Once it became clear that Trump was going to become the president of the USA, my Facebook feed became cluttered with attempts to understand how that could possibly happen. How could a white supremacist, misogynist and utterly transparent snake oil salesman accumulate so many votes? Those on the left both inside and outside the borders of the USA struggled to understand what had happened.
A common conclusion in too many of these pieces is that the left needs to reach out, and listen to the concerns of, those who voted for him as a priority. In a similar fashion to how sections of the left evaluated Brexit, they see a working class anti-establishment rebellion in the Trump vote from what they term the ‘white working class’. They believe that component was won by Trump because it has been neglected by the left - often, they will assert, because the rest of the left was distracted by what they call identity politics.
As they have driven ISIS back in northern Syria / Rojava the Kurdish YPG and their allies in the SDF have won increasing visibility in western media. While such reports often mention the key role in this fight played by women in the YPJ, there is otherwise little examination of the revolution happening behind the front lines in Rojava. That revolution is why they stood and fought ISIS rather than fleeing. This can be true of a lot of alternative media coverage. In part this is due to the limited amount of information on what this revolution involves. but it’s also in part because photographs of women with guns are judged to be more striking than women workers in a co-operative bakery or a community assembly.
We’ve tried to address this imbalance somewhat, both in our coverage and through bringing a number of Kurdish and other speakers over to talk at the Dublin Anarchist Bookfair. They spoke about what is happening behind the front lines. What is it that is being constructed that so many have judged is worth going to the front lines to defend against ISIS? Our speakers this year included Erjan Ayboga author of ‘Revolution in Rojava’ and US academic Janet Biehl who has visited the region twice since the revolution to investigate what is happening on the ground.
Why can’t the 99% simply vote in a government that acts in their interest and not that of the 1%
At a simple level parliamentary elections sound like the ideal way for the mass of the ‘have nots’ to use their numbers to overcome the power and influences of the tiny number of have’s. Occupy talked about this division in the language of the 1% and 99%; a crude approximation that does reflect a reality where the number of wealthy decision makers is actually very tiny, indeed less than 1%. So, why can’t the 99% simply vote in a government that acts in their interest and not that of the 1%? [Listen to this article]
These are the videos and audios I recorded at this years Dublin anarchist bookfair
Our inital reaction once it became clear that Trump was going to carry the electoral college vote. These 11 points were sent out via the WSM Twitter.
1. Reacting to Trump - part of pattern with Brexit - revolt against established neoliberal order led by reactionary super wealthy
2. Need to organise for massive transformation. Massive in numbers, massive in geographical spread, massive in scope.
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.
Listening to Morning Ireland on regime radio on the 7th of November we were surprised to hear the word lock out used only in the context of pupils being locked out of schools. The term has been carefully avoided when it comes to the teachers locked out by their employers.]
Thousands of teachers are locked out of their place of work that morning despite turning up as normal. The ASTI twitter account has sent many photos of teachers standing outside closed schools around the country, some 60% of secondary schools are closed.
Over the night of 3rd November the Turkish state moved to deepen the repression directed against the HDP, the party that got the 3rd largest share of the vote in the last two elections. Arrest warrants have been issued for at least 15 of that parties members of parliament including it’s two co-chairs. At the same time the state moved to shut down social media in the country with access to Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram and WhatsApp being blocked.
Monday night saw dozens of anti-racist campaigners gather at the French embassy to protest the eviction of Calais refugee camp. France is heading into an election and the eviction which will see thousands of people taken out of the camp is seen as an election stunt by President Hollande seeking to win right wing votes.
If we were to bullet point everything that is wrong is this country we’d fill all 4 pages of this leaflet. From the denial of Bodily Autonomy to Direct Provision racism to the control of our media by one super rich villain we face a system of interconnected elements designed to ensure the rule of the most privileged 0.1% of the population who divide & control the rest of us. And when we look outside this island it only gets worse, we live in a world where oil companies are driving us into climate disaster on the one hand and where European politicians have imposed border controls that have killed over 15,000 people fleeing the war’s our governments created in the middle east.
A lot of people are resisting these policies and fighting for real change. Every now and again a victory is won in one area, although often riven with compromises and incomplete. Winning the Marriage Equality referendum was one such example, forcing the suspension of Water Charges another. But, particularly on the global level, it can feel like an impossible whack-a-mole game as for every victory that is won another 50 bad moles are popping up elsewhere.