Why are Anarchists and Libertarians divided over Rojava?

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zaher
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Jul 29 2015 11:56
Why are Anarchists and Libertarians divided over Rojava?

By Zaher Baher from Haringey Solidarity Group and Kurdistan Anarchists Forum.
14/07/2015

Like leftists and communists, anarchists and libertarians have been divided over Rojava. Some of them are very supportive and optimistic about the future of this experiment and the others are skeptical and suspicious.

There are many factors contributing to this. Some of these factors apply not just to anarchists, libertarians and others, but to the Kurdish people too. So this article may also be the answer to those Kurdish people who frequently ask why they do not receive support from political groups and ordinary people, not just about Rojava, but about any event in any part of Kurdistan.

The main factors are:

First: the attitude of individuals in Kurdish communities who live in Europe and other countries. Although many of us were born or have lived in these countries for a long time, we have not played a big role in introducing Kurdish issues including Rojava to the ordinary people in the countries where we reside, let alone to the anarchists and libertarians.

Of course, I am not talking about those Kurdish who are already members or supportive of the Kurdish political parties who do not like PKK and PYD, but about the supporters of Rojava. A large number of us (Kurdish) have been spread over all Europe and the US. If we want support for Rojava or any other part of Kurdistan, we need to get closer to the people in these countries and consider ourselves a part of this society.

It is a bitter fact that not many of us (Kurdish) think the country we live in is our country, its society our society. We do not think any changes in its politics, economy, education, housing, welfare rights, law & order and many more, directly affect us. We do not believe we are affected by immigration laws, though we are like many more black people and people from different ethnic minorities facing racism and discrimination from police and employers. Regardless of what happens, the majority of us are still silent and do nothing to get together with others to fight back.

While we share all the above issues with the vast majority of the people in any country we live in - and while some of these problems hit us harder - still we remain ignorant. We therefore do not participate in independent local groups, not going to demos, protests, not supporting the workers while they are on strike and on picket lines. We do not take a part in other campaigns to improve communities, whether the campaigns are local or national. So how can we expect non-Kurdish people to know us and support our causes including Rojava?

Second: The way we do our demos and protests. We do not know how to introduce our cause to passers-by or local people. The actual cause that we organize demos or protests for is usually lost among so many irrelevant placards, banners, Kurdish flags and pictures of leaders. We chant some useless and expired nationalist anthems. Because of this our demos and protests fail to deliver our purpose and just remain attractive to ourselves. While this is our way and our manner to introduce our causes to people, how can we expect them to know the exact situation, let’s say in Rojava?

Third: The historical bitter experiences that the anarchist/libertarian movements have had since the first International Workingmen’s Association in 19th century. They were involved heavily and supported by the Association, but were later kicked out and accused. This was followed in 20th century by bloody experiences with Bolsheviks, and then by the Spanish civil war in 1936/37. This history has repeated itself in different countries throughout the last century. Because of these terrible and bloody experiences many individual anarchists and anarchist groups remain very cautious in approaching Rojava.

In Rojava and Bakur (Northern Kurdistan-Turkey Kurdistan) we see a couple of powerful political parties, PKK and PYD, who have been heavily involved with both movements. This makes some anarchists struggle to understand or see the big steps that both movements are taking towards social revolution. They still look at PKK and its movement through the glasses of the end of the last century and beginning of this century. There is no doubt PKK did terrible things at that time: even Ocalan himself acknowledged that there was involvement in terrorist acts toward its own people and people outside of the party.

However, many anarchists do not see there is an internal struggle inside PKK over ideas and principles of anarchism: between the minority who tend towards anarchism and the majority who would prefer to keep the party's structure as it has always been. I am sure the outcome of this struggle will be positive. It is not realistic to expect that PKK and PYD as a party will give up hierarchical organization. They cannot be transformed into an anarchist organization as a whole. However, a quick look at PKK’s history shows that it has changed and made many positive steps. For example, they do not believe in a nation state and the notion of United Kurdistan; to a certain extent they, or a proportion of them, are anti power, anti authority. They transferred their weight to the towns to keep the struggles among the workers and poor people; they are in the process of abandoning the guerrilla war and are involved in peace processes. They also believe in freedom: in people living together in peace and harmony regardless of their differences in ethnicity, religion, and gender. They are very serious about the environment and ecology issues and also believe in social revolution. They support forming radical local groups, believing in direct democracy and direct action. Not acknowledging the above comes either from arrogance or from simple ignorance and an inability to read the situation properly.

In my opinion the best attitude towards Rojava is “supportive and being critical” at the same time. Criticizing it alone and keeping distance from it does not benefit our current anarchist movement. This attitude again shows incapability of recognizing the reality of the movement, and would bring the blame of history over us. Meanwhile supporting it without criticizing its negative sides again shows that we do not see this movement realistically. Having this attitude, once the movement fails to meet our demands, we will be very disappointed and keep ourselves a far distance from any movement in the future.

Four: Ideological attitude and looking for purity and perfection in the movement. I believe this approach is at best naivety and at worst irresponsible. It is important to recognize this movement as a mass movement; how do we expect perfection in Rojava and Bakur unless we have perfect people? If we had pure, responsible and conscious people we would not need revolution. We need to look into Rojava with its all positive and negative elements. We should support the positive parts and we should be hard on its negative sides, not just to draw the attention of people to what is wrong, but also to support fixing it.

We have not seen a movement like Rojava since the Zapatista’s movement of 1994. What happened in Rojava with all its faults so far is the best we have, especially when we see the outcome of the Arab Spring, and that Rojava took exactly the opposite direction. Up to this point the movement has been stepping in the right direction although facing numerous attacks and threats: war with Isis and other terrorist organizations; the possibility that Assad’s forces will return and invade the region; the possibility of invasion by the Turkish government; the possibility of war with the Syrian Free Army; the reconciliation of neighbouring countries at Rojava’s expense; and the rebuilding of Kobane and the rest of Rojava by the US, Western Countries and their companies and financial institutions. Rojava faces all these threats and many more, so what is the attitude of anarchists and libertarians here? Solidarity and support to take the right direction or keeping distance and ignoring it until it loses whatever has been achieved so far? Which one is the right approach?

Five: Many anarchists and Libertarians come from Marxist or Marxist-Leninist backgrounds. Although these comrades have adopted some anarchist principles, some of their views, approaches and analyses remain Marxist. Therefore, they find it extremely difficult to believe the social revolution can happen in developing countries, especially somewhere like Rojava. This approach is ideological and borderline religious: they believe that if anything is not written in the old books it will not happen. Many of us know the Marxists’ books have confused people and distorted historical struggles about achieving socialism/anarchism. These comrades still use the same Marxist, Marxist-Leninist definition for the working class and the history of development in reaching socialism/anarchism. For this, they have posited five stages societies must go through before our aims are achieved. The five stages are the Primitive society, Slavery, Feudalism, Capitalism then Socialism; and, after these stages, Communism (they even separate socialism from communism). In somewhere like Rojava companies and factories are seldom found; therefore, in the view of the Marxist, there is no working class or proletariat. Rojava has not reached capitalism; how could the revolution start from there? How can dictatorship of the proletariat be set up while there is no proletariat? So any thought or any talk about starting a revolution in Rojava for these comrades is unacceptable.

It is a great pity our comrades cannot consider the exploitation of people throughout history has been the main issue. There have always been class divisions, a tiny minority of elites and the vast majority of people beneath them. So regardless of the many stages mentioned above, one question has always existed, one struggle raised; and this will remain the same until we achieve a classless society.

There has always been an alternative, there have always been grounds of replacing society as we have known it by forming and building a socialist/anarchist society. There is no doubt that societies have developed and progressed throughout history, but the social revolution has nothing to do with this division or to do with the condition that societies should reach capitalism before socialism. The need for revolution lies in exploitation, having people on the top of society with all the privileges and the rest on the bottom with nothing or very little. The basis of revolution lies in people’s consciousness, and their readiness to rise up. In other words, the social revolution can happen in any society, anywhere, regardless of the stage the society is in; but the total victory of any social revolution depends on many factors, whether this revolution happens in Rojava or in any advanced country like the UK or US.

History shows that human beings so far have only seen a couple of stages: societies which are Primitive, and the class society which continues until the present. There is no doubt that the division of human history to reach socialist/anarchist society damaged the social revolution badly. How the leftists and communists throughout the last century and earlier damaged the class struggles and principle of socialism as much as the right wing politicians and their parties is a separate subject. I will write about this soon.

kurekmurek
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Jul 29 2015 12:25

Thanks, one small comment though:

Quote:
Five: Many anarchists and Libertarians come from Marxist or Marxist-Leninist backgrounds. Although these comrades have adopted some anarchist principles, some of their views, approaches and analyses remain Marxist. Therefore, they find it extremely difficult to believe the social revolution can happen in developing countries, especially somewhere like Rojava.

1) Zaher in Libcom such direct opposition to Marxism, will just invite attacks. 2) It is also wrong to attack it in this way as it reduces marxism to one of its parts (let's say a stupid orthodox view) 3) If you think about it, marxism is not just an ideology to oppose revolutions in developing countries. First of all many leftist groups in Turkey for example support Rojava because of their marxism. There were many marxists aiming for revolution ( I leave aside the discussion of their problems here) 4) and it also identifies the current source of sectarianism wrongly in ideology. I think it has much to do with the inability of certain groups to do politics. They unfortunately take the side of counter information production as a sort of poliitics and think it is a revolutionary thing to do.

So Zaher I am sceptical if your attempts will be fruitful to solve the real problem here grin Solidartiy though

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Fnordie
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Jul 29 2015 16:02
kurremkarmerruk wrote:
I think it has much to do with the inability of certain groups to do politics.

"If it's actually-existing, it must be Stalinist."

bob mcglynn
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Joined: 30-01-15
Jul 29 2015 21:44

hi-
to Zaher Baher from Haringey Solidarity Group and Kurdistan Anarchists Forum.

the following is being prepared to be finally sent to you and to rojava. I need to wait for most peoples OK and signature's (maybe 2 weeks from 7-29 to 8-13). but how do we send the following? I need someones email (s). bob mcglynn, for Neither East Nor West-NYC, bobnenwogb@aol.com

STATEMENT FOR ROJAVA:

We in Neither East Nor West-NYC (NENW-NYC) support the anarchistic Kurd (and all others) fight in Rojava. In the '80's/early '90's we very successfully "Networked for Mutual Solidarity Activists in the East and West" i.e., mostly people in the U.S. and Soviet-bloc (as it was the East/West anti-nuclear era). We also found Nigerian anarchists and successfully spread networking with them around the world. We worked with Cuban greens and in our one-of-a-kind publication "On Gogol Boulevard" (OGB), published info on China and worked with and published an anarchist from Hong Kong.
We had chapters across the U.S. and in Toronto, Canada and in Mexico City.
Our mailing list had people/groups mostly from the U.S. and the East but also from all over the world.
When OGB stopped being its’ own bulletin for lack of money/time (from ’87 until ’90) then we had sections in 6 U.S. anarchist papers for some years.
We became nominal around ’94, but have resurrected for your sake.
We aren't dogmatists and we're/are made up of different currents, but we all are anti-authoritarian and have consensus.
We wish the humanitarians, democracy lovers, anarchists, those who believe in equality for women, your militia, those who wish a 3rd path outside of capitalism and Communism etc., ALL THE LUCK AND FREEDOM AND PEACE IN ROJAVA!

Neither East Nor West-NYC
Signed by: Bob McGlynn, WHO ELSE IS GONNA SIGN I KNOW IT'S NOT JUST ME!!! ,
(for our history write: bobnenwogb@aol.com)

Ok everybody in the old NENW-NYC and others, they are getting killed so can we move fast- do we want to sign our names as we've done in past- i/others would? or some sign, some say anonymous but give group name etc as I laid out at top [of a pre-message to our old group plus many associated with us that i don't have to print here]
some are on vacation so let’s give this no more then 2 weeks? To get a critical mass?

bob

OK Zaher Baher from Haringey Solidarity Group and Kurdistan Anarchists Forum I/we await to hear from you. We were/some still are ACTIVISTS not theorists and endless writers- we like to get work done and we did/do it.

bob mcglynn/ bobnenwogb@aol.com

THE FOLLOWING IS JUST MY THOUGHTS NOT NENW-NYC-

you said:

"These comrades still use the same Marxist, Marxist-Leninist definition for the working class and the history of development in reaching socialism/anarchism. For this, they have posited five stages societies must go through before our aims are achieved. The five stages are the Primitive society, Slavery, Feudalism, Capitalism then Socialism;"

this is actually wrong as marx early on had 4 stages, one being the asiatic, later in life he abandoned such a simple headed formula for all of history, but never gave up on the asiatic form as i will expain in this excerpt from a longer work of mine that's about the 1960's etc etc., be patient and i will get to it:

"There is state-capitalism as verbal ease and simple shorthand verbiage (almost virtually all anarchists are guilty of this) and it as theory beginning in 1940 with Trotsky’s former secretary Raya Dunayevskya who broke with him in ’39 as he still supported the USSR even after the Hitler-Stalin Pact. (He called the USSR a “deformed workers state” “that needed a political not economic revolution” [though both were fused in the Soviet Union] which in argumentation lead to a garbled marbles-in-mouth mess of circular reasoning). Others like C.L.R. James and Grace Lee Boggs worked with her. (And down the line all 2 and a half of them split with each other). As theory it was/is seriously spoken of/published by Tony Cliff or some in the X- RSL (Revolutionary Socialist League who disbanded around '89 and became anarchists- some were in NENW-NYC) (Ronald D. Tabor, Christopher Z. Hobson and Wayne Price) and the still alive handful in a split from the RSL the League for a Revolutionary Party’s Walter Daum, and in the 21st century only possibly by a warring faction ridden mess of tiny left-Trotskyist persons or grouplets or other say “left” Marxist-Leninists who don’t identify with either Trotsky or Stalin (like one of the only secular hopes in Iraq which split into something like 3 factions of 2 people the Worker - communist Party of Iraq [no typo that’s how they spell it- WCPI] with a division (s?) the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq [OWFI]- that’s worked with IVAW. I don’t wanna diss OWFI as being a simple front of WCPI as I’ve never experienced the sexual slavery of Islamic fundamentalism, but come on I’ve been around too. Wikipedia says OWFI “works together with the WCPI”- let’s politely leave it at that.), and I’m exaggerating here, I simply want to give state-capitalist theorizors credit though I believe they are way off base in being ahistorical (not linking their theory to the past) and not listening to the Easterners who lived through the shit. “The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare of the brains of the living” (Marx). I find state-capitalism in many such places as South Korea or South Africa where so much of industry was nationalized before neo-liberalism. There was also Venezuela’s Chavez or the former Algeria that use/used some of their oil revenue profits for social programs. On the other hand is everyone/thing from Aristotle to Confucian-influence to Marx/Engels to the “Daddy” of the coming theory Communist/X-Communist Karl Wittfogel to currant scholars to me? Who regarded the ancient East (the 1st states it seems?) as “Despotisms”/“Oriental Despotisms”/ “Asiatic”/ or the “Asiatic Mode of Production” (Marx- I’ll collapse them all into the AMP) at some point. That is older state societies that while they had sort of autonomous villages, but with little/no private property, were subject to corvee slavish labor/taxed-tribute (chuck in sometimes the “Tributary Mode of Production”- Samir Amin- example: Russia under the Mongols) were centrally state-collectivised/bureaucratic/despotic/managerial/terroristic societies such as China, India, Russia in a modified way (“semi-Asiatic”, Marx/Engels/Lenin et al.), Viet Nam, Korea (the “Hermit Kingdom”) and forget the yes used “Orient” in a possibly by some used racist way as the AMP extended to Mesopotamia (what became Iraq but not anymore thanks to the U.S. etc. for possibly over 1 million dead, ISIS . . . and did you know Saddam Hussein based his regime on a Stalinist model of sorts? What a mess of sin on all sides except for the food, freedom, equality for women and everyone democratic secular few forces. As of this date though anarchist inspired Kurds in the region of Rojava in what’s left of Syria, thanks to the study of one of anarchism’s greatest modern minds, Murray Bookchin, and the model of the Zapatista anti-authoritarian rebels in the jungle of South Mexico, in Rojava lead by women are thankfully holding onto their ground and expanding.), Persia (Iran), Turkey, Algeria and such places as pre-Columbian America’s Incas, Mayans and Aztecs. The AMP was in Russia’s and China’s blood/traditions/history and as Communism developed it began to look like an AMP in a modern/analogous and a resembled way. The Bolsheviks debated the AMP from ’25 ‘till ’31 and decided it “didn’t exist” as the AMP’s looked too much like Communism- the old AMP’s were obviously class societies with the working masses vs. the state/sovereign/emperor/pharaoh and Communism was supposed to be classless. DOES COMMUNISM LOOK LIKE AN AMP NOW? The Bolsheviks blatantly declared at a conference in Leningrad ’31 that “What is really important is to unmask it politically, and not to establish the ‘pure truth’ as to whether the ‘Asiatic Mode of Production’ existed or not”. (Discussion on the Asiatic Mode of Production, Moscow and Leningrad 1931, p. 89). The AMP’s main proponent M.D. Kokin was executed . . . Unreal. The “pure truth” isn’t important? History is a joke to be politically manipulated? Wow. Sounds like the 80’s where goons, idiots or the hapless unimformed called it the “Decade of Ray-Gun” and destroying Indochina was a “Noble Cause” . . . Communism then spread to other countries naturally or say imperialistically from dictates from mostly Moscow but also Peking. An example would be how post-war Europe was to be divvyed up and Eastern/Central Europe had Communism unnaturally stamped on them from Stalin until the breakup of the Russian Empire and their Iron Curtain. Today we see Russia’s X-KGB head Putin “looking East” as opposed to “looking West” again as that imperium has gone back and forth throughout their history. This is thanks to the lovely Mongol/Tatar/Golden Horde invasion of 1237-40 by Genghis Khan’s son Batu, who would wipe out for fun entire populations. Batu picked up AMP state-craft from their siege of China and molded it into Russia uniting its’ East and West sectors with many dictatorial and centralizing features terrorizing Russia. In theory that jammed a Western-style feudalism from developing that would in theory (which I believe) would morph into capitalism but Russia’s line of development has been almost totally “semi-Asiatic” ever since. As far as Russia “looking East” again we have KUBA; according to our secret source Kuba’s (Waskowski) Medley No. 47- July 2015 (as he hides out in Poland throwing darts at targets ‘round the world while drinking vodka and I’m giving him up as he’s obviously KGB- kwaskowski.nowosti@gmail.com) he spews such CIA triple-agent talk to paraphrase: “The Romanov dynasty of the last Czar wants their Moscow house back and given official status ‘cuz that brat the Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna said “One cannot always live in hotels”. Mr. Putin is considering it. The street musician Georgi Chernobrowin was fined 10,000 rubles for “organizing a mass meeting in a public place”. Dutiful Comrades protested. In June the Committee Against Torture office was trashed and robbed in the capitol of Chechnya, Groznya (what’s left of it after “anti-imperialist” Russians bombed it U.S. Indochina-style). It took the cops 2 1/2 hours to come. Though some Russian bureaucrats thought nothing of it, it seems others do. Meanwhile Chechnya remains under the heal of Mother Russia. In a 2013 poll 48% of Russians dug Stalin. Remember it wasn’t just those who went to concentration camps and got shot and can’t speak anymore and their families are just sore losers, but those that sent them and those that pulled the trigger and “had a very good life” (now Kuba is trippin’). Over the years of Dr. Putin’s lovely rule Stalin’s image has improved and become myth (just as the Mongolians bow before the Hitler of his time Genghis Khan who started a terror that led to a trail of spewing blood that became the largest contiguous empire in history). Not everything was perfect with Stalin but his shotgun was aimed straight and he made Russia an empire.” Can Kuba shutup now with his lies and we can put our babies to sleep? Still trippin’ Kuba, the Walter Cronkite (though American Walter was a Commie anyway as he was the Daddy of our news and one night he said the Viet-Nam war was a “stalemate” [Hurray! for the Tet Offensive! Though it pissed off some Viets‘cuz it was their holiday] so let’s get out before our soldiers smoke one more joint) of that backward barbarian East “the general slavery of the Orient” (Marx, Hegel) and that “Asia fell asleep in history” (Marx). So Kuba we’d like to go to sleep now. Now we have VVAW (Vietnam Veterans Against the War) Mike makin’ me chime this in as dizzing Russia “looking East and West”- a 1st a believe: “from the mid-’90s an oligarchic bureaucracy monopolized oil and gas exports and has used the profits to purchase luxuries and homes in the West. The general population, meanwhile, has remained under the custody of a K.G.B.- style state security and propaganda apparatus”. Andrei V. Kozyrev, Foreign Minister of Russia, ’90-’91, Op-Ed NYT, 7-20-15. Hmm. State-capitalism with the AMP ghost? The AMP can be found in capitalist? (it gets confusing) Tyrannical Saudi Arabia that’s a U.S. favorite who’s people were mostly were the ones involved in 9-11 (and stuff about the Saudi’s is blacked out in the official U.S. report on the 9-11) and who get weapons aplenty from the U.S., where the state only until recently owned all of the land. The state owns all the oil that is pretty much their only commodity. The same can pretty much be said for what was Iraq and what was Persia, Iran. One could go on and on. And here’s a favorite of mine: A Russian women circa late 80’s at the meeting space of NENW-NYC who was a friend of our first Eastern member exile Alexander Rubchenko of the Soviet anti-nuke Trust Group who listened to me go on about state-capitalist thought vs. the AMP to paraphrase her except for the word “trivialized”, said “Yes the term state-capitalist ‘trivialized’ our experience under Communism and the AMP was right”. She hit it on the head in that a Western theory, though well meant, ended up demeaning, degrading and insulting the lives and history of those who lived under Communism. We then headed for my joint and listened to the beloved 60’s rock on my stereo particularly Frank Zappa’s It Must Be a Camel on “Hot Rats” with her dancing around like a camel would move and us drinking all the while. Though of course Communist nations (mostly forget North Korea, and Kampuchea’s Pol Pot and boys who didn’t push Communism so much as the nationalistic mysticism of “Anka” [Khemer Rouge term for their state] or Angkor [“The Center” or “The Organization”. Cambodia’s sacred Angkor Wat temple’s/monuments Pol Pot was sweet enuf not to destroy as he insisted his Kampuchea was going to be “more glorious than Angkor”. ] [and who helped sow this ground with an invasion and massive bombing for this society of slavery and then supported them throughout? The U.S. of course, but that’s another article]) were stuck in the capitalist world market and had to have introduced some nuts and bolts of capitalism- though one can think of it as modern industrial techniques- the over-arching reality is/was an AMP. Now has the AMP been debated throughout history? Yes. Is the theory that Communism is a modern adaptation of an inherited AMP past debated? Yes. But in my unending study all I see is a confirmation to this date of my and others- schalors, thesis. As I say “Just ask an Easterner”, - well that might have to be an academic or a very old person . . . Let’s not use arcane lingo- how about calling Soviet-type societies “state-collectivism” and be done with it as long as it’s connected to an AMP past . . .

shit, i'm sorry that's so long, and i hope not too confusing, but as explained in the above text leninists have been hiding the asiatic societies still to this day, and we are left not knowing about them, for good reason as what modern Communism is/was is simply the asiatic society all over again. It's confusing because we never heard of it.
Now I'm starting to blow the lid off!...

shit, didn't i say we were ACTIVISTS not THEORISTS?!
well I'm going to be studying this more for awhile and in a year or two write a comprehensive essay with footnotes and all that crap that I don't know how to do yet!!

take care my friends, bob mcglynn, bobnenwogb@aol.com

bob mcglynn
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Joined: 30-01-15
Jul 30 2015 20:14

July 30, '15

To Zaher Baher from Haringey Solidarity Group and Kurdistan Anarchists Forum. This is our Statement again that is better with examples of the work that was accomplished. There is plenty more that is in our history (that still needs editing and aditional info! but is good enough for those that want it from bobnenwogb@aol.com).

THE MAIN PROBLEM WE SEE IS THAT YOU DON'T KNOW WHO WE ARE- WE OBVIOUSLY COULD BE POLICE AGENTS ETC. AND WE'RE ASKING FOR EMAIL (S) TO SEND THIS TO. WE WANT TO GET IT TO RELAVENT PEOPLE IN ROJAVA, TO LIFT THEIR SPIRITS, TO GET IN THEIR PRESS ETC.
WE AREN'T FUKIN COPS BUT HOW DO WE PROVE IT? WE HAVE NO NEW REFERENCES YOU MIGHT KNOW TO PROVE OURSELVES. A-INFOS ILIAN KNOWS ME FROM A LONG TIME AGO BUT HE MIGHT GET MAD I'M SAYING THIS (SORRY ILIAN).
WHAT SHOULD WE DO?

STATEMENT FOR ROJAVA:
We in Neither East Nor West-NYC (NENW-NYC) support the anarchistic Kurd (and all others) fight in Rojava. In the '80's/early '90's we very successfully "Networked for Mutual Solidarity Activists in the East and West" i.e., mostly people in the U.S. and the Soviet-bloc (as it was the East/West anti-nuclear era). We also found Nigerian anarchists and successfully spread networking with them around the world. We worked with Cuban greens and in our one-of-a-kind publication "On Gogol Boulevard" (OGB), published info on China and worked with and published an anarchist from Hong Kong. Asking for "Mutual Solidarity" meant people in other nations that had less freedom than us were taking a big risk. We noted and said that. We certainly understood if others couldn't help us with our own political repression etc.
We actually helped the people above often win battles, like the release of Eastern political prisoners like Sergei Troyanski of the dissident, anarchistic, counterculture Free Initiative from Moscow. Under Soviet rule one could go to a death camp simply for being in a free group. Also there were 4 political prisoners of Nigeria's anarchist Awareness League: Udemba Chuks, Garba Adu, Kigsly Etioni, and James Ndubuisi jailed under an emergency decree. After demonstrations around the world at Nigerian Embassy's/Consulates led by us they were freed. Polish anarchists and others weren't allowed passports. We picketed the lavish Polish Consulate in NYC with 30 punk and other anarchists. One was arrested for knocking over a barricade. With our help, others, the Poles fighting hard, they got their passports.
In the East anarchists and like minded people in Poland wrote petitions for bike-messengers in NYC facing an absurd ban of us in the central Manhattan streets we needed to work in- it was part of gentrification to get rid of the sight of the dirty working class to make things nicer for the rich. The free trade union Solidarnosc in Gdansk, Poland, wrote about us in their strike bulletin during a strike in one of their shipyards- their press was run by anarchists! Bike-messengers demonstrated in NYC with chaotic rides of up to 1200 the police couldn't control. We won! When our political prisoner Kenny Tolia was jailed under fake riot charges, again fighting the gentrification of NYC's Lower East Side radical neighborhood where 300 of the Black homeless were living in a park, we led demonstrations for him around the world. In Warsaw, Poland, 40 anarchists had a wild demonstration at the U.S. Embassy that had a tank in front of it! Many were beaten and arrested. Kenny had to serve 8 months in a sewer of a jail due to missteps by anarchists in NYC. But at least he was freed during the day on work-release and had the morale boost that people around the globe like also in Minsk, Belarus, and Mexico City, people were in the streets for him.
We had chapters across the U.S., and in Toronto Canada, and in Mexico City.
Our mailing list had people/groups mostly from the U.S. and the East but also from all over the world.
When OGB stopped being its’ own bulletin for lack of money/time (from ’87 until ’90) then we had sections in 6 U.S. anarchist papers for some years.
We became nominal around ’94, but have resurrected for your sake.
We aren't dogmatists and we are made up of different currents, but we all are anti-authoritarian, humanitarian, many anarchists over the years, and always have had a natural consensus on issues, such as this Statement.
We wish the humanitarians, democracy lovers, anarchists, those who believe in equality for women, your militia, those who wish a 3rd path outside of capitalism and Communism etc.,
ALL THE LUCK AND FREEDOM AND PEACE IN ROJAVA!

Neither East Nor West-NYC
Signed by: Bob McGlynn, Tom Maurer, Ann Marie Hendrikson, Alexander Rubchenko WHO ELSE IS GONNA SIGN I KNOW IT'S NOT JUST US!!! ,
(for our history write: bobnenwogb@aol.com)

Ok everybody in the old NENW-NYC and others, they are getting killed so can we move fast- do we want to sign our names as we've done in past- i/others have? or some sign, some say anonymous, WAIT pseudonym is better! but give group name etc.
some are on vacation so let’s give this no more then 2 weeks? To get a critical mass of people?

bob

OK Zaher Baher from Haringey Solidarity Group and Kurdistan Anarchists Forum I/we await to hear from you. We were/some still are ACTIVISTS not theorists and endless writers- we like to get work done and we did/do it.

bob mcglynn/ bobnenwogb@aol.com

bob mcglynn
Offline
Joined: 30-01-15
Aug 3 2015 19:31

hi zaher and others!

8-3-15-- last we hope!

STATEMENT FOR ROJAVA:

We in Neither East Nor West-NYC (NENW-NYC) support the anarchistic Kurd (and all others) fight in Rojava. In the '80's/early '90's we very successfully "Networked for Mutual Solidarity Activists in the East and West" i.e., mostly people in the U.S. and the Soviet-bloc (as it was the East/West anti-nuclear era). We also found Nigerian anarchists and successfully spread networking with them around the world. We worked with Cuban greens and in our one-of-a-kind publication "On Gogol Boulevard" (OGB), published info on China and worked with and published an anarchist from Hong Kong.
We also intersected with Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) who were for the first time in U.S. history, a radical veterans group who opposed the war they fought in, while it was still in progress, and supported the “Enemy”! In the Vietnamese fight for independence. They had tens of thousands of members and made a big splash. Before NENW-NYC we had predecessor groups that had opened to “peace portal” to the East and VVAW wanted to network with them. Lack of time prevented this but we ran articles by them in OGB and listed them in our “Contacts” section of OGB. They still exist and can be contacted via us. (One of our members is an “Honorary” member).
Asking for "Mutual Solidarity" meant people in other nations that had less freedom than us were taking a big risk. We noted and said that. We certainly understood if others couldn't help us with our own political repression etc.
We actually helped the people above often win battles, like the release of Eastern political prisoners like Sergei Troyanski of the dissident, anarchistic, counterculture Free Initiative from Moscow. Under Soviet rule one could go to a death camp simply for being in a free group. Also there were 4 political prisoners of Nigeria's anarchist Awareness League: Udemba Chuks, Garba Adu, Kigsly Etioni, and James Ndubuisi jailed under an emergency decree. After demonstrations around the world at Nigerian Embassy's/Consulates led by us they were freed. Polish anarchists and others weren't allowed passports. We picketed the lavish Polish Consulate in NYC with 30 punk and other anarchists. One was arrested for k nocking over a barricade. With our help, others, the Poles fighting hard , they got their passports.
In the East anarchists and like-minded people in Poland wrote petitions for bike-messengers in NYC facing an absurd ban of us in the central Manhattan streets we needed to work in- it was part of gentrification to get rid of the sight of the dirty working class to make things nicer for the rich. The free trade union Solidarnosc in Gdansk, Poland, wrote about us in their strike bulletin during a strike in one of their shipyards- their press was run by anarchists! Bike-messengers demonstrated in NYC with chaotic rides of up to 1200 the police couldn't control. We won! When our anarchist political prisoner Kenny Tolia was jailed under fake riot charges, again fighting the gentrification of NYC's Lower East Side radical neighborhood where 300 of the Black homeless were living in a park , we led demonstrations for him around the world. In Warsaw, Poland, 40 anarchists had a wild demonstration for him at the U.S. Embassy that had a tank in front of it! Many were beaten and arrested. Kenny had to serve 8 months in a sewer of a jail due to missteps by anarchists in NYC. But at least he was freed during the day on work-release and had the morale boost that people around the globe like also in Minsk, Belarus, and Mexico City, people were in the streets for him.
We had chapters across the U.S., and in Toronto Canada, and in Mexico City.
Our mailing list had people/groups mostly from the U.S. and the East but also from all over the world.
When OGB stopped being its’ own bulletin for lack of money/time (from ’87 until ’90) then we had sections in 6 U.S. anarchist papers for some years.
We became nominal around ’94, but have resurrected for your sake.
We aren't dogmatists and we are made up of different currents, but we all are anti-authoritarian , humanitarian, many anarchists over the years, and always have had a natural consensus on issues, such as this Statement .
We wish the humanitarians, democracy lovers, anarchists, those who believe in equality for women, your militia, those who wish a 3rd path outside of capitalism and Communism etc.,
ALL THE LUCK AND FREEDOM AND PEACE IN ROJAVA
to our kurd friends- we are still getting signature and working out the final version of the statement---
Neither East Nor West-NYC
Sigantures so far/8-3: Bob McGlynn, Ann Marie Hendrickson, Alexander Rubchenko, Tom Maurer, Neil Farber-- IT IS TAKING AWHILE TO GET MORE NAMES- MOST OF THE MANY, MANY IN THE GROUP GO BACK OVER 25 YRS, AND SO FAR NO ONE KNOWS WHERE THEY ARE...THIS SHOULD BE FINAL AROUND 8-18

bobnenwogb@aol.com

WE RECEIVED THIS
Hi Comrade,
Hope you are keeping well. Thanks for your comments.
Just to let
you know that i will be coming back to your and other comrades comments by the
end of next week once I get back to London. I am not in the country at the
moment.

In solidarity
Zaher Baher

bob mcglynn
Offline
Joined: 30-01-15
Aug 4 2015 17:43

Hi Zaher- here we are again 8-4 with an update to you and those who don't know who you are! THIS SHOULD BE FINALIZED BY 8-12 :

STATEMENT FOR ROJAVA:

We in Neither East Nor West-NYC (NENW-NYC) support the anarchistic Kurd (and all others) fight in Rojava. In the '80's/early '90's we very successfully "Networked for Mutual Solidarity Activists in the East and West" i.e., mostly people in the U.S. and the Soviet-bloc (as it was the East/West anti-nuclear era). We also found Nigerian anarchists and successfully spread networking with them around the world. We worked with Cuban greens and in our one-of-a-kind publication "On Gogol Boulevard" (OGB), published info on China and worked with and published an anarchist from Hong Kong.
We also intersected with Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) who were for the first time in U.S. history, a radical veterans group who opposed the war they fought in, while it was still in progress, and supported the “Enemy”! In the Vietnamese fight for independence. They had tens of thousands of members and made a big splash. Before NENW-NYC we had predecessor groups that had opened a “peace portal” to the East and VVAW wanted to network with them. Lack of time prevented this but we ran articles by them in OGB and listed them in our “Contacts” section of OGB. They still exist and can be contacted via us. (One of our members is an “Honorary” member).
Asking for "Mutual Solidarity" meant people in other nations that had less freedom than us were taking a big risk. We noted and said that. We certainly understood if others couldn't help us with our own political repression etc.
We actually helped the people above often win battles, like the release of Eastern political prisoners like Sergei Troyanski of the dissident, anarchistic, counterculture Free Initiative from Moscow. Under Soviet rule one could go to a death camp simply for being in a free group. Also there were 4 political prisoners of Nigeria's anarchist Awareness League: Udemba Chuks, Garba Adu, Kigsly Etioni, and James Ndubuisi jailed under an emergency decree. After demonstrations around the world at Nigerian Embassy's/Consulates led by us they were freed. Polish anarchists and others weren't allowed passports. We picketed the lavish Polish Consulate in NYC with 30 punk and other anarchists. One was arrested for knocking over a barricade. With our help, others, the Poles fighting hard, they got their passports.
In the East anarchists and like-minded people in Poland wrote petitions for bike-messengers in NYC facing an absurd ban of us in the central Manhattan streets we needed to work in- it was part of gentrification to get rid of the sight of the dirty working class to make things nicer for the rich. The free trade union Solidarnosc in Gdansk, Poland, wrote about us in their strike bulletin during a strike in one of their shipyards- their press was run by anarchists! Bike-messengers demonstrated in NYC with chaotic rides of up to 1200 the police couldn't control. We won! When our anarchist political prisoner Kenny Tolia was jailed under fake riot charges, again fighting the gentrification of NYC's Lower East Side radical neighborhood where 300 of the Black homeless were living in a park, we led demonstrations for him around the world. In Warsaw, Poland, 40 anarchists had a wild demonstration for him at the U.S. Embassy that had a tank in front of it! Many were beaten and arrested. Kenny had to serve 8 months in a sewer of a jail due to missteps by anarchists in NYC. But at least he was freed during the day on work-release and had the morale boost that people around the globe like also in Minsk, Belarus, and Mexico City, people were in the streets for him.
We had chapters across the U.S., and in Toronto Canada, and in Mexico City.
Our mailing list had people/groups mostly from the U.S. and the East but also from all over the world.
When OGB stopped being its’ own bulletin for lack of money/time (from ’87 until ’90) then we had sections in 6 U.S. anarchist papers for some years.
We became nominal around ’94, but have resurrected for your sake.
We aren't dogmatists and we are made up of different currents, but we all are anti-authoritarian, humanitarian, many anarchists over the years, and always have had a natural consensus on issues, such as this Statement.
We wish the humanitarians, democracy lovers, anarchists, those who believe in equality for women, your militia, those who wish a 3rd path outside of capitalism and Communism like your collectives etc.,
ALL THE LUCK AND FREEDOM AND PEACE IN ROJAVA!

to our kurd friends- we are still getting signatures and working out the final version of the Statement which should be finalized about 8-12---

Neither East Nor West-NYC

Sigantures so far/8-4: Bob McGlynn, Ann Marie Hendrickson, Alexander Rubchenko, Tom Maurer, Neil Farber-- IT'S TAKING AWHILE TO GET MORE NAMES- MOST OF THE MANY, MANY, IN NEITHER EAST NOR WEST-NYC (and friends in other groups) GO BACK AROUND 30 YEARS AGO, AND SO FAR NO ONE KNOWS WHERE THE OTHERS ARE...THIS SHOULD BE FINAL AROUND 8-12

bobnenwogb@aol.com

WE RECEIVED THIS FROM AN ANARCHIST ENGLISH KURD IT SEEMS (with the email left out) WHO IS REPRESENTING THE "HARINGEY SOLIDARITY GROUP", AND THE "KURDISTAN ANARCHISTS FORUM", AND ANOTHER MAIL FROM ANARCHISTS ETC. IN ROJAVA (with the email left out):

Hi Comrade,
Hope you are keeping well. Thanks for your comments.
Just to let
you know that i will be coming back to your and other comrades comments by the
end of next week once I get back to London. I am not in the country at the
moment.
In solidarity
Zaher Baher

WE RECIEVED THIS FROM ANARCHISTS ETC. IN ROJAVA (with the email left out):

Hi, we are a group of Rojava anarchists, libertarians, freedom minded
people
.etc without dogma or sectarian left/right stuff, accepting of
all stripes
with ideas. We're still organising, but for now I can help
you to spread your
statement here (we can work on it) and I'll get it in
the newspapers and
online. Also we can work towards sending
representatives, or even
revolutionaries who also want to come stay and
join us here.
Apologies for
the grammar, long day smile

zaher
Offline
Joined: 31-08-14
Aug 6 2015 15:02

Thanks comrade for your comments. Well what can I say here? I have a different view about Marx doctrine especially his economic and political analyse that I cannot discuss it here . A couple of things i just like to mention them are the working class as never been a class and do not think even able to unite completly in one company or in the local authorities. Second i do not believe the crisis is the capitalism crisis , it is our crises not them , they are more stronger and we are more weaker than last year and before , of course there are many reasons,. I am just mentioning them here couple, i am hoping one day i can come back to them in writing.
If comrades take my opinion as attack on Marx and Maxisim that is fine by me as it is my opinions and cannot help it. If Lib-com does not publish my article it is fine by me too. I like people write back to reject my idea that makes me to think and read more. I prefer that happens in an article not through comments in Lib-com or somewhere else.
Comrade i am aware that some of the Marxist organisations are supportive to Rojava that is why i mentioned in the beginning of my article we, anarchists, like them divided over the same issue. Wishin you best . Zaher

zaher
Offline
Joined: 31-08-14
Aug 6 2015 15:47

Hi Bob, thanks for your comments , you made a lot of effort , writing so much about different issues and different countries. I am sorry to say the vast majority of your writing nothing to do with my article , i therefore, make a quick comments of what is relevant to my article.
First thanks for the statement , a lot of information. I must say that i did not understand what you would like me to do with it, and who you wishe to be send to and what is the practical things that offered in this statement in regards of Rojava? All these are not clear for me.
Second, yes Marx in " critical to Gotta Bernamj book " ( sorry i read this book in arabic 35 years ago , so not sure the name of the book in English) . In that book Marx says " between the socialism and communism there is a transitional stage that the state should a Dictatorships of Prolittaret" . I think this statement from Marx corrupted his theory an created the climate to create a State Socialism for Bolshevik and the rest of communist parties in the world later on.
Third, as i am from Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan, and involved heavily in the Marxists-Leninists organisation from the the end of 1971 , i never heard OWFI. There was women organisation , like, unite of women but never been an independant organisation, it was always a part of Iraqi Communist party. I do not know where and how this information come from. Wishing you very best. Zaher

zaher
Offline
Joined: 31-08-14
Aug 6 2015 16:08

Ok Bob, now i know what you would like me to do. I have a few people e-male in Rojava including the Tev-Dem . I have written to them a few times and also KAF sent them e-mail about our concerns of their activities. however, they never replied . This is the Tev-Dem e-mail : pewendi tev-dem. p.d.rojavayekurdistan@gmail.com

I think the best person to send the statement to is Estella Schmid, who is very active and very efficent . I am sure she forwards your statement to the right deparment. This is her e-mail addres
Estella24@tiscali.co.uk
I am informing her tonight to tell her that i have given you her e-mail address and you will sometime forward your statement to her.
In solidarity
Zaher

bob mcglynn
Offline
Joined: 30-01-15
Aug 17 2015 14:16

HI ZAHER! we have some language problems. you can email me your phone number and we can talk – no one is following this thread now. of course I differ from marx too. but I am certainly working class depending on how you define it, it’s a class that depending how you define it exists throughout the world, and has been able to unite in my personal experiance as a bike messenger in NYC, throughout NYC, and in companies (bike messengers organized throughout the world at gatherings in different countries for mostly partying). I was in London where you are now I believe and met and drank and organized with them. in Poland its’ working class organized a general strike in 1980, called themselves Solidarity (Solidarnosc in polish) and won. then got deceived. they were put under martial law as the Soviets were going to invade, and martial law ostensibly was to stop a soviet invasion (the US knew about and warned the soviets to not invade). their underground I was a part of survived. they were made legal again. all the while anarchists were organizing. twists and turns happened. a parliamentary (not American) system was voted in. poles and other central/east x-Communist nations got sick of the capitalism that was brought in and voted in social democrats that were mostly x-Communists! sorry if this is a history lesson you already know but I don’t know your age. I’m 59 and will be 60 jan. 6, 2016, but no one believes my age as I look and act like I’m 15! (people guess I’m like 32 if I’m clean shavin).
back to your comment to me; please slap around marx all you want- he needs it. the crises in the near/mid east I don’t believe is only a capitalist crises since for instance in rojava I read there isn’t much big capitalism and people are building cooperatives. much of that area of the world is still what I wrote about above in my libcom. comment: “oriental despotism”/the “Asiatic Mode of Production” (AMP- marx) etc., state-collectivist ownership/control of land and resources. iraq was ancient Mesopotamia an AMP and when it was still intact was made on a model of stalin’s copied by saddam. iran, Persia, was an AMP. who owns the oil in iran? capitalists or the state? in Saudi Arabia the state owns its’ only real commodity, oil, and only until recently all the land which has only had some privatization in recent years as capitalist neo-liberalism invades everywhere. fantastic places like rojava, like the zapitistas in mexico, must be protected. the Communist Party in china is in full control, with a mixed economy, but its’ “commanding heights” like steel, oil, etc. are state owned. all land in china is state owned, though farmers can do what they want with it pretty much blah blah. the nuts and bolts of capitalism, OR JUST MODERN INDUSTRIAL METHODS, invade of course. of course all get squeezed into the mostly capitalist world market, but we have to look at the reality of non-fully capitalist phenomena like your old home…
did you mean (I haven’t read it) marx’s “Critique of the Gotha Program” (I think that was the title) when you said “Marx in " critical to Gotta Bernamj book "? I agree the phrase “the dictatorship of the proletariat” is awful, but a brilliant friend and co-radical anarchist told me that at the time marx wrote that such terminology wasn’t seen as meaning “dictatorship” the way we would see it. I agree it warped marxist-leninists minds, but don’t think that was the cause of Communism. I believe it was the AMP past coming to life again (that Lenin in many quotes worried about) that was historically in Russia, china, korea and spread in various ways I again mentioned in my tangent on such stuff that I had in my 1st comment to you on libcom. I hate to quote marx but he was “brilliant”-- “the traditions of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living” it’s 3:06 am and time to go. I know the iraq c.p. was huge a long time ago. the OWFI I’m too sleepy to remember the name of but had sister groups in iraq and iran and the iraq 1 had a women’s group I probably mentioned. now that I read the end of your comments to me I see you’re older probably, so sorry again for history lessons of Poland!!!
for now we have a crises with our disabled russian who may be forced back to live in russia as his poverty and our "social security" is fucking him up and we have to help him--
also as we have entered supporting rojava in words we need deeds from older (1 is 83) people just getting back together to write our "Statement For Rojava"-- we need to help our russian member/friend and we need to DO SOMETHING for rojava- we have a zillion targets in nyc- we could have a small picket at some consulate. as it's possible the US/turkey could attack/bomb rojava that's 1 possibility- but the US seems reluctant to do that. we know where the cia at least have its offices in nyc. turkey must have a consulate or mission to the UN. the UN is useless as a target as you have to stay far away. we'd have to do it on a workday probably, at lunch time, and may only get 5 people- pretty sad...if we took a longer time to organize we could get more people, but not that many, as rojava isn't a known issue here. the US Black Rose group is proposing deeds. have you seen their plan on a-infos? we could just help with that. what would you suggest? please pass this onto others- i'll mail this to you now.

bob

kurekmurek
Offline
Joined: 15-11-07
Aug 17 2015 14:22

Not to intervene but a lot of people are following (and seeing) this thread and you two are just giving emails without any care which I do not understand. You should try private messaging each other this stuff.

arminius's picture
arminius
Offline
Joined: 11-08-06
Aug 17 2015 21:52

There are a lot more esoteric and irrelevant threads on Libcom than this one. Not an attack, just an observation. If I find a thread boring, I don't read it. I've certainly seen a lot that have been more off the mark than this one.

akai
Offline
Joined: 29-09-06
Aug 18 2015 11:09

Not that anybody needs my two cents, but I found Bob's posts annoying since they are mostly off-topiic and serving for some self-promotion of mythology. As somebody who was also involved in some of the things mentioned, I feel it is bad taste and wish after so many years he'd give it a rest.

I think the original article is more worthy of discussion and wish it became the topic of comments instead. For example, I personally do not think it was correct to say that critical questions on Libcom forum was mostly motivated by people seeing things from a Marxist perspective. If I have more time later I would discuss that.

bob mcglynn
Offline
Joined: 30-01-15
Aug 30 2015 07:23

zurlemkarmerrak, we allready agreed to talk off this thread---

arminius, some of what was done on the thread was cuz we were feeling each other out and we didn't know how to directly contact zaher. we're now "on the mark" with the Statement For Rojava being developed in part via the thread, as is now published all over the place, with concrete work already happening for Rojava in nyc we hope to be part of-

akai, you only came to 2 meetings of Neither East Nor West-NYC. maybe that's why you weren't asked to sign. leave things alone. supporting Rojava isn't "self-promotion of mythology"-

what's most important is that zaher's article led to increased kurdish,rojava/US friendships and solidarity

bob mcglynn-- akai especially, if you want to start up with anyone again you know how to find us, and it's not here-

apologies to libcom for stupid shit with akai