Middle East

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.

Sun
22
Feb

Syria's Kurdish Revolution:

by Bill Weinberg, Fifth Estate

The north Syrian town of Kobani has been under siege since mid-September by forces of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, popularly known as ISIS. Early in the siege, world leaders spoke as if they expected it to fall. The US took its bombing campaign against ISIS to Syria, but targeted the jihadists' de facto capital, Raqqa—not the ISIS forces closing the ring on Kobani. But the vastly outgunned and outnumbered Kurdish militia defending Kobani began to turn the tide—while issuing desperate appeals for aid from the outside world.

The defenders and aggressors at Kobani are a study in extreme contrasts. ISIS is charged with committing massive war crimes and crimes against humanity in areas under its control—most notoriously, the massacres and enslavement of the Yazidi minority in northern Iraq. Rights for women have been utterly repealed, and a trade in sexual slavery (hideously called "marriage") established.

Wed
18
Feb

Anonymous is hitting ISIS harder than any government could

The hacking collective Anonymous is on the offensive yet again, striking the Islamic State’s many proactive social media users who use sites such as Twitter and Facebook to recruit for jihad terrorism.

In a series of posts on the website Pastebin over the weekend, purported members of Anonymous vow to continue “Operation Ice ISIS,” taking down websites and social media accounts of groups who assist in terrorist activities.

This new round of online attacks is meant to target individuals who are directly involved with planning and recruiting for attacks against civilians in Iraq and Syria.

“We will hunt you, take down your sites, accounts, emails, and expose you,” said the group in a YouTube video released over the weekend. “From now on, no safe place for you online…you will be treated like a virus, and we are the cure.” The post goes on to list hundreds of links to social media accounts in Arabic, classifying them by their “priority” status.

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