Urgent Call for Solidarity: Women’s Academic Delegation is being withheld at Iraq-Syria border

To the attention of the International Academic Community:

Since yesterday an international women’s academic delegation group is being withheld from crossing to Northern Syria, from the Semalka border between Iraq and Syria, to explore the humanitarian conditions, situation of women and future possibilities of academic collaboration and research in the region.

Although until recently this has not been the case, the delegation was informed that from now on only journalists and NGO members were allowed to cross.This means an impediment to academic freedom constraining the academics whose responsibility is to safeguard democratic values, social justice, gender equality and peace especially at times of turmoil under authoritarian regimes.

Below you can find the call for solidarity written by the delegation. They are asking international academics to contact the chairman of Selmanka border point to show their solidarity and ask for the authorization to continue their academic work in Northern Syria. As it is a delicate situation, due to the political circumstances and the relationship between Northern Syria and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) of Iraq, the delegation especially asks the mails to be sent to keep a strictly academic tone in order not to aggravate the tension. With the support of the international academics they are hoping to resolve the situation soon enough avoiding the need for further steps to be taken.

For that if you will be contacting the chairman of the border or thinking of spreading the information in your academic networks please keep that in mind. (Contacts at the end of the call)

In solidarity

CALL FOR SOLIDARITY AND PROTEST AT SEMALKA BORDER OFFICE

We are an academic women’s delegation of five women that intends to travel to Northern Syria in order to explore the situation of women, humanitarian conditions and new forms of academic structures. We want to build contacts for future research in the region. We consider research to have a strong ethical and societal responsibility. Joint research and academic exchange could become part of the process to transform society towards deep democracy, social justice, gender equality and a peaceful joint life. We are a diverse group of a lecturer in transculturality and international relations (Dr. Mechthild Exo, Social Work Department of University of Applied Sciences Emden/Leer), a student of philosophy and comparative political thought (starting Master at SOAS University of London), a medical and humanitarian expert (retired medical doctor), an expert of the Kurdish region of Northern Syria, and an interpreter.

The application for border crossing had been submitted with a letter by the vice-president of University of Applied Sciences Emden/Leer. In the week before we traveled to Iraq we provided the border office with all requested documents, mainly proofing our ID and the university affiliation. When we requested crossing to Syria today, the border office refused with the explanation that only NGOs and journalists are receiving permission.

We ask you to protest the denying of permission to this academic women’s delegation and the hindrance to enter Northern Syria. For us this decision must be considered as a harm to the academic freedom. We particularly ask all academic and non-academic women to be at our side and build up pressure to the border office to enable our women’s delegation to meet and discuss with women of the new founded university in Quamislo.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mechthild Exo


Please contact to the Semalka border office and Dr. Hamid Derbendi:

hamid ahmad@krp.org or hamid.ahmad2@gmail.

00964 750 390 8589

00964 750 445 2794 (Whatsapp)

and p.peshabor@hotmail.com

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CARILLION COLLAPSE – WHAT NEXT?

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

Allthesame

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

Message from Barnet UNISON via Dorset Socialists.

Dear Colleagues

First of all I need to update everyone that we managed to hold on to our UNISON office and to our facility time. Tonight 63 Barnet Councillors are going to vote on the proposal to outsource 81% of the existing Council workforce. Our story has been covered in the Guardian by Aditya Chakrabortty: “Outsourced and unaccountable: this is the future of local government”

By the comments being left it is taking place across all of public services. BUT there are more and more shocking headlines emerging I have produced some of them below:

“Northamptonshire County Council reduce its workforce from 4,000 to 150 people in a bid to carve £148 million out of its budget within the next five years.”

Camden £73 million cuts

Cardiff council planning £32m cuts in 2015/16

Birmingham city council to axe thousands of jobs as part of ‘dire cuts’

Manchester facing £60m council cuts – while 20 areas in the south GAIN spending power

Funding crisis leaves Newcastle facing ‘impossible cuts’ and social unrest

Coventry City Council’s service cut plans ‘horrify’ residents

Leeds faces up to ‘brutal’ council cuts

Business leaders hear impact of £102 million council cuts

The makes it very clear that public services funding will be reduced to 1930’s levels. I have checked, there weren’t many public services in 1930’s, which does mean the end of local government. But it isn’t stopping a local government with 70% of NHS contracts already handed to the private sector.

Two weeks ago we submitted a joint Trades Dispute with the GMB in response to the mass outsourcing proposals. Today our branch submitted to our region a request for a formal industrial action ballot as this is the only response to the draconian proposals we are now facing. It is untenable not to mount a fight that is directed at our member’s Terms & Conditions, Pay and Pensions.

Some branches may be able fight battle alone but it is obvious this is a national matter which needs a national response and quickly.

Solidarity to all and good luck in your fights in 2015.

Best wishes
John Burgess
Branch Secretary, Barnet UNISON

DS members have been supporting the UNITE Defence Support Group picket lines at Bovington.

N.U.T. Teachers’ Strike 26th March.

If you’re a teacher and you’re striking tomorrow, good luck and solidarity!

If you’re a teacher, not in a union or in a different one and you’re thinking of crossing a picket line:

  • A. Don’t
  • B. No one wants a scab, your pupils will lose all respect for you.

If you’re  in the N.U.T.  and you’re thinking of crossing a picket line:

  • A. Don’t.
  • B. What are you fucking thinking of? Don’t you know there’s a war on!
  • C. What sort of example are you setting the youth? Selfish, cowardly, treacherous…

If your children have a scab teacher, keep them home:

  • A. This is about more than just the future of their education but about resisting the ravages of this despicable neoliberal regime.
  • B. This is the most important lesson they will ever learn, don’t scab.
  • C. Forcing them to cross a picket line before they are old enough to understand the enormity of betraying their class is child abuse.

If you’re at school and you’re old enough to think for yourself (hint), join the picket line, show some support, one day others will do the same for you.

Join a march or rally