “ignorant” or “reactionary” or “fascist.”
I’ve written before that Marxism’s main failure was that the working class never seized control of anything. I’m more of the opinion these days that their greatest failure was in only offering substitutions for the social order they were allegedly opposing. Substitute the Party for the working class. Substitute a Chairman for an emperor. Substitute expansion of the revolution for economic expansion. Substitute “safeguarding the revolution” for “protecting investments.” In short, Marxism has never offered anything but more of the same horrors, with just slightly different jargon. In function, the fascist state is little different than a communist one, and neither system is much different than democracies or republics. They all seek to divvy up the world’s resources for the enrichment of very few people, with treats for their lackeys, jails for the complainers, and bludgeons for those who get in the way. Absolutely nothing has changed in the pyramidal structure of civilized societies throughout history. They are slave systems.
A few notes about this alleged “progress” of his-story
It took the old European colonial powers centuries to overrun the entire planet and install court systems acceptable to their aristocracies. But it pretty much took until the 20th century for whities to look around at the places they had conquered and think “hmmm – wonder what all that stuff is?”
Naturally, being the superior civilization and all, they had no need for anything the heathens had. Not their medicinal herbcrafting. Not their stories and legends about geological events. Not their ambitions, thoughts, and dreams. Not their extensive written histories which receded far, far past the time when the Christian book of bullshit was written. And especially not for their heathen technology, which was the work of demons, after all – amen.
Many of the civilizations annihilated by the invading savages (the conquistador’s forces were at least 95 percent illiterate, and were either kidnapped from slums or taken from prisons) were far superior in every way to what existed in Europe at that time. Some Europeans even marveled at the lack of poverty, the cleanliness and orderliness of city streets, the lack of crime, in peru, mexico, india…
There are irrigation systems in Peru that are thousands of years older than historians are willing to admit there have been people in the Americas. Megalithic ruins all over the world suggest that there was a one-world culture of sea-faring people who built magnificent cities globally, until just after the end of the last ice age, when climatic chaos destroyed many coastal areas. Thus, the universal flood myths in people’s written and oral histories.
I can write this with confidence because much of it is readily – even scientifically, if that’s your religion – verifiable now. As a matter of fact, it’s getting to be common knowledge. This may well be one reason why education systems are being undermined. There will be no way to keep this knowledge out of textbooks in the future, unless there is such tight control of publishing and education institutions that “traditional” narratives remain unchallenged. Religious institutions worldwide depend on this forgetting of the human saga.
Almost all the great dietary “breakthroughs” constantly in vogue in the US have come about as American consumers somehow found out about Ayurvedic and Naturalpathic medicinal traditions in Asia. As mentioned before, pharmaceutical corporations are scouring Amazonia and Africa, looking for new drugs and other biological knowledge from shamans and traditional healers. That’s not Progress, that’s just more plunder. We could accumulate this knowledge ourselves by TALKING TO PEOPLE and LISTENING WITH RESPECT TO WHAT OTHER CULTURES HAVE TO SAY! Fucksake…
I’m gonna go ahead and put this out there; some people suspect that a “lost,” one-world, seafaring culture still existed, here and there, until fairly recently. Until the era of conquest. Their civilization had collapsed, for the most part, and they had to rebuild. I’ll write a lot more about this in the future.
The point I want to make here is; Polynesian Peoples sailed thousands of miles of open, uninterrupted seas at times. It would be more than a thousand years before Western civilization accomplished the same. Some American and Australian indigenous Peoples claim to have sailed to their continents around 30,000 years ago. Most of the older ruins in the Americas are along the Pacific rim. Mayan civilization had a written history that covered 30,000 years, including daily records. Tenochtitlan, the capitol city of the Mexica, was an engineering marvel unmatched by the West: huge stone plazas and gigantic, megalithic pyramids built on a swamp. There are irrigation systems so old, there are no records of their construction, nor memories; in SE Asia, Russia, Australia, South America…noneof this points to savage, primitive people, as Catholic scribes and other racist apologists have told us throughout history.
And even the approved annuls of history tell of the constant attack on knowledge. Libraries burned by invading forces, in Alexandria, Heliopolis, Persepolis, Babylon, Palmyra…We will never know how much was destroyed in the era of conquest, which I suspect has been going on a little longer than we’ve been told.
How far back did all this pointless destruction put the human race, as far as accumulated knowledge? So much for “progress.” Most of this knowledge was lost forever to us, some of it we are actually rediscovering.
One civilization succeeded in preserving some of this ancient knowledge in Buddhist temples, written in archaic forms of Sanskrit. If it isn’t being destroyed by some goddam government or another, that’s where we could find a lot of details about cultures and events mentioned above.
The history we’ve been force-fed is so much just a load of bullshit, i’m not sure if we should believe anything written up until the end of the last century. EVERYTHING the education system has indoctrinated us into accepting is wrong. Fucking goddam Everything. I hope I can convince enough people in the anarchist movement of this that we can actually band together and use the new knowledge – the stuff being rediscovered – to our advantage.
to make things very clear;
the idea of “progressive” history is racist to it’s very core. not to mention complete Bullshit. anything coming from that tradition is nothing more or less than white supremacist propaganda. not just including Marxism, but ESPECIALLY Marxism because of its failure to understand that industrial society is not the Ultimate Achievement of humankind. Free living people do not need to be enslaved through employment in order to find liberation.
As for myself, i want no part of this wretched deathculture. it’s built on lies, fraud, genocide, rape, and plunder. we are capable of creating something so much better. we should get on with building it. now.
The P’urhepecha people in Cherán rose up to defend their forests and community from cartel control and the corrupt police that partnered with organized crime. It was spearheaded by women who were tired of their sons and husbands disappearing into the void that is cartel abduction and violence.
They began by trying to protest against the cartel backed loggers on the streets, it ended with molotovs and the storming of police stations to gather assault rifles to defend themselves. There was no turning back at that point, they began to establish fogatas, something like a camp fire, in every block to keep watch and stay vigilant to any attack. This became a nightly routine, it was also in these community camp fires that they made decisions on what to do in their communities. You know it as direct democracy, they know it as decolonization. Through the process of decolonization, they also established their form of self defense, how their communities used to defend themselves in the past.
Ronda comunitaria. Communal self defense.
A literal translation wouldn’t work, so I gave you what it is in practice. I’ll explain what that practice is, and you can see it here.So a community kicks out cartel elements, and the police along with the politicians because they all knew these were all the many heads of the same hydra. Of course those they kicked out would attempt to return, angrily to be certain. Campfires on every block is good to stay vigilant, but how do you defend your community should these vile elements return? Ronda comunitaria was the traditional form of self defense, now in their modern form they used what used to be police vehicles and assault rifles that used to belong to the police. Instead of using those tools to repress, kidnap and help cartel forces like before, they used them to defend not just their community, but also their forest.
Naná Echeri,our mother earth, land.
The trucks that once belonged to corrupt police were used to patrol the forests to keep loggers out. They not only defended Naná Echeri, they also replenished her with reforestation efforts. Over 50 thousand trees were planted to help heal the damage the loggers had brought upon Naná Echeri. The people of Cherán not only defend, they also heal. Above that, they shine like a lighthouse guiding the lost ships in a violent cold sea to a vibrant Naná Echeri. Where once Tatá Jurhiata, father sun, gave his light to a land that was nothing but burned tree stumps, now nourishes the growing trees of Naná Echeri. The people of Cherán are now in direct control of not only their politics, lives and selves, but also their environment.
It is difficult to find an equivalent in so called modern societies, we claim democracy in Europe and the United States of America, but there is no self determination in either. In Cherán, an indigenous people became the Tatá Jurhiata for the rest of the world. I once thought it was just the light for Mexico, to show our people how to not only resist but flourish. It is the sun for the whole world to show you how to not just defend life, but how to nurture it so it can grow in many beautiful ways on Naná Echeri. They are now an autonomous community using traditional self governance. They’ve taught us so much. I hope the language is never lost upon you.
“If I Die in Police Custody, Burn Everything Down!”
The militant movements of the last several years have been failures because they have only sought to generate reforms from the present system, even if they didn’t make demands. We went into the streets knowing something was wrong, but in the back of our minds we hoped those in power would listen to us and make changes.
Those in the Left groups with their newspapers claimed we lacked a vanguard party to guide us. The unions claimed we lacked representation in the workplace. The churches and mosques said we lacked moral superiority in the face of state violence. The non-profits whined we had a poor outreach strategy.
The riots, blockades, occupations, and shut-downs failed because they didn’t go far enough.
Revolutions that go half-way, dig their own grave.
“If I die in police custody, don’t let my parents talk to…Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, or any of the motherfuckers who would destroy my name.”
Being a revolutionary in the present terrain means knowing that things aren’t going to get better; that currently there are no reforms that the system can grant that will get us out of the current crisis. Those in power will continue to offer only more repression, surveillance, incarceration, and policing to quell in rebellion, while also attempting to placate to popular anger by attempting to offer cosmetic changes or “expand the dialog.”
But what would a revolutionary strategy look like? What has already taken place in the streets that can show us a way forward? In the past several years, across the world, from Oakland to Egypt, we’ve seen the proliferation of various tactics and strategies – all responding to a historical moment of crisis that defines our era.
But these tactics by themselves are just that, tactics. Blockading a freeway against white supremacy might be the start of a longer revolutionary struggle or a way to gather our forces, but simply going onto a freeway and hoping that something will materialize (or worse yet, someone will listen,) is delusional thinking. If we want to build a revolutionary force capable of destroying this system of domination, white supremacy, and exploitation, then we have to think about tactics in terms of a strategy.
Thinking about a strategy means paying attention to the situation we are in both locally where we live, but also nationally and internationally. We have to think about how the Left and those that try and control social struggles will react and try and hinder our efforts. We have to think about how the state will try and repress us for attacking the social order.
But above all, we have to think about how our actions can grow, expand, become more powerful, and ultimately link up with others across the social terrain.
The above text has been condensed into a flyer which you can download below. Use the box to fill in a link to local projects.
The assembly movement owes a great deal to what took place in Argentina. Although there is no direct connection, the influence is real. During the first general strikes, we were inspired by the Argentinian experience, and later also by the Tunisian and Egyptian events. Another important influence was the self-reduction movements in Italy during the seventies: groups organized to not pay rents, electric bills or transport fares. In our assembly, particularly, many people were inspired by the Zapatista struggle in Mexico and its quest for autonomy. We participate in solidarity actions with these struggles in our neighborhood.
One factor that all these different sources of inspiration have in common, which is present in the assemblies, is the will to organize horizontally, without political parties: although there are party militants in the assemblies, they only participate in the assemblies as individuals, without labels. The political foundations of the assemblies are autonomy and the will to create structures outside capitalism, based on sharing and solidarity. In our assembly, there are basic positions that have been arrived at after long discussions. We are always seeking a consensus in order to find a way to move forward together.
In Greece, there is much less belief in institutions, in the idea of the social contract and representation, than in France. It is fertile ground both for anti-authoritarian ideas as well as for hyper-authoritarian ideas. Here, it is much easier than it is in France to associate on common bases with people from diverse political backgrounds. On the other hand, however, the danger of becoming a closed group also exists: finding a way to keep the assemblies open to recent arrivals is a never-ending task.
After the revolt of 2008-2009 we were continuously trying to keep abreast of what was happening. What the neighborhood assemblies have once again contributed, as a possibility, was precisely not to restrict our demands to things that were taken away from us and instead to move towards the world we want to create. But the obstacles are numerous and the repression suffered by the political militants, the rise of Golden Dawn, the explosion of unemployment and the constant violence against immigrants prevent us from devoting ourselves to a program as if nothing else was happening.
One of the weak points of the movement is the fact that the moments of resurgence have never obtained any concrete results. The general assembly of the neighborhood assemblies was one of those moments. In November 2011 all the existing assemblies convened in one assembly: forty in Athens, with four hundred representatives and a good dynamic. But it quickly ran out of steam. It obtained no concrete victories and this was a source of discouragement, creating a feeling of defeat that is very acute at the present time. This feeling is also in part caused by the fact that the neighborhood assemblies do not appear to be viable solutions for the organization of everyday life.
The will to create structures based on self-organization and autonomy poses numerous questions: how can they be built while simultaneously going beyond the logic of charity and philanthropy? How can we create our own autonomy in an environment in which everything has been stolen, where we cannot produce anything for ourselves, especially in the urban setting? What do we have to do to get people to really participate? When we organize collective kitchens or barter markets, we have to constantly explain that they are not ordinary distribution services.
I do not think there is a really convincing answer to these problems, we have to be patient. The way I see it, in the very large assemblies people are inclined to delegate tasks to others and to accept the representation of a small group, whereas when there are more personal relations and more contacts, there is correspondingly greater equality in participation. It is a question of relations. There are not many people who think that we can live without anyone’s help, without a basis of consensus and dialogue, and that we can reclaim our lives on an individual basis.
I get the impression, however, that, as the State and the economic system decline and fall, more “grey zones” will arise and other modes of organization and relations will become possible. The role of the assemblies will be crucial in this. Not only do we have to keep the home fires burning, but we also have to make the fire last longer. New structures appear in Greece with each passing month. From this perspective, the movement is on the right path.
Originally published in French under the title, “L’etat s’effondre, les quartiers s’organisent”. Retour sur le mouvement des assemblées de quartier. La revue Z, No. 7, 2013. Dossier Grèce: Thessalonique dans la dépression européenne. Bricolages quotidiens et résistances insolvables.
Everybody plays on their heartstrings, every party, every organization, of every possible and imaginable tendency, libertarian included, spews out the predigested discourse of the “barbarians” which assail our “peaceful coexistence”
But what is a barbarian?
Let’s consider the term for a moment. From the greek bárbaros (“stranger”), the ancient Greeks used the word for those populations that were not a part of their civilization, as defined by the Hellenistic language and religion. The barbarian is thus the other, those that don’t eat the same soup, or simply those that don’t eat at the same table. Montaigne said “Each man calls barbarism whatever is not his own custom.” As we’ve already said elsewhere, we know not barbarians, only individuals who survive in the midst of this morbid civilization. We know of no outside, we know outsiders, yes, but they could not be any more inside than they already are.
The “barbarians” of today are far from being outside of civilization, even though advocates of this assertion may feel reassured in thinking so. Just like the famous “Affair of the Gang of Barbarians” back in 2006, they are a pure product of civilization. They know its codes, use its tools, and are not so far apart from those that pillory them hypocritically. Because it essentially makes little difference whether the killers wear a green or black uniform, whether they shout “long live democracy” or “Allahu akbar”, whether they carry tricolor or jihadist flags, whether they’re sanctioned by public opinion or not, whether their massacres are legal or illegal, whether they massacre us to bring us enlightenment or obscurity. Committing their macabre atrocities, they all condescend to the same level, from the moment they deny the individual the ability to realize itself how it wishes.
Terrorism is not a barbarian praxis, rather a highly civilized one. Was not democracy born from the Reign of Terror? For this reason, terror must be fought just as the civilization which begot it and needs it, from the “septembriseurs” of 1792 to the exterminating prison penalties or Daesh of today. Who are these pigs with ties who send off their armies to attack the populations of central Africa, Afghanistan or elsewhere, who give us lessons of pacifism when twelve people are murdered in Paris? They are exactly the same ones that appear on television at the moment to shed some cheap tears in order to win (or not to lose) a few miserable percentage points in their equally miserable opinion polls.
Today, we are no more Charlie than we were yesterday, and death doesn’t transform our opponents or enemies of yesterday into our friends of today. We abandon our relationship to the world of hyenas and vultures. It is not our custom to cry on the graves of the (so-called vaguely alternative or libretarian) journalists or cops, for we’ve long since recognized the media and the police as the two essential weapons of this civilizing terrorism: by manufacturing consent on the one hand, and by repression and imprisonment on the other. That is why we refuse to cry wolf with other wolves, or even with sheep.
Those predators who exhort us to cry in unison with them today, to declare “Je suis Charlie”, are the same predators in suits responsible for the emergence of terrible groups and movements such as al-Quaeda or Daesh, former allies of western democracies against the previous perils before they took a central place on the podium of the geo-strategic perils of today. In their courts, their police stations, their prisons, these same scumbags kill, incarcerate, mutilate and sequestrate all those that don’t follow the path imposed upon them with truncheon blows and education. The same civilized beings that let people croak every day at their borders for trying to escape the misery and wars that they themselves and their enemies of the day- Salafistas or consorts- created.
We have absolutely no desire to let these same exact scumbags civilize and eradicate us any further, still less to stand shoulder to shoulder with them. Because it is against them that we want to stand shoulder to shoulder, against all those that regard us under different religious, political, communitarian, interclassist, civilizing and nationalist pretexts as pawns to be placed for sacrifice on an absurd and squalid chessboard.
It is appropriate, today as well as yesterday, to remember the words of Rudolf Rocker, when he says that “national states are only churches political organizations; the alleged national consciousness was not born in man but instilled in him. It is a religious concept, one is a German, a Frenchman, an Italian, just as one is a Catholic, a Protestant, or a Jew.”
However, the point is not to diminish the danger these fools of Allah represent, those lovers of self-submission and moral masochism. And although we are completely overwhelmed by their ability to recruit anywhere, to blast here and there into kingdom come, we will have to ask ourselves questions relating to these matters in order to get out of that incomprehension. In this case, we certainly shouldn’t acquiesce to every siren that only wants to divide us further, that would like to stigmatize an entire population because of an infinitesimally small fraction of Muslims, only in order to achieve the supposed ‘clash of civilizations’ they so fervently dream of, which in fact is a civil war whose consequences for all of us are not entirely known to them.
And what should we say about that member of the cleaning staff, who was riddled with bullets, executed in cold blood, without having asked for anything? Who concerns themselves with him? He probably had no twitter account, no entry ticket to the modern spectacle, no name, no face, no pal that can go on tv and bawl for him. He was not Charlie. He was only a collateral damage of a god crazy few shooting amok. He is exactly like so many right now, exactly like the millions of collateral victims of states all over the world. Our thoughts go out to him tonight.
Something is certain, there’s no choice to be made between the plague and cholera, between any god with his slaughtered, crucifying, or massacring prophet and any shit state with its murderous cops and soldiers. We still refuse the demand to choose between different forms of slavery and subjugation. The choice we will make will come only from ourselves, that is the choice of freedom.
In this hopeless age, as opposed to the alleged “national unity”, civil war, the jihads of the fanatics and the “clean wars” of the states, we must put the social war at the fore again, until the stage burns.
The Brazilian government is planning to build a vast number of big dams on the rivers around the Amazon Rainforest, destroying biodiversity and disrupting the way of life of thousands of Amerindians and local populations. Now that the work is well under way on the huge Belo Monte dam, on the Xingu river, the government is pushing ahead with its next big project – a series of dams on the Tapajós river. But 12,000 Munduruku Indians, long feared as warriors, live here and are fighting back.
This documentary, filmed in late 2013 and early 2014, looks at life in a Munduruku village, where traditional skills are practised and children are brought up with remarkable freedom. It documents the growth of resistance, even among the women, not traditionally fighters, some of whom are emerging as guerreiras (woman warriors).
This video was produced independently, with the support of some organizations in the UK, such as LAB and Lipman Miliband Trust, Munduruku leaders and their local supporters. The post-production process was made thanks to collaborative and solidarity work.
UK/Brazil, 25min Dir.: Nayana Fernandez see vimeo for full transcript ________________________________ The Munduruku Indians: Weaving Resistance by MiráPorã is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Based on a work at mirapora.com/
Is the Middle East’s newest country a territory called “Rojava”? Out of the chaos of Syria’s civil war, mainly Kurdish leftists have forged an egalitarian, multi-ethnic mini-state run on communal lines. But with ISIS Jihadists attacking them at every opportunity — especially around the beleaguered city of Kobane, how long can this idealistic social experiment last? From the frontlines to the refugee camps, Mehran Bozorgnia filmed in Rojava for the BBC’s Our World and has gained exclusive access and a revealing snapshot of Syria’s secret revolution.
COPYRIGHT: Mehran Bozorgnia / Bozorgnia Films / 2014
Rojava: Kurdish Revolution in Syria
Between 1920 and 1946, when Syria was occupied by France, the national rights of the Kurds were not recognised. Nothing changed after the withdrawal of the French in 1946. The new Syrian government denied the Kurdish people their rights and they were considered as ‘foreigners living in the region’, without rights to education, property and movement.
In 1963, the Ba’ath Party took the control of the country by a coup d’état and declared Syria an ‘Arab country’. Kurds were considered to be migrants from Turkey and Kurdish identity was banned. Original Kurdish names of villages and cities were changed. Kurds were forced to live as refugees in their own land. However, these Kurds have now taken matters into their own hands.
Rojava consists of three main regions: Cizire, Kobane and Efrin. There are working committees affiliated to the Supreme Kurdish Council, governing the autonomous region. The economy, politics, culture and social life are self-governed by the people. The people in Rojava have developed a structure, which could be an example for the whole of the Middle East: a model of administration from below, wherein people actively participate.
The YPG is the biggest military force in the region. Women constitute more than half of the YPG forces. Security is provided by an armed force formed by the people themselves. The units responsible for security and traffic in cities are formed outside of the YPG. They are accountable to the People’s Assemblies and academies have been built for their education.
In all the cities of Rojava, there are councils called ‘Mala Gel’; their members are elected. Mala Gel is a sort of local council and most of its activities are directed by People’s Assemblies, which are formed within the structure of Mala Gels and local problems are solved through these Assemblies.
Trade unions and occupational bodies represent another area in the process of institutionalisation in Rojava. The Union of Tailors, the Union of Electricians and the Union of Health Workers are some of the organisations. The importance of unions in the process of democratisation is emphasised in Rojava.
Rojava revolution is the revolution of oppressed peoples
The Rojava Revolution, led by Kurds and supported by Assyrians, many Arab socialists and democrats, Muslims and Christians, Sunnis and Alawites is the revolution of all oppressed classes and peoples.
All other uprisings, resisting dictatorial governments in the Middle East, so far have become open to imperialist interventions because they lacked organisation, a project for the future and self-belief. But the Rojavan revolution has everything that was missing in the other uprisings. Today, Rojava is organised as a state of the oppressed peoples. It is free and not under the control of any regional or imperialist power. All land and properties in Rojava belong to the people and not to individuals. What is being produced is being shared according to everyone’s labour and needs.
60% of Syrian oil is in Rojava. This is why the western imperialists and reactionary forces treat the PYD with one hand as the representative body they would negotiate with in the future. But with the other hand, they try to destroy it.
Massacres, bombings, kidnapping of women and children, rape, plunder and destruction carried out by Jabhat Al Nusra and Free Syrian Army forces continue in Rojava. Sabotage, border closure, embargoes and attempts to divide the Kurds internally are the other type of attacks. Turkey, Syria and Iraqi Kurdistan have imposed a blockade on Rojava. Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan prevented the passage of humanitarian aid. Under pressure from the people in Iraqi Kurdistan the embargo has been relaxed by the Barzani-led establishment. The forces against the Rojavan revolution are trying to force the people in Rojava to their knees in order to push them into a collaborationist position. The attacks are also intended to prevent international solidarity and to isolate Rojava.
Rojava revolution is a women’s revolution!
Women play an active and crucial part in Rojava and they are involved both in the armed forces and social organisations. The Rojavan revolution is the organised action of women for freedom. Before the revolution the women were oppressed both by the Ba’ath regime and the feudal conditions dominating in the region. Now there are women’s academies and centres everywhere, where the next generation of women cadres and leaders are being educated. The People’s Assemblies also have women’s assemblies within their structure. Women’s Security Units protect women in cities. When women have judicial problems or criminal issues to report, they first go to these units. The number of women at work is high compared with other regions of Kurdistan. The number of women in state institutions is rapidly increasing.
These developments in Rojava scare the regional dictatorships and reactionary forces as well as the imperialist countries. For the people of Rojava have given hope to all the people in the Middle East. The possibility of the Rojavan revolution spreading terrifies the rulers. The Kurdish ruling classes are also frightened because the revolution also threatens their historical rule. That is why Barzani’s Kurdish Regional Government (in northern Iraq) has such enmity for Rojava.
The Kurdish struggle in Rojava is a struggle for all the Kurds in the region. Rojava is the fire of a nation longing for democracy. It is the women resisting slavery and defending their freedom. It is the struggle of workers and labourers for a life in dignity. And that is why solidarity with Rojava is a duty of all revolutionary and progressive people around the world. The countries imposing the blockade on Rojava, supporting the terrorist gangs and the imperialist countries which are covertly involved in attacks on Rojava, have to be opposed.
The following text is intended to be the continuation of a dialogue on the tools of anarchist insurgency and the ways of organizing ourselves; a dialogue that was initiated at an international anarchist encounter somewhere in the countryside of France and now continues from a prison cell in Greece.
The opinions expressed here are my own personal views, so it should be clear that they promote a particular position on the issue. However it is not desired to have one position prevail over all the others; what matters is how the various different, yet complementary, points of view communicate and interact with each other. In the face of an enemy that’s very flexible as regards the use and multitude of means and forms of attack, the diversity of considerations and practices on the part of anarchists is self-evident. Whichever different perspectives cannot be promoted dogmatically but rather based on a rationale of multifaceted attack. – NR
First we need to talk about the very concept of organization, a word quite misunderstood in anarchist circles.
We face an enemy with complex and complicated functions. One of the main characteristics that make the enemy powerful is the constant evolution and organization of the social paranoia we are experiencing today: a technological, military, architectural, civil, industrial, economic, scientific organization. Every aspect of this world is being organized, constantly correcting its imperfections through an intelligent system which has a great number of servants.
In the face of this condition, whoever believes that one is able to fight without organization is naive to say the least.
“In 1972, the pigs mobilized 150,000 men to hunt the RAF, using television to involve the people in the manhunt, having the Federal Chancellor intervene, and centralizing all police forces in the hands of the BKA; this makes it clear that, already at that point, a numerically insignificant group of revolutionaries was all it took to set in motion all of the material and human resources of the State; it was already clear that the State’s monopoly of violence had material limits, that their forces could be exhausted, that if, on the tactical level, imperialism is a beast that devours humans, on the strategic level it is a paper tiger. It was clear that it is up to us whether the oppression continues, and it is also up to us to smash it.” (Ulrike Meinhof)
We can thus say that whoever does not organize himself/herself will turn into a harmless aggregation that will be assimilated to the alienation mechanisms of the existent sooner or later. They will lose the combative attributes that make them dangerous for the enemy and subsequently be deported from the field of antagonistic battle.
Conversely, whoever has decided to fight this system will need to organize their hatred, in order to become effective and dangerous. So, the discussion about ways of organizing ourselves, having attributes inherent in our anarchist values, begins somewhere at this point.
The dilemma then is whether we will organize ourselves through a central anarchist organization that will be the reference point for the anarchist movement, or in a decentralized and diffuse manner through anarchist affinity groups that will maintain their political autonomy both in terms of action and collective decisions.
As regards the centralizing mode of organization I will speak in general, instead of specific, terms about who, and how, have opted for it in Greece.
If you look at it historically, these two forms of organization have always existed but never coexisted. In the Spanish civil war, anarchists were organized at the central level to combat the fascists, and the same thing happened during other revolutionary attempts.
The same is the case with most urban guerrilla warfare organizations in the past decades that approached new comrades in the context of a particular political project, thus aiming to strengthen the organization instead of an armed diffusion, where the autonomy of each individuality opens up the possibility of creating chaotic fronts of attack.
This understanding of organizational ways should not be viewed separately from the social and political conditions of the time.
The combatants of those times studied their adversary with their own analytical tools, fought for freedom and paid the price with murders, harsh prison sentences, tortures, solitary confinement wards. Those among them who haven’t renounced their values make their own critical assessment of the experiences acquired through the years, experiences which obviously deserve careful study; but if we cling to that we are doomed. What matters is what we’re doing today, in the era we live in.
So, for me, the central organization and the revolutionary centralism are ghosts we need to banish from us.
Besides, an indication of this is the fact that all the remaining central anarchist organizations have simply kept the glorious hallmarks of those times, having sunk deep into reformism while they renounce direct action and rebellion in everyday life, and have nothing to do with something pertaining to combativeness. They refuse to understand the enormous changes at the social and political level, they refuse to talk about the edges of contemporary oppression, the advancement of science, the technological fascistization, the domination of multinationals, and merely trot ideologized theories about the conflict between capital and labour out, using terms that were written one hundred years ago, in another era of capitalism.
Worse still, they refuse to act, unable to understand that if they lived in the glorious past they reminisce about they would only be extras because they would never take any risks.
Now, as regards the revolutionary centralism within urban guerrilla groups, even though I understand the causes and effects behind such a choice, I disagree with that because I believe that our goal is not to walk all together according to a common political project-program but rather to diffuse our means and urge everyone to safeguard their autonomy, thus contributing to the creation of new perceptions and possibilities for the intensification of polymorphous anarchist action.
This is why I opt for the informal organization, which I consider more qualitative and effective for reasons I will explain later. The basic component that gives tangibility to the informal organization (and not only) is nothing other than direct action; otherwise, we would be just a bunch of charlatans with dissident rhetoric.
The most important thing for an anarchist is deciding to undertake action because, in this way, the individuality breaks through the fear inflicted by domination regarding the choice of revolutionary action; when you take action, you overcome inhibitory factors that lead you to inactivity, you take your life in both hands and acquire the ability to affect to a greater or lesser extent the circumstances that define your life. Undertaking action is the equivalent of reclaiming our life that was stolen from us, thus shaping the characteristics of a free human who fights to get rid of their shackles, their social commitments, on a daily basis, abolishing the authoritarian roles imposed on them and building a culture that gestates the quality of a new life, the life of an anarchist insurgent who inflicts open wounds from razors on the contemporary world.
After having made such a decision, comes experimentation. Anarchists shouldn’t have fixed positions; they’re constantly on the move because, without moving, they are driven to self-destruction by ideological dogmatism. They reconsider things, criticize themselves, and explore the collective experience to adapt it to the current historical data. They put their hearts on ice to withstand pain, and set fire to what’s left to wipe out the traces of their past “quiet” life. From this point forward, what counts is the struggle, but also vengeance, because whoever felt violence firsthand and did not seek revenge are worthy of their sufferings.
Let’s go back to the issue of practical experimentation, that is, action with many ways, many methods and many forms.
I believe that the organization of our destructive desires should be expressed through Action Networks of high distinctiveness, where everyone will be able to read one’s own words and works, get inspired, reflect, and act alongside us or fight against us. Being (communicatively) visible is part of our purpose to bring about the maximum degree of social polarization in order to clarify everyone’s role in the authoritarian edifice, and then pass from armed critique to a critique of arms.
In my opinion, the responsibility claim is what gives meaning to an action, leads it to your desired objectives, and explains to whoever is interested in breaking the vicious circle of oppression and passing on the offensive the motives and reasons that made you do it. Simply and clearly. In a world of generalized information overload and terrorism of virtual bombardments, no action can speak for itself unless the subjects-actors speak out about it.
The high level of distinctiveness that I mentioned above is related to both invariable insurgent names and acronyms; for me invariable names in insurgent actions are of particular importance because, in this way, your actions are linked to each other, stepping up their momentum at the same time.
Furthermore, your discourse takes on greater importance, as it is connected to the consistency of your action. You have the possibility to devise strategies of insurgent action making your overall rationale understood, creating a point of reference and issuing a challenge to action, thus exacerbating the revolutionary threat, breaking up the State’s monopoly on violence, as anarchists claim their share of violence to turn it against the enemy.
Turning now to the use of acronyms, it’s similarly useful on a more comprehensive level; their main importance is their contribution to recognizing resistance that is manifested without a centre, but instead horizontally and chaotically at the same time, depending on the choices of rebels.
I think that the existence of acronyms is also important as a propaganda tool. Translation networks can do the work of a messenger between insurgent groups regardless of whether or not the latter use an acronym. Nevertheless, the existence of one or more informal networks that use acronyms and recognize one another enhances the momentum of actions placing them within an overall context, rather than something fragmentary, and creates a solid (as to its existence, that is, continuous action) structure which is anarchist and insurrectionary at its root.
Instead of an epilogue
It is clear already that in the name of “citizen security” artificial social threats are constructed in a way to provide political alibi for committing the greatest state crimes, establishing more and more practices of control and surveillance, and toughening anti-terrorism laws. All this is aimed at enabling the privileged citizens of developed countries, who have been awarded this prestigious label, to feel safe while their statist protectors massively and indiscriminately sow death around them.
This is why I envision a belligerent condition in the urban centres where every day the rebels will organize plans for attacks, creating an asymmetric threat that will tear social cohesion and political stability to bits and sow insecurity in the reproduction centres of capitalism. The smooth flow of goods will no longer be taken for granted, and the representatives of oppression will live in fear.
We have nothing to wait for, so we organize ourselves and strike the society of capitalism; revolutionary actions shape the objective conditions, let’s multiply them.
Strength to all captive and fugitive comrades Strength to the 4 anarchist hunger strikers in Mexico*
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”
With 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
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.