Rojava revolution - A look at Co-operatives & assemblies - video with commentary in the text

Slide from video presentationAs 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 elections fail to bring about real change - the 10 filters that make them ineffective for the radical left

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]

Video & audio from the 10th Dublin anarchist bookfair

These are the videos and audios I recorded at this years Dublin anarchist bookfair

11 initial reactions to the election of Trump

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.

Trump versus Brexit

Donald TrumpPeople 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.

Why didn't RTE say teachers were locked out on November 7th?

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.

Repression escalates in Turkey with mass arrest of HDP MPs - protests held in Dublin

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.

Anti racism campaigners demonstrate against Calais eviction at French embassy in Dublin

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.  

We have a world to change

So much to fight against

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.

From Russia with Critique

Why bother with the Russian Revolution? The Soviet Union, rightly, has been classed as a failed, horrific, experiment since its collapse in 1991 so what is the benefit to have yet another book on it? There are three main reasons why this excellent book is worth your time.

First, a great many socialists still believe in what one of its authors, Alexander Berkman, labelled The Bolshevik Myth and are busy trying to reproduce what the Bolsheviks did. They need facts, not fairy tales. Second, revolutions have a habit of breaking out when least expected and learning the lessons from previous ones makes sense. Third, these are the works of two of the world’s leading revolutionary anarchists seeking to do both of these important tasks when it was deeply unfashionable to do so – in the 1920s and 1930s.

  


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