Anarchist Federation statement on Rojava: December 2014

Ocalan's face on flags

The Anarchist Federation looks at the so-called "revolution" in Syrian Kurdistan, and the role of the PKK and compares the reality with the rhetoric.

The following statement addresses the situation in which Devrimci Anarşist Faaliyet (DAF), Revolutionary Anarchist Action, are involved on the Turkish/Syrian border in opposition to IS. This is a struggle which, if lost, will probably result in far greater repression and tyranny than workers in the region already face, in towns and on the land. It is also one in which class-consciousness and the class struggle must remain at the forefront of anarchist responses. Anarchists on the ground are fighting in a less-than-ideal situation, not least given that the state forces of Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Iran and the US, also claim to combat IS. We continue to offer practical solidarity through the International of Anarchist Federations (IFA/IAF). We also offer our own evaluation of the situation.

The Anarchist Federation is only too aware of the support that many anarchists, including those who describe themselves as anarchist communists, anarcho-syndicalists and class struggle anarchists, are offering the “Rojava Revolution”. This includes lauding the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) as a party that has somehow morphed from being an authoritarian nationalist party into being a near-anarchist catalyst for social revolution in the region, and describing the situation in Rojava as similar to the revolutionary situation in Spain in 1936 (David Graeber, as well as Derek Wall of the Green Party left).

Those who wish to hold on to their principles and to keep a clear head, need to examine the facts. The PKK at its birth adopted a leftist nationalist stance. This leftism was very much of the Stalinist variety. In 1984 it began an armed struggle against the Turkish state. With the capture of Abdullah Ocalan, its leader, by the Turkish state, a new period in the evolution of the PKK began. In line with leaders of other parties of the same ilk, Ocalan was and is seen as a charismatic figure to which the leadership elements and the base of the party pay obedience. Ocalan is described as “the sun” around which the various political and military organisations revolve. This situation has not changed with his apparent adoption of Bookchinite confederal municipalism. Ocalan deliberately modelled himself on Stalin right down to the personality cult. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and its satellites, Ocalan and the PKK began to manouevre, to change positions, no longer being able to look towards a discredited state capitalism.

When the PKK military forces were compelled to move over the border to Syria, they met problems with the Kurdish peasantry there, many of whom still held to Muslim religious beliefs at odds with PKK leftism. This impelled Ocalan to talk about Kurdistan as “the cradle of international Islam”. At the same time the PKK entered into a tacit alliance with Syria’s Assad regime, an enemy of the Turkish state.

Ocalan then completed another turn and talked about becoming Turkey’s “most powerful ally” and that “the war on behalf of borders and classes has come to an end”. When this failed to impress his captors, Ocalan then took another turn, recommending that Bookchin must be read and his ideas practised. This initiated an intensive marketing campaign by the PKK towards Western leftists and anarchists in order to look for support and allies.

Apart from the strange occurrence of the PKK, after decades of Stalinised nationalism, apparently turning overnight into some sort of organisation advocating Bookchinite libertarian municipalism, it should be pointed out that this came not from the grassroots of the PKK but was handed down by Ocalan through the PKK command structure. In fact, whilst Ocalan and the PKK might be posing as born again libertarians, it should be remembered that the PKK, whilst facing towards the West as advocates of direct democracy and of secularism, at the same time advocates the setting up of Democratic Islam Congresses to accommodate the Islamists and to religiously legitimise the PKK. This was also at the instigation of Ocalan. In a letter that Ocalan sent to the Democratic Islam Congress he referred to his “brother believers” and goes on to say that “we cannot be defined by western concepts such as communism and atheism". Further he then talks favourably about the Islamisation of Kurdistan. So much for secularism!

As to any change in the structure of the PKK from an extremely centralised structure with Ocalan at the tip of the pyramid into a libertarian federalist organisation controlled by the membership, there is no evidence whatsoever that this has happened. The PKK’s “Democratic Confederalism” is described by Ocalan as “a system which takes into consideration the religious, ethnic and class differences in society", in other words the class system is not being questioned at all. The Koma Civakên Kurdistan (KCK) (Group of Communities in Kurdistan) an organization founded by the PKK to implement the Democratic Confederalism programme, defends private property in its Contract (the key document in the aforesaid programme). This is under Article 8, “Personal, Political Rights and Freedoms". Section C of article 10, "Basic Responsibilities" defines the constitutional basis of mandatory military service:"In the case of a war of legitimate defense, as a requirement of patriotism, there is the responsibility to actively join the defense of the homeland and basic rights and freedoms”.

Zafer Onat, a libertarian communist in the region remarks “While the Contract states that the aim is not political power, we also understand that the destruction of the state apparatus is also not aimed [at], meaning the goal is autonomy within existing nation states. When the Contract is viewed in its entirety, the goal that is presented is not to be seen beyond a bourgeois democratic system that is called democratic confederalism”.

Anarchists can remember Gaddafi’s Green Book, which in rhetoric had far more radical language, where it says: “All that the masses need do now is to struggle to put an end to all forms of dictatorial rule in the world today, to all forms of what is falsely called democracy - from parliaments to the sect, the tribe, the class and to the one-party, the two-party and the multi-party systems.... No democracy without popular congresses and committees everywhere. ... Democracy is the supervision of the people by the people.” But did anyone seriously believe that this was actually being implemented under the repressive regime of Gaddafi?

The uprising against the Assad regime meant that in the course of events, that regime ceased hostilities against the Syrian branch of the PKK, the PYD (Democratic Union Party). This was in order to concentrate on fighting its other opponents, the Free Syrian Army, etc. How seriously should we take the claims about the Rojava Revolution in the Kurdish part of Syria?

We should be clear that the PYD has set up a parliament structure, the Auto-Administration, which it controls with allied parties. It passed a conscription law in July compelling families in the region to send one of their 18-30 year-old members to serve in the defence corps of the PYD, for a period of six months, either continuously or intermittently over a one year period. “Non-adherence” to this law was subject to punishment as stipulated in the law. This law was passed without consulting with other political formations in Rojava and explicitly drafts Kurds into armed groups completely under the control of the PYD. At the same time the PYD is treating other Kurdish political formations in Rojava in an authoritarian totalitarian way, backed up by its use of armed force. It marginalises them and refuses entry into any decision making.

The so-called cantonal assemblies and grassroots bodies are themselves under the sway of the PYD and the Auto-Administration can either approve or block any decisions by these bodies. There is no real direct democracy here, workers and peasants do not control these bodies. At the same time no genuine workers and peasants militias have developed, all of the armed groups are under the control of the PYD. Furthermore, there is no socialisation and collectivisation of the land and the workplaces, as happened, for example, in Spain in 1936. The PKK/PYD marketing campaign has presented the situation in Rojava as one of progressive revolution, but the working class and the peasantry have no autonomous organisation. Whilst there is a quota of 40% representation of women within these local councils/communes/committees, it can be seen from the above that the local structures are in fact not much different from municipal councils in the West, where they act in their role as the local state as support for and in connection with the central state and parliament. Indeed, while some compare the “Rojava Revolution” to Spain 1936 perhaps a better analogy would be the Bolsheviks in 1917 which many anarchists, both internationally and inside Russia, mistakenly supported initially as a truly revolutionary force.

As regards the women’s armed groups, whilst there are signs of feminist influences within them, it should be remembered that the women’s fighting groups are segregated from male units, with no mixed fighting groups. Gaddafi and Saddam both had women’s military brigades, but that did not mean that there was women’s liberation in Libya and Iraq. Similarly women’s military brigades exist in Iran with no sign of emancipation of women. For that matter, ISIS has all-female brigades called al-Khansaa and Umm al-Rayan.

As Zafer Onat remarks: ”First of all we must identify that the Rojava process has progressive features such as an important leap in the direction of women's liberation, that a secular, pro-social justice, pluralist democratic structure is attempting to be constructed and that other ethnic and religious groups are given a part in the administration. However, the fact that the newly emerging structure does not aim at the elimination of private property, that is the abolition of classes, that the tribal system remains and that tribal leaders partake in the administration shows that the aim is not the removal of feudal or capitalist relations of production but is instead in their own words 'the construction of a democratic nation''.”

As Syrian-Kurdish anarchist Shiar Neyo comments: “From the PYD’s point of view, this was a golden opportunity to impose its authority and expand its sphere of influence in the Kurdish areas in Syria. This political pragmatism and thirst for power are two important factors in understanding the party’s dealings with the regime, the revolution, the FSA, and even the Kurds themselves. They also help explain many phenomena that seem to bewilder some commentators and analysts, such as the suppression by PYD forces of independent activists and those critical of the party’s policies, in much the same vein as the Baathist regime did. By way of example, one can cite in this regard the Amuda massacre in July 2013, in which the People’s Protection Units (YPG) opened fire on unarmed demonstrators, or the closure of the new independent radio station Arta in February 2014, under the pretext that it was not ‘licensed’. The PYD’s forces have also assaulted members of other Kurdish political parties and arrested some of them under a variety of excuses; they have been controlling food and financial resources in the Kurdish areas and distributing them in an unjust manner on the basis of partisan favouritism, and so on and so forth. Such practices remind people, rightly, of the oppressive practices of the Assad regime.”

What we are saying might not be popular at the moment, but we feel that our analysis will be borne out by unfolding events.

Our proposed actions

1.Argue for fully open borders for refugees and aid to these refugees. Highlight the conditions in the refugee camps and of Syrian refugees in Turkish cities forced to beg or to turn to petty criminal activities in order to live.

2. Provide humanitarian aid to Rojava via IFA, which has direct contact with DAF.

3. Encourage and support any independent action of workers and peasants in the Rojava region. Argue against any nationalist agitation and for the unity of Kurdish, Arab, Muslim, Christian and Yezidi workers and peasants. Any such independent initiatives must free themselves from PKK/PYD control, and equally from aid by the Western allies, from their clients like the Free Syrian Army, Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party, and the Turkish state.

The Anarchist Federation, 1st December 2014.

http://www.afed.org.uk

---

For references, and statements & discussion elsewhere:

References:

Servet Düşmanı (Enemy of Wealth) anarchist website, Turkey- Rojava: Fantasies and Realities [article by Zafer Onat, in several language translations]: http://www.servetdusmani.org/rojava-fantasies-and-realities/

Tahrir-International Collective Network website: On the Syrian Revolution and the Kurdish Issue – an interview with Syrian-Kurdish activist and journalist Shiar Nayo: http://tahriricn.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/syria-on-the-syrian-revolution-and-the-kurdish-issue-an-interview-with-syrian-kurdish-activist-and-journalist-shiar-nayo/

Statements:

International of Anarchist Federations: http://i-f-a.org/index.php/news [several statements by KAF (Kurdish Anarchist Forum, UK and Europe) and DAF (Revolutionary Anarchist Action, Turkey), including translations]

http://anarsistfaaliyet.org/ (DAF website)

https://libcom.org/tags/kurdistan-anarchist-forum (KAF related articles)

Further discussion:

Workers Solidarity Alliance, USA: http://ideasandaction.info/2014/10/rojava-anarcho-syndicalist-perspective/ [anarcho-syndicalist individual, critical of national liberation context]

Anarkismo, platformist network: http://www.anarkismo.net/article/27540 [reply to the WSA position with many comments]

Comments

AES
Dec 3 2014 17:09

Or, (without jingoism) the coercive tragedy appeal of evil ISIS is matched by the entrance of al-Qaeda.

Flava O Flav
Dec 3 2014 17:21
AES wrote:
Or, (without jingoism) the coercive tragedy appeal of evil ISIS is matched by the entrance of al-Qaeda.

Also, genuine question, are there any other sources other than that particualar Turkish local paper for that story?

Koray
Dec 3 2014 17:37

Anarchist Federation you do not take any action, please. It would only benefit ISIS. And please do not trust your Turkish fellows.

Ya uluslararası anarşist örgütlere sızmış Türkler size söylüyorum. Oğlum yazık lan, anarşistleri MAL DEYNEĞİ Türk solcularına çevirmişsiniz.

AES
Dec 3 2014 17:55

The article was from this morning, we will know more soon enough.
"Our goal is one. Now we can work together" is quite a starting point for Saleh Muslim (PYD's co-leader) to al-Nusra Front (al-Qaeda in Syria).
[auto-translation]

Koray wrote:
Ya uluslararası anarşist örgütlere sızmış Türkler size söylüyorum. Oğlum yazık lan, anarşistleri MAL DEYNEĞİ Türk solcularına çevirmişsiniz.
[auto-translation] Turks are telling you or leaked to the international anarchist organization. My son is a pity man, you've turned to the Turkish leftist anarchists DEYNEG GOODS.

Khawaga
Dec 3 2014 18:15
Flava wrote:
Hmmm no. It would just mean that sometimes organisations in the desperation of war will find allies in the most unlikely of places. It would be a mistake for them to do that, but would not mean that they had suddenly become indistinguishable from Al-Qaeda.

So just like how they found an ally in the US? Born out of desparation of war, sure, and also understandable when your own lives are at stake, but how far can you take "critical" support? And what the fuck does that mean anyway? I was a member of a platformist organization that had that in their program, when I asked what the that meant, nobody could answer. I still don't know what it means but if it means poo-pooing any actual critique of "grassroots movement against imperialism" for their alliance with super-power and unsavoury Islamists, then what is so critical about the support? I really don't get it. Where is the critique? It all seems like cheerleading to me.

Flava O Flav
Dec 3 2014 18:22
Khawaga wrote:
Flava wrote:
Hmmm no. It would just mean that sometimes organisations in the desperation of war will find allies in the most unlikely of places. It would be a mistake for them to do that, but would not mean that they had suddenly become indistinguishable from Al-Qaeda.

So just like how they found an ally in the US? Born out of desparation of war, sure, and also understandable when your own lives are at stake, but how far can you take "critical" support? And what the fuck does that mean anyway? I was a member of a platformist organization that had that in their program, when I asked what the that meant, nobody could answer. I still don't know what it means but if it means poo-pooing any actual critique of "grassroots movement against imperialism" for their alliance with super-power and unsavoury Islamists, then what is so critical about the support? I really don't get it. Where is the critique? It all seems like cheerleading to me.

I've been asked this question twice in this thread. First time I linked to an anarkismo text, second time I quoted the pertinent paragraphs. Also the WSM position paper on the partition of Ireland is an application of this general principle and I linked to that above too.

Flava O Flav
Dec 3 2014 18:26

My point is though, that you can't really trust the Turkish media. I mean even in the supposed liberal democracy i live in, the media is basically state and business propaganda. I can't imagine that under Erdogan the press has many fine examples of independent journalism, and I do want to know as it would be important to criticise that.

Serge Forward
Dec 3 2014 18:54

Flava, linking to other sites doesn't really answer the question. It just sidesteps it. Also, who is trusting the Turkish media any more than the US, European or pro PKK media?

mikail firtinaci
Dec 3 2014 19:05

To clarify;

The source in which Salih Muslim is cited stating that PKK is ready to form an alliance with Al-Qaeda in Syria as two democratic forces, if Al Qaeda lifts the siege on Afrin is from a pro-PKK paper and not from the Turkish media. The source is Yuksekova haber:

http://www.yuksekovahaber.com/haber/salih-muslim-el-nusrayla-calisabilir...

This paper is a local paper from Hakkari (a Kurdish town) that publish in Kurdish and Turkish.

mikail firtinaci
Dec 3 2014 19:28
AES wrote:
The article was from this morning, we will know more soon enough.
"Our goal is one. Now we can work together" is quite a starting point for Saleh Muslim (PYD's co-leader) to al-Nusra Front (al-Qaeda in Syria).
[auto-translation]

Koray wrote:
Ya uluslararası anarşist örgütlere sızmış Türkler size söylüyorum. Oğlum yazık lan, anarşistleri MAL DEYNEĞİ Türk solcularına çevirmişsiniz.

Here Koray claimed that there are Turks who infiltrated into international anarchist organizations turning them into something similar to Turkish leftist organizations. You see the logic at play here...

Spassmaschine
Dec 3 2014 19:33
Soapy wrote:
Flava O Flav wrote:
Yeah I did. It's completely insufficient.
2. Humanitarian aid, lovely. But are we just to sit back and wait for people to become refugees because of the assualt by isis and then throw them some food? What about assisting the fight against ISIS?

Interesting logic here, why didnt you join the Mehdi army 10 years ago? Another example of a supposedly socially revolutionary group made up of the poorest and unemployed Shia of Iraq. With its social programs the Mehdi army did manage to improve the lives of millions of poor shia in iraq. From its beginning it was savagely attacked by the coalition forces. It was the precursor to what it now called ISIS.

Bit of a derail, but what makes you say Mahdi army was a precursor to ISIS?

Joseph Kay
Dec 3 2014 19:34
Flava O Flav wrote:
This straw man of some anarchists comparing Rojava to Spain in 36, (Just because Graeber said it) is designed to draw us away from what is actually happening on the ground

It's not really a straw man when it's an actual position put forward, including by a best-selling anarchist public intellectual, and heavy circulation of images like this on facebook (including by friends/comrades):

Anyway, if anyone actually knows anything about what's going on the ground, please contribute here. Otherwise it sounds like "what is actually happening on the ground" is just another piece of corpse-mouthed ideological rhetoric.

Gepetto
Dec 3 2014 20:05
Joseph Kay wrote:
Flava O Flav wrote:
This straw man of some anarchists comparing Rojava to Spain in 36, (Just because Graeber said it) is designed to draw us away from what is actually happening on the ground

It's not really a straw man when it's an actual position put forward, including by a best-selling anarchist public intellectual, and heavy circulation of images like this on facebook (including by friends/comrades):

The best one was the one in which anarchist improvised armored vehicles from 1936 were compared to the ones used by Kurds today, as if that meant anything. You couldn't get more tankie-ist.

Flava O Flav
Dec 3 2014 20:04
Joseph Kay wrote:

Anyway, if anyone actually knows anything about what's going on the ground, please contribute here. Otherwise it sounds like "what is actually happening on the ground" is just another piece of corpse-mouthed ideological rhetoric.

Ironic because that's pretty much what I thought of the AF statement. I mean a key thing is that not even the AF statement denies there have been concrete gains for women, that is something that has been happening on the ground.

Flava O Flav
Dec 3 2014 20:06
Gepetto wrote:
Joseph Kay wrote:
Flava O Flav wrote:
This straw man of some anarchists comparing Rojava to Spain in 36, (Just because Graeber said it) is designed to draw us away from what is actually happening on the ground

It's not really a straw man when it's an actual position put forward, including by a best-selling anarchist public intellectual, and heavy circulation of images like this on facebook (including by friends/comrades):

The best one was the one in which anarchist improvised armored vehicles from 1936 were compared to the ones used by Kurds today. You couldn't get more tankie-ist.

Why not just write a critique of Graeber though. He's hardly representative of much outside of himself and his followers. I mean, he isn't really a stick to beat non-IFA organised anarchism with.

Koray
Dec 3 2014 20:10

Mikail you understood what I meant but you reflect it wrongly.

Tabii ki sızma derken işin esprisindeyim. Sızıp oralara ulusalcılık aşılamaya çalışan gizli bir grup olduğunuzu düşünmüyorum tabii ki. Bu kadar salak değil Kürtler, sevinme. Demek istediğim hücrelerinize sinmiş PKK düşmanlığını bir şekilde beraber olduğunuz anarşist gruplara da yansıttığınız. Bu yazdığımı da çevirirsin gerçeğin peşindeysen.

Koray
Dec 3 2014 20:36

By the way the source of Muslim' s speech is RUDAW, a news agency related with Barzani and their relationship with PKK/PYD is bad. Yuksekovahaber took it from RUDAW. This speech is understandable if Muslim said sth like a ceasefire with Nusra, but it is also claimed that he said Nusra wants a democratic Syria. I think Muslim does not say sth like this. Muslim has not confirmed it yet, also ANF (Firat News Agency, related with PKK) has not published anything about this speech.

kurekmurek
Dec 3 2014 21:10

Soapy what was precursor to what?

Tyrion
Dec 3 2014 21:52
Spassmaschine wrote:
Soapy wrote:
Flava O Flav wrote:
Yeah I did. It's completely insufficient.
2. Humanitarian aid, lovely. But are we just to sit back and wait for people to become refugees because of the assualt by isis and then throw them some food? What about assisting the fight against ISIS?

Interesting logic here, why didnt you join the Mehdi army 10 years ago? Another example of a supposedly socially revolutionary group made up of the poorest and unemployed Shia of Iraq. With its social programs the Mehdi army did manage to improve the lives of millions of poor shia in iraq. From its beginning it was savagely attacked by the coalition forces. It was the precursor to what it now called ISIS.

Bit of a derail, but what makes you say Mahdi army was a precursor to ISIS?

Yes, I don't think this is accurate. The Mahdi Army is a Shia group and certainly not an ally or predecessor of ISIS and it's fierce Sunni sectarianism. But I think the broader point does stand up, that the logic of PKK/PYD cheerleaders could just as well be used to justify anarchist support for the Iraqi "resistance" in its fight against US imperialism.

Leo
Dec 4 2014 01:44
Quote:
Incidentally, I don't think DAF is a "disgusting" organisation, but an organisation we have some serious disagreements with. If you know of any groups "better than these people" please let us know about them or ask them to get in touch with us.

With some of them, I have, several times. They weren't interested, they're not really impressed by the IAF. With others, like the group the guy you're quoting is involved, you should try your luck. Contacts with DAF doesn't help. DAF is a disgusting organization for the better parts of anarchists in Turkey: it is seen as a deeply authoritarian, macho and leftist group and I don't find this to be an inaccurate critique.

Quote:
You should also know that the IAF is not a monolithic organisation but is more of a class struggle anarchist alliance of federations. It's not set up like the ICC where each section will have exactly the same politics.

No, I know. It's an organization with sections who support armed nationalist groups and others who are embarrassed about this.

Serge Forward
Dec 4 2014 07:19

Leo, are you able to write a sentence that isn't full of sneer? It's a pity because much of what you say makes sense to me, but the way you say it is arse.

Burgers
Dec 4 2014 08:50

I keep trying to ignore the "Our proposed actions" as I think the statement is a genuine attempt to put distance between AF and the "Rojava revolution" crowd, but the idea of giving money to a organisation that is actively supporting the war is problematic to put it mildly.

Alf
Dec 4 2014 10:07

I agree with your last point, Burgers, but I don't think the last section of the statement should be ignored, because it points to a rather deep problem.

I think the main part of the statement is very clear on the leftist, nationalist nature of the PKK and it shows that the turn towards Bookchinism and ‘confederal democracy’ was initiated from above by its great leader Ocalan, who has also made similar approaches to the Assad regime, the Turkish state and towards Islam . The AF has the courage to admit that the position it is taking up will not be popular given the large number of anarchists being drawn into the support for the ‘Rojava revolution’.

But here we see a total incoherence within the same ‘international’ tendency. The AF statement contains no criticism whatever of the DAF and in its list of ‘concrete’ actions proposed at the end of statement is the call to “provide humanitarian aid to Rojava via IFA, which has direct contact with DAF”. This seems to be a concession to the pressure of “we must do something now”, which is very strong in the anarchist milieu, even if the aid (whether military or humanitarian) organised by a small group in Turkey can only play into the hands of bigger organisations, such as the PKK. And this is in reality what the DAF is proposing, since it has offered volunteers to fight in the PKK-controlled ‘Peoples Protection Units’ or YPG.

The AF also writes that it aims to “encourage and support any independent action of workers and peasants in the Rojava region. Argue against any nationalist agitation and for the unity of Kurdish, Arab, Muslim, Christian and Yezidi workers and peasants. Any such independent initiatives must free themselves from PKK/PYD control, and equally from aid by the Western allies, from their clients like the Free Syrian Army, Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party, and the Turkish state”. But it could hardly do so without also arguing against the pro-PKK positions of the DAF itself. .

The problem here is not simply one of 'disagreements' between groups of the IAF, but, as Leo points out, of basic class lines between nationalism and internationalism, which could only be 'compatible' in an 'International Federation' which is actually opposed to political coherence and where a real confrontation of differences does not exist.

What's more, the difference seems wider than just between the AF and the DAF itself: as far as I can see, the IAF itself has published all the statements of the DAF without criticism.

It would also be useful to know whether there have been discussions/disagreements about these issues within the AF itself.

Battlescarred
Dec 4 2014 10:23

What, the way that discussions/disagreements within the ICC are always made public you mean????

alakarga
Dec 4 2014 10:27

Dilar Dirik is an activist of the Kurdish Women’s Movement and a PhD candidate in the Sociology Department of the University of Cambridge. Her lecture at the 4th New World Summit is entitled “Stateless Democracy: How the Kurdish Women Movement Liberated Democracy from the State”

http://vimeo.com/107639261

Burgers
Dec 4 2014 11:33
Alf wrote:
I agree with your last point, Burgers, but I don't think the last section of the statement should be ignored, because it points to a rather deep problem.

Ignored wasn't really the right word, more look positive on the points I agree with in the article, rather than simply focusing on the negative points, which I agree with you on and have said elsewhere.

Alf
Dec 4 2014 12:06

Battlescarred, I was afraid I might get that response, and I'm not going to provide a link to all the articles about our own internal debates and crises because it would probably derail the discussion. Given the extent of the disagreements with in the anarchist movement and the federal structure of the AF, I think it's justified to ask whether the AF statement represents the position of the whole organisation.

Burgers
Dec 4 2014 12:09
Serge Forward wrote:
You should also know that the IAF is not a monolithic organisation but is more of a class struggle anarchist alliance of federations.

I don't think left communist organisations are monolithic, but are based on class and internationalist positions, within that framework you can have differences.
Where the problem arises with anarchist organisation is when different local/regional/national groups all take different positions on something that is so fundamental like imperialist war.

If I remember correct, Kropotkin was booted from Freedom because of his pro war stance and rightly so. Dare I say this, maybe AF should look at booting the IFA for it's own pro-war stance.

IFA publishing this should make AF member who hold there A&P's dear, think twice about the International they belong to.

Quote:
Revolution will win in Kobanê!

Our Comrades in Boydê Village Reports

It's the 24th day of ISIS attacks on Kobanê. While people's defending forces in all border villages are on human shield sentry for Kobanê against attacks, everyone, everywhere in the region we live, rised up not to let Kobanê fall.

We have been on human shield sentry for around three weeks in Boydê village west of Kobanê. In the last two days, explosions and sounds of clashes got intense in Kobanê's outer districts and town center. During this period of intense clashes, military forces increased their attacks on human shield sentries at border villages. Soldiers of Turkish State has been attacking with gas bombs to those who approach the border from both sides, including the village that we are in, which was attacked on Tuesday. Soldiers also used live ammunition from time to time in their attacks and wounded people.

These attacks on border villages especially mean that ISIS forces are allowed passage through the border. Republic of Turkey's support to ISIS is clearly visible here as it is there. Of course that's not the only thing that is clear. We have learned that one of the ISIS leaders commanding the attack on Kobanê got killed by YPJ/YPG forces. Meanwhile clashes today are as intense as before and continued all day long. Sounds of clashes almost never stopped today. However now we know that explosions are made by YPJ/YPG forces. It's reported that YPJ/YPG forces tactically emptied the streets of Kobanê at town center and ambushed ISIS, neutralizing them with successful tactics.

Everyone's excited by what's told at village meetings; one of them is ISIS' fear of women guerillas. ISIS represents the state, the terror, the massacre and also the patriarchy of course. Because of their belief that they cannot be so-called "martyrs" when they get killed by a women guerilla, a YPJ fighter, they are scared of encountering YPJ forces. Because when they encounter them, the women who "fight" against them show no mercy to the ISIS lot. This is the freedom against patriarchy created by YPJ fighting.

The rebellion that rises in all of Kurdistan and all cities of Anatolia in the last two days, makes us feel the invincibility of organized people. These rebellions increase the confidence in revolution for everyone in Kobanê, in villages at Kobanê border, and in all of Rojava. Whenever a sister or brother falls, although we feel the sorrow, it intensifies everyone's anger and power here. Requiems that start with hitting on knees turn into halay dance with feet kicking fast and strong enough to crack the earth. Thus our sorrow bursts into anger, fast and strong.

This is just what everyone needs here. For the freedom and revolution that's craved, despite everything.

Long live the People's Kobanê Resistance!

Long live the People's Rojava Revolution!

Long live our Revolutionary Anarchist Action!

Battlescarred
Dec 4 2014 12:24
Alf wrote:
Battlescarred, I was afraid I might get that response, and I'm not going to provide a link to all the articles about our own internal debates and crises because it would probably derail the discussion. Given the extent of the disagreements with in the anarchist movement and the federal structure of the AF, I think it's justified to ask whether the AF statement represents the position of the whole organisation.

well, it was approved by the whole organisation with no dissenters so....

Battlescarred
Dec 4 2014 12:30

As to the IAF/IFA we will argue this position at forthcoming international meetings hoping to convince rather than flounce at the drop of a hat. After that, we shall see...
As to some of the angry responses and in some cases totally uncritical worship of Ocalan we've had on Facebook you wouldn't credit it (or perhaps you would) Encouraged though by one person who said on FB that she had changed her mind about Rojava after reading our statement