Some thoughts on liberalism, identity politics and the left, by Mal Content.

As a contribution to this discussion on the South Essex Heckler:


The evolution of the ruling class.

The bourgeois revolution is incomplete, although it relied heavily on racism, patriarchy, hetero-normativity, nuclear families and a Christian work ethic to get underway, the logic of the market respects only the exchange of commodities. Our bosses are getting more diverse; the sixty-two individuals who control as much purchasing power as half of humanity are not all white, or male.

Meanwhile the ruling class hedges its bets; it offers on the one hand neoliberal ‘rainbow capitalism’ underpinned by a theoretical freedom and equality under the law but no safety net, and as a fallback position, what we might call ‘capitalism in one country’ with a degree of protectionism and social conservatism to reflect local norms. As the Class that must work for wages is only allowed to construe economics in terms of jobs and money it’s easy to see why the latter reassures a section of it. Wage labour is an abusive relationship however you dress it up, and the indignity of having your status defined by your abuse, relative to someone else’s, throws up some highly reactionary positions.

Both positions of course are bogus. Identities, like everything else, are marketable commodities and therefore must trade at different prices. The USA elected a black president who presided over the torture of Muslim prisoners of war, the enslavement of black workers in the prison-industrial complex, and the systemic assassination by cops of Working Class black youth. If there is ever a female president, a gay president, a trans’ president: they may become a rallying point for those communities but they will set no one free, it isn’t their job. The ANC revolution in South Africa created a new black bourgeoisie, which exploited exactly as before; their police gunned down striking workers as they did in the days of empire. The West is awash with goods produced in the sweatshops of recently independent Asian countries. As for protectionism, capital will always find ways to move around, and to reduce the price of labour to its minimum local reproduction cost.

There has never been, in any period of capitalism, an entirely free market without a heavy reliance on primitive accumulation (theft and murder) and military expenditure. Very expensive short-lived manufactured goods that do not have to compete in the market because the decision to buy them is taken by the executive. Corporations can always borrow money against this because it’s a blank cheque, underwritten by taxpayers, the bulk of whom are Working Class. It pays for technological innovations their bosses protect with patents. Virtually everything we take for granted in the modern world was developed this way, so above all, capitalism needs enemies.

For a century, this balance between market and state was maintained by the vanity projects of a handful of sociopaths: Bolshevism and fascism, the first almost immediately creating its mirror-image. ‘The end of history’ left two vacuums, one for the bosses and one for us. Post-war anti-imperialist movements, including the Middle Eastern ones, were mostly Bolshevik-influenced. Once the Soviet empire collapsed, ‘Radical Islam’ – which the West originally co-opted against it – proved an easier vehicle with which to rally marginalised and ill-informed populations against the tidal wave of global capital, with just a hint of the Maoist ‘protracted people’s war’ about it.

The left.

Since the mirage of state socialism evaporated, left-wing parties have been no more relevant than the flat earth society. They were deeply reactionary anyway; in 70 years of the U.S.S.R. they never managed to abolish racism, sexism, homophobia or religion, all those delusions resurfaced with a vengeance and they slipped seamlessly into a market economy with most of the same people in charge. In the UK it was the craft Unions who negotiated women out of the workplace after two wars, Labour governments that struggled in vain to keep the empire, then hold back migration from its former colonies.

“We are convinced that liberty without socialism is privilege and injustice; and that socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality.”

– Mikhail Bakunin: ‘Federalism, Socialism, Anti-Theologism’.

Insofar as ‘left’ refers to position in a representative assembly – which I would have no truck with – relative to the other representatives, we only use it to distance us from the right. Whereas the old left existed to contain Working Class anger and prevent it from disrupting capitalist power relations, the new left’s project was to speed the bourgeois revolution to its conclusion; maybe they wanted capitalism to succeed so they could take it over as a going concern. Maybe they just wanted their hands in the till and a cushy retirement. Ten years after thatcher abolished society, isolating our Class, a smug posh-voiced tosser named Tony Blair told us we didn’t exist. Where does that leave us? Without Class the worker is an isolated individual with no social relationship to anyone but the boss – wasn’t that the aim of the twin totalitarian projects? Either way it’s inherently nationalistic (I include ‘Eurocentrism’ in this.)

The failure of the statist left to see beyond transaction and coercion not only paved the way for fascism in all its forms but preserved capitalism long past its expiry date. We need to look back a century to the ‘Great Unrest’ and the currents of revolutionary syndicalism and self-organisation that developed in the Class to see anything like a viable alternative.

Intersectionality, privilege and the Working Class.

Liberal politics of aspiration and contempt, of ‘social mobility’ challenge you to escape from our Class rather than work together to liberate it. You are Working Class if you’ve got nothing to sell but your labour, but talk of ‘working people’ sets the bosses as gatekeepers to the Class and they’re quite comfortable using the term when they get to define it. If your measure of self-worth is being selected by some bourgeois to add value to their capital – thereby increasing their power over you – no wonder your messiah is a narcissistic parasite with a gold crapper.

Intersectionality contradicts liberalism; I define liberalism as that which postulates a theoretical freedom and equality under the law, but takes no account of structural oppression. The concept of privilege requires acceptance that:

a) Oppression is the norm, society oppresses us all by default then mitigates it for each to different extents according to how well they fit into the oppressive structure, and that:

b) No-one achieves anything entirely by their own efforts, but through their membership of a collective.

This makes it an incredibly difficult concept for many people. As difficult as understanding that the pound in your pocket is not a reward for what you did last week, but represents a complex web of social relations, and that its value is reinforced by the threat of violence.

The advantage of intersectional analysis is that it gives a sharper understanding of how and where systemic oppression is applied in practice. Its limitation is the shift in emphasis from collective struggle to individual conflicts and alliances. It reflects, and indeed encourages, a loss of confidence in the ability of individuals to appreciate, understand and fight inequalities that do not afflict them personally. Worse, in my view, is it defines the individual according to the boundaries created by the hegemonic group, which, for simplicity, I will continue to refer to as the ruling class. They have taken great pains to replace the dangerously homogenous strata of similarly oppressed peoples with a socio-economic continuum. In parallel, our focus on privilege and identity has lowered our sights from universal liberation to the temporary relief of the most vulnerable, allowing them to be taken as hostages to the economy. There’s no getting away from the fact that the greatest structural oppression is the money economy and most of the others are mediated through it.

Identity politics.

The working class is more than 50% female*, disproportionately black, migrant and/or minority ethnic. If you are black, you are more likely to be arrested, charged, convicted and incarcerated than if you are not; at each stage the odds are against you. If you have a mental condition, you are more likely to be homeless. We can only respond to these issues as a united, fighting Class. As a comrade pointed out last week, if the white Working Class don’t get it, it isn’t because we devoted too much attention to racism, sexism, homophobia etc, but too little. If you want to appeal to the white Working Class separately, why not the straight, white, cis, male Working Class? Further divide fully employed from unemployed and precarious, and you’re not far from the failed 20th century craft Union model. Personally, I’ve never identified as ‘white’ Working Class, I’m white in the sense that I’ve got no racialised characteristics. I’m also male, fit to work, with a skilled trade. I don’t need a university lecturer to tell me that’s a privileged position, and a potentially reactionary one, yet I’ve never wanted anything from this society but to witness its demise.

*Given the gendered disparity in income which, over a lifetime, exacerbates the gap in total wealth, by any socio-economic measure of ‘working class’, males will represent less that half. Single mothers and single retired women are especially disadvantaged in this respect.

Those groups who find themselves super-exploited fight the ruling class out of necessity; for the rest, what else is there to do? Some comrades defend Wetherspoons, X factor and a fetish for designer clothes as working class culture, now there’s identity politics! As an anarchist I’m not about to tell anyone how to express themselves; if a section of the youth decline to integrate with mainstream culture it’s because it has nothing to offer. I’ll defend the right to wear a Burqa because – just fucking try telling me what to wear.

I believe that a society based on mutual aid and solidarity can only be achieved through voluntary association, starting from a federated affinity group structure. Therefore I’ll not condemn anyone for choosing to organise with those who share their own experiences if it gets the job done. It will be fine, for a while, as long as there is a mechanism for communication and co-ordination so we’re not getting in each other’s way or duplicating effort. Post-capitalist councils of producers and users would of necessity call in delegates from groups with needs and interests that are not readily anticipated or understood by others.

So whilst I’m exasperated when privilege is played as a trump card to shut down discussion, it’s equally frustrating to have the ‘prolier than thou’ type refuse to engage with it altogether. We are dishonest with ourselves if we do not challenge oppression where we see it, and that may require some patience, but having two separate closed conversations about it serves no one but the oppressor.

“The problem is that left politics are perceived to be backward looking, while the right has ridden the tidal wave created by capitalism’s convulsions. That a significant proportion of our class see fascism as a viable alternative, we must accept as our failure. Even the anarchist movement, with which I identify, is too introspective and slow to provide practical solutions to everyday problems. What about building community solidarity by linking defence against hate crime with resistance to evictions over the bedroom tax, and general poverty relief, why are there no autonomous food banks?

In my view we need a message as simple as the EDL’s, only based on class unity, resistance to austerity and division, tying local struggles to global ones; and we need to make ourselves as visible and confident as they are.”

– ‘Life after Woolwich: a personal view.’ No Quarter issue 7.

Je suis burkini! By Mal Content.

Content warning: mention of racial violence and sexual abuse.

headscarfYou couldn’t make it up: an adult woman is resting with her family on a crowded public beach, wearing black leggings and a turquoise long-sleeved shirt, with a matching headscarf, the kind that covers only the hair. She is approached by four heavily armed men, who menace her with a pepper spray, to demand she remove an item of clothing, such as to expose more of her skin to public view. The officious pricks then appear to issue some form of penalty notice, her crime is: “Wearing clothes that are not respectful of good morals and secularism”

Police patrol the beach at Nice in enforcement of an ordinance imposed by more than 20 municipalities in France aimed at the unfortunately named ‘’burkini’ a piece of sportswear that bears no resemblance to the burqua. If anything it’s like a two-piece wetsuit made of fabric, but it looks too ‘Islamic’ to the French burghers, who have taken it upon themselves to regulate feminine swimwear. The 34-year-old mother, who gave her name as Siam, said: “I had no intention of swimming.” I fail to see how her treatment is other than sexual abuse at the hands of the state.

The justifications given are embarrassingly facile. It reminds the bureaucrats of the garb worn by self-styled Islamic State troops and is deemed a provocation to the secular and broadminded French public. Incredibly, the assumption that Muslim women are always attired under the coercion of male relatives is also used, to justify imposing a penalty on the women themselves. The mayor of Villeneuve-Loubet claims swimming in a burkini is “unhygienic”, he’s never worn a wetsuit in cold water then; SCUBA diving in February, we all used to piss in them to warm up. I can’t think of much less hygienic than swimming in the Mediterranean anyway, it is after all, a body of water in which billions of things shit, fuck and die.

Aside from religious observance, there are many reasons why a person of any gender might choose to cover their skin: sensitivity to light, sun- or wind- burn, allergies, injury, skin disease or disfigurement, or bashfulness, which is no crime. The garment offers protection not only from lecherous glances, but harmful ultraviolet rays, insects, jellyfish and other stingers that abound in these waters.

I think religion is bollocks, but so is the French concept of secularism, the creation of Joseph Fouché, the ‘butcher of Lyon’, who was enforcer for the Revolution’s National Convention, then Napoleon Bonaparte’s police minister, and ironically also the architect of modern policing with all its arbitrary pettiness and treachery.

So, a stupid law, that appears to apply only to female members of an ethnic minority, shows up law enforcement, and law itself, for what it has always been: the feeble posturing of inadequates in response to events they can neither influence, nor be bothered to analyse properly. The guardians of the French state are clueless as its colonial chickens come home to roost. Within living memory, that same state and its bastard offspring the O.A.S. slaughtered thousands of Algerian civilians, no surprise then, that many of its home-grown jihadists are of Algerian heritage. The death throes of the Roman Empire lasted hundreds of years; is it reasonable for the western powers to assume as soon as they’ve shut down the concentration camps, knocked off the rape and pillage and turned over the keys to the governor’s mansion they will simply be regarded as good neighbours?

Not that the R&P ever stopped in the battle for the Middle East that has raged ever since one Winston Churchill decided to switch the British Navy’s preferred fuel from coal to oil. This followed hard on a ferocious labour dispute in the Welsh coalfields resolved only by martial law, the recent discovery of petroleum in Iran and the formation of Anglo-Persian Oil (now B.P.) pretty much everything else has flowed – or rather been pumped – from that.

A youth walking the street in a hoody and baseball cap is more anonymous than a woman in a burkini. As for facial veiling, the recent obsession with exposing the face to scrutiny has been driven not by a love of openness and sociability but by the ubiquity of surveillance cameras and the invention of facial recognition software. We are not deceived, we mask up on demo’s not to scare the taxpayers but because we don’t want to be photographed, simple as that.

When I was growing up you could get in a fight at the bus stop for wearing the wrong trousers; you got beaten up for having long hair then you got beaten up for having short hair. Punks, hippies, Rastas, skinheads, got the blame for everything and were assumed by default to be up to no good; respectably dressed couples would show their disdain by spitting in your direction. “Are you a boy or a girl?” “Let’s see what you’ve got in your pocket, son.” “You’ll never get a job looking like that”. Hard to believe now that middle-management types get tattooed and shave their heads.

I will never accept anyone telling another how to present themselves, if you do that, you’re a prick.

RADICAL WORKERS’ BLOC AT TOLPUDDLE 2016.

captswing2Radical Workers’ Bloc at Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival and rally: Friday 15th to Sunday 17th July 2016. View map

We’re back again for the sixth year running, with the stall, Freedom Books, the Big Tent and our Wob Kitchen on the campsite catering for our comrades from Friday to Sunday (F.C.F.S). Camp with us, eat with us and march with us on Sunday. We will have a few of our new ‘Friends of Captain Swing’ T shirts made by the Sabcat anarchist workers’ co-op. If you fancy one for a tenner, let us know through the contact form and don’t forget to include your e-mail address and size. We may ask for a small deposit depending on how much we have to front up – we’re rubbish capitalists!

Pro

We’ve also got a limited number of these left in black or red, also by Sabcat, larger sizes only, but they do work best as a billboard!

Freedom Press

revenge of the working class!

Open Letter to BBC South Today from Palestine Solidarity Campaign

The air’s full of brickbat, shit and dust! By Mal Content.

Good morning!

EU bombIt wasn’t my little splinter off the anarchist movement that did this. It wasn’t Boris Gove, the far right or the hard left, UKIP, the SWP or the CPGB-ML. It wasn’t racists or bent landlords, the landed gentry or people who want to privatise the NHS and abolish sick pay, there aren’t enough of all those put together.

It was the Working Class, the poor downtrodden, defeated Working Class. The ones who get told how powerless they are, all those people who never vote because there’s never anything to vote for. Don’t tell us we’re thick or gullible because we’re not. We were given a spanner and we threw it.

This was not about immigration or jobs. It was a plebiscite on austerity, precarity, housing, inequality, on the dictatorship of the political class, on getting shafted by global money markets and the irrelevance of 21st century gesture politics.

People don’t need more jobs or even more money; they need food, clothes and a roof over their head. They want free education and healthcare, leisure and a community in which they can participate as a full member.

As anarchists within the workers’ movement, we need to stop telling people what can’t be done and start doing it. Pessimism is counter-revolutionary, defeatism is a form of collective self-harm. Whatever we said yesterday is irrelevant, there’s a new game on a different field. The bourgeoisie won’t take this lying down and they’ll use fascism against us. We must neutralise that first, then fight for every inch of the new terrain.

I would recommend comrades take stock of their local neighbourhood and draw up a list of priorities, assets, strong and weak points. Who, what, where and how? Find out who’s in struggle now and what support they need, organise together. Use the communications technology but be sensible and do the planning face to face. We will support picket lines, we will resist evictions, we will resist deportations, we will defend community spaces.

Everything’s up for grabs now.

Mal C x.

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.

Message from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Southampton Branch.

Dear All,

in view of the incessant accusations of anti-Semitism that have been flying around it seems necessary to try to explain what must seem like a confusing phenomena to many. In broad outline the situation can be understood as follows:

1) Israeli leaders have always sought to conflate Israel with Jewish identity. For example, Eli Groner, US-born Director General of the Prime Minister’s office has described Benjamin Netanyahu as “the leader of the Jewish world.” Countless other examples could be given. Some people believe such statements and on that basis develop hatred towards Jewish people generally believing that they are all like Benjamin Netanyahu and support the oppression of the Palestinians. Such attitudes can reasonably be described as “anti-Semitic” and must of course be condemned. However, it is a different form of anti-Semitism from the historical anti-Semitism of the 1930s in that it is based upon their assumed support for Israeli oppression and not hatred for Jewish people simply because they are Jewish.

2) Israeli leaders and pro-Israel lobby groups and media commentators are well-aware of the defamatory potential of accusations of anti-Semitism. Wishing to discredit them they regularly accuse all Palestinian rights groups and activists of anti-Semitism simply on the basis of their opposition to the actions of the state of Israel and its oppression of the Palestinians.

3) Since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party this defamation campaign has gone into hyper-drive. Accusations of anti-Semitism have been chosen by the right as the weapon of choice to use against Jeremy Corbyn and many people who should know better have been taken in by this including Owen Jones and John McDonnell. Many newspaper columnists and MPs have jumped on the bandwagon.

4) Palestinian rights activists have always sought to differentiate clearly between Israel and Jewish people and opposition to Israeli policies and anti-Semitism. We have a moral responsibility to try to ensure that legitimate criticism of Israel does not fuel hatred towards Jewish people and we have a right to defend our campaign for peace, equality and justice from unfounded accusations of anti-Semitism.

Whether Naz Shah’s tweet was or wasn’t appropriate is a matter of debate but there is no rational reason for describing it as anti-Semitic because it said nothing whatsoever about Jews. I personally agree with the views that Tony Greenstein, a founding member of PSC who is of Jewish descent himself, has expressed on this matter:

“Naz Shah has confessed to her comments being anti-Semitic.  Isn’t that enough proof?  No.  The defendants in the Stalin purge trials also confessed to being Trotsky’s agents and more.  It is perfectly possible to create a psychological atmosphere such that people will confess to all manner of things, even though they are not guilty.  Police interrogators have, throughout the years, been quite skilled in obtaining false confessions without the need to beat people up or torture them.

So let me say it here – there is *nothing* anti-Semitic in what Naz Shah has said.  She made what was quite a flippant humorous joke in the midst of something that was anything but funny – the merciless use of American planes, white phosphorous and the most modern missiles and rocket technology against a people who had nothing except pea crackers to fire back with (the ‘rockets’ that Israel used as a pretext for the bombardment and invasion).   Let us not forget that 2,200 people were murdered in Gaza including 551 ‘terrorist’ children.” See his full article here

The accusations of anti-Semitism against Ken Livingstone appear to be equally without foundation. You can read a full transcript of his comments here.

For a comprehensive analysis of this phenomena I would recommend this talk by Dr Norman Finkelstein

It is noteworthy that at the same time as these inflammatory accusations are getting massive media attention Israel’s on-going human-rights violations against the Palestinians are being studiously ignored. In addition to the planned demolition of two Bedouin Palestinian villages and the countless other human rights abuses taking place, threats are being made against Palestinian rights activists in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. An especially alarming statement came from Israeli Minister of Transport, Intelligence and Atomic Energy Yisrael Katz who called on Israel to engage in “targeted civil eliminations” of BDS leaders with the help of Israeli intelligence. The term alludes to “targeted assassinations” which is used to describe Israel’s policy of targeting members of Palestinian armed groups.

You can read a full report of this published by Amnesty International here

Please sign and share this petition calling upon the US Secretary of State John Kerry and the UN High Commissioner to speak out strongly against this:

Kind regards, Adam Waterhouse Branch Secretary – Southampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign

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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/

SHUT DOWN THE VERNE DETENTION CENTRE! DEMONSTRATION 7th May 2016

Saturday 7th May marks the National Day of Action Against Detention Centres across the UK. Come and demonstrate at one of the UK’s most isolated detention centres, The Verne, on the Isle of Portland in Dorset. Previously a prison, The Verne was reclassified as an Immigration Removal Centre (IRC) in September 2014, however it remains under the jurisdiction of Her Majesty’s Prison Service. Aside from the its isolated location, which prevents many detainees from receiving visits, an HM Inspectorate of Prisons report in March 2015 reported high levels of violence within The Verne as well as considerable difficulty for detainees in obtaining legal representation. The inspectors found that just 30 minutes of free legal advice was available and many detainees “struggled to obtain representation to fight their cases”. The report also highlighted “excessive stays”, finding that 40 of The Verne’s 580 inmates had been in detention for over a year and one had been held for over five years.

This barbaric treatment of people seeking to remain in the UK must stop.Join us in support of those detained, and to call for an end to detention: SHUT DOWN THE VERNE! SHUT DOWN DETENTION CENTRES!

DEMONSTRATION 7th May 2016- 12.45 pm- 1.45 pm outside the Verne (bring things to make noise) 2.15 pm in the town.

TRANSPORT TO THE VERNE on the day or contact bristolclosetheverne@riseup.net.

For more information about the Close the Verne Campaign see https://www.facebook.com/closetheverne/?fref=ts

https://www.facebook event

Students for Palestine: film show at Highfield Church Centre, Southampton. Tuesday 8th March.

On Tuesday 8th March, 7pm, at Highfield Church Centre, there will be a short 30 minute film about the plight of the Christian Palestinian community in the Bethlehem and Hebron which will be followed by a short talk by Cathryn Spiller who will be running a half-marathon in aid of Amos Trust in Bethlehem in April.

A map of the Highfield Campus can be downloaded here

Southampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign

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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.

University of Southampton tries to obstruct talk.

This message is from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Southampton Branch.

Dear All,

I am sorry to have to inform you that the University of Southampton is engaged in what can only be construed as a dishonest and deeply cynical attempt to silence pro-Palestinian voices on campus. Despite having been given well over a month’s notice of Mike Cushman’s talk, due to take place on Tuesday, (at the Highfield Campus in building 46, room 2005 at 6.30pm) by Students for Palestine, the legal department has failed to grant permission for this talk and has today informed the student group that they will send them an e-mail with a final decision on Monday.

They have already succeeded in minimising the amount of time and effort that could be put into publicising the talk as the student group delayed announcing it for a long time in anticipation of being granted formal permission. They will of course be aware that by providing the group with a “final decision” a single day before the scheduled date of the talk they can successfully minimise the number of people attending and/or the amount of time available to appeal against any decision against. This is a deeply sad and disappointing state of affairs and the student group is considering what steps it can take to prevent this from reoccurring. If the university is allowed to “get away” with doing this on whim they will have effectively succeeded in implementing a de-facto censorship of Palestinian and pro-Palestinian voices on campus.

As regards the talk all that I can say as of the time of writing is that it is still due to go ahead on Tuesday evening. However, if you are planning
to attend the talk do please check your e-mail* on Monday evening for what I hope will be a final confirmation that the talk is going ahead.

*We’ll post it up here: W.S.

My sincere apologies for this sad and shameful state of affairs.

Kind regards,

Adam Waterhouse, Branch Secretary – Southampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign

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JUSTICE FOR KEVAN THAKRAR: Blatant and despicable miscarriage of justice. Thursday 18 February 12.30pm – 2.30pm

JOIN THE PROTEST Thursday 18 February 12.30pm – 2.30pm HM Prison Service Headquarters Clive House, 70 Petty France LONDON SW1H 9EX

Nearest Station: St James’s Park underground station, a 5 minute walk. Buses: Any buses stopping at New Scotland Yard then continue along Victoria Street then turn left on to Caxton Street then turn right on to Palmer Street, continue until you will reach Petty France.

Kevan Thakrar Urgently Needs Your Support!

kevKevan Thakrar was found not guilty of attacking three prison officers and vindicated by evidence that showed he acted in self-defence after months of racial, physical and psychological abuse. Any court ruling that goes against prison officers is VERY unusual. Kevan continues to be held in isolation in the prison services ‘Close Supervision Centres’ more than six years later, no doubt as retribution for his court victory.

Organised by Justice for Kevan Thakrar. (Full details about Kevan’s wrongful conviction and fight for a new trial and letter from Kevan) facebook page

WHAT YOU CAN DO
If you can’t make it to London for the protest please try to find the time to write to your own MP or Kevan’s (Ian Stewart MP). When writing to one of those cunts the address to use is: House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA, or you can contact them on-line www.writetothem.com

Sign the petition for Kev: We don’t believe in petitions either but this hapless comrade was deliberately framed and buried alive by the state and the best we can achieve at the moment is not allow him to be forgotten or allow them to hide their crimes against him. You can also write to him: Kevan Thakrar A4907AE HMP Wakefield Love Lane Wakefield WF2 9AG or e mail from here

Close Supervision Centres – Torture Units in the UK. New Pamphlet from Bristol ABC. April 2012

Close Supervision Centres in the UK #2 – A Brief Follow Up

Bristol Comrade sees off filth at airport.

Bristol Anarchist Chases Away Counter-Terror Police from RABBLE

Today at Stansted Airport, plainclothes police officers pulled aside a travelling anarchist (Tim from Bristol) and seemingly sought to coerce him into becoming an informant with a combination of intimidation, veiled threats, and offers of free alcohol. But when he started recording the officers on his mp3 player they quickly terminated the exchange and made a sharp exit.

He believes he was targeted by counter terror police because of his Anarchism, stating: “Anarchism is about ordinary people standing up to the rich and powerful – exactly what the police are there to prevent. These people claim to be protecting us, but they spend most of their time blacklisting trade unionists, spying on activists and harassing ethnic minorities.”

Here’s his full account of what happened today:

As I was leaving the EU e-passport gate about 1pm today, I was approached by a man who came out from behind the desk to the left. He was a similar height to me, with short light brown hair/beard, and a light northern English accent. He said “Hi Tim, I’d like to have a word with you. I think you know what this is about”. I got my phone out and called a friend as soon as he started speaking. I told him I had a phone call which I needed to take. A man who had approached in the mean-time from the right, wearing a grey suit-jacket, asked me to turn my phone off. I repeated that I had to take the call. When my friend picked up I asked them to call my solicitor.

The man in the grey suit identified himself as a police officer. The man who’d originally approached me asked me to go with him again. I asked “am I being detained?” and he said “it’s nothing like that”. I said that I’m busy and needed to get on. He said “so am I” and that it wouldn’t take long. He kept saying that he wants to talk somewhere else because it would be “in your interest” and I wouldn’t want to talk about it in public. I just repeated that I wanted to stay where we were.

I asked him what it was about to find out if I could leave, and he said that I’m “heading down a dark path” and repeated that we should talk in private and “I can buy you a drink”. At this point I’d had enough so I told him “if I don’t have to talk to you then I’m leaving” and started walking. He said “we’ll come with you”. I said “I’d rather not” but he walked by me anyway.

He asked another question about why I didn’t want to talk, to which I replied “I’m not obliged to answer that”. He was obviously not going to leave me alone even though I’d made it very clear I wanted him to go, so I visibly got out my mp3 player and set it to record. I held it up and asked “who are you, what’s your name?” (he had so far refused to identify himself). He said “You don’t need to record this”. When I didn’t stop he turned away from me without a word and walked off briskly, joined by another man dressed the same (short hair, dark grey jacket). I followed him, repeating the question several times but they ignored me. Eventually the man who said he’s a cop stood in my path and said “calm down fellas”, allowing the two others to walk away. I left the airport and called the solicitor Raj Chada of HJA immediately to let him know what happened.”

This isn’t the first time that British counter-terror police have fled when faced with being recorded either – see https://corporatewatch.org/videos/2014/activist-harrassed-counter-terrorism-command. This just goes to show that if you’re approached by the police to be an informant, standing up to them is the best response. They don’t like it when we record THEM and ask questions, or when we stick together instead of letting them intimidate us one by one. Police feed on our isolation, so it’s when we stand up to them publicly instead of keeping our heads down that they back off and leave us alone.

If you are approached to be an informant, there’s some great advice on the freebeagles website – http://www.freebeagles.org/articles/grass.html . As a quick summary we’d say:

  • Say nothing – you have nothing to gain by telling them anything, whether it seems important to you or not. Saying anything at all is a sign of weakness and makes you a target
  • We’re always safer together. Let friends and comrades know what happened and make it public as soon as possible. Your local defendant solidarity group may be able to help
  • Get in touch with a solicitor (see https://netpol.org/solicitors/ for a list of good ones in the UK)
  • Put THEM under the spotlight – it’s a proven fact that police hassle people less when they shout about it and talk to the media

For information on police harassment in general, the articles by Bristol Defendant Solidarity are also well worth a read, covering everything from the bare minimum you have to say, to what to do when faced with raids and arrests – https://bristolabc.wordpress.com/defendant-solidarity/police-harassment/

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

Message from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Southampton Branch.

Dear All,

I am pleased to be able to inform you of our first talk of the new year on “Higher Education under Occupation” which will be taking place at the University of Southampton on Tuesday 9th February, 6.30pm – room to be confirmed. The talk will be given by university lecturer Mike Cushman who has recently returned from a visit to Palestine with a cross European delegation of activists where they visited six Palestinian universities in order to better understand the impact of Israeli military occupation upon these universities. Mike will talk about what they learnt from this trip about the struggle of Palestinian Universities to provide a normal higher education to their students under conditions of military occupation and how the Israeli occupation undermines both teaching and research.

Mike is a member of the BRICUP organising committee. BRICUP is the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine which takes a leading role in promoting and explaining the case for academic boycott in the UK. He is also a convener of Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods. In his role as a university lecturer he lectures on problem structuring methods at the London School of Economics.

Cathryn, one of our most active branch members, will be running a half marathon in Bethlehem, Palestine on 1st April in order to raise money for the charity Amos Trust who support grass-roots project in Palestine as well as working with international peace activists to try to bring justice and peace to Palestine. She will be staying there from 29th March to 3rd April and will meet and talk with Palestinians and Israelis working with grass-roots conflict resolution and humanitarian projects.

More information about Amos Trust.

You can sponsor Cathryn through her Just Giving page. If you would prefer to sponsor her off-line please get in touch and we can arrange that.

Wishing you all a very happy 2016!

Adam Waterhouse

Branch Secretary – Southampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign

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Convoys to Calais.

By Swindon anarchists

swinaidcalIn the last few months, Swindon Anarchists have been teaming up with our mates over at People’s Assembly and Swindon Calais Solidarity to offer practical solidarity to the 7,000 refugees living in the camps of Calais. As well as helping to meet the day to day needs of the refugees, we have been doing what we can to build bridges of solidarity and practically support refugees in resisting the violence and racism of the French and English states, whether in the form of tear gas and truncheon happy riot cops, or the razor-wire topped border itself.

In early December, Swindon Anarchists organised 4 vehicles rammed with supplies and volunteers to embark on our second trip to Calais. After a brief stop at a warehouse on the outskirts of Calais to drop off clothes, tents and sleeping bags, we moved on to the camp itself.

Read article

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

Message from Riseup: The Rise of the Surveillance State.

Hello Beautiful Riseup Users:

Are we still needing funding for the coming year? Yes! We have gotten $35,000 in donations, which is amazing. Thanks all, and please donate to Riseup today, if you can.

Did you know the NSA (National Security Agency) has built a map of the entire world via the communication links of all email, chat, and financial transactions? This map tells a story to them about all of us. It knows who we know. It knows who our activist allies and relationships are.

And, as if that wasn’t crappy enough, the NSA is trying to undermine the security of the internet as a whole by putting in back-doors and weakening encryption standards so that they can spy better. They spend $250,000,000 USD per year on this. This makes the entire internet less secure, and makes it easier for people, governments, and corporations to exploit, scam, and spy on each other.

While the NSA claims they are targeting terrorism, they have been targeting foreign politicians and companies, with evidence that this is happening particularly in Brazil and Mexico. This is plain old espionage and corporate spying. Terrorism is merely the justification for astounding encroachments on our civil liberties.

Last, we have to assume this is all the tip of an iceberg. We have to assume there are other spy agencies across the globe doing similar spy work that we don’t know about (yet).

What can we do about this? We can fight it legally, we can provide support for leakers and journalists, and we can invest in infrastructure (like Riseup) that is building alternative tools for social movements.

Thanks, Love, and Rage,
The Riseup Birds

https://riseup.net/donate

Message from Riseup, please support, we’d be buggered without them.

Dear Riseup Users,

Hello to you, and you, and you! This is our yearly user fundraising drive where we hope you will donate to Riseup and keep us going for our sixteenth year of existence. It has been a wild year of leaks around government and corporate spying, and while we finally don’t have to have boring conversations with everyone to prove why we exist, we are also serving a huge number of new users who became fed up with corporate services. Add to that the costs of doing some major security upgrades to our system, and, well, we really need money.

Donate

First though, here’s how we see our work at Riseup: there are many beautiful and important projects in this long march toward freedom and justice, and we are one tiny but important piece that provides the right for people and organizations to whisper. Not everyone needs privacy all the time, but organizing against dictators, running direct action campaigns against corporations, and journalistic autonomy are just a few places where privacy is essential. This, as we know, is hugely under attack. The way Riseup fights this is by providing good security embedded in our services all the time, so that when you do need privacy you don’t have to change your modes of communication (though you may want to use other security measures too, like GPG).

The Riseup collective loves building alternative tech infrastructures that at its roots are smart about surveillance and security. We love providing help services to troubleshoot any problems or questions you have. We love spending our Saturdays tinkering and upgrading at the hot and buzzing room where are servers live, and then going home smelling like heavy metals. As an act of mutual aid, we don’t charge for our services, even though they cost a lot in time and money. Therefore, we depend on those of you who can to donate money. Time and time again, you all have been amazingly generous in supporting us. This year we need $75,000 USD to cover our server and labor costs.

So, hello to you, yes you, with the big heart and dreams! Any donation is wonderful, but may we suggest a **recurring monthly contribution of $5-25 USD or a one-time donation of $15-$100?** That would be huge.

When you give to Riseup, know that you are also supporting a large portion of our users who rely on our services and are not in a position to give us money. Lots of folks live in the Global South, ie countries financially plundered by imperialism and neoliberalism, and we’d rather they donate to more local tech collectives. Likewise, lots of people deal with the ravages of poverty. We aren’t expecting or asking any of you to donate. But for everyone else who can throw a little mutual aid our way, your money not only supports our work, but the huge base of activists we support.

And, last, please know that we don’t ask for donations lightly. For anyone with money to give, there are so many places for it to go. If you can give to us, know that every dollar goes to collective members and/or our bills. We’ll be bugging you with some more emails over the next month, not because this is our idea of fun, but we really want to keep being part of the vital global struggles that you all are part of, too.

Love,

The Riseup Birds

There are many ways to give us money! Bitcoins! Gold dubloons! Or, you know, Paypal or wire transfers.

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.

Anarchist Action Network website SSL certificate.

The AAN website has been updated and new content is being added all the time, however the SSL certificate has expired which means a new one must be purchased and installed, this is being sorted by the collective. In the meantime you will see a ‘security warning’ that depending on the browser you are using will look something like the examples below. You will then have to jump through a few hoops to access the site, ignoring all their dire warnings, and we hope you will; it’s perfectly safe and fortune favours the bold!

ssl1

ssl2

ssl3

In that case you have to click on ‘advanced’ to proceed to the site.

East London Rising

AANThe Anarchist Action Network is appealing for funds to help it put on a temporary anarchist space in East London during the first week of August 2015.

The network, which consists of individuals and autonomous local groups, based in towns and cities across the UK and further afield, says: “During the first week of August we plan to rent a space in East London, give away free food every day and hold workshops, talks and discussions about anarchism, anti-capitalism, anti-racism, feminism, ecology, housing, austerity, workplace and claimant struggles.”

The event follows the AAN’s Newport Rising event last year – see this report on indymedia.

To donate what you can to help make East London Rising happen, go to http://gogetfunding.com/east-london-rising

Support independent anti-capitalist Cubans of the Observatorio Critico.

Please share this campaign to raise money to support the trip of anarchist comrades from Cuba to Europe in June:

Gofundme – Observatorio Critico Cubano

Now that the border is opening after many years a time for change is coming, full of possibilities and danger for Cuban society and perhaps for all of us. We want to make our voices, our social views and proposals for self-managed co-operativism heard. We ask for your help to cover the expenses for our network of collectives and social initiatives in Cuba.

We are the Observatorio Crítico Cubano. Our projects include years of work for non-violence, the struggle against racism, LGBT rights, the recovery of our Indigenous and Black original heritage, Ecology, the development of Open Source computer culture, communities for mutual aid in mental health, support for childhood education by means of non-competitive and non-adult-centered child play, cultural research, promoting self-managed socialism, and the crafting of proposals for building Cuba’s future from an anarchist perspective.

We work towards a world where the public space is the birthright of all the people, not just a few powerful minorities. A world where those decisions, which affects the people, are not discussed and arrived at out of sight of the majority. In this world the highest praise is reserved for those initiatives where neighbors gather spontaneously to give their communities the best they have to offer, via the arts, ecological activism, the remembrance of historical and cultural traditions, the promotion of popular education. A world where the workers are the true owners of the means of production. Contrary to today’s prevailing logic, profits, manipulation and the rule of the mightiest are not prioritized; instead we advance dialog and the search for consensus on the important issues of social life. In this world we are building all consciences are respected, and in ecumenical fashion the representatives of the different manifestations of spirituality participate as equals.

What we are attempting:

In July this year we are organizing a tour of several European countries (France, Spain and maybe a couple more still to be decided) in order to take part in various international forums we have been invited to, where we will be able to show Cuba’s social and cultural reality, for the first time in many years, straight out of the hearts of the people of the Island and outside the official discourse of the Cuban government or international interests which seek to silence the people’s daily struggle for a better and more just world for ourselves and for humanity. For that we need your help.

What we need:

  • Visas, custom duties and air fare to France for two members of our collective: 3000 EUR.
  • Transportation for four people by land to three or four countries: 1000 EUR.
  • Room and board expenses for those four people in those countries for the 20 days the tour will last: 1000 EUR.

Why we ask:

We receive no financing from any government, official institution, or NGO. We don’t want it either, in order to safeguard our total independence and not be subordinate to any external agenda. Occasionally we get small donations from collectives and people close to our principles, unconditionally and with no strings attached. Our activity doesn’t generate profits of any kind rather it is the opposite.

It is also well known that with the Cuban median salary ($20 per month) it is impossible to cover the large expenses a trip like this incurs.

What we will give in return:

  • We don’t have material things to give in exchange, just our gratitude and good vibes.
  • For those who wish to make their names public, we’ll have a list of appreciated  donors in our website with the names of those people who helped make our effort real.
  • Also, if you will allow us, we will include your email addresses in our distribution list, so that you will receive the newsletters our collectives publish.
  • We will give you a recap of our trip, as well as a thorough report regarding the way donations have been spent.

Salud y Anarquia!

apoyoalobservatoriocritico – wordpress blog

Message from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Southampton Branch.

Cancellation of the conference on Israel and international law by Southampton University.

Dear All,

please read below a statement by our Chairman Professor Suleiman Sharkh and sign and share this petition calling upon the university to overturn this decision:

From PSC Southampton.

e-mail

Website

Blog

Dear Colleagues,

As some of you may know, I am one of the organisers of the conference. The conference was approved by the University back in 2014 and we followed all the procedures and collaborated fully from the start. We have been transparent throughout.

Some of you may wonder why I am involved in organising a law conference. The obvious answer is that understanding the law is essential to engineering and it is indeed part of our curriculum – it is a requirement of accreditation. My own research on smart electricity grids and smart metering involves understanding the legal issues that arise from the development of the technology, particularly with regards to privacy of the data collected by the smart meters.

Also, as many of you know, I am a Palestinian. I grew up in Gaza, but my family is originally from a town called Majdal Asqlan (now called Ashkelon by Israel). In November 1948, six months after the establishment of the State of Israel and after the wars have ended, the town was bombed and many people were killed. Those who survived were herded towards Gaza, crawling on their hand in knees in the thorny field. Since then we have lived in squalid refugee camps. I walked around in the sand soiled by the open sewers with my bare feet. I got my first shoes when I went to school at the age of six.

International Law was responsible for our misery. It was used to legalise the theft of our homes and it continues to be used to legalise the on-going oppression of my people by the State of Israel. The questions asked by the conference are therefore questions that I have been asking all my life. They are important questions that need to be answered. However answering these questions risks exposing the true face of Israel, and risks reminding the world of the uncomfortable truth about the crimes that were committed against the Palestinian people. As a result, the pro-Israel lobby exerted huge pressure on the University, which has resulted in the withdrawal of the permission to hold the conference.

The attached statement explains our point of view, and why the University’s Senior Management decision is wrong in law. This decision will have a direct impact on you and your freedom of speech.

I am a Southampton graduate. This is my University. Studying and working at Southampton is the best thing that happened to me. It broadened my mind, it showed me that there are alternatives to violence and hatred, namely respectful debate and love. I care greatly about the University and its reputation and hence the reason for deciding, with a very heavy heart, to take legal action to reverse the decision to cancel the conference.

The main press may give you the impression that this was going to be an anti-Semitic conference. This is absolutely not true. My fellow organiser, Professor Oren Ben-Dor is a Jew. We have many Jewish supporter. And I am glad that many Jews immigrated to Palestine to be a safe haven and I welcome more Jews to live in Palestine. My main aim is to achieve justice, freedom and equality for my people to live side by side with Jews and all people in historic Palestine (and I do not mind if it is called Israel). I want it to be a safer haven for Jews. I hope the conference will be a small step in that direction.

Finally, I want to assure you that there will be no spontaneous demonstrations or any violence from supporters of the conference. We will conduct our protests in a very dignified manner, within the law, with full collaboration with the Police and the University. I will never accept any harm to be done to the University and the wonderful people who work and study here, who keep it the fantastic place of scholarship and learning that it is.

Yours sincerely

Suleiman

Professor Suleiman Sharkh

Court hearing expected next week in challenge to UK university’s ban on Israel conference

A reply to the blogger kittysjones: “The ultimate aim of the “allthesame” lie is division and disempowerment of the Left.”

What a fucking cop out!

What follows was posted as a reply to the blog post here: twice; we then asked the blogger whether our comment had been censored, as we could see other, more sycophantic comments had since been approved by the admin; that reply didn’t appear either. It doesn’t auger well for a future under labour if even their supporting bloggers seek to stifle mild dissent.

From the anti-capitalist point of view of course they’re all the same, – should the turkey vote for Christmas? The Chartist and suffragette campaigns were not primarily about the right to vote, that was just a means to an end. They were an attempt to bring the selfish and greedy ruling class to heel, and they weren’t afraid to fight. But it was too late, they let us have the vote once they had completed the theft of our means of production, and condemned every single one of us to wage labour, which however you dress it up, is an abusive relationship; an abomination. The labour party gave the working class someone to vote for that could speak politely for it in the corridors of power then take its seat again without ever altering the balance of that power.

The worst thing about voting is that it’s an excuse for not doing anything, it reinforces the idea that someone, somewhere, is in control and it’s up to them to solve the problems they created, it isn’t, it’s up to us. People waste their time and energy campaigning in an election and then sit back on their arses as if they’ve done something worthwhile. What a fucking cop out. The working class has power, governments claim to have it; government is a conspiracy between rulers and ruled. Your reward for allowing yourself to be governed is absolution from responsibility for the misery created by the society you inhabit. Recent history has shown that whilst elected governments must bend to corporate interests a handful of determined militants can thwart their best laid plans. An example of the futility of parliamentary democracy can be found here: yet generations of leftists have defeated themselves in this arena. Read how the labour member respects our enemies for their ability to frustrate us.

What if labour do get elected? A thinly-veiled corporatism is sold to us on the basis that it will be slightly kinder; and to the bourgeoisie on the premise that it will be more stable than their cut-throat piracy (in other words we will be persuaded to collaborate in our own exploitation). When we start kicking off, wildcatting, blockading fracking sites, stopping evictions and deportations, closing down exploiters, actually hurting our capitalist enemies, they’ll tell us to stop rocking the boat or we’ll let the tories in again, just like they did in the 70’s. Anyway, here’s our original reply:

“All three parties are fighting this election under false pretences, the idea that countries must balance their books like petty bourgeois households and that abstract debts created in computer programmes exert some moral obligation over real people – much less the working class, who even built their wretched computers for them. The idea that there is a shortage of work and money when in fact there is too much of both. There is plenty to do; to be sure, saving the bloody planet for a start, but the only activity that will earn you a qualified right to exist in their world is one that adds value to someone else’s capital thereby enhancing the fetishised status of the socially useless. A true socialist would have the courage to say so.

Of course the tories are despicable and wish to enslave the working class, but need I remind you the last labour government introduced workfare and lied to the United Nations to start a war in which a million people died, despite an unprecedented and inarguable level of active public opposition. Short of taking up arms against the state the British people were powerless to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe engineered by Tony Blair on behalf of his sponsors in the oil industry – Halliburton – who were at the time running the United States. They’ve got form for this; the Wilson government took a solemn decision in cabinet to lie to the U.N. over Diego Garcia which it had sold to the U.S. for a military base, had the population forcibly removed and left to stave to death on a rock.

Now Miliband will pander to the moral panic painstakingly created by the corporate media over immigration; curiously the public service broadcaster has led the way in this. The BBC incessantly prompts callers for reactionary comments, reassuring wavering racists that it’s understandable to be scared of foreigners. Any fool knows that economic migration is not controlled by governments but by the bourgeoisie, who use it to lower the wages and conditions at the bottom, whilst ‘quality immigration’ – importing I.T. specialists from India or doctors from the Philippines is just a shameful pillage of the education systems of the poorest countries by the richest – primitive accumulation. National borders are of no use to us, being only necessary to maintain differentials in prices and wages to the benefit of the employing class. A true socialist would have the courage to say so.

A ‘Labour’ party would stand for the working class regardless of nationality and expose the concept of national interest for the scam it has always been. It would stop lying about the realities of economics, stop apologising for the excesses of global capitalism, stop trying to fix the economy, stop polishing the turd. If we want an end to capitalism we have to stop trying to make it work. The economy is the mechanism that maintains the dominance of the few over the many and we must push it until it breaks.

We don’t want a different government we need expropriation of private property and to take control of the infrastructure to institute sustainable demand-led production. No political party is going to do that for us, the emancipation of the exploited is the task of the exploited themselves, not some lily-livered apologist for the exploiters.”

Mal C x

CLASS WAR PRESS RELEASE: London’s longest running protest is under threat from the Met – & National ‘Call A Copper A Cunt Day’.

Picture by Dave Amis Creative Digital Photography, links to site.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information contact

The weekly Poor Doors protests outside No.1 Commercial Street in Aldgate have been ongoing over the past eight months. But last Thursday, organisers Class War were told to remove their banner featuring the four major party leaders with ‘ALL FUCKING WANKERS’ slogan underneath or face arrest.

Although eager to carry out arrests over the banner, Met backed down in apparent confusion over the legalities. The clash between the Met’s reliance on public order legislation against protests and the protesters’ on European rights rulings means the outcome will have far reaching implications for protest. The Met allege the banner was offensive but despite canvassing passers by could not find anyone other than themselves who were offended – a requirement under the legislation.

Class War’s Ian Bone said: “The Met morality appears stuck in a 1960s Lady Chattersley’s Lover era – where offence is taken on behalf of one’s servants. Do they have a remit on English language usage?

“Only four years ago a photographer was acquitted after cops raided his house of a Class War ‘Cameron wanker’ poster in the window. More recently a judge ruled that swearing at a policeman was not a crime because they heard it so often.

“We like swearing and swear that we will continue to swear in public….at policemen. Defend swearing. Tell the cops to fuck off!”

Class War argue that Articles 10 and 11 of the Human Rights Act give them the right to display the banner in a public place. Case law pertaining to section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 also suggests that use of swear words alone is insufficient reason to arrest. See Harvey v Director of Public Prosecutions [2011] All ER (D) 143 (Nov).

DEFEND FREE SPEECH – OUR RIGHTS TO SWEAR ARE BEING ATTACKED

NO.1 COMMERCIAL STREET THURSDAY MARCH 5TH 6pm

sweary

Palestine Solidarity Campaign – Southampton Branch Film show Saturday 28 February 2015

Uriel Orlow: Unmade Film Saturday 28 February 2015

Private View 1.30-3.30pm All Welcome

Unmade Film is an ambitious body of work by Uriel Orlow shown for the first time in its entirety in the UK. The work takes the form of an impossible film, fragmented into its constituent parts. A collection of audio-visual works that point to the structure of a film but never fully became one, Unmade Film as its starting point the emblematic yet wholly invisible Palestinian village of Deir Yassin, formerly on the outskirts of Jerusalem. The multi-part work evolved out of long-term research and collaborations with actors, musicians, pupils and psychologists in East Jerusalem and Ramallah.

Uriel Orlow In Conversation with Oren Ben-Dor and Jumana Emil Abboud 12.30-1.30pm Booking essential

Before the Private View of Unmade Film, join Uriel Orlow in conversation with Oren Ben-Dor (Professor of Law and Philosophy at University of Southampton) and Jumana Emil Abboud (Associate Director, Al Ma’mal Foundation for Contemporary Art, Jerusalem). To book:

Southampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign Website Blog

Message from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Southampton Branch.

Next week Students for Palestine will be running Israeli Apartheid Week at the University of Southampton with the following events:

Monday February 23rd, 7 to 8.30pm: Boycott Israeli Apartheid – Beyond the Propaganda. Nuffield Theatre, Lecture Theatre A (building 06/ room 1077)

The first event of Israeli Apartheid Week 2015 – a panel event on the growing BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) Movement to put peaceful pressure on Israel to respect human rights, international law, and basic dignity.

The panel will discuss the principles and importance of BDS, and will address common myths and misinformation surrounding BDS, with time for the panel to answer your questions about the Boycott movement. We will be joined by a trio of eminent panellists from various backgrounds, consisting of:

Professor Suleiman Sharkh: Southampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Dan Judelson: Jews for Justice for Palestinians
Rena Zuabi: Students for Justice in Palestine

Wednesday February 25th, 6.30 to 8pm: Murder Merchants – Israel and the Arms Trade*. University of Southampton Murray Building (building 58, room 1009)

The second panel event of Israeli Apartheid Week at Southampton will explore the murky world of the international Arms Trade, and the way in which the thriving trade in weapons and military technology between the UK and Israel facilitates and rewards the atrocities Israel commits against the Palestinian people, with the massacres of last summer being just one example.

The arms trade between the UK and Israel is a glaring example of our country’s complicity in Israel’s actions, and companies involved in the arms trade profit directly from the frequently illegal actions of the Israeli state and military. There is therefore a very strong case to be made for boycotting and divesting from these complicit companies, especially in our unique position as students.

We are honoured to be joined by three brilliant activists and speakers for this panel, who will give a fascinating insight into the world of arms dealing, explore what is to be done, and answer any questions you may have:

Mike Deas: Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement, The Electronic Intifada
Ryvka Barnard: War on Want, Jadaliyya
Maya Evans: Voices for Creative Non-Violence UK, Campaign Against Arms Trade

Friday February 27th, 6.30 to 8.15pm: Roadmap to Apartheid – Film Screening*. Nuffield Theatre, Lecture Theatre A (building 06/ room 1077)

If seeing the words “Apartheid” and “Israel” together shocks, confuses, or even angers you, Roadmap to Apartheid is essential viewing to understand the rationale for the description.

This award-winning documentary, directed by a white South African and a Jewish Israeli, examines and explains the Apartheid analysis, demonstrating how it applies to the situation faced by Palestinians, and why it is a analysis that is increasingly being used in discourse over Israel/Palestine.

Using a facts-based analytical approach, with input from a great variety of respected analysts and commentators, combined with archival material and anecdotes from South Africans, the film forms a complete picture as to why the analogy is being used with increasing frequency and potency – come along and bring your friends!

Map of Highfield Campus showing the location of the Nuffield Building and building 58.

Portsmouth branch group of Palestine Solidarity Campaign is holding a Palestine Day on Saturday 28th from 12 to 5pm.

The event will be held at St. Swithuns Church Community Centre, 105 Waverley Rd, Southsea, PO5 2PL, Map with the following talks:

12am: Palestine and Sport – Red Card Israel Racism – Gareth Edwards (Lecturer in Sports History)
1pm: lunch (free Palestinian food)
2pm: Health and Education in Palestine – Aimee Shalan (Director of Friends of Birzeit University)
3pm: Why is Gaza Blockaded – Kevin Ovenden (Viva Palestinia Organiser)
4pm: BDS – The Way Forward – Salim Alam (Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Campaigns Director)

Free entry, all welcome. For further details about the events  e mail. Southampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign Website Blog

An open letter to John Harris, photographer, from a participant in the Radical Workers’ Bloc at Tolpuddle.

We would like to point out that these comments are in no way related to John Harris Photography of Norwich.
Stick with horses head handle
Background

Those who were at last year’s Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival may recall an attack on the Radical Workers’ Bloc stall. The RWB is an annual celebration of class struggle anarchism focussing on Sunday’s march. For the past two years a collective of libertarian groups has manned a stall acting as a meeting point and a distro for literature and other items for which we will accept donations in the hope of covering our costs. We don’t actually sell anything ourselves although we’ve carried stock for our comrades of Freedom Books, Hunt Saboteurs Association, Anti Fascist Network and Solidarity Federation, the proceeds from which went directly to those bodies.

Insofar as any transaction takes place, it is between the bloc’s supporters and South West TUC who provide us with a pitch for sixty of your English pounds (debt tokens, beer vouchers, symbols of the state’s monopoly on coercive force or whatever you conceive money to represent). That pic of Lesley Boulton at Orgreave has been widely shared on this 30th anniversary of the Miners’ Strike; it’s all over the Internet, in all forms from thumbnail to posterised to high definition. Anyone can click ‘print’ ‘save’ ‘share’ or ‘retweet’ on one of these images, and countless thousands do. We had a couple of them on display though we couldn’t say for sure whether any changed hands. Imagine our (W.S.) astonishment when the following message was received through our contact form:

Name: John Harris
Email: info@reportdigital.co.uk
Comment: If I catch you selling or using my pictures from Orgreave without my permission I will be after you! Pastpixels & OTJC have my permission.
Unlike some we do not have a private income & have to earn money to reproduce ourselves so my family can eat & we can carry on taking pictures
I hope that is something you can understand!
Thanks
John Harris/reportdigital.co.uk

Here, a comrade who was present on the day, but did not witness the incident, makes reply:

“John Harris, you’re coming after us are you? Come on then. Your arrogance verges on self-parody, with your exclamation marks – are you stamping your little feet? You’ve provoked us with some hostile language but sadly there are no words in the English language rude enough to express our contempt for you. Were you ever a protagonist in the class war, or just a tourist? We have within our ranks photojournalists who have risked life and limb to document social struggles the world over, not just to make money. Whatever you may or may not have achieved in your life you have just pissed all over it.

The field of Orgreave, on which working class heroes shed their blood, and the near-execution of a fellow photographer, provided you with the photo opportunity on which you have been dining out for three decades. Those workers fought to reproduce themselves and feed their families, and many have struggled to do so ever since, whilst you have made – who knows? Enough to show for a day’s work?

On the 30th anniversary of that great conflict, you stand, not facing the enemy, but facing your own Class petulantly demanding your royalties. You are the living embodiment of the self-serving moral bankruptcy that defeated the 20th century left.

As to your puerile threat, we fervently hope you mean it, but we suspect what you actually intend to do is invoke the bourgeois concept of litigation in defence of the bourgeois concept of property.

John Harris, do your worst, win, lose or draw the actual working class doesn’t give an actual fuck.”

– Jo Gonmush.

France: Migrants, Asylum Seekers Abused and Destitute.

Investigate Reports of Police Abuse in Calais, Provide Shelter.

Read full article on Human rights watch. Francais

A group of Iranian migrants and asylum seekers keeping warm in a camp in Calais in November, 2014.© 2014 Human Rights Watch

(Paris) – Asylum seekers and migrants living in destitution in the port city of Calais experience harassment and abuse at the hands of French police, Human Rights Watch said today. The abuses described to Human Rights Watch include beatings and attacks with pepper spray as the migrants and asylum seekers walked in the street or hid in trucks in the hope of traveling to the United Kingdom.

Several thousand asylum seekers and migrants, most from Sudan, Eritrea, and Ethiopia, are living in makeshift camps or in the streets in Calais. Some said that their treatment by police, a lack of housing for asylum seekers, and delays in the French asylum system had deterred them from seeking asylum in France.

“Asylum seekers and migrants shouldn’t have to face police violence in France, and no one who applies for asylum should be left to live in the street,” said Izza Leghtas, Western Europe researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Providing adequate reception conditions and humane treatment for asylum seekers isn’t only a matter of meeting legal obligations, it is also the right thing to do to help end the limbo for many asylum seekers in Calais.” More.

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.

Spanish State – Operation Pandora: Democracy imprisons 7 more anarchists

Re-blogged from Bristol Anarchist Bookfair.

Recent years have seen growing, militant and popular anarchist movements across Spain. Unsurprisingly these have been met with state repression – attacks on protests & assemblies, arrests, beatings, imprisonment – but movements have continued to flourish. Mired in corruption and economic chaos, the Spanish state has recently moved to introduce a new law, the ‘Gag Law’, or Ley Mordaza, to clampdown further on opposition. It was no surprise then when on 16 December mass raids on homes and anarchist spaces were carried out, leading to at least 4 anarchists on bail and 7 on remand. The response of anarchists, other radicals and indeed non-radicals was immediate, as a series of protests & actions have occured daily ever since. The twitter hashtag #YoTambienSoyAnarquista (I too am an anarchist) has achieved mass circulation. The article below is one of many such statements of solidarity & struggle, and comes from the Iberian Federation of Libertarian Youth (Federación Ibérica de Juventudes Libertarias – FIJL), a Spanish anarchist organisation that pre-dates the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39. You can read here the Spanish original, and here the original English translation. Details of a Spanish solidarity fund/bank account are here.

Spanish State – Operation Pandora: Democracy imprisons 7 more anarchists

On December 16, Operation Pandora was unleashed. The State’s security forces burst into different houses and squats in Barcelona and Madrid, and eleven anarchist comrades were kidnapped.

NiInocentesThis kidnapping—and it couldn’t have been done any other way—was coordinated with the media, who helped justify and legitimate it with heart and soul, spreading the news that the police had carried out an operation against international anarchist terrorism. This kidnapping of eleven comrades set off a multitude of rallies and demonstrations that same day in different cities—Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, and Zaragoza, for example—thousands of people coming out in solidarity with the kidnapped comrades and showing rage and hatred towards the State’s new repressive operation against the libertarian movement.

Two days later, on December 18, the news came to light that Judge Javier Gómez Bermúdez, with an ample repressive history behind him, ordered pretrial detention without bail for seven of the eleven comrades, in so doing giving greater media and political justification for the repressive campaign. We have to remember that this new repressive operation is closely related with the still-open repressive case against the anarchists Mónica and Francisco, who have already spent a year in pretrial custody, in isolation, and to remember that the torturer Javier Gómez Bermúdez was also responsible for imprisoning those comrades.

Zaragoza

The persecutor Javier Gómez Bermúdez justifies the pretrial detention of these seven comrades with such compelling reasons as “there are indications that support the hypothesis that they are part of coordinated anarchist groups with terrorist ends” and that “they seriously upset the public peace.” However, as anarchists, we are not going to play the game the System imposes on us, the game of concepts, assessments, guilt, innocence or “investigation” processes; as anarchists, we recognize neither their Justice, nor their Law, nor, of course, their Public Peace; not only do we not recognize them, but we fight them and we declare war on them without quarter. We’re not concerned with what our kidnapped comrades did or didn’t do or say; we don’t recognize the categories of “innocent” or “guilty” imposed by the System, categories that only make sense when recognizing and legitimizing the Law and the Judicial System.

It seems that, in the police searches, numerous copies of a book called “Against Democracy” [“Contra la democracia”] were found. This book attempts to provide tools of reflection and debate for those who oppose democracy, that mythicized and deified system that we are all obligated to venerate and defend, given that if we don’t, we run the risk of ending up with our bones in the State’s dungeons. However, we know that democracy is precisely the following, the same story once again: repression and incarceration of all those who raise their heads and fight daily for the destruction of all Authority and the construction of a new world that works based on horizontality and mutual aid, in which all vestiges of Power have disappeared.

seeds

Democracy is, necessarily, prison, the police, pistols and bombs, wage labour, schools as centres of indoctrination and distortion, psychiatrists, merchandise, the Parliament, government and domination as a form of “organizing” society…; democracy is simply one more way that the State and Capital, the dominant minority, have of administering their system of oppression. It’s because of this that, as anarchists, we declare war against democracy and any other system of domination and Power; it’s because of this that we fight and will continue to fight the “public peace” mentioned by the torturer Javier Gómez Bermúdez, the public peace of jails, of wars, of unemployment, of wage and labour exploitation, of hunger, of misery, of evictions, of consumerism, of beaten and expelled migrants, of arrests and police torture, of the hundreds of women killed at the hands of machismo and patriarchy, of the representation of our lives in the hands of a minority by means of the vote and parliamentarianism, of that false life of cardboard and money whose goal is for us to forget and for us to accept our alienated, submissive, and empty lives.

It’s because of this that yesterday, today, and forever we will struggle day to day against the State, Capital and all forms of Authority, even if they are dressed up in the suit of democracy. It’s because of this that it is undeniably clear and certain to us that we will defend our kidnapped comrades with tooth and nail, that we will unleash that which always scares the State so much: anarchist solidarity, that is to say, mutual aid and direct action against the Enemy and its institutional tools and frameworks. This new repressive blow is not going to put the brakes on the struggle, but just the opposite: we will continue on the path we have set forth on, we will strengthen and organize ourselves even more so as to continue and magnify the everyday struggle against the system of oppression and domination that we suffer permanently and daily. We will construct a new world, where not a trace of Power remains, in which there will be neither dominators nor dominated, neither condemned nor persecutors, persecutors like Javier Gómez Bermúdez.

fijlINTERNATIONAL ANARCHIST SOLIDARITY!
FREEDOM FOR ANARCHISTS IN PRISON!
DEATH TO THE STATE AND LONG LIVE ANARCHY!

FIJL / Grupo Aullido Libertario / Nafarroako Gazte Anarkistak / Juventudes Libertarias de Mallorca / Juventudes Libertarias de Salamanca

“Flood the Embassy – Justice for Michael Brown – Darren Wilson is GUILTY” London Black Revs 26th November 2014

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IWW Convention Statement on Solidarity with Ferguson

This motion was passed at the Industrial Workers of the World’s 2014 General Convention in Chicago

September 1, 2014

Motion for Solidarity with Ferguson

Whereas the IWW has historically operated in opposition to white supremacy and its relationship to capital, class, exploitation of fellow workers,

And whereas the residents of Ferguson, Missouri are openly defying white supremacy,

And whereas capitalism and white supremacy have conspired to construct a social reality which values private property above the lives of Black people,

And whereas these systems operate in a fashion which seeks to dehumanize rather than empower our fellow workers through tactics of economic, physical, psychological violence,

And whereas the residents of Ferguson have a longstanding history of oppression, disenfranchisement, marginalization due to intersecting mechanisms of economic and racial
control, And whereas the economic and social structures which simultaneously exploit and oppress all fellow workers also finance the technological advancement and surplus of military equipment deployed against the people of Ferguson,

Be it resolved that the Industrial Workers of the World stand in solidarity with the oppressed and exploited residents of Ferguson currently enduring a militarized denial of basic human dignity,

Be it further resolved that the IWW supports industrial action to combat oppression and spread the struggle, such as taken by UPS workers in Minneapolis, and commits to support and organize similar action in the future.

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

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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

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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

Message from BHstopEDL Bournemouth 23rd August:

♡ Love Bournemouth? ♡ Oppose the EDL! ♡

BHstopedl will be mustering outside Dean Park Cricket Ground on Cavendish Road, where we will move as a bloc together onto Dean Park Road and into the back of Horseshoe Common and towards the ‘We Are Bournemouth’ demonstration.

Further details will be confirmed in the coming days!

* See you on the streets * ¡No pasarán! * They shall not pass *

*Ends*

Your best bet is to ‘like’ their facebook page for last minute updates.

Tolpuddle 2014.

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Photo by Wheelz.

We take a moment to salute our illustrious comrade John Flower (see below 4th July) who passed away in June, we left a small memorial to him at the annual International Brigades ceremony and antifascists from Wessex, Portsmouth and Southampton attended his funeral.

But life is for the living and we had another cracking weekend! We were delighted to welcome four comrades from CNT-AIT Caen this year.

Minor drama on Saturday when some prat tried to trash the stall after a specious argument about royalties. His objection was to our use of the ubiquitous John Harris photograph of Lesley Boulton at Orgreave, on this the 30th anniversary of the Miners’ Strike, which could be seen adorning T shirts all over the site. He was safely and efficiently restrained by one of the older members of our group, who also happens to be a photojournalist. We have several NUJ members in the collective who questioned him about his motives. All became clear when we visited his stall which carried similar images at four quid a pop! It turned out he was just some bourgeois flogging lefty posters for the benefit of no one but himself, and he was upset that we were giving away something he was trying to sell.

The unseemly fracas didn’t do us any harm as people queued up to tell us – and him, what a prick he was, and our now slightly disheveled literature flew off the stall. He approached the organisers (not us) to offer an apology, and we replied that since he cares so much about money, he could make amends by sticking some in our donations jar, this he failed to do.

The stuff we carry on the stall is only there because we want people to read it; we produce it ourselves and we only take donations for it to cover our costs so we can do it again next year. The cash we take for Freedom goes to Freedom. Revenge was foregone as we were reluctant to relinquish the moral high ground we occupied, but if you’re doing a class-based event keep an eye out for this arsehole who just might decide to barge in and fuck shit up. Stocky bloke with white hair, gold-rimmed glasses and beige trousers. This is from his web site, ‘Past Pixels’ click on it to go there:

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Numbers on the march down a bit on last year but it was good to welcome some new faces.

Radical Workers’ Bloc at Tolpuddle 2014.

Radical Workers’ Bloc at Tolpuddle 2014.

Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival and Rally, Friday 18th July to Sunday 20th July 2014

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Tolpuddle 2013 Radical Workers’ Bloc: the weekend in pictures.

This will be our fourth bloc on the Martyrs Festival and rally; from an inauspicious start with seven of us and a black hanky on a stick, we’ve more than doubled each year to about seventy-five in 2013, from as far afield as Wales, France and the Midlands. Our commitment is to the original spirit of the Martyrs: working class self-organisation in the face of a hostile bourgeois state, more relevant today than ever, owing to the abject failure of political and industrial representation to meet the needs of the people, and the increasingly repressive reaction of the state to autonomous protest and resistance.

Once again we have a stall in the Martyrs Marquee; we will be carrying stock from Freedom Books, Britain’s oldest anarchist publisher, plus flags, badges, zines and pamphlets for donations, and loads of free stuff. If you’d like to take part and help run the stall, or if you have literature you’d like to give away or accept donations for please get in touch.

For those who are staying for the weekend festival, an advance party will arrive on Friday afternoon to pitch tents; we corral them together so that people can get to know each other, exchange contacts and ideas, plan and plot another year of class struggle.

If you’re just marching with us on Sunday 20th July, Meet up as usual 1:30 pm outside the Martyrs Museum; bring your flags and banners. View map  Farcebook event

A4 Flyer     2xA5 Flyer To get involved, contact: wsol@riseup.net

Freedom Press

FTUC Acknowledges Support of International Union Movements

The FTUC wishes to acknowledge organisers of the campaign for the Fijian unionists who have now had charges against them withdrawn.

The campaign has been hailed a success and FTUC recognises the efforts and support shown by LabourStart, ITUC and TUC. We also wish to thank each and every participant for their participation and contribution towards the campaign.

Fiji still has a long way to go in relation to the abuse against workers’ rights and it is our humble request that our sister union movements from around the world will continue their much-needed support for the campaigns against the violation of our workers.

The ENI Decree for instance is one such legislation established by the Regime that violates Fiji workers’ rights to Collective Bargaining, a right that our union fathers fought to retrieve. We however have not lost faith and the success of this recent campaign is testament to the solidarity between us.

FTUC vows to keep fighting the good fight and encourages all its affiliates to contribute to every campaign as each and every success is a win for workers’ and human rights.

The story of Riseup dot net

Dear Riseup Users:

Here’s the story of how we got to be the Riseup that we are. Please donate if you can!

Once upon a time, way back at the end of 1999 when the internet was still young and the millennium loomed, a couple of geeks got fired up at the WTO protests in Seattle. After a week of teargas, jail, cardboard butterfly wings, and way too much chanting, they sat in their living room and talked about what the movement needed for the next decade. They came up with Riseup.net as an independent provider of lists and email. They created Riseup on a couple of servers in their house, and soon attracted a couple more geeks to the cause.

Every year Riseup grew and grew, and it became more of a headache in that way where it was more work and had more people relying upon it. Some people came and went from the collective, and there were some hard, lean years where it was unclear if this was the right thing to pour time and money into, but stubbornly, Riseup kept going.

People’s skills increased around providing stable and secure services. More people joined the collective, and they were activist gold: the kind of people who worked hard on all the irritating day-to-day minutiae, the kind who showed up for meetings and cared deeply about this quixotic project, and the kind of people who stay up all night at crisis moments to wield their mighty hacker skills that looked like magic to those of us in the collective (like me) who are writers not geeks.

So somewhere around 2007, the collective became stable member-wise, and we became a group of about ten people who are mostly the same people we have today. Over the last eight years we have become a true collective in a rare way. We’ve worked together on Riseup for a long time, and slowly, that has become a big deal in most of our lives. We celebrate — those of us who live near each other — our celebrations together and care about each other in a true and real way. One of the greatest secret successes of Riseup was when Gadfly and Arara met at one of our retreats and fell in love. We have at times been annoyed, in conflict, and angry with each other (since we are humans not robots), and this has even led to some people leaving the collective, but overall we’ve been surprisingly stable as all but one of us has transitioned from being fiery, dreamy, young radicals into cranky, dreamy middle-aged radicals.

And also, sometime during the last eight years, Riseup has become a force to be reckoned with. We are the largest nonprofit email provider in the world, outside of a university system. We run one of the world’s most used TOR nodes. We are frequently cited and sourced as one of the few ethical, autonomous, and secure internet providers. We legally duked it out with the far right over not turning over our user’s information and won. We use and develop cool-ass secure software. We scheme with other tech collectives across the globe on what we are going to do about all this spying and how we can carry this work on into the next decade. We have big hearts and minds, and we plan to win.

So, that’s us. Or one of the stories about us. Support us if you can! Love, The Riseup Birds

PRESS RELEASE: Anti-Fascist Network statement on Saturday 7th September EDL demonstration

Reblogged from Anti-Fascist Network:

The Metropolitan Police arrested over 280 anti-fascist activists, local community members, and passersby in East London on 7 September, as up to 700 English Defence League supporters were allowed to march over Tower Bridge and rally at Aldgate without encountering any mass opposition.

A large community demonstration was restricted to Altab Ali Park, well out of sight of the EDL’s march route and rally point.

Read more… 526 more words

Tolpuddle 2013 Radical Workers’ Bloc: the weekend in pictures.

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You could say we got lucky with the weather – up to a point, the heat was actually quite challenging at times and the free showers were as welcome as the overpriced beer. Our stall attracted plenty of interest; we shifted a mountain of literature and took enough in donations to cover our expenses plus making a few quid for Freedom Books; our magnificent banner was supplied free of charge by our comrades at Sabcat Printing, the Anarchist workers’ T-shirt co-op.

The stall was operated by comrades from Brighton, Bristol and Solent SolFedCNT-AIT Caen and Wessex Solidarity; Sunday’s Bloc was about double the size of last year’s, our militants ranged in age from 16 to a 96 year old Spanish Civil War veteran – a proper antifascist! It was good to welcome new faces from Cymru and Reading IWW, with community singing led by Bristol AFed. Shout out also to Bath Anarchists (B.A.R.F) – and anyone else we may have missed – give us a shout and we’ll link to your site.

Everyone we spoke to felt the mood was more militant than previous years; the Labour ‘got to be in it to win it’ line was challenged at every turn, the appetite for direct action is growing. What is the Tolpuddle story but an example of working class self-organisation crushed by the state? The Martyrs came together as equals; they didn’t form a trade union but a friendly society. You can fantasise about general strikes and armed insurrection all you want, the bourgeoisie will carry on chortling into their Dom Perignon; but get together and find practical solutions to the problems they cause you, outside of the structures they need you to rely on, and they will shit themselves.

We reiterate that we don’t come for a row, but to examine each others ideas and find ways of putting them to the test, so that we can give confidence to our class as a whole; the last thing the left needs now is a ‘tribal’. The 20th century is over; we must learn its lessons and evolve. We have the best opportunity for decades to give capitalism a kicking and if we fail, history will judge us harshly.

The above-referenced article on friendly societies is available by courtesy of the author, as an A5 pamphlet from one of our event stalls, or in our reference library, from where it can be downloaded for the princely sum of Fuck All.

Here’s the gallery, pictures still coming in, bear with us!

A New World In Our Hearts by Various Artists: 71 track benefit CD for Freedom bookshop, from Iron Column records.

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Immediate download of 71-track album in your choice of high-quality MP3, FLAC, or just about any other format you could possibly desire.


[bandcamp album=480282326 bgcol=FFFFFF linkcol=4285BB size=grande3]

On Friday 1st February 2013, fascists carried out an arson attack on Freedom anarchist bookshop in London, UK. Thankfully nobody was hurt, but the shop and stock suffered extensive damage. 

Since the attack, individuals and groups across the world have offered their support, in both word and deed, in an unequivocal display of international mutual aid and solidarity. 

This compilation is our small contribution to the rebuilding effort. All artists have given their time, energy and creations for free, and we’re hugely humbled by their selflessness. It means that every penny raised here will be used directly to benefit Freedom. 

We understand that not everyone can afford to make even a small donation. We’d rather you had music to help you through tough times, so we’ll shortly be offering a high-quality mp3 version of this compilation for free download. Stay tuned. 

Thanks for listening, donating, supporting and spreading the word. We really appreciate it. 

¡No Pasaran! 

The Iron Column Records Crew

released 21 March 2013

David Hoffman ate our paper!

In 1886 a group of anarchists including Peter Kropotkin and Charlotte Wilson decided to produce a new monthly anarchist paper. Freedom began publication in October 1886 and continues to this day; In addition to Freedom, the group set up Freedom Press, which became the main publisher of anarchist literature in England

History of Freedom Press

Enter freelance photographer David Hoffman; in 2009 Freedom Press had published Beating the Fascists, which has of itself aroused much controversy in the anarchist anti-fascist movement. The book is illustrated with photographs supplied by the authors, it turned out these included pictures taken by Hoffman that were still under copyright. Hoffman threatened legal action and has received £4,000 for the use of the pictures; as a result the Freedom collective now faces ruin.

This hypocrite has made a living for years out of photographing activists and suing the police while enjoying the protection of anti-fascists; he now turns to the law to extract money from his erstwhile comrades.

Here’s Hoffman in publicity-seeking mode with a Class War ‘Wanker’ poster: Police remove David Cameron ‘wanker’ poster

You can e mail Hoffman using the contact form at the bottom of the page on his website let him know he is not welcome at our actions and will no longer receive our support.

Hoffman is a member of the London Photographers Branch of the NUJ: Contact the committee here.

If you’d like to help you can subscribe to Freedom, or buy a book maybe, even Beating the Fascists!

Now that we’re bust and what we’re going to do about it