Autonomous Organizations of Oaxaca Demand Freedom for Fredy García and an End to the Criminalization of Social Movements

Voices in movement

On November 6, 2019, Fredy García Ramírez, of the Indigenous organization CODEDI, was detained in Oaxaca and charged with various fabricated crimes. This communique comes from the Council of Autonomous Oaxacan Organizations (COOA), demanding freedom for Fredy García and an end to the criminalization of social movements.

Council of Autonomous Oaxacan Organizations (COOA)

Oaxaca de Flores Magón, City of Resistance

November 11, 2019

The Indigenous organizations that make up the Council of Autonomous Oaxacan Organizations (COOA): APIIDTT (Asamblea de los Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio), CINPA (Coordinadora Indígena Popular Autónoma), CODEDI (Comité por la Defensa de los Derechos Indígenas), OIDHO (Organizaciones Indias por los Derechos Humanos en Oaxaca), UCIO-EZ (Unión Campesina-Indígena de Oaxaca ‘Emiliano Zapata´), outraged by the increasing repression against our organizations and the Indigenous and popular movement in general, declare the following:

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Unquiet Graves Uncovering Britain’s Secret War in Ireland

Bristol Radical History Group

Unquiet Graves Poster

Between 1972 and 1978 more than 120 innocent civilians in Northern Ireland were murdered. Documentary director Sean Murray set out to investigate and found disturbing evidence of collusion between the Royal Ulster Constabulary, the Ulster Defence Regiment and loyalist death squads. Sean Murray will present the documentary.

“…outstanding documentary film-making combining in-depth research and personal testimony to expose the undeniable truth of state collusion and its fatal consequences.” Phil Scraton, author “Hillsborough: The Truth”.

More information:

Tickets here:

Indigenous Communities of Aquila, Michoacán, Face Violence from Narco-Affiliated Group

Voices in movement

The communities of Aquila, Michoacán, who for years have organized territorial and armed self-defense, continue to face violence at the hands of a criminal group affiliated with the Jalisco New Generation Cartel. This communique gives an overview of recent aggressions carried out against the communities of Aquila.

Aquila, Michoacán

November 8, 2019

To the People of Maquili, San Miguel Aquila, Estanzuela, Corralitos, La Naranja, El Otate, La Minita El Guasimal, La Roblera, La Lima, Soliman, Puerto de Xayacate, El Ocote, Tierras Aradas

To the Communities of the Municipality of Aquila

To the National Indigenous Congress

To the Indigenous Communities of the Country

To the National and International Media that have been attentive to what is happening in Michoacán and the Sierra-Coast

To the Federal and State Security Institutions

By means of this communique, we inform everyone of the presence of a criminal group at the command of Agustín Villanueva Ramírez and Cemeí Antonio Verdía Zepeda, former members of self-defense groups.

These people have agreed to hand over the Indigenous communities of the municipality of Aquila and their natural resources to the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) with the objective to initiate criminal operations like extorsion, kidnapping, disappearances, assassinations, rent fees, the illegal exploitation of natural resources and drug trafficking. That is to say, all the activities of organized crime.

Agustin Villanueva Ramírez and Cemeí Verdía Zepeda are the masterminds of the following acts that occurred in our community of San Miguel de Aquila. This is the record we have made as citizens:

October 8, 2019: Ambush of the Communal Guard of Aquila in the location known as La Naranja, with two members of the security forces injured.

October 10, 2019: Assassination of community member of Aquila, Miguel Sandoval Zambrano, shot dead.

October 28, 2019: Failed entry of the criminal group pertaining to the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) to take over the town of San Miguel de Aquila.

November 3, 2019: Ambush and assassination of Abigail Farias Fernández as well as various members of the Communal Guard injured.

November 4, 2019: Disappearance of Mario Alberto García Alcalá.

November 4, 2019: Another failed attempt by the same criminal group of the CJNG to enter and position themselves in Aquila.

November 7, 2019: People from Corralitos, La Naranja, Otate and La Minita report that a group led by Villanueva and Verdía are not allowing access to the community center of San Miguel Aquila, holding it hostage. The surrounding ranches are incommunicado and without indispensable services like food and supplies. They are not allowing them to go to work, that it to say, impeding their right to free transit.

Those of us who are releasing this communique also warned of the social network campaign that people at the service of this criminal group have carried out to defame the security work being carried out by the Communal Guard of Aquila. The Communal Guard has for five years have maintained peace in the communities throughout the municipality, in coordination with other legitimate security groups. There are false accounts in different social networks but the inhabitants of San Miguel Aquila, we are observing and investigating the true events taking place.

Finally, we solicit the municipal president Mohamed Ramírez Méndez to organize so that the different orders of government intervene to guarantee peace and tranquility that the residents and our communities need to have a life of freedom.

To the state and federal governments, we solicit a joint operation for the detention of these criminals at the command of CJNG, with Agustín Villanueva and Cemeí Antonio Verdía Zepeda as their masterminds.

Citizens of San Miguel Aquila and the surrounding ranches.

Eyewitnesses to the Rojava revolution: women empowerment

ROAR Magazine

Protest against Turkish invasion in Serekaniye, Rojava. July, 2019 Photo: Olmo Couto / Shutterstock.com

The Rojava revolution is under attack. Debbie Bookchin and Emre Şahin share their thoughts on this unique revolutionary process after recently visiting the region.

Authors: Debbie Bookchin, Emre Şahin, Marina Sitrin

What has been taking place in Rojava is easily one of the most inspiring and exciting experiments in autonomous self-government to ever exist. It is also one of the most massive, and gender inclusive, often compared to the Spanish Revolution of 1936, as well as the Zapatistas in Chiapas, Mexico. And yet, people outside the region know little about the different dimensions of the revolution taking place in Rojava. And now, this revolutionary territory is under military and political attack — its very existence at risk.

What follows is the first of a three part interview series with people who have had ongoing relationship to Rojava, and who have spent time in the revolutionary territory. The first two parts of the series are with Debbie Bookchin and Emre Şahin. Debbie, a journalist, author, public speaker and organizer is Murray Bookchin’s daughter and spent a part of the spring of 2019 in Rojava. Emre, a Kurdish PhD student and translator, spent most of the summer of 2019, traveling to 14 different towns and cities in Rojava, conducting research and in-depth interviews.

The third part is an interview with Carne Ross, Executive Director of Independent Diplomat and author. Carne left his career as a British diplomat, having served in numerous embassies and was Head of the Middle East section and Deputy Head of Political Section at the UK Mission to the United Nations. Carne made the film, Accidental Anarchist, based on his time in Rojava.

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Member of the Indigenous Organization CODEDI Arbitrarily Detained in Oaxaca

Voices in Movement

State repression against the Indigenous organization, CODEDI, continues in Oaxaca. Yesterday, November 6, compañero Fredy García Ramírez was detained by state forces. Below we publish a communique from CODEDI regarding the arrest.

To the People of Oaxaca

To the National and International Human Rights Organizations

To the Free and Paid Media

To our sister organizations, we denounce that today, November 6, 2019, at approximately 7:00 pm, our compañero Fredy García Ramírez was detained.

Fredy is part of the Political Commission of the Committee for the Defense of Indigenous Rights (CODEDI). The arrest was carried out by elements of the State Investigations Agency. He was detained in the company of a compañero who has already been released.

The arrest took place when our compañeros were in route to a meeting with functionaries of the government. This makes us think that this was a set-up, just like two years ago when a vehicle carrying compañerxs of CODEDI was ambushed. In that ambush, three people were killed, including two minors. On that day also, compañeros of CODEDI were summoned to a meeting with the government.

We see that the government doesn’t change its methods to silence the voices of resistance. All of this takes place within the framework of mobilizations being carried out against impunity, for justice and for human rights. We were denouncing the criminalization, persecution and harassment against the communities that make up the organization CODEDI and the ten assassinations against the organizations that participated in these mobilizations. Five of these assassinations have taken place since 2017 against members of our organization.

We demand the immediate liberation of our compañero and that the demands that were made in today’s mobilizations be met.

Committee for the Defense of Indigenous Rights, CODEDI

The life and death of Ivan Khutorskoy, antifascist. #memory161

Ivan ‘Vanya Kostolom’ Khutorskoy, was a skinhead, a lawyer, a talented martial artist and a fearless antifascist. As we approach the tenth anniversary of his assassination in Moscow on the 16th November 2009, here is some biographical material from his friends and comrades.

Libcom article: A gentle bonecrusher – The life and death of Ivan Khutorskoy

No Friends But The Mountains

Anarchist Communist Group

The Kurds have entered into alliances with local States and imperialist powers, always to be betrayed. After World War One, they were promised their own state by the victorious imperialist forces of Britain, France and the USA. These promises, enshrined in the Treaty of Sevres in 1920, proved to be worthless, and anyway it was always about how the great powers would carve up the old Ottoman Empire.

The Kurdistan depicted in the Treaty of Sevres would have been under British control. Some Kurdish nationalists supported this, but others sided with the Turkish nationalist military leader Kemal Ataturk to fight the Allied powers. These Muslim Kurds preferred Ottoman or Turkish nationalist control to domination by a Christian power. Others feared that the British would re-introduce Armenians – who had fled after the genocidal attacks on them by the Turks – would be re-introduced to the region. This was a decision to be regretted by the Kurds as they experienced the reality of life under the Ataturk regime.

The British had occupied the oil-rich province of Mosul, where many Kurds lived, in 1918. The following year Mosul was incorporated into the newly created Iraq. The Treaty of Sevres promised the Iraqi Kurds the chance to be part of this projected Kurdistan, a promise never to be fulfilled.

In 1920 Shaykh Mahmud Barzanji led an uprising of the Iraqi Kurds against British rule and declared a Kurdish kingdom in northern Iraq. At first the British had backed Barzanji, who they saw as offering a convenient buffer territory between their interests in Iraq and the Turkish state. He had become increasingly resentful about the failure of the British to keep their promises. He was wounded, captured and imprisoned in India until 1922.

However, the British now decided to bring him back to stabilise the area against the Turkish nationalists and he was installed as governor of south Kurdistan, but after his return he proclaimed himself King of Kurdistan, turned down the British deal and allied with Turkey. Barzanji was defeated and captured again in 1932. He sued for peace and was exiled to southern Iraq. During the series of uprisings against the British, the RAF used bombs and chemical weapons against Kurdish insurgents.

In 1968 the USA supported the coming to power in Iraq of the Ba’athist Party, which promptly began to attack the Kurds in that country. In the 1970s it supported the Shah of Iran as its ally in the region, and gave support to the Kurds against Iraq. When war between Iran and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq ended suddenly in 1975, Iran dropped its Kurdish allies and the Americans stopped supplying them with military aid. The Kurds then were at the mercy of Saddam.

In the 1980s The USA saw Saddam as a useful regional ally, particularly with the fall of the Shah and the Islamic Revolution in 1979 in Iran. The Americans turned a blind eye to Saddam’s atrocities against the Kurds. This changed again in 1990 with Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait. He was now the enemy of the USA and American support was given to Kurdish and Shiite revolts in Iraq. However with the declaration of a Kurdish autonomous zone in northern Iraq, the USA failed to provide assistance and the revolt was crushed.

With the Syrian civil war, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) of Turkey, who had been waging a war against the Turkish State, in alliance with its proxy, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) took over parts of Syria from the Assad regime. They defended themselves against attacks from the Islamic State. The Americans, seeking an ally in the region, at first supported the Kurds against ISIS with air attacks, and then later with financial and military aid. The Kurds had once again become a proxy of the USA.

All of this changed with Trump’s abrupt decision to desert the Kurds and to allow the Turkish state to attack the Kurdish area in Syria. But, once again, Trump has reversed his position of pulling US troops out of Syria, under pressure from both Democrats and Republicans, and the criticisms of many retired military leaders. What this means for the Kurds in Syria remains to be seen.

As for Russia, it initially gave support to the PYD and its military units, the YPG. Now, however, Russia’s uneasy alliance with the Erdogan regime in Turkey means that Putin has given the green light for YPG forces to be pushed back from the Turkish/Syrian border. Putin met with Erdogan at the Black Sea resort of Sochi last week, and there it was agreed that Russian troops in Syria would not intervene to stop the advance of the Turkish forces. For its part, the PYD has agreed for the return of control of north east Syria to Assad and his forces. The PYD might switch allegiances and go into alliance with Russia, which will cynically play them off against the Turkish State, and then in time-honoured fashion, drop the Kurds when they are no longer deemed useful. Putin’s support of the Assad regime is still a priority and comes before any support for the Kurds.

We should also be aware of the demands by the German Defence Minister, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer to set up a security zone in the area and send thousands of troops there. This represents a move by the Franco-German bloc in Europe to intervene for its own interests.

Meanwhile, across the border in northern Iraq, the USA still supports the Kurdish autonomous region ruled by the Barzani family. However, this support has its limits. After an independence referendum with a 93% vote of Yes, in 2017, the USA used its troops to support Iraqi forces to push the Kurds back into their enclave and the areas taken by the Kurds in 2014, including Kirkuk and its oilfields, were retaken by the Iraqi government. This is in spite of the role that Kurdish forces had played in driving out ISIS from most of Iraq.

There is an old Kurdish saying that the Kurds have no friends but the mountains. Any attempt by the Kurds to ally with world imperialist powers as well as regional imperialist powers like Iran, have proven time and again to be disastrous. The Kurds are used as proxies, as cannon fodder for the interests of these powers in a danger zone where the USA and its British and European allies, and Russia and its allies of Syria and Iran, are in confrontation.

Only a revolutionary movement that unites Kurdish, Turkish, and Arab workers and sweeps away the ruling class in the Middle East, whether it be the Barzani family, the theocratic regime in Iran, the Assad regime in Syria and Erdogan in Turkey, can offer any real solution to the situation.