'Wrong Side of History': Outrage as US Congress Moves to Block Syrian Refugees

Lawmakers spew xenophobic rhetoric just days after governors levy threats to keep out those fleeing war

by Sarah Lazare, staff writer
November 18, 2015
by Common Dreams

The xenophobic rhetoric that erupted on the state level in the U.S. in the immediate wake of the Paris attacks is now taking the national stage, where Republicans and some Democrats in Congress are attempting to rush through legislation before the Thanksgiving recess that would block Syrians fleeing war from taking refuge in the United States.

The anti-Syrian hysteria among lawmakers has been criticized as racist, Islamophobic, and deeply inhumane—invoking the U.S. legacies of the Japanese internment camps and the Chinese Exclusion act.


The Paris Attacks, Refugees, and the Brutal Fiction of Borders

By Molly Crabapple
November 19, 2015

The night the Islamic State attacked Paris, I was translating a book by the Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani.

The regularity of the work was what kept my brain from spiraling into a pain loop. Write down the Arabic words you know. Look up the ones you don't. Force the sentences to make sense. Check on friends in Paris. Drink. Avoid the panic and death on Twitter. Translate another page.

Qabbani is a bit like Syria's Pablo Neruda in that he combines revolutionary sentiment with eroticism. The book I translated, Sparrows Don't Need Entry Visas, was a collection of introductory essays Qabbani had read at Arab capitals, many now destroyed by war. In one essay, Qabbani describes the subversive power of words evade governments—to fly, not like airplane passengers, but like sparrows.

Words, Qabbani says, don't need visas.


The Borders Won’t Protect You But They Might Get You Killed

By Crimethinc

In Paris, on November 13, 129 people were killed in coordinated bombings and shootings for which the Islamic State claimed responsibility. Although this is only the latest in a series of such attacks, it has drawn a different sort of attention than the massacres in Suruç and Ankara that killed 135 people. The lives of young activists who support the Kurdish struggle against ISIS—so far the only on-the-ground effort that has blocked the expansion of the Islamic State—are weighed differently than the lives of Western Europeans.


Statement from Devrimci Anarşist Faaliyet / Revolutionary Anarchist Action (DAF) about the ‪#‎ParisMassacre‬

On 13th of November, more than 150 people have lost their lives and tens injured in 7 different neighborhoods of ‪#‎Paris‬ as a result of coordinated ISIS attacks with bombs and guns. The murderer ISIS continues its murders outside of the Middle East and ‪#‎Anatolia‬ regions. The massacre which took place in Paris shows clearly that ISIS terror knows no bounds.

We feel the massacre in Paris deeply and share your sorrow. We have lived and still living through ISIS attacks supported by the state. From ‪#‎Şengal‬ to ‪#‎Kobane‬, from ‪#‎Pirsus‬ (‪#‎Suruç‬) to ‪#‎Ankara‬, we have lost many comrades and friends. We are aware of the fact that the massacres aim to create fear, distrust and loneliness on us. Our pain is great and increases every day. In these periods, We have to grow the solidarity against the murderers that want to bury us into fear, loneliness and isolation.


For the real class solidarity with the “refugee” and “immigrant” proletarians!

Internacionální proletáři: For the real class solidarity with the “refugee” and “immigrant” proletarians!

Comrades, proletarians of Europe, once again you are being told that your living standards or even your very lives are under the threat from some “aliens”. You are being blackmailed with the further cuts of “social services” and with losing your jobs… as if it wasn't already the program of the ruling class! You are threatened by spread of “foreign religion” and “foreign culture” and pushed to defend “your own” country, culture, faith… etc… as if it meant anything else then defending interests of local faction of bourgeoisie! As if it served anything else, then keeping capitalist law and order and strengthening the dominant ideology, that makes us accepting our own exploitation!


Rojava: Interview With Environmentalist Anarchist Fighting in Kobane

by Libertarian International Brigades

The following article is an interview with an environmentalist, vegetarian anarchist from Turkey who is a member of Sosyal isyan (Social Insurrection) fighting as part of Birleşik Özgürlük Güçleri (United Freedom Forces) alongside the YPG / YPJ in Kobane, Rojava. The interview was conducted by H. Burak Öz and originally appeared on the website. We would like to thank the comrade Ece for translating the interview into English for us.

Environmentalist, vegetarian, anarchist combatants who fight in Kobane


Power to the people: a Syrian experiment in democracy

Perhaps the last place you would expect to find a thriving experiment in direct democracy is Syria. But something radical is happening, little noticed, in the eastern reaches of that fractured country, in the isolated region known to the Kurds as Rojava.

Just as remarkable, perhaps, is that the philosophy that inspired self-government here was originated by a little-known American political thinker and one-time “eco-activist” whose ideas found their way to Syria through a Kurdish leader imprisoned upon an island in the Sea of Marmara. It’s a story that bizarrely connects a war-torn Middle East with New York’s Lower East Side.

I visited Rojava last month while filming a documentary about the failings of the western model of democracy. The region covers a substantial “corner” of north-east Syria and has a population of approximately 3m, yet it is not easy to get to. The only passage is by small boat or a creaky pontoon bridge across the Tigris from Iraq.


Focus on Syria

Syria was once the name for the entire region between the pennisulas of Anatolia (Turkey) and Sinai, including the fertile crescent. Ancient civilizations covered the territory; the Egyptians wanted it as a port, while the Persians considered the region a bridge to their plans of a universal empire.

Between the 12th and 7th centuries BC, the Phoenician civilization developed on the central coastal stretch of the territory; a society of sailors and traders withour expansionist aims. Phoenician cities were always independent, although some exercised temporary hegemony over others, and they developed the world's first commercial economy.


About Putin’s move into Syria

For Anarchy , for freedom , against every authority or dogma


Understanding the Kurdish Resistance

A member of the PKK youth group at a border encampment on the second anniversary of the Rojava Revolution. Two hours later, hundreds of Kurdish youth stormed the border to join the YPG.


Until recently, few in the Western world had heard of the Kurds, let alone their revolutionary history. Brought into the spotlight by their fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), they have received a great deal of attention both from the mainstream mass media and from radicals and revolutionaries around the world.


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