Bristol Fundraiser and pamphlet launch 14th December 2019

We are very pleased to announce a BAF fundraiser DJ night and a pamphlet launch of the Bristol Radical History Group’s “Facing the Fascists”, a history of the Anti Nazi League in Bristol.

Pamphlet launch and intro to Bristol Antifascists from 8pm and first DJ from 8.30pm. DJs playing a liberated mix of punk, ska, 80s/90s classics and jungle!

14th December at the Plough, 223 Easton Road, Easton, BS5 0EG.

facebook event

Class struggle events listing, Nov 25-Dec 1st

Cautiously pessimistic
Another quickish listing of upcoming events for the next week. In passing, I’d just like to plug the new Spycops resource, and also to mention that the Nottingham College dispute has ended after a new deal was accepted, as has the one by non-academic staff at the University of Birmingham.

The big thing coming up soon is the eight days of strike action being taken at around 60 universities over pensions, pay and conditions by UCU members, from Monday 25th through to Wednesday 4th December. A similar ballot by Unison members working in non-academic roles returned a majority favouring strike action, but didn’t pass the 50% turnout needed. Having said that, UCU Left advise that “Successful pay ballots allow other workers who are not in UCU to participate in strikes. (It is unlawful for employers to discriminate by union membership and branches can extract statements from HR to that effect.)” So non-academic workers at affected universities are probably best off contacting their local branch to work out what to do. For anyone wanting resources, I’m not aware of a strike bulletin this time round, but the Autonomous Design Group have some nice poster designs, and the IWW and Unis Resist Border Controls have made some useful leaflets, the latter being multilingual.

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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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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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Jacob Rees-Mogg’s Grenfell comments show us what the Tories really think about people of colour

It’s our fervent wish that Rees mogg finds himself trapped in a burning building real soon, so we can see how clever he is. If it’s the house of commons, so much the better.  – Ed.

gal-dem

Header image by Carcharoth

You could be forgiven for thinking that in this day and age, certain false narratives like the myth of meritocracy and racial superiority are a thing of the past. Not so, felt Jacob Rees-Mogg, who this week decided to test his usually teflon-tongue, speaking on Nick Ferrari’s radio show about the report on Grenfell Tower. When asked about the causes of the 72 reported casualties, attributed in part to race and class discrimination that meant their concerns about the cladding went unheard until they burned to their deaths, he chose to partially blame the victims themselves for not ignoring the fire brigades’ advice and fleeing the building.

He then compounded this narrative of how, and on whom, to apportion blame by asserting that, unlike the black and brown working class victims, “you and I” (the interviewer and himself) would have had the “common sense” to know better than to listen to the fire brigade. Despite the fact that any reasonable person might suspect the fire brigade are experts on fire safety, Jacob claims he would have exited and fled to safety. It is not immediately clear what distinction Jacob draws that holds himself and Nick on one side and the Grenfell inhabitants on another. But, Jacob and Nick are both white men, both Leave voters and both drive (and enjoy talking about) their expensive cars, a Jaguar for Mr Ferarri and at least one Bentley for Jacob. Or to put it simply, whilst the Grenfell victims were people of colour and poor, Jacob and Nick are both white and rich.

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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.

#memory161 – International Campaign in Memory of Antifascists Murdered by Neo-Nazis Nov 10 – Dec 20, 2019

Anarchists Worldwide

★ English ★

November 16, 2019 marks the 10th anniversary of the assassination of Ivan “Kostolom” Khutorskoi- a comrade, friend and elder brother.

He was a significant member of the anti-fascist movement in the beginning of the millennium, one of the leaders of RASH-Moscow. Ivan not only inspired people for the struggle against neo-Nazis who created a lawless environment on the streets of Russian cities, he was an example for us, thanks to his personal qualities: moral courage, devotion to friends, responsibility and kindness. It is impossible to overestimate his contribution to the anti-fascist scene in the Eastern Europe countries.

We launch a campaign in memory of Ivan and other anti-fascists who died at the hands of right-wing radicals in 21st century.

We ask you to join the solidarity actions in your city from November 10 to December 10: draw a graffiti, place a banner during football match, make a campaign or an commemoration event. All ideas are welcome. A movie about Ivan is available with the subtitles in different languages https://youtu.be/P_pfgPf3PG0

Post the photo and text for the campaign with the hashtag #memory161 or/and send it to memory161(at)riseup(dot)net. We also collect information about anti-fascists from all over the world murdered by neo-Nazis and other right-wing extremists during last 20 years. Please send photos and texts as well as clarifying questions to memory161(at)riseup(dot)net

Distribute this text, information about solidarity actions and campaigns among your comrades and on the anti-fascist resources of your cities and countries.

No one is forgotten, nothing is forgotten.

★ Russian ★ German ★ Dutch ★ Ukrainian ★ Polish ★ Hebrew ★ Romanian ★ Greek ★ Spanish ★ Portuguese ★ Italian ★ Swedish ★ French ★ Croatian ★ Finnish ★