Does Anarchist Movement in Iraqi Kurdistan, Bashur, exist? – Zaher Baher.

Does Anarchist Movement in Iraqi Kurdistan, Bashur, exist?

By: Zaher Baher, June 2016

I was frequently asked this question in the meetings or interviews. I have always been frank and honest in my reply. I said there are not even an active anarchist group existing there let alone an anarchist movement. I would then be asked the second question ‘why’?

While there have been authority/state committed brutal suppression and repressions, also there was anarchism as a natural rebellious force of human being, so it is illogical to say there was no individual anarchists or no groups existed. There is no doubt that there was always resistance against the state/authority. People considered authority/power as evil forces. People have never seen any common interests with the states/authorities or any benefit from them. In addition, in the history of Iraq and the Middle East under Abbasid Caliphate or before, there were a few rebellion movements: Zoroastrianism, Mazdeism, Babakism and revolutionary movements like Zanj revolts, Kharijites, Karmatians and many more. Although this movement did not label themselves anarchist or communist but in view of many people they were a kind of communitarian, anarchist movements.

If we look into the history of Iraqi Kurdistan, Bashur, after the First World War we can see many reasons of the lack for anarchism and anarchist movement. In my opinion the main factors are the following:

  • Bashur was a part of Iraqi state, being dependent on the Soviet Union. The Iraqi regime since 1958 until 2003 was in Soviet bloc with the exception for a few years during 1960s.

Only the books, magazines and writings about Marxism, Leninism, Maoism, the entire communist and leftists’ movements in the world and religions were available in Arabic. All those books and writings were published either in Damascus, Beirut or in Moscow. The Syrian Communist Party under its leader Khalid Bakdash has played a big role in translating some of the books and publishing them. In addition, the Syrian’s regime was also in the Soviet Union bloc at least since Hafez Assad come to power.

In regards to the anarchism and anarchist movements in the world, they were described and introduced to us in a much distorted way. All publications about anarchism were written or translated to Arabic by the leftist communists and Russian agents, so they presented anarchism as anti-revolutionary and anti-humanist. They were the only available source showing anarchism as the opposite of what it really is. Anarchism was presented in a repulsive way, showing only it’s anti-state and anti-authoritarian aspect. We were told anarchists are rejecting power/state and leave the society in absolute chaos and disorder. No administration, no law and order, no protection – as a result of that the society would be in danger. These publications explained and described anarchism in the view of Bolsheviks and communists; they wanted to make the idea unpleasant and uninviting.

While they rejected anarchism and attacked it, there was not a single anarchist book or magazine available, not even an article in order for the people to read them before reading the hateful propaganda against anarchism. “The Poverty of Philosophy” by Karl Marx was available, but not the original Proudhon’s work, “Philosophy of Poverty” which Marx criticized.Many writings and propaganda against anarchism existed this way – without access to the ideas they fought.

In such environment, there was no possibility to learn about anarchism or anarchist movement. Consequently people were deprived from the basic knowledge of anarchism.

  • There were many political parties and people were very loyal to them

Towards the end of 1930s, Iraq and Kurdistan became the fertilized land that brought about many political parties: nationalist, patriotic, religious, liberal and communist. There was a fierce competition among them, struggling for power. They were using deception, propaganda and manipulation to bring people under their influence. Their best members and supporters were absolutely loyal to their parties and their leaders. The dependence of party members on their leaders was absolute. They were ideological fundamentalists. Killing political adversaries – members or supporters of an opposing party – was a legitimate method of ideological dispute. The war all fought against one another, during 1960s, 1980s and 1990s that we have seen is the best example. The loyalty of the party’s members became so serious, they never thought for a second of the integrity of the party polices and its leaders.

In an atmosphere like that, it is hard for new belief and thought to develop. The vast majority of people were divided over the political parties and became very tiny cogs in a very big machine of the political parties, so the parties could manipulate and to use them according to their need. They advised them to vote or not vote, to do this, not to do that, to fight one side, to be in peace with other side. In this situation the members and supporters of them become slaves of the party, they were unable to think, to analyze the situation nor to decide on their own.

Anarchism is founded on the individual’s right to free thinking and to make one’s own decisions, continuous in development and change. Blind loyalty to the power, hierarchy and state makes anarchism impossible to emerge.

  • Wars, killing and displacing people in Iraq and Kurdistan

Iraq and Kurdistan have not seen peace for over half of century. Iraq has gone through three major wars between 1980 and 2003: Iraq-Iran war, The Gulf War of 1991 and the invasion of Iraq in 2003. All these wars have intensely affected Kurdistan and its people directly or indirectly. This is in addition to the civil war, between Kurdish movement and Iraqi government that launched on 11/09/1961. This war went on and off until March 1991 when the uprising happened in Kurdistan. And from October 1992 to 1997/98 there was fighting among the fraction of Kurdish political parties themselves.

This war brought disaster to Kurdish people from both sides: the Kurdish movement and the central government of Iraq. It killed many innocent people, displaced thousands, maimed many more, destroyed thousands of Kurdish villages. The campaign of Anfal launched by Saddam Hussein between 22/02/1988 to 06/09/1988 resulted in the disappearance over 182,000 Kurdish people and over 5,000 people killed by chemical weapons.

Kurdish people in Iraq experienced the most horrible disasters of war. The suffering and trauma stay in the memory of mine and my father’s generation and cannot be forgotten.

Those of us who grew up in times of wars know how terrible the situation was. The only winners in the wars are the warlords, war traders, the big companies that make weapons and the other equipments of war and most of the time the states too. The outcome of wars to the rest of us is poverty, high prices of the daily necessity, unemployment, homelessness, and displacement, separation, forcing to move out of our lands, and becoming refugees in foreign lands. War can bring more disasters. Where there is war, there is everything except peace, unity and happiness. No doubt in the situation like that, we can only have time to think about our security, safety and running after our daily needs. This is not the moment to develop new ideas, like anarchism; in fact, hard times create more feeling of nationalism, racism and more hatred among people.

In a place where there is war, anarchism is hard to emerge – let alone to gain shape as movement. In a place where there is war, there will be growing number of state lackeys, traitors, betraying its own people. The war also quells dialog between people and restricts their freedom. Because of that not only does anarchism not develop, in fact if there is any anarchists, the war drives them to underground.

  • Kurdish society and its cultural dependence

Kurdish society in Iraq is rooted in a tradition, being a mixture of the religious and tribal hierarchy. These two elements are the base of the society and its culture. It reflects and preserves the economic structure.

We can see it in every cell of the society. Starting from the family, through nursery, school, university, company, factory, other places of work, administrations, the civil service, and the military to the very top of the society which is parliament and the leaders – all of it is based on hierarchy. In hierarchical organizations or hierarchical society, dependency is very strong. This dependency shapes the thought and mind of everyone. It is very difficult to break centralist approach, created by ever-present hierarchy. Reorganizing the society in horizontal way again is difficult; it needs educational, social, cultural and economic revolution.

In the hierarchical society with the help of its culture, culture of dependency, youngsters have to respect and obey the elders; the workers have to listen to the bosses, students to their teachers. In short the people in the bottom have to look to the top to get advice and order. This also applied to members of political parties, they had to listen to the leaders and carry out whatever they were told to do. Individuals are not independent, as they are supposed to be; they are not confident, they do not have enough trust and faith in themselves. This means everybody, every social group is restricted in thinking and making decisions. They have to obey and be loyal to their superiors and they lose their freedom of individual expression.

This is the cultural climate of Iraqi Kurdistan– Bashur, climate of many powerful tribes, many strong political parties, powerful religious faith and often “honour killings” of women. In such atmosphere individuals do not think, make decisions and sort their own problems out. They rather let others think for them, decide for them and resolve their problems whether they like it or not.

In a climate like this, while the individuals are not free, their thought and mind have been corrupted as well. Therefore, it is difficult for a new idea or thought to arrive, even harder to develop it any further.

Zaher Baher.com

Struggles for autonomy in Kurdistan: New book from Corporate Watch

Cover

Kurdistan is currently divided between four countries: Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey. In each of the parts of Kurdistan, Kurdish identities and cultures have been repressed for generations. This book, by Eliza Egret and Tom Anderson, gathers together first-hand accounts of the struggles for a new society taking place in Bakur and Rojava – the parts of Kurdistan within the borders of Turkey and Syria.

The setting up of local assemblies and co-operatives, as well as radical women’s and ecological movements, are rapidly gathering momentum in Kurdistan. The book gives a simple introduction to democratic confederalism, the idea that has inspired many of those involved in these movements.

The book also compiles accounts from Kurdish people who are oppressed by the state of Turkey and profiles some of the companies that are complicit in their repression. The interviews give suggestions of how people outside of Kurdistan can act in solidarity.

Buy the book or download it for free here.

An interview with the DTK. Corporate Watch.

Workers at a honey cooperative near Wan (Van in Turkish). The Co-op was set up with the help of the Democratic Society Congress economic commission.

Workers at a honey cooperative near Wan (Van in Turkish). The Co-op was set up with the help of the Democratic Society Congress economic commission.

Democratic autonomy is a movement which aims to establish a network of grassroots assemblies in Bakur (the Kurmanji Kurdish word for the area of Kurdistan within the borders of Turkey). Corporate Watch carried out interviews with several of the organisations involved in the process of democratic autonomy in June and July 2015.

The democratic autonomy movement in North Kurdistan is part of the wider movements for ‘democratic confederalism’ in Kurdistan. In the writing of Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), ‘democratic autonomy’ is achieved when people begin to organise themselves through grassroots assemblies or communes. Following on from this, the term ‘democratic confederalism’ is used to describe networks of these local assemblies joining together in a confederation.

The most well known example of the application of the ideas of democratic confederalism is in Rojava, the autonomous largely Kurdish region in the North of Syria. However, people across the border in Bakur have been putting the ideas of democratic confederalism into practice since long before the Arab Spring. In around 2005 the PKK had created the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), an umbrella organisation aimed at uniting Kurdish people living within all four parts of Kurdistan and the diaspora and achieving democratic confederalism throughout Kurdistan.

The Democratic Society Congress (DTK), set up in Bakur in 2007, acts as an umbrella organisation, and aims to establish democratic confederalism in Bakur. It meets every three months and is made up of representatives of different ethnic groups and political parties as well as representatives of local assemblies. It operates as a parliament, and attempts to create a new society under the weight of repression from the existing one. Since the establishment of the DTK, local assemblies have been set up all over Bakur. The DTK has also set up regional commissions to deal with issues such as ecology, economy, education, language, religion, culture, science, diplomacy, women and young people.

We interviewed Hilmi Aydoğdu and Hasan Hüseyin, both directors of the DTK in July 2015. Read the full interview.

Independent radio station in Rojava set on fire, executive director threatened with death.

Received by e mail – W.S.

Press release: Independent radio station in Rojava, Syria, set on fire, executive director threatened with death if broadcasting did not stop

Amudah, 27 April 2016 – ARTA FM’s headquarters in Amudah, north-east Syria, was set on fire last night, and its executive director was threatened with death at gun point if the independent community radio station did not stop broadcasting.(1)

Around 11pm last night (26 April), five masked men and armed with guns turned up at ARTA’s headquarters in Amudah as the last staff members were leaving. Another group of armed men were waiting outside the home of ARTA FM’s Executive Director, a popular musician known as Sefqan. They pointed their guns to his head and that of his driver and threatened to kill them if they did not comply. They then led him to the Amudah Cemetery and said they would “take away his soul” if ARTA FM did not stop. “We’re fighting a war and you’re talking about bullshit,” they said.

Last week heavy fighting broke out in the nearby city of Qamishli between the local Kurdish security forces, known as Asayish, and the local People’s Protection Units (YPG), on the one hand, and Syrian regime forces and militias, on the other. Dozens from both sides were killed and injured before a truce was agreed. ARTA FM covered the fighting extensively and became one of the main reliable sources of information for the local population.(2)

Sefqan was then led back from the cemetery to ARTA’s HQ, where he and two guards were handcuffed downstairs, while the armed men went upstairs, ransacked the offices and set the building on fire. They reportedly took some of the radio’s laptops with them. As they left, the armed men threatened Safqan that they “will kill you if you ever switch on that radio again.” Fire fighters and the Asayish (the local security forces) arrived about half an hour later and took Sefqan and the guard away for investigation.

ARTA has demanded that the Self Administration authorities open a serious, independent investigation into the incident, pointing out the following facts:

– Amudah is surrounded by a trench and is full of Asayish checkpoints, making it near-impossible for outsiders to enter the city. Only armed units under the Self Administration authority can move around freely.

– The ARTA building is next door to the Self Administration’s Guest House in Amudah, and other important which is constantly guarded by the Asayish.

– The electricity was cut off in the neighbourhood during the ‘operation’, even though it had almost not been cut off in the last few days.

A statement by the Executive Council of the Self Administration in the Jazeera Canton condemned the attack and promised to open an investigation.

Siruan H. Hossein, ARTA FM’s founder and General Director, said: “We will not be intimidated by these cowardly acts and stop our work to strengthen free, independent media in the region. However, we also do not want to put our staff at risk. We demand that the Self Administration authorities immediately open a serious, independent investigation and punish those responsible for this crime. We also demand that serious measures are taken to protect media workers, civil society activists and civilians in general. That is what the People’s Protection Units are supposed to be there for.”

Notes for editors:

1. ARTA for Media and Development is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation registered in Germany. It was founded in February 2013 by a group of Syrian-Kurdish activists and media professionals based in and outside Syria.

ARTA FM, a project of ARTA for Media and Development, is an independent, multilingual community radio station broadcasting in the north-eastern parts of Syria. It is also available online (arta.fm) and on the NileSat satellite network. It started broadcasting in July 2013 from Amuda, where ARTA is now headquartered.

ARTA FM broadcasts daily 15 hours of live programmes and news in four languages: Kurdish, Arabic, Syriac and Armenian – the languages of the local communities inhabiting the northern parts of Syria, along the Turkish borders. It is listened to by wide sections of the population in the regions of Amuda, Qamishli, Malikiyya (Derik), Ras al-‘Ayn and ‘Ayn al-‘Arab (Kobani).

2, See these testimonies by listeners about ARTA FM’s coverage of the Qamishli fighting last week: https://www.facebook.com/artaradio/videos/609857142501295/

More thoughts on the EU referendum – Mal Content.

La cinquante-huitième de Mars.

EU bombMy last post on this subject stirred a lively discussion so I’ll try and answer some of the points raised by people who generally express agreement with anarchist principles. Most activists are maintaining a dignified abstention from what they regard as an internal dispute within the British establishment, and none of the anarchist groups have agreed a policy as far as I can see. The arguments expressed in support of voting for the British state to remain in the EU verge on liberalism. As social revolutionaries we are presently fighting a rearguard action, some are confused and understandably torn between thwarting capitalist globalisation – a cause for which many comrades have lost their lives and liberty – and mitigating its short term effects on individuals.

This is not, as has been suggested, about opportunistically kicking the Cameron regime; the entire global bourgeoisie is in agreement on this issue*. They would like us to understand, without betraying their rising panic, that the British state’s membership of the EU is important to them. Of course, in every case we want the opposite of what they want: de-growth, de-alienation, an end to pointless commerce, futile toil, military activity, coercive power and capital accumulation. We must dismantle the political structures they rely on.

*”What about the tabloid press?” – They sell newspapers, and will continue to do so either way, it won’t make any difference to them and the next British P.M. will kiss Murdoch’s arse just like the last one. A few homegrown capitalists oppose it for opportunistic reasons, because they are insulated from it economically. Wetherspoon’s Tim Martin has cunningly engineered a captive domestic market that would probably stay loyal to him if he pissed on their shoes.

An out vote will wipe billions off their capital, which quantifies their power over the rest of us. It will seriously weaken the EU itself, destabilise the United Kingdom, and undermine the security of NATO. It will be a major blow to Western imperialism. Perhaps the most immediate benefit to our class, and the planet, is that it will balls up negotiations on the nightmarish TTIP treaty,* which, along with its Trans-Pacific counterpart would give a handful of unaccountable bourgeois oversight of local policy across the entire world. Working class militants, not only anarchists, are fighting these plans tooth and claw. The UK government’s own report on it, which they’ve been sitting on for three fucking years, predicts no benefit to the economy (See conclusions at the end).

*I recommend this article but the entire Z-Net site seems to have gone down this morning – coincidence? This is quite good, though I don’t share his faith in courts and parliaments, obviously.

Ask yourself: how many of us would hypothetically have to lay down our lives to do that amount of damage to our enemies? This is no time to hedge our bets, sometimes you have to gamble to win, especially when the status quo is intolerable. Cameron only called this referendum to staunch defections to UKIP and win the last election; and according to poll analyst Professor John Curtice it’s ”an awful lot closer than it was meant to be”. However uncomfortable the current climate might be, we’re not going to get another chance.

There is widespread confusion over the, European Convention on Human Rights adopted by the 47 states of the Council of Europe, which, despite using the same flag, is not related to the European Union and pre-dates it. The UK government is planning to do away with it anyway. Of more concern to libertarians is the European Arrest Warrant that allows governments to pursue dissidents across member states. It waives the convention in International extradition law that you cannot be extradited for an act that would be legal in the state you are being extradited from (called double criminality). Hidden among the list of heinous crimes this clause applies to is “participation” in a banned organisation. Since my last post the Spanish state has imprisoned two anarchist comrades for twelve years without a shred of evidence.

Some fear that a boost will be given to the far right, who will take it as a victory; fair comment, but they take everything as a victory anyway, and they were always going to be there. Was there ever a likelihood of the National Front campaigning for the EU? In Dover recently we were treated to the spectacle of Greek-Cypriot fascist and friend of Golden Dawn Paul ‘pitt’ Prodromou burning an EU flag with the words: “Stick it up your arse, we don’t want your foreigners” As a reflex comrades rushed to defend the institution, rather than just ridiculing the idiot. The EU cannot by any stretch be considered a buffer against fascism; xenophobic parties, including neo-Nazis are well represented at European and national level. In corporatist Europe ‘the left’ still means bureaucracy and top-down control for its own sake, and this contradiction gives the right something to get their teeth into. The Daily Express would be mostly blank without it. So is the EU in fact dragging the continent to the right?

Fear of the fash can be healthy, if it means you take care to steward public events, advertise wisely, monitor local fascist groups, ensuring you know where they meet and when, how many, how active, how mobile etc. But you’re doing that already, aren’t you? Clinging to the hope that if all else fails the state will step in is the triumph of optimism over a century of bitter experience. In 1920’s Italy, after two years of wildcat strikes, land and factory occupations, landowners and industrialists funded Mussolini to recruit a scab army of Blackshirts to evict the workers and break up union meetings. They obtained arms and vehicles, received training and logistics from the army and preferential treatment from police and courts. Firearms permits were selectively granted to right-wingers (like the brits did in Ireland). Left politicians invoked the constitution to protect their rights, but no-one was listening. When the official unions eventually organised armed resistance it was too little, too late. The same mistakes were repeated in Germany, Portugal and Spain. A world war, sixty million dead later and in London, Mosley was back in business with a police escort. There is no good or bad ruling class; there is one ruling class that operates differently over different terrain. Nobody is ever going to save anybody from anything out of moral sentiment.

“No government in the world fights fascism to destruction. When the bourgeois see power slipping out of their hands, they resort to fascism to hold onto their privileges.”

– Buenaventura Durruti

It has been suggested that workers settled here from the mainland may be removed; even the most rabid of UKIP spokesmen are not proposing this, it would wreck the economy instantly and remember there are far more British citizens over the channel than the other way round. Martin wouldn’t go for it either; he’s too fond of underpaying his staff. The British government is however, planning to remove all non-EU citizens earning below £35,000 p.a. leaving only the wealthiest.

The saintly Jeremy Corbyn having renounced his long-standing Bennism, the reason he’s struggling to make a socialist case for the EU is that there isn’t one. All his arguments are bourgeois; he speaks of the interests of “the people of this country” – which ones? If he actually believes workers’ rights are granted by politicians he needs to do a bit of reading. This is the kind of thing we’re up against in Poland and Hungary. Why is he pandering to this crap? Like everything to do with party politics, Corbyn’s conversion is dictated by internal power dynamics. He has chosen the parliamentary party over his social base, Momentum – bulked up by fractious Trots and tankies who aren’t allowed in the Labour party and are instinctively anti-EU – which declared neutrality so as not to embarrass the leader.

Cameron is on his arse and a good kick would finish him off. It’s Labour doing what it always does, offering to rescue the ruling elite just when its own venality has rendered it inoperable. Labour belongs to the possiblist tradition that holds that capitalism will eventually abolish itself if we would only be patient, and use the institutions it has given us. It the meantime, it’s not so much “bigger cages, longer chains!” More like what Unison might call “a negotiated and phased reduction in chain length and cage size”, to keep us all in alienated wage labour. Valiant French workers are fighting the bosses and the state right now, whatever they win will be theirs, let no one claim any credit because they voted for something.

If imported goods and overseas holidays become more expensive and cross-border trade falls, all the better for the environment. Maybe folk will be slower to chuck away food that’s been air-freighted around the globe. Perhaps consumers and farmers would by-pass the supermarkets and deal direct, as they do in Greece. We should be moving towards localised production anyway, repairing equipment instead of replacing it, like we all did only a few years ago, and we didn’t expect to eat bloody strawberries at Christmas. Weak sterling stimulates manufacturing, if that’s your bag. Scots who favour independence could vote ‘out’, to force the issue, and if an independent Scottish state benefits economically from re-joining that could even out the North-South wealth gap.

Meanwhile in NATO’s other bulwark against whatever-it-was, Turkey, persecution of the migrants being rejected by the EU is underway. The deal struck between big-hearted Angele Merkel and the Turkish state declared this despicable fascist regime a safe destination while it was burning women and children to death in their houses at Cizre. The Turkish state does not abide by the Geneva Convention and is simply driving the refugees back into Syria, according to this Amnesty International press release. It’s got a worse human rights record than some of the countries the Western powers have invaded in recent times, and US air force bases.

On radio 4’s Today programme of the 4th April, the day the agreement took effect we heard that two boatloads of our fellow workers had already been deported from Greece in defiance of international law. Both the EU and Turkish governments are ultimately responsible for the plight of these people (as proxies of the United States) but no one is going to hold them to account for it. That’s the thing about international law; it’s an agreement between the rulers of nation-states, which are subject to change from time to time. They make it up to suit themselves, and decide how and if it gets enforced. The Syriza-coalition government’s Migration Spokesman rather despondently absolved his administration of any responsibility for the resulting chaos and misery by pointing out that the arrangement was between the EU and the Turkish government, nothing to do with him. He couldn’t help mentioning that the Greek economy is flat on its back thanks to the measures imposed on it by its creditors in its desperation to remain in the euro zone. He proceeded to bang on about ‘economic migrants’, with as much venom as any neoliberal.

The Greek state has itself suffered the most complete loss of sovereignty since its occupation by the Axis in WW2 and subsequently becoming the first battleground of the cold war under the Truman_Doctrine. NATO interference in Greek affairs led logically to the CIA-sponsored military coup of 1967 by a group of former Nazi collaborators. It is now entirely the plaything of global capital, but the Greek workers do not look to Brussels for salvation, but their own efforts.

In the last one I hinted that climate change will make borders redundant before we do, here’s the article if you want it. I for one would like to see free movement of peoples, not limited to an arbitrary geographical area where most of the population happens to be white, and certainly not subject to the whim of politicians. European economic and political union is essentially a white-supremacist project; Europeanism is as unpleasant as nationalism. Europe being simply one end of a much larger land mass has always defined itself by what it isn’t. Its history is of the conquest and exploitation of everything that wasn’t Europe, and its creation of the capitalist hegemony through primitive accumulation (the economist’s euphemism for armed robbery). Its present cultural identity is framed in terms of antagonism to the ‘other’, and the myths of civilisation and enlightenment that were and still are used to justify slaughter and brigandage. Small wonder that we are being implored to think of ‘security’ – the continued hegemony of European cultures across the globe, and that includes the United States, an entity spawned by European imperialism. Boris Johnson’s racial slur against Barack Obama misses by miles. If his Kenyan heritage causes him to ‘hate Britain’ (whatever that means) he would likely bear similar animosity towards the territories of Belgium, France, Germany, Portugal Spain and the Netherlands, whose governments also perpetrated genocide in Africa, and most other places.

Fear of change has never been part of anarchist thought. We speak of building the new world in the shell of the old; soon we will have to crack that shell, and it will require personal sacrifice.

“It is we, the workers, who built palaces and cities in Spain, America and elsewhere, we can build them anew, and better. We are not in the least afraid of ruins. We are going to inherit the earth, there is not the slightest doubt about that. The bourgeoisie might blast and ruin its own world before it leaves the stage of history. We carry a New World, here, in our hearts.”

– Buenaventura Durruti

STOP THE MASSACRE IN SUR! Message from the People’s Democratic Party – HDP

HDP

01 March 2016

Across 58 separate curfews imposed in several neighborhoods of the 21 districts of 7 Kurdish provinces, 290 citizens have so far lost their lives. The curfew and blockade in the Sur district of Diyarbakir, declared by Diyarbakır Governorship with absolutely no legal and constitutional basis on 2 December 2015, enters its 91st day today. Twenty-four local citizens have lost their lives during this curfew. The number of losses includes only those who could be identified.

For centuries, Sur district has been the cultural, social, economic and historical heart of Diyarbakır. The curfew imposed in the district amounts to a military blockade, and is in clear violation of the fundamental rights and freedoms and state responsibilities stipulated in the Constitution, such as the right to life, right to health, right to education and right to travel. The economic, social and cultural life in Sur has come to a halt, with no electricity and water at homes and no basic services such as pharmacies and bakeries in the streets. Under these grave circumstances—and all under the gaze of the world—children, women and the elderly are losing their lives one by one. Even iconic and sacred public places, considered to be humanity’s common cultural and religious heritage, are brought to ruins during the curfew jointly enforced by military, police and paramilitary forces. Tanks and heavy artillery have damaged Diyarbakir’s city walls, officially listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Five-hundred-year old Kurşunlu Mosque, historic Hasırlı Mosque, 1700 year-old Saint Mary Church, historic Surp Giragos Church and Protestant churches are among the historical places that were destroyed and rendered unusable by curfew enforcement.

One hundred and seventy-eight bodies have so far been collected from the “Savage Basements” in the Cizre district of Sirnak. Yet, the family members who were asked to identify the deceased report that the bodies were burnt beyond recognition. Furthermore, bodies have been intentionally transported to various other cities in Turkey for autopsy procedures, which in turn have aggravated the suffering of the family members. We have no other choice but to prevent the occurrence of yet another similar atrocity in Sur. The curfew in Sur has to be immediately lifted. This is the only way to prevent the recurrence of the Cizre Massacre, which, with its all cruelty, happened right in front of the world’s indifferent eyes. The military blockade must be lifted so that people whose lives are in danger can be safely evacuated. All that is happening in Sur at the moment, and all that will happen in the coming days, is a matter of humanity and human dignity. International public and political actors are necessarily implicated in the sustainability of the stability of Turkey and the region. In the face of recently unfolding events in Turkey, it has become an urgent need to have a clear stance along the axes of freedom, peace and democracy. We call upon all national and international democratic institutions and platforms to express a solid reaction against the current political and humanitarian crisis in Sur and act in solidarity with the people of Sur.

Figen YÜKSEKDAĞ and Selahattin DEMİRTAŞ, Co-chairs of Peoples’ Democratic Party

Contact: international@hdp.org.tr Web: www.hdp.org.tr
Address: Barbaros Mah. Tahran Cad. Büklüm Sok. No: 117 06680 Çankaya, Ankara – Turkey
Phone: +90 312 427 17 80 Fax: +90 312 4288957

*ENDS*

Download as pdf

Forget the UN! Meet the Self-Determining Refugees in Kurdistan

Foundation of the Shengal Founding Council | Photo: Alan Roj

Foundation of the Shengal Founding Council | Photo: Alan Roj

Written by  Dilar Dirik on Kurdish Question.

Without getting into the dehumanizing, brutal debates that dominate the so-called refugee crisis, let’s explore a different refugee story. One of autonomy, agency, self-determination and empowerment. Three refugee camps in Kurdistan illustrate this radical alternative to the status quo.

Our journey begins in Makhmour, a 40-minute ride south of the Iraqi-Kurdish capital Erbil City. Even today, this refugee camp’s inhabitants call its existence “a miracle.” It was created in the 1990s after the Turkish army destroyed Kurdish villages, forcibly displacing 100,000 people escaping massacre and forced assimilation. Far from the U.S.-cheerleading system in Erbil, decorated with billboards of Turkish companies, you feel an entirely different atmosphere upon entering Makhmour camp which is guarded by PKK guerrillas: a communal life.

Due to the explicitly political nature of the camp, which openly supports the PKK, the camp was displaced several times and repeatedly criminalized, invaded, and partly destroyed over the years by the Turkish and Iraqi states, as well as the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), which governs Erbil. The U.N. never adequately supported the camp beyond basic needs, due to its politics.

Many children were killed by scorpions during the early days in this desert-like, hostile piece of land. Over time, despite all the attacks, the people established a principled autonomous system and turned it into a fertile green settlement. Every neighborhood here forms a commune, each having an autonomous women’s commune. The education system, including the syllabus, and health services, the economy, etc., are self-determined and independent from the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq. The entire infrastructure was built collectively. “Everyone placed a brick on every house here,” the story of Makhmour goes.

The Ishtar women’s council was created in 2003 in order to represent women’s will and needs. The women’s academy Martyr Jiyan (named after a camp woman killed by the KDP in an uprising) gives lessons in literacy, self-defense (philosophical and armed), world, regional, and women’s history, democratic confederalism, ecology, and more.

“To know is to become aware,” explains Aryen, who teaches at the academy. “There was a time in Mesopotamia where society was organized by women. That time was far more ethical and egalitarian than today’s age. We want to resist by reviving the values that were taken away from us as women by raising women with strength and ethical-political consciousness.”

Whoever witnessed the invisibility of ordinary women in ultra-patriarchal Erbil encounters a very different type of woman here: self-confident, assertive, and happy – a striking indicator of how systemic environments impact women’s lives. Though the camp is supposedly under U.N. protection, only the PKK was here to evacuate and defend the people, when ISIS attacked last year. All adults in the camp know how to handle a gun and take turns holding guard at night.

Our next stop takes us to the Sinjar (Shengal) mountains, the stage of the latest massacre on the Yazidi Kurds.

“This is definitely the last massacre on the Yazidis,” the people here say. “If we get distributed into the diaspora, this will be our end anyway. We will cease to exist as a community. That is why the only way to survive is to organize.”

What many people who fail to understand the sociological factors of displacement don’t realize is that attachment to a certain geography is an existential element for many communities. Displacement often means the irreversible erasure of history.

“Due to betrayal and lack of organization, we became victims,” explains a member of the Shengal Founding Council, established in January 2015, based on Abdullah Öcalan’s democratic autonomy system. “Now we know that if we do not look after ourselves, nobody will.”

Approximately 40,000 people live in tents on the mountain now. “We started by walking from tent to tent to meet people’s basic needs. Slowly, we began building self-organization through committees for services, culture, health, education, economy, etc. to sort out daily life issues, but also long-term goals. Women and youth organize autonomously. Very quickly, we became a thorn in the eye of the KDP, which withdrew when the massacre began,” he added. While blocking roads for others, the KDP distributes international aid from abroad in its own name here.

Our final stop is the Newroz camp which was created in Dêrîk (al-Malikiyah) in August 2014 after more than 10,000 Yazidis escaped by crossing the fading Iraqi-Syrian border through the “humanitarian corridor” from Shengal to Rojava, fought by the YPG/YPJ of Rojava and PKK guerrillas. During my first visit to the camp in December 2014, the full embargo on Rojava imposed by Turkey and the KDP, the latter controlling the border-crossing on the Iraqi side, prevented any humanitarian aid, including food and blankets, and even books from crossing. Due to political pressure, especially after the resistance of Kobane, some international organizations provide limited aid now, but the embargo continues. The UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency, attempted to recreate the camp according to its universal concept, neglecting the fact that there was already a self-determining system in practice. Encountering the camp assembly’s resistance, the UNHCR was forced to respect their demands and now provides material needs, which the people coordinate themselves.

International institutions supposedly in charge have often left these people to die, starve, and suffer, by giving in to state policies. Meanwhile, the refugees, who have had everything taken away from them, create a life in dignity and power.

In September, the photo of the small child Alan Kurdî from Kobane stranded on a beach after drowning in the sea, managed to touch the silent conscience of humanity. My friend and Kurdish activist Mehmet Aksoy wrote:

“Sometimes the fate of a child is written a 100 years before they are born. We are not talking of a divine fate, we are talking of historical forces, politics, power, hegemony, economic exploitation and colonialism.”

What makes bodies like Alan Kurdî’s so cruelly disposable is this order which values state-borders more than human beings.

In a world dictated by nation-states, what can we expect from a system like the U.N. that only respects the agency of states, which cause today’s massacres, genocides, ethnic cleansings, mass displacements, poverty, war and destruction to begin with, because it necessitates them by definition, especially considering that the core of it is made up of the top arms-selling states?

Rendering displaced people as dependent, apolitical non-agents, while leading a chauvinism discourse in host countries which established themselves through imperialism, racism, colonization, theft, exploitation, war, murder, and rape, is a strategy of the international order to maintain the racist status quo. Makhmour, Dêrîk, and Shengal, however, having been empowered by the PKK ideology, which rejects the nation-state system, tell another story.

Sabriye, a mother from Makhmour explains: “They fear us, because we stand on our feet. We did not trust anyone to save us, we took our fate into our own hands and created our own self-defense and social system. We made life sweeter by organizing ourselves.”

More than charity, refugees need comrades that help fight displacement causes (like foreign invasions and arms trade) and support the concerned people’s autonomy. Last month, Abdallah Kurdî, Alan’s father, called for the political recognition of the Rojava administration: “I am grateful for your sympathy for my fate. This has given me the feeling that I am not alone. But an essential step in ending this tragedy and avoiding its recurrence, is support for our self-organization.”

The world cried for Alan’s father, will it support his politics as well?

Original Source: www.telesurtv.net

YPG: WE HAVE NO CONNECTION TO ANKARA BOMBING, TURKEY IS PREPARING GROUND TO ATTACK ROJAVA

ypglogoFrom Kurdish Question 18th February 2016

The General Command of the People’s Defence Units (YPG) has released a statement in response to Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu who blamed the YPG for yesterday’s attack in the heart of Turkish capital Ankara which left 28 people dead and 64 others wounded.

YPG General Command said they have no links to the attack, remarking that Davutoğlu put forward this accusation to pave the way for an offensive on Rojava and Syria. The General Command stressed that YPG hasn’t engaged in any kind of military activity against the Turkish state so far in spite of all its attacks and provocations.

We hereby publish the full text of the related statement by YPG General Command;

“As is known to our people and the public opinion, the Rojava revolution has entered its 4th year. As the YPG forces, we are protecting our people in Rojava region from the very first day on. Under challenging conditions, we are protecting our people from barbaric gangs such as ISIS and Al-Nusra. Countless states and media outlets have repeatedly reported about the support Turkey has been providing to these terrorist groups. Apart from the terrorist groups attacking us, we as YPG have engaged in no military activity against the neighboring states or other forces. Despite all its provocations and attacks on Rojava border, we have acted with historic responsibility and never retailated Turkey. During the past 4 years, Rojava is the safest area of Turkey-Syria border, and there has been no military action conducted by our side during this period. This truth is best known to the Turkish military and AKP government. They are deliberately distorting the truths and holding us responsible for the explosion in Ankara.

We would like to reiterate our message to the peoples of Turkey and the world; We have no links to this incident. It is not specific to this case alone, as we have never been involved in an attack against Turkey. The Turkish state cannot possibly prove our engagement in any kind of attack on their side because we were never involved in such an action. Turkish Prime Minister Davutoğlu’s remarks “Ankara attack was conducted by YPG” is a lie and far from the truth. With this statement, Davutoğlu wants to pave the way for an offensive on Syria and Rojava, and to cover up their relations with the ISIS which is known to the whole world by now.

As the People’s Defence Units-YPG, we state once again that we have no links to the explosion in Ankara, and we call upon all neighboring states and forces to respect the Rojava revolution and will of peoples.” Source ANF.

KQ adds: The Democratic Union Party (PYD), to whom the YPG is affiliated, said it “completely refuted” the claims of its involvement.

Saleh Muslim, co-chair of PYD, also denied claims the YPG was firing into Turkey. “They don’t consider Turkey as an enemy,” he told Reuters news agency.

BREAK THE SILENCE! STOP TURKEY’S WAR ON THE KURDS! NATIONAL DEMO 6TH OF MARCH LONDON.

breakthesilenceTurkey has launched a war on the 25 million Kurds of south east Turkey ever since the mainly Kurdish political party, the HDP twice won over 12% of the vote in the elections of 2015 and in Syria the Kurdish PYD has led a movement creating a popular progressive democracy in the Rojava region.

Rather than accept that sooner rather than later the rights and aspirations of the Kurdish people to autonomy must be met, in Turkey and beyond, the Turkish state has imposed curfews on towns and cities across the region, with tanks on the streets and snipers on the roofs, and nearly 200 people have been murdered by Turkish forces. An all out policy of annihilation is being pursued by Erdogan and the Turkish state.

Yet while Turkey is a key NATO ally of the UK and USA and desperate to get into the EU, the UK and international media have said and done nothing to stop this brutality.

The Kurdish movement in the UK have been protesting about their treatment by Turkey since 100,000 Kurds came to this country in the 1980s and 1990s, as refugees from the Turkish war against the Kurds when hundreds of villages were destroyed, 30,000 Kurds killed and 3 million made refugees.

But now for the first time, in the face of the Turkish state restarting the war against the Kurds, it has been decided to call a national demonstration under the slogan ‘Break The Silence’, as this brutal attack is unreported in the UK press, and Stop Turkeys War on the Kurds, as we will be demanding the UK govt puts pressure on Turkey to stop these attacks and return to the negotiations for a peaceful settlement with the Kurdish Movement began with the PKK, the Kurdish liberation movement.

Lastly we call for the UK govt to decriminalise the Kurdish Liberation Movement, even though the PKK represents the vast majority of Kurds in Turkey and in the UK, is illegal in the UK, which creates serious barriers and difficulties in the search for a peaceful, political settlement.

PLEASE JOIN US IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE KURDS ON THE 6th MARCH. FOR UPDATES SEE THE FB EVENT PAGE:

Called by Kurdish National Congress [ KNK] UK, Peace in Kurdistan and London, Kurdish Solidarity.

Ecological Destruction Report on Curfew Areas in Turkish-Kurdistan: Mesopotamian Ecology Movement

Public Statement, 29.12.2015:

After the AKP government overthrew the negotiating table with the Kurdish Freedom Movement in spring 2015 the increasing environment of violence affects more and more gravely the social life and causes deaths of a growing number of civilians, especially women and children. The Turkish government has imposed curfews and enforced total blockades against cities and neighbourhoods which have declarated their self-rulements in summer 2015 in the Kurdish Southeast of Turkey, i.e. in Turkish (North)-Kurdistan. This leads to systematic state violance on these communities and has brought vast destruction and loss of property and life.

As the Mesopotamian Ecology Movement we did a research and interviews in the affected areas, where the curfew has been declared, in order to report the ecological dimension of faced destruction.

Research method: A field work group was established by activists of the Mesopotamian Ecology Movement, some NGOs and people with no organizational background. A total number of 85 interviewers from the greater region worked in several groups in different provinces. The research was carried out by posing questions, prepared as open-ended, to the people affected by the curfew and writing down immediately the answers to forms. In total 800 families were interviewed.

Research areas: In the province of Diyarbakır (Amed): districts of Sur and Bismil. In the province of Mardin (Mêrdîn): districts of Nusaybin and Dargeçit. In the province of Hakkari: districts of Yüksekova and Şemdinli. In the province of Şırnak (Şirnex): districts of Şırnak, Cizre, Silopi and Beytüsşebap. In the province of Van (Wan): district of Süphan, the neighborhoods of Yeni, Karşıyaka, Hacıbekir, Edremit.

Research Time: The research was carried out between October 24, 2015 and November 10, 2015.

Observed and stated fact-findings: In the districts imposed by curfews the buildings have usually fewer floors and often gardens in the backyard. An important part of the residents do truck farming and grow fruit trees. Furthermore the people live off by livestock husbandry in their gardens or in the basements. People’s lifestocks and gardens experienced a huge loss because of the curfews and conflicts. The also could not go to work on their near farmlands which led in the loss of harvesting agricultural products.

It was observed that the animals died because of shrapnel, bullets and widely used tear gas. Some dead animals were buried in the gardens after being limed by their owners. The gardens and animals remained neglected because some people had to leave their houses and others could not leave their houses.

In areas close to mountainous regions (particularly Şırnak, Şemdinli, Yüksekova, Dargeçit) in the pasture landscape is done livestock husbandry. The Turkish State declared these areas as special security zones and bombed them systematically. The people have been forced to leave their pasture areas without to take their animals. Some of the animals died due to the bombings. Especially beekeeping activities came to a stopping point. Numerous forest fires have broken out as a result of bombings which led also to the death of many animals in the forests (see report on forest fires published in October 2015:). The feeding of pigeons is known as a part of everyday life in Sur district of Diyarbakır. After the declaration of the curfew, many pigeons died because of shrapnels, tear gas and deliberately targeting by security forces. It was even seen that the security forces killed the ownerless pigeons by hand force.

In the areas affected by curfews in many locations and streets the clean water supply pipes were burst and also the clean water mixed with sewage. An electricity and water cut has experienced in all curfew areas. Usually the electricity has been cut by the companies in charge as a result of state pressure. Although the government forced local authorities to cut water for the curfew areas, the municipalities refused it. The people who had clean water shortage, were forced to use water from dwells which have been digged in their gardens many years ago and not been used for long time. In some curfew areas, many people said there are some changes in the taste of agricultural products and drinking water. It is indicated that the using of tear gas and munitions caused the change of taste in foods and drinking water in these areas. Many people stated that through consumption of food and water they or their children experienced vomit. It is observed that the febrile illness have been diagnosed widelyy with the children in Dargeçit, Nusaybin, Yüksekova and Cizre. Diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), shortness of breath above-average have been determined as a result of the conflicts and munitions.

The security forces do not allow the municipalities to collect garbage in the conflict areas so that in the streets so an unhealthy environment has occurred. It was observed that particularly children live under very difficult conditions with serious impacts. The children have developed the behaviors such as anxiety, fear, crying, insomnia etc. when they hear explosions, shootings and continuous announcements made by police’s vehicles. It was observed that some families tied their children in order to prevent them to go out of the house. The waste of munitions, which has been used during the conflict, was collected by children who played with them in the streets. It is indicated that the whole conflict will have grave effects on children’s health and psychology in the future.

As a result of repeated curfews and intensified state repression, in the most neighbourhoods a minority of the inhabitants has left temporarily their homes while in fewer neighborhoods the majority of the residents have left their neighborhoods during the curfews times. The latter is the case for Silvan and Sur.

All described repressive policies are in the responsibility of the Turkish government and cause serious damage on the ecosystem in and around the settlements. The state policy in the areas affected by the curfews have usurped the basic human right to life such a clean and habitable environment, having education and health care and the right to live in security and meet nutritional needs.

We request that the Turkish government and its sub-institutions must stop immediately the policy to declare curfews in areas where self-rulement has been declared. The Turkish government has to ensure also immediately that from now on in any action of Turkish security forces in Turkish-Kurdistan violence against civilians inherent rights to life must be prevented. Any destruction and damage to people resulted by the acting of Turkish security forces has to compensated comprehensively, including the long-term expected social and psychological impacts. In the consideration of destruction the impacts on the nature must be considered too. To prevent any similar social and ecological destruction, harm and suffering we demand an immediate two side cease fire which results in the start of new negotation between the two conflict sides, the Turkish government and the Kurdish Freedom Movement.

Contact: Diplomacy Committee of the Mesopotamian Ecology Movement E-mail
facebook (not English)

KNK Statement – Turkish state and government launch all-out war against the Kurds.

After the coup against the 7 June 2015 elections, under the leadership of President Erdogan, the Turkish state launched a full-blown war against the Kurds.

The state, which has even deployed the navy in Kurdistan, is utilising all its traditional dirty tactics. For several weeks curfews have been imposed in many towns and cities across Kurdistan. These are still continuing in Cizre, Silopi and Sur. The curfews are also on and off in places like Nusybin, Dargecit, Lice and Varto. Until now, the Turkish state has killed a total of 260 civilians in these towns and cities. Most of these killings have been caused by artillery fire from tanks, rockets and sniper fire. Turkish state is attacking Kurdish elected officials by prosecuting them, relieving elected mayors of their duties and imprisoning journalists. Turkish military forces are targeting especially women and children. Recently three Kurdish women politicians have been killed by Turkish state forces in an extrajudicial killing in Şırnak’s Silopi district. Party of Democratic Regions (DBP) Parliamentary Assembly member Sêvê DEMIR, Silopi People’s Council Co-chair Pakize NAYIR and Free Women’s Congress (KJA) activist Fatma UYAR, were massacred by Turkish state forces in Silopi where curfew continues for 23 days

Mayors are being imprisoned

Since the latest elections, as many as 20 co-mayors from the DBP have been thrown in prison. Some have been relieved of their duties by the Interior Ministry. While these operations were continuing, the AKP announced new measures. From now on, a government appointed administrator will be brought in to replace the co-mayors who are relieved of their duties. Elected officials are being undermined by state appointed bureaucrats.

New laws against Members of Parliament

While the above mentioned measures are being put forward for the local councils, Turkish President Erdogan has once again shown his intolerance of any criticism against the government voiced by the HDP co-chairs Selahattin DEMIRTAS and Figen YUKSEKDAG, and he has called upon state prosecutors to begin legal proceedings against them. As soon as Erdogan said that, “these people must pay a price”, the judiciary and the legislature moved into action against the HDP co-chairs and other HDP MPs. It is becoming ever more clear that these measures are all part of the state’s masterplan.

The confession document of genocide

It was recently documented that the civilian massacre in Kurdistan is state approved. In a document belonging to the Turkish Ground Forces Command, a warning states, “the results of military personnel not using their weapons in fear of prosecution will be very dangerous” and an order to use weapons is made very clear. In the document, soldiers are given assurances that they will not face prosecution if they kill civilians.  The document that reveals the state’s instructions in recent civilian deaths has the signature of “Ground Forces Command, 172nd Armoured Brigade Command, 3rd Tank Battalion Command, Cizre/Sirnak”. The document carrying the serial number “84933840-3000-350-15” and titled “Personnel’s vigilance and deployment of firearms” is dated 30 July, 2015.

A hundred years ago it was the Armenians

The Turkish regime wants to re-enact the genocides it committed at the beginning of the 20th century against the Armenians (where 1.5 million civilian were massacred) and in Dersim, Agiri and Kocgiri (where hundred thousand Kurds were massacred). Just two days ago Mayor of Adana (AK- Party) Huseyin Sozlu declared in a public statement to Kurds in Turkey: “You will end up like Armenians“

Erdogan wants Hitler’s regime

Turkish President Erdogan clearly stated in front of TV cameras that he wanted a similar style of government to that of Hitler’s Germany. Erdogan described his favoured type of government like this: “We can see similar styles of government in Hitler’s Germany. You can find the same style in other parts of the world too.” This statement was widely reported in the global media. In contrast, this same Erdogan is employing Hitler’s tactics against the Kurdish people right now but for some reason this time the world remains silent.

Depopulation policy in Kurdistan

The people who are resisting against all the attacks are doing everything they can to remain in their homes. The Turkish Army is forcibly trying to make the people of Cizre, Silopi and Sur abandon their homes. These measures, reminiscent of Nazi tactics, are being deployed in these towns on a daily basis. The Turkish Army is threatening the people to leave their homes or risk being massacred.

Towns turned into concentration camps

In the Barbaros Neighbourhood of Cizre alone, as many as 7 thousand people were forcibly removed from their homes and moved to a sports hall in Yenisehir Neighbourhood where they were told to leave the town completely. The people who did not leave their homes are being surrounded by Turkish Army personnel who are firing heavy artillery into the neighbourhoods.

We call upon everyone to demand an immediate halt to the Turkish state’s massacres.

While the Turkish state is negotiating with the EU, it is massacring, torturing and imprisoning the Kurds in its own country. Why is the EU remaining silent when faced with these actions that flagrantly violate the EU’s values? In a blatant act of vengeance the Turkish state is attacking the Kurds who are in the frontline in the fight against the barbaric ISIS, so why are members of the anti-ISIS coalition remaining silent? We call upon the whole world to raise their voices against the Turkish state and Erdogan’s massacre of the Kurdish people.

Kurdistan National Congress (KNK), January 2016

Anti-State communities in Kurdistan. 14th December Bristol.

ASK2Caught between the expansionist ISIS and escalating oppression by the Turkish state is one of the largest and most interesting revolutionary struggles of our times. Rojava, comprising three regions of northern Syria, is home to 2 million people while across the border in Eastern Turkey an increasing number of villages and neighbourhoods are declaring themselves autonomous and committed to self defence. Within these areas is a social experiment that incorporates feminism, ecology, has survived four years of military assaults. For much of this time they have been the only successful opposition to ISIS.

At 6:30pm on Monday 14th of December in the Malcolm X Centre join us for an evening of info and films including a first hand account of the new anti-state communities and an update on British Kurdish prisoner Silan Ozcelik. facebook event

Who exactly is the terrorist sympathiser here?

piggyCameron and his cronies are faithfully following the daesh script; of course that doesn’t mean they aren’t getting backhanders from the arms industry as well. Even their own ‘foreign affairs’ select committee recognise that bombing Syria would be a fucking stupid thing to do, for anyone with the slightest interest in peace or stability in the region, or public safety in the West.

#piggate #dontbombsyria #terroristsympathiser

Criminalizing Our People: Social Impacts of the PKK Ban by Dilar Dirik

The terror-listing of the PKK by Western states criminalizes ordinary Kurds. However, its hypocrisy also created a conscious, mobilized, activist community.

Last year, when Western mainstream media was confused about “PKK terrorists” fighting “Islamic State group terrorists,” this evoked a tired smile in the faces of ordinary Kurds who, aside from oppression at home, are stigmatized and criminalized throughout Europe.

Terror designations often demonize one side of a conflict, while immunizing the other. This especially applies to the Turkey-PKK conflict, with the second largest NATO-army on one side, and an armed national liberation movement on the other. But in this case, a terrorist designation also criminalizes an entire community of ordinary people, denying them fundamental rights.

The on and off listings of groups and states, such as Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, according to the day’s political situation, are examples of how blacklistings are political, not moral, regardless of their pretensions. In reality, listings strengthen state-sponsored violence by reinforcing the state’s monopoly on the use of force, ignoring the legitimacy of resistance and making no moral distinction between groups like ISIS and movements reacting to injustice.

Read full article on teleSUR English

RESISTANCE AGAINST ISIS AND AL-NUSRA CONTINUES IN ROJAVA: 32 GANG MEMBERS KILLED

Re-Posted from Kurdish question

Resistance Against ISIS and Al-Nusra Continues in Rojava: 32 Gang Members Killed

2nd October 2015

ANF – News Desk

The YPG Press Office has released a written statement about the actions conducted by YPG/YPJ (People’s / Women’s Defence Units) against the ISIS and Al-Nusra gangs in the Aleppo and Hesekê regions. 32 members of the gang groups were killed, while a panzer and many armored vehicles were destroyed.

THe YPG stated that ISIS gangs have launched the heaviest attacks since their offensive to occupy Hesekê in the Mount Kizwanan region. Seven fighters of the Defense Units have lost their lives in intense clashes that are still going on.

The statement reported that attacks led by Al-Nusra gangs on the Sheikh Maqsoud neighborhood of Aleppo also continue, in response to which YPG/YPJ put up active resistance and conducted effective counter-attacks.

CLASH IN SHEIKH MAQSOUD

The statement said a clash erupted between YPG/YPJ forces and the gang groups that launched an attack on the Sheikh Maqsoud neighborhood at around 10:00 local time yesterday. Two pick-up vehicles, including a bomb-laden vehicle was destroyed, but the casualties left by the action couldn’t be clarified.

THREE MILITARY VEHICLES DAMAGED

Targeting the gang groups on the Bostan Paşa neighborhood and Cendol road from where they conduct their attacks, YPG/YPJ forces damaged three vehicles belonging to the gangs, yet couldn’t determine the number of casualties.

In another operation, Defence Units hit a gang group preparing for an assault on the Kastello road, leaving 4 gang members dead.

CLASHES IN KIZWANAN REGION CONTINUE

The statement reported that ISIS gangs have this morning conducted an expansive operation targeting the Bediî, Xerra, Xara, Til Hemam and Cefr villages to the northwest of Mount Kizwanan and the Radio hill on the mountain.

Describing the assault as the most expansive one launched by gangs in the Hesekê region since early August, YPG said Defence Units have put up steady resistance to the attack and inflicted heavy blows on the gangs.

According to the statement, gang groups have attempted two suicide attacks near wheat silos in Xerra village and in Til Hamam village. Both the bomb-laden vehicle and the motorcycle used in the actions by gangs were destroyed by Defence Units.

The gang groups that attacked the villages of Xerra, Xara, Cefr and Bediî, and the junction on Bediî-Alya road were also encircled by YPG/YPJ who eliminated the majority of the gangs involved in the attacks.

28 KILLED, ONE PANZER DESTROYED

The YPG/YPJ have destroyed a panzer belonging to the gangs at Bediî-Alya junction where at least 7 gang members were verified killed, and their bodies were seized. Three fighters of the Defence Units fell fighting here.

10 other gang members were captured dead in clashes in Xerra village where 4 YPG/YPJ fighters died. 11 other gang members were captured dead in the village of Xara.

Remarking that clashes with gang groups were continuing at four separate points, the YPG concluded that 28 gang members have been captured dead so far, while a panzer, a bomb-laden vehicle and a motorcycle belonging to them were also seized.

Edited by Kurdish question

Good migrant/Bad migrant? By Mal Content.

That loyal mouthpiece of the establishment the BBC has taken to calling the migrant populations languishing in camps and at border posts “refugees and economic migrants”. In any halfway sympathetic pronouncement from the beleaguered political class, all complicit in smashing the infrastructure of five countries, the word refugee is usually prefaced with genuine. Somewhere in the fevered popular imagination lurks the spectre of the economic migrant, a worker from a less affluent country prepared to risk life and limb to reach the UK so they can drive a minicab or deliver pizza, or worse still, eke out a meagre living under the D.W.P.’s brutal benefits regime, or perhaps wait years for an operation on the NHS. Just how desperate would you have to be? Poverty is the worst form of violence, Ghandi once claimed, though I doubt he was the first to articulate that simple truth. Why then is it so despicable to flee this particular form? Swerve bullets and bombs all you like but hunger and disease must simply be endured. The reason is obvious, how else could you accept an economic regime that has a mere eighty individuals, sitting like a boil on the arse of humanity, wielding the same purchasing power as the poorest three and a half billion?

Never mind that if all British citizens living overseas returned, and all non-Britons left, there would be 1.3 million more people on the island, and we would have traded productive workers for retired bankers and bent car dealers. We learn nothing by evaluating these matters in terms of capitalist economics. There is no shortage of anything here, with a million empty homes and fifteen million tons of food thrown away annually. If the borders were torn down and resources allocated according to need, it would just show the politicians have been talking bollocks all along. Pidgin economics are a smokescreen for racism, on which the ruling class relies as much as it ever did to keep us in our separate little boxes. Working class radicals have no use for borders; we recognise they serve only the bosses, maintaining differentials in prices and wages that allow them to increase their mark-up.

So how’s this for economic migration? In 2002, capitalist James Dyson laid off five hundred and sixty workers in Wiltshire and moved his vacuum cleaner factory to Malaysia where he can hire people for £3 per hour. Well if we all work for that rate who’s going to buy his fucking vacuum cleaners at 300 quid a pop? Dyson had free school milk, free healthcare and a grant to further education, all provided by the working class. Developing the product, he was supported by his wife’s salary as an art teacher – try doing that in Malaysia! No liberal economist would oppose the free movement of capital, but if you decline to work for three quid an hour and move from Malaysia to Wiltshire expect to be pilloried for it. The economist knows that globalisation of capital requires globalisation of labour, but the bourgeoisie does not want free movement of labour; they must be able to control it through their tame politicians. Super-exploited groups are used to drive down wages and conditions at the bottom. As a bonus, this creates resentment and division in our class, diverting the blame for economic hardship away from the bosses. So-called ‘quality immigration’ of skilled personnel is nothing but a shameless pillage of the education systems of the poorest countries. The I.T. engineer from Mumbai and the doctor from Manila owe their expertise to the working class of those communities, without whom they would never have reached adulthood, let alone qualified.

“They’re taking our jobs” well they’re fucking welcome to mine; I’d gladly share it with them and have more time for something universally beneficial. Cash-rich corporations are reluctant to employ anyone in the dwindling range of increasingly futile tasks unless they will work for JSA or come heavily subsidised by the taxpayer. It’s hardly surprising; technology makes production ever less labour-intensive so profits – which only come from unpaid labour – fall. As the cost of living, especially accommodation, rises, so does the cost of maintaining the labouring capacity of the worker, and only once this cost has been met, by the capitalist or the state, does the remaining portion of their working day generate profit for the capitalist. So the bourgeoisie are happier investing their ill-gotten in something like Trident, that doesn’t have to compete in the marketplace. The decision to purchase will be made by wealthy politicians and the cost will be borne by taxpayers, the overwhelming bulk of whom will be working class. Any new technology developed on its budget will belong to the corporations, protected by patents. The politicians will subsequently take on directorships. Is it merely coincidence that the first public admission of the use of a British drone for extra-judicial execution coincides with the opening of the biennial DSEI arms fair in London?

Western capitalism was founded on primitive accumulation, the economist’s euphemism for armed robbery: the pillage of Latin America and the Indian sub-continent, the enclosure of indigenous lands, the transatlantic slave trade and a bit of opium-running. For four hundred years, the British Empire did precisely what Islamic state/daesh is doing now, only without the internet. Its state terrorism only ceased when its colonies achieved independence. During the 1950’s Britain maintained its rule in Kenya with concentration camps, summary execution, rape, torture and mutilation.

The Middle Eastern insurgent movements of my youth were aggressively secular and vaguely Marxist-Leninist in character. ‘Political Islam’ in its mediaevalist Wahabi form, was a tiny insignificant sect. This changed with the Russian invasion of Afghanistan; the fundamentalists were cultivated, both by Western capitalism, and its proxy, the Saudi ruling dynasty, who feared the loss of their privileged position as feudal proprietors. On the other hand, Baathist Iraq, in all its secular post-Stalinist despotism, was equally courted to oppose the regime in Iran that emerged from the popular revolution against the one the West installed to replace Mohammad Mosaddeq after he nationalised Anglo-Iranian oil (now BP). Iraq had a million men under arms at the end of that war, the fifth largest standing army in the world. Following the Western invasion they were given a month’s pay and sent home. That, plus Iraqi Sunnis interned during the occupation is now daesh in Syria. In 1930’s Spain a similar totalitarian theocracy was born when British duplicity and incompetence allowed General Franco to opportunistically unite his reactionary officer corps with the fascist Falange party, religious fanatics, greedy landowners and a venal clergy.

Why all the history? Because it’s still being made! These fools brought chaos to the Middle East and terrorism to New York and London; they will deliver us World War Three if we let them.

Nevertheless the politicians have been left in the dust by the popular reaction to events. Without waiting to be asked, working class people have organised to gather and deliver aid to the camps or drive refugees illegally into Europe. Some of the most intrepid have volunteered for the militia of autonomous Rojava at the front line against daesh and their Turkish ally. Back home in our towns and villages, we attack thieving bosses and slum landlords, resist gentrification and austerity, foil workfare, eviction and deportation, and one by one, hound the fascists from our community. Our deeply divided society is steaming purposefully in two opposite directions; the one towards a life based on mutual aid and solidarity; the other perpetuating selfishness, greed, commodity fetishism and alienated wage labour. When the two meet again it will be for a fight to the finish. It’s time to choose your future and pick your side.

From Genocide to Resistance: Yazidi Women Fight Back – By Dilar Dirik

yazidi_resistance_genocide4a.jpg_1718483346

Protest march of Yazidi women in the Sinjar Mountains on the first anniversary of the Islamic State group massacre

Having suffered a traumatic genocide, Yazidi women on Mount Sinjar mobilize their autonomous armed and political resistance with the PKK’s philosophy.

SHENGAL – The old Kurdish saying “We have no friends but the mountains” became more relevant than ever when on Aug. 3, 2014, the murderous Islamic State group launched what is referred to as the 73rd massacre on the Yazidis by attacking the city of Sinjar (in Kurdish: Shengal), slaughtering thousands of people, and raping and kidnapping the women to sell them as sex slaves. Ten thousand Yazidis fled to the Shengal Mountains in a death march in which they, and especially children, died of hunger, thirst, and exhaustion. This year on the same day, the Yazidis marched in the Shengal Mountains again. But this time in a protest to vow that nothing will ever be the same again.

Last year, the Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) promised the people to guarantee Shengal’s safety, but ran away without warning when the Islamic State group attacked, not even leaving arms behind for people to defend themselves. Instead, it was the guerrilla of the PKK, as well as the the Kurdish People’s Defence Units, or YPG, and its women’s brigade the YPJ from Rojava, who in spite of having Kalashnikovs and a only handful of fighters, opened a corridor to Rojava, rescuing 10,000 people. … Read full article at teleSUR.

Message from riseup: Security is not a crime.

View on Riseup dot net: [en] [es] [pt] [de] [fr] [it] [el] [ca]

[en] Security is not a crime

On Tuesday December 16th, a large police operation took place in the Spanish State. Fourteen houses and social centers were raided in Barcelona, Sabadell, Manresa, and Madrid. Books, leaflets, computers were seized and eleven people were arrested and sent to the Audiencia Nacional, a special court handling issues of “national interest”, in Madrid. They are accused of incorporation, promotion, management, and membership of a terrorist organisation. However, lawyers for the defence denounce a lack of transparency, saying that their clients have had to make statements without knowing what they are accused of. “[They] speak of terrorism without specifying concrete criminal acts, or concrete individualized facts attributed to each of them” [2]. When challenged on this, Judge Bermúdez responded: “I am not investigating specific acts, I am investigating the organization, and the threat they might pose in the future” [1]; making this yet another case of apparently preventative arrests.

Four of the detainees have been released, but seven have been jailed pending trial. The reasons given by the judge for their continued detention include the posession of certain books, “the production of publications and forms of communication”, and the fact that the defendants “used emails with extreme security measures, such as the RISE UP server” [2].

We reject this Kafka-esque criminalization of social movements, and the ludicrous and extremely alarming implication that protecting one’s internet privacy is tantamount to terrorism.

Riseup, like any other email provider, has an obligation to protect the privacy of its users. Many of the “extreme security measures” used by Riseup are common best practices for online security and are also used by providers such as hotmail, GMail or Facebook. However, unlike these providers, Riseup is not willing to allow illegal backdoors or sell our users’ data to third parties.

The European Parliament’s report on the US NSA surveillance program states that “privacy is not a luxury right, but the foundation stone of a free and democratic society” [3]. Recent revelations about the extent to which States violate everyone’s right to privacy show that everything that can be spied upon will be spied upon [4]. Furthermore, we know that criminalizing people for using privacy tools also has a chilling effect on everybody, and human-rights defenders, journalists, and activists, in particular. Giving up your basic right to privacy for fear of being flagged as a terrorist is unacceptable.

[es] La seguridad no es un crimen

El Jueves 16 de diciembre, una operación policial a gran escala tuvo lugar en el Estado Español. Catorce viviendas y centros sociales fueron registrados en Barcelona, Sabadell, Manresa, y Madrid. Libros, panfletos y ordenadores fueron requisados y once personas fueron arrestadas y enviadas a la Audiencia Nacional, un jurado especial para casos de “interés nacional”, in Madrid. Se les acusa de incorporación, promoción, gestión y participación de una organización terrorista. Sin embargo, abogadas de la defensa denuncian falta de transparencia, sus clientes han tenido que declarar sin saber de qué se les acusa. “Hablan de terrorismo sin especificar actos criminales concretos, o hechos concretos individuales atribuídos a cada una” [2]. Cuando fue questionado por esto, el Juéz Bermúdez respondió “No estoy investigando hechos específicos, estoy investigando la organización, y la amenaza que podrían suponer en el futuro” [1]; convirtiendo esto en un caso más de arresto preventivo en apariencia.

Cuatro de las detenidos han sido puestos en libertad, pero siete han sido encarcelados pendientes de juicio. Las razones que ha dado el juez para su detención prolongada incluye la posesión de ciertos libros, “la producción de publicaciones y formas de comuniación”, y el hecho que los defendidos “usan correos con medidas de seguridad extremas, como el servidor de Riseup” [2].

Nosotras rechazamos esta criminalización kafkiana de los movimientos sociales, y la absurda y extrema implicación de que proteger tu propia privacidad en Internet es equivalente a terrorismo.

Riseup, como cualquier proveedor de correo, tiene la obligación de proteger la privacidad de sus usuarias. Muchas de las “medidas de seguridad extremas” usadas por Riseup son buenas prácticas comunes para la seguridad online y son usadas a su vez por proveedores como hotmail, Gmail o Facebook. Sin embargo, a diferencia de estos proveedores, Riseup no está dispuesto a permitir puertas traseras ilegales o vender los datos de sus usuarias a terceras partes.

p. El informe del Parlamento Europeo sobre el programa de vigilancia de la NSA de EE.UU. Declara que “la privacidad no es un derecho de lujo, sino los cimientos de una sociedad libre y democrática” [3]. Revelaciones recientes sobre el alcance de la violación del derecho a la privacidad de todas por los Estados muestran que todo lo que se pueda espiar, será espiado [4]. Más aún, sabemos que criminalizar a las personas por usar herramientas de privacidad tiene un efecto escalofriante en todo el mundo, y en defensoras de Derechos Humanos, periodistas, y activistas en particular. Renunciar a tu derecho básico a la privacidad por el miedo a ser etiquetada como terrorista es inaceptable.

[pt] Segurança não é crime

Na terça-feira, 16 de dezembro, uma grande operação policial ocorreu no Estado Espanhol. Catorze casas e centros sociais foram invadidos em Barcelona, Sabadell, Manresa e Madrid. Livros, panfletos e computadores foram apreendidos e onze pessoas foram presas e enviadas para a Audiência Nacional, uma corte especial que cuida das questões de “interesse nacional”, em Madrid. Eles são acusados de incorporação, promoção, gestão e pertencimento de uma organização terrorista. No entanto, os advogados de defesa denunciaram a falta de transparência, dizendo que seus clientes tiveram que dar declarações sem saber pelo que estavam sendo acusados. “[Eles] falam de terrorismo sem especificar os atos criminais concretos ou fatos concretos individualizados atribuídos a cada um deles.”[2] Quando questionado sobre isso, o Juiz Bermúdez respondeu:”Eu não estou investigando atos específicos, eu estou investigando a organização e a ameaça que ela pode representar no futuro”[1]; tornando assim mais um caso de prisões aparentemente preventivas.

Quatro detidos foram soltos, mas sete estão presos aguardando o julgamento. A razão dada pelo juíz para continuar a detenção deles inclui a posse de certos livros, “a produção de publicações e formas de comunicação” e o fato de que os réus “usam emails com medidas extremas de segurança, como o servidor RISE UP”[2].

Nós rejeitamos esta criminalização kafkiana dos movimentos sociais e a implicação ridícula e extremamente alarmante de que proteger a sua privacidade na internet seja equivalente à terrorismo.

O Riseup, assim como qualquer outro provedor de email, possui a obrigação de proteger a privacidade de seus usuários. Muitas das “medidas extremas de segurança” usadas pelo Riseup são boas práticas comuns para a segurança online e são também usadas por provedores como hotmail, GMail ou Facebook. Entretanto, diferentemente desses provedores, o Riseup não está disposto a permitir a instalação de backdoors ilegais ou a vender os dados dos usuários para terceiros.

O relatório do Parlamento Europeu sobre o programa de vigilância da Agência de Segurança Nacional (NSA) dos Estados Unidos afirma que “a privacidade não é um direito de luxo, mas a pedra fundamental de uma sociedade livre e democrática”[3]. As revelações recentes sobre a extensão da violação pelos Estados do direito de todos à privacidade mostra que tudo que puder ser espionado será espionado[4]. Além disso, nós sabemos que a criminalização das pessoas por usarem ferramentas de privacidade também tem um efeito paralisante em todo mundo e, em especial, nos defensores de direitos humanos, jornalistas e ativistas. Abrir mão do seu direito básico à privacidade por medo de ser marcado como um terrorista é inaceitável.

[de] Sicherheit ist kein Verbrechen

Am Dienstag, den 16. Dezember fand im spanischen Staat eine große Polizeioperation statt. Vierzehn Häuser und soziale Zentren in Barcelona, Sabadell, Manresa und Madrid wurden durchsucht. Bücher, Flugblätter und Computer wurden beschlagnahmt, elf Menschen verhaftet und zur Audiencia Nacional verbracht, einem Sondergericht in Madrid, das für Anliegen “von nationalem Interesse” zuständig ist. Ihnen wird die Gründung, Bewerbung, Verwaltung und Mitgliedschaft in einer terroristischen Organisation vorgeworfen. Allerdings beklagen Anwält_innen der Verteidigung einen Mangel an Transparenz; ihnen zufolge wurden ihre Klient_innen zu Aussagen gezwungen ohne zu wissen, was ihnen vorgeworfen wird. “[Sie] sprechen von Terrorismus ohne konkrete kriminelle Handlungen zu benennen oder konkrete individualisierte Tatsachen, die den einzelnen zugeschrieben werden könnten” [2]. Als er damit konfrontiert wurde, reagierte Richter Bermúdez mit den Worten: “Ich untersuche nicht spezifische Handlungen, ich untersuche eine Organisation und die Bedrohung, die in Zukunft von ihr ausgehen könnte” [1]; damit handelt es sich um einen weiteren Fall anscheinend präventativer Verhaftungen.

Vier der Häftlinge wurden inzwischen freigelassen, sieben bleiben jedoch in Untersuchungshaft. Die Gründe, die vom Richter für ihre fortgesetzte Haft angegeben wurden, beinhalten den Besitz bestimmter Bücher, “die Herstellung von Publikationen und Formen der Kommunikation”, sowie die Tatsache dass die Angeklagten “eMail mit extremen Sicherheitsvorkehrungen verwendeten, so wie den RISE UP Server” [2].

Wir verurteilen diese kafkaeske Kriminalisierung sozialer Bewegungen und die irrsinnige und außerordentlich alarmierende Schlussfolgerung, den Schutz der eigenen Privatsphäre mit Terrorismus gleichzusetzen.

Wie jeder andere eMail-Provider hat Riseup die Pflicht, die Privatsphäre seiner Nutzer_innen zu schützen. Viele der “extremen Sicherheitsvorkehrungen”, die Riseup einsetzt, sind gängige Musterlösungen (sog. “Best Practices”), die auch von Providern wie hotmail, GMail oder Facebook eingesetzt werden. Anders als diese Provider ist Riseup allerdings nicht bereit, illegale Hintertüren zuzulassen oder die Daten ihrer Nutzer_innen an Dritte zu verkaufen.

Der Bericht des Europaparlaments über das US-amerikanische NSA-Überwachungsprogramm stellt fest, dass “das Recht auf Achtung der Privatsphäre kein Luxus ist, sondern einen Grundpfeiler der freien und demokratischen Gesellschaft darstellt” [3]. Die jüngsten Enthüllungen über das Ausmaß, in dem Staaten die Rechte aller Menschen auf Privatsphäre missachten, zeigen, dass alles was ausspioniert werden kann auch ausspioniert wird [4]. Darüberhinaus wissen wir, dass die Kriminalisierung einzelner weil sie Werkzeuge zum Schutz der Privatsphäre verwendet haben, eine Einschüchterungswirkung auf alle hat, und ganz besonders auf Menschenrechtsverteidiger_innen, Journalist_innen und Aktivist_innen. Das eigene Grundrecht auf Privatsphäre aufgeben zu müssen aus Angst, als Terrorist_in markiert zu werden, ist inakzeptabel.

[fr] La sécurité n’est pas un crime

Mardi 16 décembre, une opération policière d’envergure a eu lieu en Espagne. 14 domiciles et centres sociaux ont été perquisitionnés à Barcelone, Sabadell, Manresa et Madrid. Livres, brochures et ordinateurs ont été saisis. 11 personnes ont été arrêtées et déférées devant l’Audiencia Nacional espagnole, un haut tribunal à Madrid s’occupant des affaires d'”intérêt national”. Elles sont accusées de recrutement, promotion, organisation et appartenance à une organisation terroriste. Toutefois, les avocats de la défense dénoncent un manque de transparence, précisant que leurs client·es ont été interrogé·es sans savoir de quoi ils ou elles étaient accusé·es. “[Ils] parlent de terrorisme sans préciser les crimes reprochés, ni même les actes individuels attribués à chacun d’entre eux” [2]. Interrogé, le juge Bermúdez répond: “Je n’enquête pas sur des faits spécifiques, j’enquête sur l’organisation, et le danger qu’ils peuvent représenter à l’avenir” [1]; créant ainsi un nouvel exemple d’arrestation préventive.

Quatre des détenu·es ont été libéré·es, mais 7 restent en détention préventive pour leur procès à venir. Les motifs présentés par le juge pour leur incarcération sont la détention de certains livres, “la production de publications et de moyens de communication”, et le fait que les accusé·es “utilisent les emails avec des mesures de sécurité extrêmes, comme les serveurs RISE UP” [2].

Nous rejetons cette criminalisation kafkaïenne des mouvements sociaux, ainsi que l’implication que la protection de la vie privée sur internet est équivalente au terrorisme. Cela est absurde et extrêmement alarmant.

Riseup, comme d’autres fournisseurs de courrier électronique, a l’obligation de protéger la confidentialité de ses utilisateurs et utilisatrices. Beaucoup des “mesures de sécurité extrêmes” utilisées par Riesup sont de bonnes pratiques communément admises en termes de sécurité sur Internet et sont aussi utilisées par des fournisseurs de services comme hotmail, GMail ou Facebook. Toutefois, contrairement à ces fournisseurs, Riseup ne veut pas permettre la mise en place de portes dérobées illégales, ni vendre les données de ses utilisateurs et utilisatrices à des tierces parties.

Le rapport du parlement européen sur le programme de surveillance de la NSA “souligne que le respect de la vie privée n’est pas un droit de luxe, mais constitue la pierre angulaire d’une société libre et démocratique” [3]. Des révélations récentes sur l’étendue des violations de la vie privée par les États montrent que tout ce qui peut être épié le sera [4]. De plus, nous savons que la criminalisation de l’usage des outils de protection de la vie privée a un effet dissuasif sur toutes et tous, en particulier les défenseurs des droits humains, les journalistes et les activistes. Abandonner ses droits fondamentaux à la vie privée par peur d’être identifié·e comme terroriste est inacceptable.

[it] La sicurezza non è un crimine

Martedì 16 dicembre 2014 in Spagna si è svolta una vasta operazione di polizia. Quattordici tra case e centri sociali sono stati perquisiti a Barcellona, Sabadell, Manresa, e Madrid. Libri, riviste, e computer sono stati sequestrati e undici persone sono state arrestate e inviate alla Audiencia Nacional, il tribunale speciale con sede a Madrid che si occupa di casi di “interesse nazionale”. Sono accusati di aver costituito, promosso, diretto e partecipato a un’organizzazione terroristica. D’altra parte gl’avvocat* della difesa hanno denunciato la mancanza di trasparenza dell’accusa e hanno riferito che le persone che seguono sono state costrette a rilasciare dichiarazioni senza sapere di che cosa erano accusate in concreto. “Parlano di terrorismo senza specificare atti criminali concreti, o atti specifici attribuibili individualmente”[1]. Interrogato al riguardo, il giudice dell’udienza preliminare ha risposto: “Non sto indagando atti specifici, sto indagando l’organizzazione, e il pericolo che potrà rappresentare in futuro”[2], a dimostrare che si tratta dell’ennesimo caso di arresti preventivi.

Quattro degl’arrestat* sono stat* rilasciat*, mentre sette resteranno in carcere in attesa di giudizio. Tra le motivazioni del giudice per la custodia cautelare, si includono il possesso di alcuni libri, “la produzione di pubblicazioni e altre forme di comunicazione” e il fatto che gl’accusat* “utilizzassero caselle di posta con misure di sicurezza eccezionali, come il server RISE UP”[2].

Rifiutiamo questa criminalizzazione kafkiana dei movimenti sociali e l’implicazione ridicola ed estremamente allarmante che proteggere la propria privacy su Internet equivalga a un atto terroristico.

Riseup, come ogni altro fornitore di servizi di posta, è obbligata a proteggere la riservatezza dei suoi utenti. Molte delle “misure di sicurezza eccezionali” usate da Riseup sono buone pratiche invalse nel campo della sicurezza in rete e sono le stesse che vengono usate da provider come Hotmail, Gmail o Facebook. D’altra parte, a differenza di questi servizi, Riseup si rifiuta di inserire backdoor illegali o di vendere i dati dei propri utenti a terze parti.

Il rapporto del parlamento europeo sul programma di sorveglianza della NSA statunitense dichiara che “la privacy non è un diritto di lusso, ma il primo fondamento di una società libera e democratica”[3]. Le recenti rivelazioni sulla portata delle violazioni del diritto alla privacy da parte degli stati dimostrano che tutto ciò che può essere intercettato sarà intercettato[4]. Inoltre sappiamo che criminalizzare chi usa gli strumenti di difesa della privacy ha l’effetto di una doccia fredda su tutti, e in particolare su difensor* dei diritti umani, giornalist* e attivist*. Rinunciare ai propri diritti fondamentali per paura di essere segnalati come terroristi è inaccettabile.

[el] Η ασφάλεια δεν είναι έγκλημα

Την Τρίτη 16 Δεκέμβρη μια μεγάλη αστυνομική επιχείρηση έλαβε χώρα στο ισπανικό κράτος. Έγιναν εισβολές της αστυνομίας σε δεκατέσσερα σπίτια και κοινωνικά κέντρα στις πόλεις Barcelona, Sabadell, Manresa, και Madrid. Κατασχέθηκαν βιβλία, φυλλάδια, υπολογιστές και συνελήφθησαν έντεκα άνθρωποι και μεταφέρθηκαν στη Μαδρίτη, στο “Audiencia Nacional” ένα ειδικό δικαστήριο που χειρίζεται υποθέσεις “εθνικού ενδιαφέροντος”. Οι άνθρωποι αυτοί κατηγορούνται για σύσταση, προώθηση, διεύθυνση και συμμετοχή σε τρομοκρατική οργάνωση. Παρόλα αυτά, οι συνήγοροι υπεράσπισης θέτουν ζήτημα έλλειψης διαφάνειας, αναφέροντας πως οι πελάτες τους έπρεπε να απολογηθούν χωρίς να γνωρίζουν συγκεκριμένα τις κατηγορίες που τους αποδίδονται. “Μιλάνε για τρομοκρατία χωρίς να ορίζουν συγκεκριμένες εγκληματικές πράξεις ή συγκεκριμένα εξατομικευμένα γεγονότα για κάθε μια και έναν από αυτούς (στμ τους κατηγορούμενους)” [2]. Όταν ο δικαστής Bermúdez ήρθε αντιμέτωπος με αυτό τον ισχυρισμό, απάντησε: “Δεν ερευνώ συγκεκριμένες πράξεις, ερευνώ την οργάνωση και την απειλή που μπορεί να συνιστά στο μέλλον” [1], καθιστώντας την επιχείρηση αυτή άλλη μια υπόθεση προληπτικών συλλήψεων.

Τέσσερις από τους προσαχθέντες έχουν αφεθεί ελεύθεροι, αλλά επτά παραμένουν φυλακισμένοι και αναμένουν τη δίκη. Η αιτιολογία που δόθηκε από το δικαστή για την παράταση της κράτησής τους, περιλαμβάνει μεταξύ άλλων την κατοχή συγκεκριμένων βιβλίων, “την παραγωγή εκδόσεων και μορφών επικοινωνίας”, και το γεγονός ότι οι κατηγορούμενοι “χρησιμοποιούσαν email με εξαιρετικό επίπεδο ασφάλειας όπως ο RISE UP server [2].

Εμείς απορρίπτουμε την καφκική εγκληματοποίηση των κοινωνικών κινημάτων, και το γελοίο αλλά και εξαιρετικά ανησυχητικό συμπέρασμα ότι η προστασία της ιδιωτικότητάς μας στο διαδίκτυο ισοδυναμεί με τρομοκρατία.

Το Riseup, όπως κάθε άλλος πάροχος email, έχει την υποχρέωση να προστατεύει την ιδιωτικότητα των χρηστών του. Πολλά από τα “εξαιρετικά μέτρα ασφάλειας” που χρησιμοποιούνται από τη Riseup είναι κοινές βέλτιστες επιλογές για την ασφάλεια στο διαδίκτυο και χρησιμοποιούνται από παρόχους όπως το hotmail, το GMail ή το Facebook. Παρόλα αυτά, σε αντίθεση με αυτούς τους παρόχους, το Riseup δεν είναι διατεθειμένο να επιτρέψει παράνομες “πίσω πόρτες” ή να πουλήσει τα δεδομένα των χρηστών σε τρίτους.

Η έκθεση του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου σε σχέση με τα προγράμματα επιτήρησης της NSA των ΗΠΑ αναφέρει ότι “η ιδιωτικότητα δεν είναι δικαίωμα πολυτελείας, αλλά ο θεμέλιος λίθος για μια ελεύθερη και δημοκρατική κοινωνία” [3]. Οι πρόσφατες αποκαλύψεις σχετικά με την έκταση της παραβίασης από τις ΗΠΑ του δικαιώματος όλων μας στην ιδιωτικότητα, δείχνουν ότι οτιδήποτε μπορεί να είναι αντικείμενο παρακολούθησης θα παρακολουθείται [4]. Επιπλέον, γνωρίζουμε ότι η εγκληματοποίηση όσων χρησιμοποιούν εργαλεία για τη διαφύλαξη της ιδιωτικότητας έχει αρνητικές συνέπεις για όλους, και ειδικά για αυτές που προασπίζονται τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα, δημοσιογράφους και ακτιβιστές. Η παραίτηση από το δικαίωμά μας στην ιδιωτικότητα υπό το φόβο του να μαρκαριστούμε ως τρομοκράτες είναι μη αποδεκτή.

[ca] La seguretat no és cap delicte

Dijous 16 de desembre, una operació policial a gran escala es va dur a terme a l’Estat Espanyol. Catorze vivendes i centres socials van ser escorcollats a Barcelona, Sabadell, Manresa, i Madrid. Llibres, pamflets i ordinadors van ser requisats i onze persones van ser arrestades i portades a l’Audiència Nacional, a Madrid. Se’ls acusa d’incorporació, promoció, gestió i participació d’una organització terrorista. No obstant això, advocats de la defensa denuncien la falta de transparència, els seus clients han hagut de declarar sense saber de que se’ls acusa. “parlen de terrorisme sense especificar tipus delictius concrets ni fets concrets individualitzats que se’ls imputen.”[2] Al ser qüestionat per periodistes, el Jutge Bermúdez va respondre “no investigo els possibles atemptats, jo investigo l’organització i el que poden ser de perill per al futur”;[1] convertint això en un cas més de detenció preventiva en apariència.

Quatre de les detingudes han estat posades en llibertat, però set estan empresonades pendents del judici. Les raons donades pel jutge per prolongar la detenció inclouen la possessió d’alguns llibres, “la producció de publicacions i formes de comunicació”, i el fet de que les acusades “utilitzessin correus electrònics amb extremes mesures de seguretat, com ara el servidor Rise Up.”[2]

Nosaltres rebutgem aquesta criminalització kafkiana dels moviments socials, i l’absurda i extrema implicació de que protegir la teva pròpia privacitat a Internet és equivalent a terrorisme. Riseup, com qualsevol proveïdor de correu, té l’obligació de protegir la privacitat dels seus usuaris. Moltes de les “mesures extremes de seguretat” utilitzades per Riseup son bones pràctiques comuns per a la seguretat online i són emprades alhora per proveïdors com hotmail, Gmail o Facebook. No obstant això, a diferència d’aquests proveïdors, Riseup no està disposat a permetre «backdoors» il·legals o vendre les dades dels seus usuaris a tercers.

L’informe del Parlament Europeu sobre el programa de vigilància de la NSA d’ EE.UU. Declara que “la privacitat no és un dret de luxe, si no els fonaments d’una societat lliure i democràtica.”[3] Revelacions recents sobre l’abast de la violació del dret a la privacitat de totes pels Estats, mostra que tot el que es pot espiar, serà espiat.[4] Més encara, sabem que criminalitzar a les persones per utilitzar eines de privacitat té un efecte esgarrifós a tot el món, i entre els defensors dels Drets Humans, periodistes, i activistes en particular. Renunciar al teu dret bàsic de privacitat per la por de ser etiquetada com a terrorista és inacceptable.

Revolution will win in Kobanê! Statement of Revolutionary Anarchist Action-DAF

Untitled

Statement of Revolutionary Anarchist Action-DAF affiliated to International of Anarchist Federations

Published on Thursday, 09 October 2014 16:14

Our Comrades in Boydê Village Reports

It’s the 24th day of ISIS attacks on Kobanê. While people’s defending forces in all border villages are on human shield sentry for Kobanê against attacks, everyone, everywhere in the region we live, rised up not to let Kobanê fall.

We have been on human shield sentry for around three weeks in Boydê village west of Kobanê. In the last two days, explosions and sounds of clashes got intense in Kobanê’s outer districts and town center. During this period of intense clashes, military forces increased their attacks on human shield sentries at border villages. Soldiers of Turkish State has been attacking with gas bombs to those who approach the border from both sides, including the village that we are in, which was attacked on Tuesday. Soldiers also used live ammunition from time to time in their attacks and wounded people.

These attacks on border villages especially mean that ISIS forces are allowed passage through the border. Republic of Turkey’s support to ISIS is clearly visible here as it is there. Of course that’s not the only thing that is clear. We have learned that one of the ISIS leaders commanding the attack on Kobanê got killed by YPJ/YPG forces. Meanwhile clashes today are as intense as before and continued all day long. Sounds of clashes almost never stopped today. However now we know that explosions are made by YPJ/YPG forces. It’s reported that YPJ/YPG forces tactically emptied the streets of Kobanê at town center and ambushed ISIS, neutralizing them with successful tactics.

Everyone’s excited by what’s told at village meetings; one of them is ISIS’ fear of women guerillas. ISIS represents the state, the terror, the massacre and also the patriarchy of course. Because of their belief that they cannot be so-called “martyrs” when they get killed by a women guerilla, a YPJ fighter, they are scared of encountering YPJ forces. Because when they encounter them, the women who “fight” against them show no mercy to the ISIS lot. This is the freedom against patriarchy created by YPJ fighting.

The rebellion that rises in all of Kurdistan and all cities of Anatolia in the last two days, makes us feel the invincibility of organized people. These rebellions increase the confidence in revolution for everyone in Kobanê, in villages at Kobanê border, and in all of Rojava. Whenever a sister or brother falls, although we feel the sorrow, it intensifies everyone’s anger and power here. Requiems that start with hitting on knees turn into halay dance with feet kicking fast and strong enough to crack the earth. Thus our sorrow bursts into anger, fast and strong.

This is just what everyone needs here. For the freedom and revolution that’s craved, despite everything.

Long live the People’s Kobanê Resistance!

Long live the People’s Rojava Revolution!

Long live our Revolutionary Anarchist Action!

Revolutionary Anarchist Action-DAF

DAF_in_Kobanê_10

How you can help Kobane.

YPJFrom the Facebook page The Middle Eastern Feminist

Friends/hevals, a large number of you are asking “how can we help Kobane?” I have compiled a list of things that you can do to help:

1- Be informed and keep up with the news. We do not recommend any of the Western sources as they are lagging in information release, and do not have the finer details. I recommend the following news sources:

http://en.firatajans.com/
http://pydrojava.net/eng/
http://en.xeber24.net/

2- The following Facebook pages are up to date on Kobane and post regularly: *You may need to be logged in to access them, WS*

https://www.facebook.com/rojavabreaking
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kurdish-Resistance-Liberation/1480960568841619

3- If you are on Twitter I recommend a number of people who are informed and produce up to date, and often live news:

https://twitter.com/DefenseUnitsYPJ
https://twitter.com/DefenseUnits
https://twitter.com/ColdKurd
https://twitter.com/geehall1
https://twitter.com/reband_kurd
https://twitter.com/AJANSAMED
https://twitter.com/ArjDnn
https://twitter.com/MEasternfeminst (my own twitter)

Additionally, if some of us have some cash to spare I recommend this aid organization only. They are the official regional wide Kurdish organization operating in Europe. Their reach goes into all four Kurdish provinces including support for the people of Kobane:

http://www.heyvasor.com/en/alikari/

The most important thing is that you help us to highlight what is happening in Kobane. Please speak! Share information. Support the aid organization if you can spare some money. To speak is to resist! To speak is to be visible. To speak is to exist! and existing right now for the Kurds is resistance and a revolutionary act. Please stand with us in speaking about Kobane as much as you can.

Finally, learn about who the Kurds are. Learn about their plight and why they are in this situation. Learn about the genocide of the town of Halabja that was the target of Chemical attacks (my own family escaped being killed in Halabja by just an hour or so). Learn about the Anfal campaign against the Kurds. Learn about the oppressive nature of the regimes (Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Syria) in which the Kurds have been divided in, and the violent assimilation and ethnic cleansing policies of these regimes towards the Kurds, which has produced resistance movements such as the PKK. It would also be an immense help and of respect if you start recognizing, speaking and voicing the names of the different parts of Kurdistan and use the Kurdish names for the Kurdish cantons and provinces:

1-Rojava (Kurdish word for Sun-set is located in Syria, and is known as Western Kurdistan). This is where Kobane is located.

2- Roj-halat (Kurdish word for sun-rise is the Kurdish canton in Iran, and is known as Eastern Kurdistan)

3-Basur (pronounced ba-sh-ur, is the Kurdish word for South and is south of Kurdistan in northern Iraq). This is where I am from.

4-Bakur (is the Kurdish word for north and is northern Kurdistan in Turkey)

Thank you friends and feminists for standing in solidarity with us.

Press release from the Y.P.J.

YPJpr

R.I.P. Arin Mirkan.

Today we salute comrade Arin Mirkan also known as Deilar Kanj Khamis, of the Y.P.J. (Kurdish Women’s Defence Units) killed in action yesterday in defence of Kobani in Northern Syria against an armoured group of Islamic State (Daesh or ISIS). Arin performed a suicide operation, single-handedly holding her position with grenades and rifle fire until it was overrun, then detonated an explosive charge killing herself and several of the enemy, reportedly neutralising at least one tank. This action allowed her comrades to re-take the hill. She was the mother of two children.

Arin

The Kurdish Peoples’ Defence Units have been fighting on this front for years using smallarms and improvised weapons, with no help from anyone and the active hostility of the Turkish state. Locals report that western airstrikes are ineffective and mis-directed, why? Given the political makeup of Kurdish forces being predominately revolutionary socialist and anarchist in character, we doubt Cameron and Obama want them to win.

Press release from the People’s Defence Units (via twitter).

kobani