The economics and politics of the rojava revolution

From a distance, and in the absence of a knowledge of the local languages, news about the “rojava revolution” in nothern syria remains fragmentary and often contradictory.  While supportive of the movement, questions and doubts remain which we are unable to address.  (These doubts may seem problematic, almost obscene, to some, for whom the urgency of the situation demands unconditional support;  but no political movement, however seemingly close to anarchist “ideals”, can claim blind adherence).  At best, we continue to try to follow events and share what we hope will further the understanding of the revolution.

Below, we share an article originally published with the site Workers Solidarity Movement (26/09/2016) …

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Voices of a revolution: Portugal, 25 of April 1974, Música de intervenção

A people without song are perhaps not a “people”, or at least, they are not more than temporary aggregates of consumers of music.  But consumers do not make up a people and if it is in times of intense and passionate collective self-creation that a people find a voice, then the resistance to fascism in portugal and the revolution that erupted in the wake of the coup d’état of April 25th 1974 brought forward one of the most remarkable examples of “politically engaged” musical expression that the country has ever known.

Many were the musicians, poets, and artists who gave form to the experiences of migration, exile, clandestine resistance, imprisonment and torture, and then revolution, its hopes and deceptions.  At the heart of this movement was the figure of José Afonso.  But others would also mark the period, others for whom at this time the distinction between artist and political militant ceased to exist.

We share below, in translation, some of this music, a music which escaped the rigid borders of ideological purity and which captured, however briefly, the desire of creating a way of life without oppression.

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Ni dieu ni maitre: A history of anarchism

A documentary film by Tancrède Ramonet tells the story of anarchism from the Pierre-Joseph Proudhon’s What is Property? (1840) to the fall of Barcelona at the end of the spanish revolution/civil war (1939).  Whatever historical-political lacunae one may find in the documentary, the film remains excellent and is a rich source of images and commentary.  For the moment, the series is available online only in french, and for how long, it is impossible to know, as it may be pulled at any moment for violation of property rights …

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France: Insurgent Thought in a Fragmented World

From Ill Will editions and anarchist news, a quick and dirty english translation of a review of The Invisible Committee’s Now from yesterday’s Le Monde, along with an interview with Julien Coupat and Mathieu Burnel with Le Monde (20/04/2017) …

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France: Resistance and rebellion under a state of emergency without end

On the eve of the french presidential elections, we share from the Crimethinc collective,  the second of two reflections on french politics, that is, on the only politics that matters, that which comes from below …

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France 2015-2017: Permanent rebellion

On the eve of the french presidential elections, we share from the Crimethinc collective,  the first of two reflections on french politics, that is, on the only politics that matters, that which comes from below …

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In solidarity with sendika.org of turkey

Since the violent crackdown on the Gezi Park-Taksim Square occupation of 2013, Erdogan and the AKP government of turkey have sought by almost every means to silence dissent in the country: from the persecution of those who participated in the nationwide protests inspired by Gezi, to the arrest of lawyers and doctors who aided occupiers, to the incarceration of journalists and the closure of newspapers.  This would soon be followed by the persecution, arrest and the murder of Leftist (in “terrorist” bombings, such as in Ankara in 2015), clandestine support for ISIS as a tool against the Rojava revolution, a war on the eastern “kurdish” towns of turkey, killing hundreds and forcefully dislocating thousands, and military interventions in syria and iraq … and so on.  And since the coup attempt of 2016, as power is increasingly concentrated in the figure of the president, all of these measures have only intensified.

We have tried to follow these events in Autonomies, but the latter often surpass our capacity to keep up.  Ignorance of the turkish language among members of the collective also render the exercise difficult.  Fortunately, we have at times been able to rely on individual sources from within turkey, but more often than not, we have depended on alternative english language media coming out of the country.

It is with this latter in mind that we today express solidarity with the turkish sendika news collective, after the arrest of the organisation’s director in the wake of the April 16th fraudulent referendum that only serves as a fig leaf for Erdogan’s growing power.

With Sendika, we share a statement made by the collective …

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For/from Ursula K. Le Guin

A writer speaks above all for themselves.  We thus share the words of the anarchist writer Ursula K. Le Guin, a story, a story of rebellion as departure, self-withdrawal from oppression

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To be an anarchist: Ruymán Rodríguez

We share once again an essay, in translation, by Ruymán Rodríguez of the FAGC – Federación de Anarquistas Gran Canaria (alasbarricadas.org 26/03/2017).  What follows is a critical reflection on what it means to be an anarchist, born of Rodríguez’s experience with the FAGC.  To simply characterise his position as “anti-intellectual” would be, I believe, a mistake.  It is rather a call to all who would assume the name “anarchist” to seriously think or re-think what that term means; indeed, it is to ask the question of whether the anarchist “identity” is of any relevance, and if so, in what way, with what meaning.

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Looking back on the united states prison strike

We have been late in sharing news of the largest prison strike in united states history.  Begun last Fall, on the 45th anniversary of the Attica uprising, the strike spread to 24 states and involved over 20,000 prisoners.  If the exploitation of prison labour was at the heart of the struggle, other motives were equally present, motives that resonate beyond the walls of the prison.  Indeed, what the strike laid out before everyone was the increasingly porous border that separates “prison society” and society at large.  In our times of exception, not only are we all just a few steps from prison, literally understood, but the methods of prison surveillance extend increasingly to every domain of social life.  To strike against prison is then one further and necessary extension of not only the labour strike, but the more radical social strike.

From the Plain Words anarchist collective of Bloomington, Indiana, we share a reflection on the strike …
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