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The uprising in Syria against the totalitarian dictatorship of Bashar al Assad is now in its fourth year. What began in March 2011 in the southern city of Daraa with schoolboys spraypainting the slogan from Egypt, “The People Demand the Fall of the Regime,” soon became mass protests of all sects that spread across the country as brutal repression met tenacious resolve. Soldiers who disobeyed orders to open fire on protesters mutinied and formed the Free Syrian Army (FSA) to protect protesters from repression. Regular mass protests and popular councils sustained a vibrant rebellion. But at the time of writing, ISIS and the Assad regime are winning a war that has cost over 160,000 lives and destroyed huge swathes of the country, displacing millions. After communicating for almost two years via skype and facebook I finally had a chance to meet Anarch, a comrade from Syria with whom I had been exchanging messages for so long. He is from the neighbourhood of Bustan al Basha in Aleppo. This is our interview.
The Platform - Magazine of Anarchist Affinity from Melbourne
The Revolutionary Confederation of Anarcho-Syndicalists - N. I. Makhno (Революционная конфедерация анархо-синдикалистов им. Н. И. Махно), established in Ukraine in 1994, was one of the most famous anarchist organizations which emerged from the former Soviet Union. Platformist in essence, the organization managed to assemble a cohort of vigorous activists who wanted to adopt a strategic and responsible approach to the question of achieving a libertarian society. The RKAS survived many troubles, it was involved in the miners' strike and had several long-tem projects, but it was not without its internal squabbles and splits. Over the past year, however, the organization has been heard from less and less. To find out what had happened to the RKAS, and also hear their opinion on the current events in Ukraine, our Russia-based comrades of Autonomous Action interviewed a comrade from the RKAS, Samurai. [http://www.anarkismo.net/article/27252]
In 1871, Karl Marx wrote that governments use war as a fraud, a ‘humbug, intended to defer the struggle of the classes’. In 1914, that fraud was so effective that not only most workers but also most Marxists supported their respective nation’s rush to war. Ever since then, governments have used war to defer class struggle and prevent revolution. But this strategy cannot last forever.
In Israel, racism and extremism are exploding. It began shortly after the kidnapping of three Israeli boys—Naftali, Gilad and Eyal—in Gush Etzion, that led to the assault in Gaza which has seen over 1,000 killed. A Facebook page calling for the murder of Palestinians went viral. In one photo, a soldier posed broodingly with his gun, the word "vengeance" written on his chest. In another two teenage girls smiled happily with a banner that read: “Hating Arabs is not racism, it’s values.”
Presented by Art Forces, the Estria Foundation and NorCal Friends of Sabeel, the Oakland Palestine Solidarity Mural is a monumental work of public art located in Uptown Oakland on 26th Street between Telegraph and Broadway. The mural pays homage to the history of Bay Area public art and expresses solidarity with Palestinians as bombs continue to fall on Gaza.
The images from Gaza are searing, a gallery of death and horror. A dishevelled Palestinian man cries out in agony, his blood-soaked little brother dead in his arms. On a filthy hospital bed a boy of perhaps five or six screams for his father, his head and body lacerated by shrapnel. A teenage girl lies on a torn stretcher, her limbs awry, her face and torso blackened like a burnt steak. Mourners weep over a family of 18 men, women and children laid side by side in bloodied shrouds. Four boys of a fishing family named Bakr, all less than 12 years old, are killed on a beach by rockets from Israeli aircraft.
OVERVIEW: There is a healthy skepticism among many activists about simple grand plans, arising partly from disastrous Marxist experiments like the Soviet Union. But the opposite — faith that struggles spontaneously reach the best outcomes if freed of theory and plans — has serious problems. Many struggles falter or are captured as old mistakes are made again. Capitalism and the state cannot be defeated by a growing wave of loosely linked alternative “spaces” and experiments. These systems are based on coercion and exploitation; their defeat requires large-scale confrontation by a coordinated bottom-up working class counter-power with clear politics. The point of resistance is to change the world: it is not an aim in itself, just a response; a politics fetishising perpetual resistance must rely on a world of oppression. Closing discussion by labeling views “dogmatic” is a recipe for imposing other positions and elites through the backdoor. There is no need to repeat the tragic errors of the past. Other revolutionary theories from working class struggles – like anarchism and syndicalism — share no blame for the failures of vanguardism and reformism, and have valuable insights on building a participatory, transformative, project of “people’s power,” and on moving from resistance to reconstruction.It is important to speak openly about theory, strategy and vision, and to engage openly with the revolutionary traditions of the popular classes, like anarchism and syndicalism, born of our past struggles, and distilled from those struggles.
One hundred years ago today, Germany declared war on Belgium and Britain declared war on Germany. Starting with the assassination of an Archduke in Sarajevo on 28 June, an escalating series of mobilisations and declarations over five weeks ended up being the first truly World War.
The joint struggles in the locations of regular weekly activities of Bil'in, Ni'lin, Ma'sara, Sheikh Jarrah, Nabi Saleh, Qaddum, Western Hills of Hebron, in the weekend actions and some in between, have focused on the war on Gaza as the more obvious aspect of the occupation. Today, it seems Israel has failed to establish a weakened but independent power in the Gaza Strip - mainly because the atrocities by Israel have failed to recruit international pressure on Egypt to open the siege of Gaza enough. It seems there will be a revival of the accord between Hamas and the West Bank Palestinian Authority that Israel has invested so much effort into sabotaging. It is not clear yet what the the details will be and how the latest Israeli atrocities will influence pressure from the imperial powers on Israel to end the 1967 occupation. Latest news: Israel has started to retreat its forces from the Gaza Strip with no resolution and with rockets still being fired on Israel. [http://www.anarkismo.net/article/27234]
The present Gaza war was started before the actual shooting, by Egypt's blockade of the Gaza Strip, intended to break the rule of Hamas due to it being a part of the Islamic Brotherhood movement. [http://www.anarkismo.net/article/27222] [http://www.anarkismo.net/article/27286]
As talks to end a 50-year war hang in the balance, violent repression carries on – and the US and Britain stand behind it
Egypt insists on dissolving the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood offshoot, Hamas, in the Gaza Strip. Israel "just" wants to sabotage the yielding/compromise by Hamas to the Palestinian West Bank Authority. The relevant political context for the present round begins in November 2012, with the agreement between Israel and Hamas under Egyptian sponsorship. [http://www.anarkismo.net/article/27193] [http://www.anarkismo.net/article/27205]