Middle East

Fri
14
Aug

The Monster and the State

By Callie Maidhof
The New Inquiry

In the wake of the horrific arson attack in Duma at the end of last month, during which 18-month-old Ali Dawabshe was burned to death, a seemingly unlikely group gathered for a prayer vigil at the Gush Etzion junction outside the West Bank settlement of Alon Shvut. With the exception of a pair of Palestinian speakers, all of the participants were Israeli. Many if not most were settlers from Gush Etzion, a dense bloc of settlements in the hotly contested area around Bethlehem.

Thu
21
May

The Ex-Worker #36: The Rojava Revolution

CrimethInc. Workers' Collective

The Ex-Worker is back! We may have taken a break, but social struggles and resistance across the world have not. In this episode, we focus on the unfolding social revolution in Rojava or western Kurdistan, where an ambitious set of political, economic, and military experiments are transforming the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. In the borderlands of Turkey and Syria, self-organized militias have successfully opposed the Islamic State while challenging gender oppression and securing autonomy for an emerging stateless society. Interviews with supporters from the Turkish group “Revolutionary Anarchist Action” (DAF) set the stage, complemented by a Kurdish refugee and activist’s reflections on the role of women’s resistance to patriarchy.

Listen

Sat
16
May

Negri, Graeber, Holloway, the Cult of Abdullah Ocalan and the Rojava Revolution

YPG militia in Rojava

In April 2015, a conference was held in Hamburg ‘to introduce the thoughts of the Kurdish leader, Abdullah Ocalan, to the international community.’ Silvia Federici was supposed to send a ‘message of greeting’ – just as Toni Negri and Immanuel Wallerstein had at a similar previous conference.† Federici then dropped out. However, David Harvey, David Graeber and John Holloway did attend and all three spoke on a stage with a large portrait of Ocalan in the background.†
During the event, held on Ocalan’s birthday, Harvey claimed that Ocalan ‘is waging a struggle for the freedom of all women.’† While Graeber said: ‘He has written the sociology of freedom. … I have some questions and criticisms in the technical dimension, but I agree and appreciate his views.’†
This all raises several questions, such as who exactly is Ocalan and is his political project really as radical as these well-known intellectuals seem to believe?

Thu
14
May

Rojava - Revolution Between a Rock and a Hard Place

by AndrewNFlood
Anarchist Writers
5/13/2015

Revolutions are seldom made in favourable circumstances.  Russia 1917 emerged from the mass slaughter of WWI and the disintegration of an economy under the pressure of the supply demands of that war.  Spain 1936 emerged from a well planned and executed fascist coup amongst a powerful military backed and armed by international fascism.  Schemas for revolution that depend on quiet times and plenty may well be doomed from the start.

Fri
08
May

Palestine-Israel: The joint struggle enhances the B.D.S. movement

by Ilan S. - AAtW, ainfos Ahdut (Unity)
May 8, 2015

Bil'in, Ni'ilin, Nebi Saleh, Qadoom, Ma'asarah, Sheikh Jarrah, South Hebron Hills

Thu
23
Apr

The Revolution in Rojava

By Meredith Tax
Dissent Magazine
April 23, 2015

Since last August, when I first heard about the fight against ISIS in Kobani, I have been wondering why so few people in the United States are talking about the Rojava cantons. You’d think it would be big news that there’s a liberated area in the Middle East led by kickass socialist-feminists, where people make decisions through local councils and women hold 40 percent of leadership positions at all levels. You’d think it would be even bigger news that their militias are tough enough to beat ISIS. You’d think analyses of what made this victory possible would be all over the left-wing press.

Wed
08
Apr

"I have seen the future and it works." – Critical questions for supporters of the Rojava revolution

The history of class struggles is teeming with a vast number of impostures; one of the most recent after the Sandinistas’ imposture in Nicaragua is that prevailing since twenty years and shaking the leftist and alter-globalization small milieu short of exoticism, we are referring to the Zapatista’s imposture in Chiapas. Our history is punctuated with other very famous impostures, which were dug into our flesh, the flesh of our revolutionary brothers and sisters who fell under the blows of the exploiters and their henchmen, impostures built on the repression of our struggle movements, of our attempts to abolish the existing state of things, the current order, the capitalist order.

Wed
08
Apr

The Rojava Resistance: Rebirth of the Anti-Capitalist Struggle

An article by Salvador Zana, a volunteer with YPG in Rojava. (Via Libcom.org)

Sun
08
Mar

Celebrating Kurdish Women: ‘Today, They Rewrite Their Own History’

by Naila Bozo
March 8, 2015
Alliance for Kurdish Rights

Today, people are celebrating International Women’s Day. To some it is a day to celebrate women like Mother’s Day but to others it is a day to mark women’s past, present and future struggle to achieve empowerment and equality with men.

This year’s international theme is “Make it happen” and in Kurdistan, the women are doing just that.

They are fighting in the face of the oppressive Turkish, Iranian and Syrian regimes and the inhumane terrorist group Islamic State straddling Syria and Iraq while battling the patriarchal traditions and notions of their own society.

Tue
24
Feb

Rojava Versus the World

by Ed Sutton
2/23/2015
AntiDote Writers Collective

Chuck Mertz: We’ve been talking about all the new challenges to the traditional seats of power around the world, from the Islamic State and how it challenges our notion of the modern state, to SYRIZA and how they’re standing up to the Eurozone’s austerity policies, to Spain’s Podemos, who have created a whole new form of democracy, even to the extra-statecraft of free trade zones that exist outside nations’ and a people’s laws.

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