“Better than a one- or two-state solution would be a no-state solution“: a Palestinian Internationalist in Rojava — Internationalist Commune of Rojava

This interview was first published June 2017 in Lower Class magazine. At that time the academy was still under construction – see here for the changes the last 12 months have brought, including the completion of the academy, the launch of the Make Rojava Green Again campaign and our first education together. Baz Soz is […]

via “Better than a one- or two-state solution would be a no-state solution“: a Palestinian Internationalist in Rojava — Internationalist Commune of Rojava

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Public meeting in Bristol: anti Trump and antifascist demonstrations

Public meeting, Monday 9th July, 7pm. The Station, Silver Street. BS1 2AG.

Resist Trump and the march of fascism!

Donald Trump, megalomaniac disgrace to humanity, epitome of all things bad and most hated man in the world, is inflicting a visit on us on July 13th.

The perfect embodiment of authoritarian state politics and ruthless capitalism, he has been welcomed by the UK government. Unsurprisingly, this billionaire friend of the super rich and unashamed enemy of the working class has the support of the UK government which is equally committed to reactionary politics.

Since Trump’s election, his bare faced sexism, misogyny, xenophobia and bigotry has emboldened racists and fascists everywhere, leading to a huge upsurge in racist attacks, police brutality and fascist violence against political opponents. His tough talking, toxic rhetoric and policies have provided a massive confidence boost to the far right both in the U.S. and elsewhere. They feel more able to show their true colours knowing they now have a fellow white supremacist in the White House.

Whether it’s more ruthless, racist border controls, abducting and imprisoning immigrant children, the attempted Muslim ban or showing support for fascist and neo nazi “Unite the Right” marchers, Trump thrives on the politics of provocation, controversy and conflict. A self obsessed tyrant, with his arrogant and aggressive tweets, inflammatory speeches and dictatorial executive orders, he shows total contempt and disdain for any attempts to stand in his way or to promote more progressive politics.

The resistance in the U.S. to Trump and what he represents has been impressive and determined. Widespread anger, outrage, demos, airport blockades and mass direct action have been largely successful in putting a brake on Trump’s totalitarian plans. Communities have come together in solidarity to defend themselves and each other against the attacks and fight back.

Let’s follow their good example and stand in the way of this tyrant and everything he stands for. Everyone out to the streets of London on 13th July!

Come to the public meeting: 7-9pm, Monday 9th July at the Station,
Silver Street. BS1 2AG.
Demo details: 2pm, Friday 13th July, BBC, Portland Place, W1A 1AA. Coach leaves from Eastgate Road (by Eastville Tescos) 10am sharp on 13th July. Book your place! Contact bristolantifascists@riseup.net

And the next day… Saturday 14th July, central London. Join the antifascist resistance!

Tommy Robinson and the march of the far right.

Ever since the formation of the racist, islamophobic English Defence League, it’s founder Tommy Robinson (real name Stephen Yaxley Lennon), has been working hard to further an extreme right wing, anti muslim, racist agenda. As well as forming alliances with far right politicians, parties, groups and individuals worldwide, his latest big tent for islamophobia and far right politics is the so called “Democratic Football Lad’s Alliance”. This organisation is uniting fascist groups, neo nazis, hooligans and everyday racists under one banner and building an extreme right wing street army. Their demos often end in attacks by DFLA mobs against anti racist demonstrators and people of colour.

Publicity hungry and self obsessed Robinson was recently imprisoned for 13 months after masquerading as a journalist to harass and intimidate some muslims on trial, all under the guise of “reporting” and “free speech”. After successfully cultivating a personality cult around himself, he has now become a martyr to far right activists worldwide and will be revelling in the attention and publicity that his imprisonment has provided him and his fellow racists. He claims to speak for ordinary, white British people but we recognise his words as the voice of 21st century bigotry and fascism.

In response to the jailing of Robinson, the racists and fascists are stepping up their efforts with more angry threats, demos and political violence in an attempt to put pressure on the government to free their de facto leader. Thousands of them rampaged in London on 9th June and they will return on 14th July. We need to outnumber, demoralise and defeat the racists and fascists on the streets again. Let’s oppose and expose the DFLA for what it really is and destroy their movement with all means necessary. It’s going to take all of our efforts together to win the struggle on the streets, on the internet, in our communities and everywhere we find racism and fascism. We can’t let them grow. It’s up to us to make sure fascism doesn’t become the new “normal”. Remember history and fight for the future. Now is the time to get involved, get organised and fight back!

Join the Anti Fascist Network on July 14th!
Contact bristolantifascists@riseup.net for transport.
Check out “antifascistnetwork” on facebook for more info.

Book Launch. ‘Your Freedom and Mine: Abdullah Öcalan and the Kurdish Question in Erdoğan’s Turkey’. 11th July SOAS

“Only free men can negotiate. Prisoners cannot enter into contracts… I cannot and will not give any undertaking at a time when I and you, the people, are not free. Your freedom and mine cannot be separated.”

—Nelson Mandela during his imprisonment, 10 February 1985

Join Black Rose Books, Peace in Kurdistan, Kurdistan National Congress UK, Kurdish People’s Assembly in Britain, Freedom for Ocalan Campaign – UK for a special event marking the release of Your Freedom and Mine: Abdullah Öcalan and the Kurdish Question in Erdoğan’s Turkey Edited by Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley and Dr Federico Venturini.

Wednesday, 11 July, 6.30 – 8.30pm at SOAS, Russell Square, College Main Building, Room DLT, WC1H 0XG Register for the free event here:

A solidarity donation of £2 is suggested to help cover our costs. Copies of the book will be available for half price! £12.50 Paper back

Speakers include: Dimitrios Roussopoulos political activist, ecologist, and publisher; Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley lecturer of political sociology at the University of Cambridge; Dr Radha D’Souza Reader in law at Westminster University; Julie Ward MEP (TBC); Jonathan Steele veteran journalist and author; Simon Dubbins UNITE international director; Joe Ryan Chair, Westminster Justice and Peace Commission. In addition, Adem Uzun, member of the Executive Council of the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK), will send a video-message.

The event will be chaired by: Dr Federico Venturini independent activist-researcher

About the event

 “It is an objective, extremely well-documented analytical report of Turkish state terrorism against Kurds. Shocking revelations make this an emotionally powerful book.”

Dr. Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, researcher and author.

A revolutionary imprisoned on an island fortress may hold the key to peace in the Middle East. From the confines of his Turkish prison cell, Abdullah Öcalan, the leader of the Kurdish Freedom Movement, has proposed a political solution to the Turkish-Kurdish conflict, leading many to describe him as the ‘Kurdish Mandela’.

His ideas on direct democracy and women’s liberation are what inspired the Rojava Revolution in northern Syria.

As Syria exploded in civil war and Turkey descended into tyranny, an international peace delegation of European luminaries led by Mandela’s lawyer twice attempted to meet with Öcalan at his prison on İmralı Island. This book is the fruit of these momentous delegations.

Your Freedom and Mine offers crucial insight into the dramatic history, reality, and prospects of the Kurdish Question in Turkey by combining historical survey, human rights reports, interviews, personal accounts, geopolitical analysis, and political philosophy. The volume is the remarkable work of 25 contributors, including politicians, academics, journalists, Iceland’s former minister of justice, veteran war correspondent Jonathan Steele, and key leaders inside the movement.

For information in UK contact Peace in Kurdistan:

e-mail: estella24@tiscali.co.uk

Mobile 07846 666804

Commander Arian film screening, in Lewes 14th June.

There will be a screening of Commander Arian at the Depot Cinema in Lewes on June 14th at 6.15 pm. After the screening, director Alba Sotorra Clua will take questions from the audience with Elif Sarican and Dirk Campbell.

On the front line of the Syrian war, 30-year-old Commander Arian guides a female battalion towards the city of Kobane to release its people from the grip of ISIS in an empowering tale of emancipation and freedom. When the war in Syria broke, a group of women from the Kurdish resistance assembled the YPJ – Women Protection Units. Arian, who witnessed at a young age the nefarious treatment of sexual assault victims, leads the unit and dedicates her life to battling ISIS. As the YPJ inches closer to their target, she implores her comrades to discover the true meaning of their fight: freedom for the next generation of women. With unprecedented access to the commander and her troops, including delicate scenes of her recovering from multiple bullet wounds, Sotorra brilliantly crafts an enthralling portrait of a woman on a mission.

Anna Campbell from Lewes chose to support the Rojava revolution by going out and fighting alongside the brave women of the YPJ. She met and was interviewed by Alba Sotorra Clua. After the YPG/YPJ defeat of Daesh in the autumn of 2017, Anna went to defend civilians from the Turkish incursion into Afrin in January 2018 and was killed by a Turkish air strike on 15 March.

Proceeds will be donated to the charity Kurdish Red Moon

President Erdogan is as dangerous as President Trump. By Zaher Baher

From zaherbaher.com where you can also find it in Kurdish.

The system is always able to create dangerous people but the real danger is the system itself. The system also makes the people powerless, helpless and slaves too through its dark forces of which the Media is one.

Media is a part of this system, portraying heads of state, powerful people and celebrities as either good or bad. In this way Media does a great job in protecting and preserving the system. It does this by diverting people’s attention from real problems. It is always better for the state, the United Kingdom (UK) that its people do not take important issues they are facing seriously. Health services, education, housing and homelessness, immigration, racism, the railways and Brexit are just a few of them.

Since Trump came to power, Media almost everywhere tries to discredit him and dismiss him as the most dangerous man in the world and call him any name. There is no doubt that most of what the Media says about Trump is right but no doubt the system from time to time needs people like him.

Is president Trump dangerous and a real threat to the world?

Many of President Trump’s polices from beginning to the present are wrong and inhuman from cutting health care, racist and inhuman immigration policy, continuing the global “war on terror”, withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, abortion restrictions, cutting taxes on the rich and corporations, withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear agreement, to moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in recognition of Israel’s claim to Jerusalem as its capital.

He is an extremist, sexist, bigoted, prejudiced, anti-Islamic and can be fascistic too. He is the most powerful person in the world and the head of the most powerful state as well.

Many of us because of the above reasons think he is the most dangerous person and is a major threat to the world and peace. Certainly he can be. But the words ‘can be’ are very much different from ‘is’ and also we should know that he is very fragile and weak although he became powerful through the election process. And his support can be limited by the wealth of corporations and only extends to a certain degree. At most, his power may be extended to six more years while there is the possibility of having only two more years as it is doubtful that he will be elected again even that is what he wants. Whatever he wants he still cannot reshape the fate of the Middle East as a whole let alone of the world.

How about President Erdogan? Is he less dangerous or less of a threat to the world or at least to the Middle East?

Let me remind the readers about him and his polices and the actions of his political party, the Justice and Development Party (AKP), then I leave it for the readers to make their own judgement.

President Erdogan from the very beginning was an extremist and fanatical as he came from an Islamic background and described himself as a conservative democratic. He was the Mayor of Istanbul form 1994 to 1998. He was stripped of his position, banned from political office, and imprisoned for four months, for reciting a poem that promoted a religious point of view of the government during a speech in 1998.

He founded the AKP in 2001 and won three general elections in 2002, 2007 and 2011. He was the Prime Minster from 2003 to 2014 and then became the President of Turkey.

Like Trump he is a sexist, bigoted, prejudiced, extremist and racist. He is fanatically religious, nationalist and certainly a vicious dictator and fascist. He and his National Intelligence Organisation, (MIT) is the creator of Islamic State with the help of Qatar and the US.

He tried to expand his Kalifate beyond Turkey and dreamt of bringing back the times of the Ottoman Empire. He intervened viscously in Syria and Iraq and tries to play a major role in the whole region to consolidate his power. He abused his power to restart war not just with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) but with all Kurdish people in Turkish Kurdistan (Bakur) after two policemen were killed in June 2015 which the PKK always denied. He banned active members and supporters of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and the PKK. Thousands of activists and politicians including many HDP MPs and both heads of the HDP are in prison. Since July 2015 so many Kurdish civilians have been killed or injured, over 400,000 people displaced from their own homes and so many towns and villages destroyed.

He justified the military coup of July 2016 in order to imprison many thousands from the military, politicians and civilians including judges, prosecutors, lawyers, teachers, nurses, academics and journalists and dismissed many more thousands from their jobs. On 16th April 2017 he held a constitutional referendum to approve 18 proposed amendments to the Turkish constitution in order to create an executive presidency and presidential system. This would allow him to stay in power as head of the state until 2029. On January 20th, of this year he ordered an attack on Afrin, one of the Kurdish Cantons in the North of Syria, a most peaceful place, commonly known as Rojava. It was invaded after 58 bloody days of fighting, on 18th of March. Recently he brought the Turkish general election forward from Nov 2019 to 24th of June fearful of losing power.

While he still supports terrorist groups, especially Isis, financially and logistically he is a very big threat to innocent people in the US, UK, the rest of Europe, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan and also to peace in the Middle East. So the longer his stay in power the more dangerous it will be for Turkey, the region, Europe and the US.

The question here is why a man with this character and terrible record is not seen as being dangerous? Why was he not faced by hundred of thousands of angry protesters when he visited the UK on 13th of May?

Of course he should have been made unwelcome by a huge number of angry protesters. But the Media and the State in the UK did not want that to happen to avoid embarrassing both the Prime Minster and President Erdogan. The Media here usually silent or only very covers the atrocity that has been going on for so long against Kurdish and activists in Turkey.

As for the Prime Minster and her government, it was not just a matter of being silent about Erdogan and his government. It was business as usual. In fact, the failed coup and suppression of the Kurdish and others by the state of Turkey were beneficial for May’s government. On the same day, she met Erdogan she made a declaration of support for him and denounced the Kurdish as “terrorists” and, since 2016, the UK sold over £1bn of weapons to Turkey.

For those of us who did not know before, we should now know it is not in the interests of the UK to denounce Erdogan as Turkey is one of the strongest members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), of being an important key ally in the fight against “terrorism “and an indispensable partner for future trading in a post-Brexit world.

So the recent demonstrations and protests against the visit of Mr Erdogan on 15th May and of his government have been left for the Kurdish, Turkish and a tiny minority of leftists, Trade unionists, socialist and anarchists. I am not surprised.

Zaher Baher, May 2018

As Israeli arms company Elbit expands, activists’ resistance grows

By Eliza Egret and Tom Anderson

The number of Palestinians who have been killed or maimed in Gaza during the Great Return March protests continues to rise. The death toll currently stands at 119, and more people have been shot or injured in the West Bank.

Uday Abu Khalil

Yesterday, on the 23rd May, Uday Abu Khalil died from his wounds after a sniper shot him in the stomach at a Ramallah demonstration on Nakba day, the date Palestinians remember the Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948.

Meanwhile, Elbit Systems, Israel’s most profitable arms company, continues to expand.

Full article on: Corporate Occupation

 

 

A Bristolian (and a toy fox) who fought ISIS