And a happy new year for everyone. Better late than never. While 2016 personally was great, globally it was a bit of a bummer. Not least Carrie Fisher at the year’s end. George Michael's was sad: never was a big Wham! fan (or, indeed, any sort of fan as a lot of the early stuff was terrible) but musically some of his songs were good and he had an excellent voice (the only person I could see replacing Freddie in front of Queen - as shown by "Somebody to Love"). However, post his "little incident" (and "Outside" is a great disco song), I became more of a fan -- not least for his concerts for NHS staff, general acts of kindness and his anti-war comments (never expected to utter the words "if only the Prime Minister had listened to the lead-singer of Wham! things would be a lot better"). Which shows you why liberty and equality is so important - people should not be forced to hide who they are. So Xmas could have been better...
Revolution in Rojava” is an eye-witness account on the experience of creating a bottom up social order which actively challenges all forms of oppression and exploitation. The struggle in Rojava (a mostly Kurdish region north of Syria), despite the extent of counterrevolutionary and imperialist forces aligned against it, continues to nurture an autonomous, grassroots resistance across its multiply ethno-religious communities.
The small town of Ballaghaderreen recently found out that it would be welcoming some 82 refugees in the near future. About half of these are minors and most of those are under 12 including 13 under the age of 4. There were the predictable attempts by neo-nazis to whip up hate online and someone even distributed about 80 British fascist leaflets in the town. But rather than hate taking hold the town held a standing room only welcoming meeting last Thursday. We asked one of the organisers, Jessamine O Connor, to tell us how this happened.
The wave of repression unleashed by the Turkish state against the left and the Kurdish freedom movement that has seen tens of thousands fired from their jobs and thousands jailed, including many HDP MPs,has also hit the anarchist movement there. We heard last night that Hüseyin Civan has been sentenced to 15 months for editing the anarchist paper Meydan Gazetesi.
Well, not blogged for a while. Sorry, but as John Lennon said, “life is what happens when you are busy making other plans”. So a few words on “union bosses”, progress on Modern Science and Anarchy and a summary of the meetings from October – before the all-important wishing everyone a happy winter solstice and a better 2017!
It has emerged that Mike Israel, the US YPG volunteer who fell fighting ISIS in Rojava on the 24th was a member of the IWW. Initial reports of his killing alongside a German - Anton Leschek - volunteer indicated they may have been the victims of a Turkish airstrike but said they had been killed north of Raqqa where its unlikely Turkish jets would be attacking. The Manbij Military Council has released a statement confirming they were killed in a Turkish attack near Manbij where Turkish jets have carried out dozens of attacks on the SDF.
Saturday 19 November saw a mass fascist attack on an anarchist bookstore in France in the aftermath of a fundamentalist catholics rally of the SPXX organisation which in Ireland is central to the anti-choice movement.
People have been making a natural comparison between the Trump victory and the Brexit referendum result back in June. The comparison is natural because in both cases anti-immigrant hysteria and racism was used to agitate and energize the passions of a grassroots base which drew its support from new roots put down into politically alienated sections of the working class, many voting for the first time. But we need to recognise the differences as well as the commonalities.
As the massive rebellion against the racist borders of Fortress Europe rolls from Spring through the Summer to Autumn & now Winter conditions are becoming very much more dangerous. According to Al Jazerra since the photos of the drowned today of Alan Kurdi shocked so many into action at least another 71 children have died on the route.
The Barricade Inn is up in the High Court today as a legal firm seek to evict one of the most interesting spaces to grace Dublin city centre in the last months. Whether the courts find for a group of people with no funds or a law company will tell you a lot about the sort of country you live in. A country where thousands are homeless while 300,000 homes lie empty. The video was shot outside yesterday evening as we helped to move materials inside to a secure location ahead of the court hearing. The statement that follows was released by The Barricade Inn yesterday.