Report on Radical Workers’ Bloc at Tolpuddle 2019

It pissed down Friday afternoon and Saturday morning then cleared up, Sunday was hot and we got our kit away dry. Les’ food was superb as ever. We were  a bit thin on the ground as AFed were all up to no good in Slovenia. The POA seemed to be on their best behaviour, so as far as we’re aware no-one got groped or verbally abused.

Rumours of an imminent TERF infestation having circulated on Saturday night, a sharp eye was kept out for them. The fundamentalist WPUK group boasted on twitter that they had marched, but nobody saw any, and a considerable amount of video footage has been examined since. The picture they bandied about shows three transphobes with an imitation union banner stood on the road outside the marquee facing the march route. The CWU’s balloon-bearers are behind them walking in the opposite direction, indicating the march had finished. Another snap shows them stood with the crypto-Stalinist, dictator-apologising Stop the War Coalition, presumably discussing Bukharinist/Trotskyist revisionism or something equally topical.

The ‘Freedom for Ocalan’ campaign stole the show, with a Kurdish marching band, a disciplined, colour co-ordinated bloc and a balloon each end. We slotted in behind, led by Dorset IWW’s Free Kevan Thakrar banner, highlighting the most blatant miscarriage of bourgeois ‘justice’ since the pub bombing show trials and the framing of Stefan Kiszko in the 1970’s.

We didn’t get a stall this year and we hear Weymouth Animal Rights and Brighton Solfed were also declined. but as Dorset have taken over the IWW one we were able to insert some literature relating to syndicalist history, theory and practice. It was missed, because people kept asking about it. Your best bet is to come and see us at Dorset Radical Bookfair on the 7th September, or if you’re too far away get in touch. We haven’t got a literature catalogue and we’re out of space on here. We may have to set up a separate blog to host all the new stuff. There’s a job for someone with a lot of time on their hands (hint).

Shout out to, in no particular order: Rain, Sabcat Andy, Heledd, Sarah-Jane, Neil, Doozer and Les, Nikki and Kev, Swindon Jon, Dodger, Skimmity hitchers, Russ, positive Jon, Jim-Bob, Bristol SolFed, Morrish solicitors, Barnsley folk, Pete the Poet, Keith, Steve W, Robb, Lib-Com Ray and the comrade from Marea Granate, many others whose names I’ve mislaid.

Here’s some video:

Justice for Kev facebook page

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Red And Black Telly: ” JIHADI JACK ” AND ANNA CAMPBELL.

AWSM Archives: “No Blood For Water”?

Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement

AWSM Note: Here we re-post an article that first appeared on our previous site in July 2013. It was written by our long term guest contributor ‘Pink Panther’ and looks at the geopolitical situation in Syria at that time.

Since 1975 most of the major military conflicts – Lebanon, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Afghanistan and Libya – have been civil wars. Regional or super powers have intervened supposedly to save lives and resolve each conflict. They supposedly try to do this by removing the “bad guys” but have ended up leaving the country they came in to ‘save’, an even bigger mess than it was before they intervened. Often, this is because the intervention is driven by profit or a power obsessed ideology, rather than any understanding of the real situation.

In Vietnam the conflict was not just about the imperialists/capitalists on one side and the communists on the other. It was also a war between the people who lived in the highlands and those who lived in the lowlands, a war between the Catholic minority that dominated political life in South Vietnam and the Buddhist majority and a war between a Soviet-backed elite in Hanoi and a U.S-backed elite in Saigon (today Ho Chi Minh City). Only the ideologues on both sides believed it was a war of freedom or liberation. For most people it was a pointless and incredibly expensive bloodbath that left millions of Vietnamese civilians dead and deadly ordinance lying around everywhere, which still kills hundreds of people every year.

The war in Afghanistan in the 1980s was also portrayed in a breathtakingly simplistic manner by both its supporters, who painted it as a war against communist tyranny and liberation, and one waged over gas and oil by its opponents. It was actually more a civil war between tribal groups, warlords and a puppet government backed by the Soviet Union. It was also an ethnic and sectarian conflict. In what would later rebound badly, the United States backed the Muhajadeen’s war against the communists. The superpower did this by using the Muhajadeen’s Islamic religion as a motivator to encourage a fight against the infidels in the country. The Muhajadeen not only slaughtered the more moderate elements of Afghan society but once the Soviets were gone, they imposed a theocratic regime that was far worse than anything done by the Soviet Union.

Cue forward twenty years and the United States has found itself bogged down fighting the children of those Muhajadeen fighters they trained to fight the Soviets in the 1980s. In response, the same tiresome slogans have been trotted out by liberals and elements on the Left, while the supporters of the war claim it’s a war against the bogeyman of terrorism. This is done even though none involved in the terror attack used to justify the invasion of Afghanistan – the 9/11 attacks – were Afghan nationals. Most of those involved in the attacks were from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan.

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The first militant, the first comrade, the first martyr

Internationalist Commune

Haki Karer, internationalistic co-founder of the PKK

Interview with Mustafa Karasu, by İsmet Kayhan | Kurdistan Report Nr. 202

Haki Karer (fourth from left) as a student at Ankara University. | Photo: ANF

The years in which Haki Karer began to study at the university were the years of strong repression as a result of the military coup of March 12, 1971. The effects of the resistance of the revolutionary leaders Deniz Gezmiş, Mahir Çayan and İbrahim Kaypakkaya against the fascism of March 12 shaped Haki Karer very much. He took a place in the front ranks of revolutionary youth resistance, which spread like an avalanche from 1973. During this time, from 1973 onwards, he personally got to know the leaders of the left-wing and revolutionary youth movements. The person who shaped him most and was to change his life was the Kurdish leading personality Abdullah Öcalan.

Haki Karer met Öcalan in 1972 and from then on their paths did not part. The central reason that brought these two revolutionaries together was the ideological line that saw the liberation of Kurdish and Turkish society as a unity.

Haki Karer lost his life on 18 May 1977 as a result of a plot by the “Sterka Sor” after a year at Dîlok (Antep). His death was to deeply affect Öcalan and his friends. Öcalan called his companion Haki Karer his “secret soul”. Mustafa Karasu, a member of the Executive Council of the Community of Societies of Kurdistan (KCK), has reported on Haki Karer’s organizational activities within the workers and students of Dîlok and on the ideological struggle with the Turkish left circles. Karasu, who also took part in the funeral of Haki Karer, spoke extensively about this time.

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Kurdish Solidarity Cymru. Decentralised Day of Action in Solidarity with the Kurdish Hunger strikers

Kurdish Solidarity Cymru call on you to support a boycott of Turkish holidays in solidarity with Kurdish hunger strikers. Please join us for a decentralised day of action on the 4th of May. We encourage creative actions on the day, and for groups and individuals to immediately start  writing to travel agents asking them to stop selling Turkish holidays until Abdullah Ocalan’s isolation is broken.

In the UK Imam Sis, a 32 year old Kurdish resident of Newport, has been on an indefinite hunger strike since the 17th November 2018. His condition is rapidly deteriorating. He is part of an international movement of hunger strikers; almost 10 000 Kurdish activists and political prisoners are on hunger strike worldwide. They are calling for an end to the isolation of Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan, whose been held in a Turkish prison for 20 years and denied access to family and lawyers since 2011. Imam explains why the demands of the hunger strikers are so important here: https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/abdullah-calan-erdogan-imam-sis-welsh-parliament-a8846926.html

We will concentrate our efforts on the travel agent Tui, formerly known as Thompson. There are branches in most towns and cities in the UK – an opportunity for a mass decentralised action in solidarity with the hunger strikers. Find your local branch here: https://www.tui.co.uk/shop-finder People can also register complaints to: https://www.tuigroup.com/en-en/meta/contact or via the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TUIUnitedKingdom/

We have the potential to raise awareness of the hunger strike, and the fact that Turkey as a state tortures Kurds and supports ISIS. A place totally unsuitable to go on holiday and support economically. Tourism accounts for 11.6% of Turkey’s economy, contributing $26 billion to their economy in 2017. This income helps fuel Turkey’s war on the Kurds. There are also direct links between Turkish holiday and arms companies. Over 2 million people from the UK visited Turkey in 2018, making the UK one of the top 5 countries supporting Turkey’s tourist income. We cannot rely on governments alone to pressure Turkey, attacking their economy through boycotts is an important part of the campaign.

A picket, a stall, an occupation, or creative forms of direct action –  your solidarity can be as limitless as your imagination. Why not use your local May day march as a convergence point for taking action?  By the 27th of April we will have produced leaflets, posters and other resources for all to use at actions that will be available to download on the Kurdish Solidarity Cymru website.

Please send reports of any actions, we can then pass it on to the hunger strikers themselves. E-mail a report to kurdishsolicymru@riseup.net or Tweet with the hashtag #Fast4Apo.

​Together we will break the isolation and stand with the Kurds who have already sacrificed so much in their fight against the fascism.

Anna is with us, we fight on! Bristol Antifascists Demo 16.03.19

Bristol Antifascists are joining with other radical groups and comrades in Bristol for a demonstration on 16th March to remember our amazing and inspiring comrade Anna Campbell. We also want to show our shared commitment to all that she stood for and towards the better world she fought so hard for.

Here’s some of the struggles Anna gave so much to and which we carry on:

Anarchism, Anti capitalism, Feminism, Anti Patriarchy, Queer struggle, Antifascism, Animal liberation, Hunt sabotage, Prison abolition, Defendant solidarity, Ecological struggle, Eviction resistance, Direct action…

Join us! Meet 2pm near the International Brigades plaque in Castle Park, between the church and the river.

15th March 2019 marks the first anniversary of when we lost Anna Campbell. Anna went out to Rojava, the Kurdish region of Syria, to join the Kurdish struggle against fascism. She was inspired by the revolution because of the politics of direct democracy, feminism and environmentalism and fought with the YPJ (Women’s Protection Units), who have been at the forefront in the fight against ISIS. Anna was killed by a Turkish airstrike whilst defending the city of Afrin.

Anna lived in Bristol before she left for Rojava, and throughout her life was active in many groups and causes, including prison abolition, feminism, anti-fascism and animal liberation.

Join with us to remember Anna and all those who have fallen in the struggle, and to take a stand for all that she, and we, believe in. The demonstration will be followed by a gathering at Hydra Bookshop, where Anna volunteered, to launch a zine made by Anna’s friends and comrades and to (hopefully) link up with the Internationalist Commune in Rojava.. If you have ideas or contributions for the gathering on please get in touch by email.

Friends, comrades and all those who wish to remember Anna and others are welcome.

Bristol Antifascists

Bristol IWW

facebook event

https://alternativebristol.com/events/anna-is-with-us-we-fight-on/

Red And Black Telly: THE CASE OF SHAMIMA BEGUM