A sidenote to one statement

Anarchistická Federace

The Internationale of Anarchist Federations has made a statement on the war in Ukraine, but we consider it insufficient.

Operation Solidarity

The Committee on Relations of the Internationale of Anarchist Federations (CRIFA), which met in Marseille on 19-20 March, discussed, among other things, matters relating to the ongoing war in Ukraine. Although there are different views among the member federations on some points, they agreed to continue the discussion. The debate resulted in common positions which were summarised in a compromise statement entitled “Against war, for global solidarity” (full text at the end of this article).

The Czech Anarchist Federation (AF) agreed to the statement because it expresses some general principles that are our own, but is nevertheless very dissatisfied with it internally, and is therefore engaging in further discussion. We come to the joint debate with a statement of our positions, a reference to our activities and the points we consider to be essential. But this is not just an internal debate within the Internationale of Anarchist Federations (IFA), our comments are directed towards the wider anti-authoritarian movement (in particular) in Europe.

So here are the very brief discussion points from AF:

1) We understand the joint IFA statement as a compromise, but it does not fully express our positions.

2) We advocate first and foremost that movement should listen to anarchists in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus.

3) We consider any disregard of their positions and decisions to be arrogant, unempathic, and an expression of ideological supremacy, which we find unacceptable. Eastern Europe has been treated this way by the Western power bloc for long. We do not intend to tolerate anything like this in the international anarchist movement.

4) We fully support both combat and non-combat activities of anarchists in Ukraine. We are familiar with their attitudes and dilemmas. We appreciate their difficult decisions. We refuse to ideologically judge them from the comfort of peaceful areas.

5) We recognize the need to quickly repel the Russian invasion, for the sake of the working class in Ukraine, as well as in Russia and Belarus. The only way to stop this war is through the military defeat of the Russian army. There is currently no sufficiently strong anti-militarist movement in Russia and Belarus to effectively sabotage the attack, and this situation cannot be expected to change in the near future.

6) We find it impertinent to claim that both sides of the war in Ukraine are the same. Putin’s regime is infinitely more brutal than a capitalist democracy, where there are at least some possibilities for the development of anti-authoritarian networks and relationships. Moreover, the Russian army has absolutely no respect for any international human rights conventions; on the contrary, it systematically massacres the civilian population in order to undermine the morale of the defenders. Supporting the armed struggle against the occupiers is therefore a duty for anyone who does not want to completely discredit themselves in the eyes of the Ukrainian people.

7) We disagree with the claim that this is a war between Russia and NATO. Some NATO states are pro-Russian (Hungary), most are staying away or employing only declarations and limited sanctions, aiming to not damage the domestic capital. NATO’s practical support for Ukraine is utterly trivial, hesitant and alibist. NATO has practically sacrificed Ukraine with this approach, leaving the entire burden of the Russian invasion on Ukraine and its people.

8) We actively support the repression-stricken anarchists in Russia and Belarus.

9) We regret that at the international level, anarchists are not able to take a clearer position and, as a whole, provide practical help to the comrades of the affected countries. We are afraid that the defeatist statements will discredit many organisations and collectives in the eyes of our friends from Eastern Europe. We regret to say that Eastern European organisations will unlikely for example cooperate more with the IFA in the face of its failure in responding flexibly and with empathy. This will create a vicious circle of domination by federations not directly affected by the current conflict.

We could, of course, elaborate more, but we do not consider it expedient. We want to listen and provide practical solidarity instead of slogans that appear to be useless in the face of reality.

We want to show that the positions of anarchists outside the imperial centres of Western civilisation are valuable and deserve respect. We understand anarchism as a set of principles capable of responding dynamically to what is happening around us, not as a rigid ideology with no connection to reality. We want to primarily see people and communities, not our own egos trapped in ideological and cultural frameworks.

IFA: Against the war, for global solidarity

The Committee of Relations of the International of Anarchist Federations (CRIFA) met in Marseille on 19-20 March 2022, and discussed matters on the ongoing war in Ukraine. Although there are different views on some points among member Federations, on which we commit to continue exchange and constructive discussion, important common points emerged from the discussion.

We condemn the criminal aggression to Ukraine promoted by the Russian government, alongside all militarisms, and we stand in solidarity with oppressed people from both sides of the border, promoting active support to the victims of the conflict, to refugees, deserters and prisoners from all sides of this war and of its potential expansion. In the contexts in which our different federations operate, we must expose and oppose the role of NATO, the US and the EU in also creating the preconditions for allowing the Russian state to attack its weaker neighbour with the complicity of its puppet, Belarus. We denounce the rise of authoritarianism across the world in recent years, which has seen the growing role of armies in public policies. With the current situation, we especially stress the growing militarization of society in the context of increasing rearmament across the EU, amidst generalized calls for a European Army, to the detriment of social expenditure.

The poor and oppressed people of the world are always the losers in wars. They have become cannon fodder and have been uprooted from their homes, and face poverty and sickness as a result of this war. At the same time, the global bosses continue to work to control the world’s resources. We stand against global capitalism and nationalism that are the causes of war. Instead we have to fight the class war, countering the war industry and public spending on war, and the whole logic of war, and to promote wider horizontal mobilizations of workers and collectivities.

We likewise stress the danger of making the mistake of defending “our” nation or “our” country, highlighting our anti-nationalist and defeatist/refusal positions, as our enemy is in “our” country and it’s “our” national state or national bourgeoisie. Instead we aim to build solidarity amongst all proletarians, and stress the global character of capitalist states.

Confirming our historical values of internationalism, solidarity and global kinship across borders, we confirm our opposition to all crimes and massacres perpetrated by the capital and the state, from the genocide of Black and indigenous peoples that continues today in Brazil, Latin America and all across the Global South, to the destruction of the environments perpetrated by the logic of states, profit and markets which is threatening the very life of our planet.

In the perennial war of the oppressors against the oppressed, we see the worsening of the living conditions of poor people around the world due to the pandemic and regional wars that began in recent years, as a consequence of the growing cost of basic commodities and further spending on armaments due to war economy. We especially stress the tragedy of migrants, marginalized and racialized people who are denied the most basic rights, and we stand alongside the last, the forgotten, the discriminated, against states, capitalism, fascism, racism, patriarchy and exploitation.

Ukraine War video dispatch: North-Eastern European anarchists respond to the Russian narrative

This is the first of, hopefully many, video and written reports from Ukraine and around produced for Freedom by film-maker and journalist Alexis Daloumis. Alexis spent last few weeks in Kiyv, and previously you may have heard of him due to his other production, Belkî Sibê: A Journey Through The Syrian War and Rojava Revolution. (zb)

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COMMON STATEMENT OF APO and DAF AGAINST WAR, FASCISM AND RACISM, SOLIDARITY WITH THE REFUGEES AND IMMIGRANTS!

Anarsist Faaliyet    English version reproduced in full.

War and fascism are the only “response” the system can give to its own deep and total crisis, to its own contradictions that result from its basic principle – the oppression and exploitation of one human being by another.

At a global level, the political and economic bosses are attempting an unconditional attack against the people of the capitalist periphery through war, military operations, subversion of regimes and enforcement of new ones, aiming to control whole areas, sources of wealth, even whole populations. This is a condition in which millions of people are condemned to poverty, sickness and forced immigration as a prerequisite for ensuring the over-accumulation of wealth in the hands of global financial elites and for the rearrangement of geopolitical balance of power in the context of international competitions between global, regional and local powers.

The thousands of refugees and immigrants arriving the last few days in the Greek-Turkish borders with the hope of escaping war and misery, in search of a better life, are coming against the murderous and racist politics of the EU and the Greek State. Military and police forces and parastatal groups have blocked their way. They do not hesitate to use even live ammunition to prevent their passage to the interior of Fortress-Europe.

For the Greek State, adopting the role of the border guard and imposing a modern apartheid in its interior with thousands of refugees and immigrants being trapped in concentration camps, is another statement of its commitment to the policies of European Union and NATO’s war machine, being an integral part of it, participating actively in the war conflicts by sending military forces, warships and missile systems.

For the state of Turkey that continues the war operations, aiming to the extermination of the Kurdish people, and escalates the military intervention and occupation of Northern Syria with the support of Islamist groups, the entrapment of millions of refugees and immigrants in its territory – as a result of the Turkey-EU agreement- and the promotion of thousands of them in the borders of Evros is another tool to serve its political agenda in the wider region of the Middle East.

Both the states of Greece and Turkey are promoting nationalism, intolerance and the rhetoric of hatred within the context of their increasing rivalry. Their target is to spread fear within society, to convince the social majority, which is plundered and brutally exploited by the state and the bosses, that they share common interests with the political and economic ruling elites.

Fascists in Greece are causing the massacre of the immigrants who manage to reach the islands on the Aegean Sea, by preventing them from stepping off the boats on the shore; with the support of the Greek police they are torturing the immigrants at the border line along the Evros river and are sending the immigrants who crossed the river back to the Turkish side of the border. In the same manner, fascists in Turkey are attacking immigrants from Syria who have taken refuge to Turkey, in the neighborhoods, torturing them and threatening to send them to Europe by destroying their homes and shops.

As anarchists from both sides of the Aegean Sea, we believe that the prospect of war societies, of poverty and impoverishment, the resurgence of nationalism and social fascistization will have devastating results to humanity. We are convinced that class and internationalist solidarity between the people, the organized counterattack of the exploited and the overturn of the world of state and capitalism at a global level can set the terms for the creation of a society of prosperity, equality, peace and justice without exploitation, wars and disorienting rivalries.

FREE MOVEMENT AND DECENT LIVING CONDITIONS FOR IMMIGRANTS AND REFUGEES

THE STATES THAT FIGHT AGAINST THE PEOPLE WILL BE DEFEATED

SOLIDARITY WITHOUT BORDERS!

Devrimci Anarşist Faaliyet (DAF) / Turkey

Anarchist Political Organization-Federation of Collectives (ΑPO) / Greece

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