We have a feeling this is going to be a big one! It’s also world day of action for Afrin. Bring your banners, placards, shouts, noise and your will to fight on!
All of our struggles are connected. Let’s stand and take action together!
Fascists and racists would do well to stay away!
It’s hard to know how and where to start to give enough of a tribute to our fallen comrade, Anna. She was killed by the Turkish army and their ISIS allies. while fighting with the Kurdish Women’s Protection forces (YPJ) to defend Afrin. She was an absolutely incredible woman, a true friend to so many of us, a solid comrade and an inspiration to us all.
Anna wasn’t afraid to talk to anyone and one of her strengths was making sure everyone around her was okay and cared for. She was an antifascist, an anarchist, a feminist, a fighter and so much more. We met Anna in lots of different places, including Calais, supporting the migrant struggle on the border between France and the UK. We met her in the fields as a hunt saboteur, fighting alongside others to stop the brutal killing of wild animals. We met her at every eviction resistance in our city. We met her organising in the prison abolition struggle, fighting to free all prisoners. But our lives came together in the fight against fascism. Whether on the streets of Brighton, Dover or Bristol we all stood side by side with Anna to actively fight against the rise of the far right.
With her unbreakable commitment to the struggle for a better world she dedicated her life to groups fighting for revolutionary change. She lived in the thick of it all and as devastating as the news of her death is, it comes as no surprise for us that in the thick of it all is where she died.
We are very proud to have worked, organised and fought alongside such a powerful woman and we will carry on the fight that she lived and breathed. Her motivation to work tirelessly for total change, her passion for freedom, her determination to stand up for what is right, her courage to face death for her principles, hopes and dreams will strengthen our motivation to carry on the struggle.
We remember Anna and all those who have fought so hard and lost their lives making a stand for a better world. We will turn our grief and tears into action and it is in our demonstrations and actions that Anna will live on.
Remember Anna and carry on fighting!
Rest In Power, Anna!
News just in – There is a solidarity infonight tomorrow, 18.03.18, at BASE (formerly Kebele):
It is to raise awareness of the situation for Russian anarchists and antifascists facing severe state repression in Russia. There will also be a showing of the film “Sad But true, in the Memory of Ivan”. The infonight starts at 7pm, during the regular Sunday night cafe.
During last months Russian secret services have arrested several operation anarchists and related issues:antifascists in Penza and Saint-Petersburg cities. They were accused with creation of “terrorist organization”. Arrested people were tortured with electric cables and shockers during many hours, brutally beaten without paying any care to make hard damage and visible traces of beating. Officers humiliated our arrested comrades. They tried to force them make evidences and accusations against themselves and against each other. These true Gestapo actions of Russian FSB secret service can call only vigorous protest from every honest person who can only learn the truth about the situation. At the same time with arrests in Saint-Petersburg raids and arrests by FSB against anarchists were made in Crimea.
The international solidarity action week of February 7-12 exposed wide reaction of the libertarian movement worldwide to these terrible repressions and made huge informational effect in Russia. But it appeared to be not enough to overcome the situation. Very soon the information was published that some of arrested anarchists were again tortured and intimidated. They were demanded by FSB officers to refuse to participate in campaign of resistance against tortures and repressions. More – after solidarity actions in Russia police launched repressions against its participants. Comrades were prosecuted in Moscow and Chelyabinsk cities. Anarchists in Chelyabinsk were tortured with electricity by police while accused with “hooliganism” (!)
It is necessary to continue and strengthen the campaign of solidarity to force Russian authorities to end tortures and political repressions.
The best day for new actions is March 18 – the day of presidential
elections in Russia. In this day ruling regime is the most vulnerable and the eyes of the world will be turned to the situation in our country.
We urgently and desperately call to all anarchist, leftist, antifascist and democratic groups and communities all over the world to organize actions of protest and resistance of any kind against tortures and repressions in Russia by the embassies, consulates and other official offices of Russian Federation in your countries.”
One may read in detail about it here:
Several Bristol antifascists attended the very well organised AFN conference on 10th March. The event brought together antifascist groups and individuals from around the country at the impressive and welcoming Kurdish community centre in Haringey. A lot of good links were made, not least with the Kurdish comrades, over the course of the day. There were a range of discussions and talks, from antifascist history to present day struggles and prisoner solidarity and prison abolition.
A last minute addition to the programme saw a well attended talk by some comrades from the US antifascist movement, who got a warm welcome. They talked about the tough terrain they face in the states since the inauguration of a white supremacist president and subsequent ongoing resistance in the face of escalating repression.
Elsewhere there were several welcoming and accessible self defence sessions throughout the day, with a good mix of people taking part and strengthening our ability to fight to win! The antifascist kid’s zone was the scene of much uproar and lots of fun times for antifascists big and small. The next generation showed great promise at antifascist skittles, stick the fist on Richard Spencer and flag burning for beginners, amongst other appropriate activites.
A big meeting on the subject of strengthening and sustaining our antifascist movement was packed out and there were loads of really useful thoughts and contributions shared. We talked about the problems we face and how to make links, grow and make sure we are as effective as possible as antifascists.
The last words, appropriately, went to the Kurdish comrades, as an activist from the Kurdish youth movement gave an excellent talk and answered questions about the Kurdish struggle and revolution as well as information about the Turkish attack on Afrin and the complicity of the UK in the atrocities being perpetrated. The comrade spoke so powerfully and made it absolutely clear that their struggle is ours, against capitalism, fascism and for all humanity.
So it was that when we heard that there was a Kurdish demo for solidarity with Afrin organised that evening, several of us went to stand with them.
Long live Afrin!
Organised within two hours of hearing about the advance of Turkish forces on the centre of Afrin, this demonstration was an absolute inspiration for antifascists everywhere! At 7pm there was a group of around 20 or so but within half an hour that number was nearer 200. It was clear that lots of the predominantly Kurdish demonstrators had friends and family back home facing the genocidal Turkish army and trying to survive the bullets and bombs. There was a real feeling of urgency and anger and the slogans, initiated by the Kurdish women, were shouted loud and clear by everyone. At a signal, everyone was in the street with YPG and YPJ flags flying alongside pictures of the victims of the bombing, the devastated lives and the destruction being wrought by the murderous Turkish state in Afrin. Traffic and business as usual was heavily disrupted and hundreds of passers by learned about the atrocities of the murderous Turkish state, fully supported by the UK government, arms companies and the silence of the BBC.
Police attempts to “facilitate” (read neutralise) and then physically attack and stop the demo came to nothing as people were having none of it and their strength and determination pushed the police back. Many onlookers did the right thing and joined the demonstration, swelling number significantly and adding their voices. After nearly three hours of marching and staging sit ins at strategic positions (to maximise impact and visibility) such as Trafalgar square, Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus, the demo went to have a few words at the BBC, shaming them loudly for their unacceptable silence and complicity with the genocide.
As the demo dispersed animated discussions and preparations were already underway for next day’s demonstration. These people will not give up and neither should we. We need to recognise we share the same struggle and stand, march and take action together.
We said our goodbyes and left feeling very inspired and motivated by such solid organisation, determination and people so committed and clearly living by their principles. If it wasn’t clear already, let’s make it clear now – we could learn a lot from the Kurdish movement and the revolution they are fighting so hard for!
“We will fight, we will win, Viva, viva Afrin!”