Anarchists join fight against IS to defend Kurdish autonomous areas

Anarchists join fight against IS to defend Kurdish autonomous areas

Taken from a report by the French Anarchist weekly paper Alternative Revolutionaire this short article gives a taste of developements on the ground in the fight against Islamic State.

On Friday 26th September Alternative Libetaire reported that "Istanbul anarchists along other leftists and feminists, have managed to cross over into Syria and the northern town of Kobane which is currently threatened by ISIS.”

“For several days at the Syrian-Turkish border, the city of Kobanê is besieged by forces of the Islamic State (Daesh). Kobanê is a strategic turning point. If the city falls, the whole of Syrian Kurdistan is threatened, and with it a political and social model, that of "democratic autonomy" and "democratic confederalism" built since July 2012.

More than 100,000 inhabitants and residents have become refugees on Turkish territory.
The city is defended by the People’s Protection Units (YPG), militias linked to the PKK, and in which alongside the majority of Kurdish fighters, are also Arabs, Turks, Muslims, Yazidis, Christians or atheists, united against the fanatics of Daesh/ISIS.

Thousands of young people, socialists, trade unionists, revolutionaries, feminists, libertarians have poured in from all over Turkey to Kobanê. They go there to support the refugees and defend the city.
The Turkish army tries to disperse them, yet is accused of being much more permissive with the jihadists who are also trying to cross the border to join Daesh/ISIS

Despite the blockades of the Turkish army, hundreds of activists and militants have managed to cross the border. Among them, the comrades of the Revolutionary Anarchist Action Group, who made the trip to Istanbul to join the defence of Kobanê.

Posted By

Glimmer
Oct 3 2014 21:42

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Auld-bod
Oct 8 2014 16:26

Wellclose, sounds like you badly need a holiday. Politics is not life, it just helps give meaning to it. Have a break.

Caiman del Barrio
Oct 8 2014 16:57
kurremkarmerruk wrote:
Ok, I wont quote but just number my responses:

1) I mean if you say people support due to Anti-imperialist reasons yeah you are right it is very weak argument (not totally bad though, on this issue I do not wish to be judgemental much) But the point is as i tried to indicate my last sentence: Kurdish Autonomy Movement means something bigger and better than anything currently in existence in the region. That issue nobody should miss. Their anti-patriarchalism, their pricnicples of direct democracy and confederalism is a huge thing. Especially if you compare it to Assad Dictatorship, ISIS fundamentalism or arabic nationalisit free syria army. It is a project far beyond democracies of late capitalist countries. So even if there could be slight chance that might work it could might have an effect on libertarian left in that region. That's really important.

On the 'revolutionary'/liberatory/emancipatory value of the PKK, I'd refer you to previous discussions that have happened on here eg the comments below http://libcom.org/news/experiment-west-kurdistan-syrian-kurdistan-has-pr.... I'm personally pretty sceptical about the gender politics: although of course I salute the bravery and courage of the female fighters, it seems like the PKK hierarchy are keen on recruiting female comrades as sex slaves 'for the revolution' (there's a quote of text on this within the discussion comments in the above link).

Quote:
2) I know nobody believes in this but YPG only uses the name Kurdistan to mean a place now they even do not use it as the name of their region (ıts called Rojava) (please check the video I linked above) However I guess I will not be able to persuade anyone on how Kurds offer a project that is very multicultural and open in nature. so I will just skip this and hope that time will settle it for me grin

Well, yes, if you establish a Marxist-Leninist guerrilla organisation and you use terrorism and indiscriminate violence against civilians, then people may doubt your integrity. It's gonna take more than some nice words from Ocalan in a prison cell to convince the world that the PKK have definitively changed. Nothing would make me happier if that were the case, but I think we need to be sceptical.

Quote:
3) I really do not understand your comment on Spanish anarchism. On the one hand you say it was formative on the other you say it was not. You mean what mistakes? You know what better than them now? I really do not get your position.

I mean, it was formative in terms of what they achieved and what they didn't achieve cos of the errors they made (eg compromising with the Generalitat, focusing on the anti-fascist struggle to the detriment of the revolution, not anticipating the Stalinist threat, etc). If we don't and can't learn from the experiences of Spain '36, then there really is no point in your mentioning it.

Quote:
Anyway you are making the mistake of replacing an actual political question (how to win a war and achieve revolution when the all the odds are against you) with a ideological one (it is bad to side with capitalist state, as they can switch from fascism to democracy at will, and hey all democracies are flawed so to hell with them all...) I think this is totally wrong approach.

Well, my question to you is what war do you want to win and who do you want to win it? I mean, the Iraqi/Syrian Civil War is terrifyingly bloody and horrific - further from its conclusion that it probably ever has been - and, even then, it would require a really rigid level of control for the eventual victors to not exact revenge. How do you foresee an independent/'autonomous' Kurdish region accommodating its minorities or treating, eg, IS/Sunni or regime/Alawi prisoners, after so much hatred, blood and atrocities have been committed? How do you foresee the US-led coalition's role in a post-war Syria/Iraq (or whatever replaces them)? Do you honestly think they'll just bomb the bad guys and then fuck off and leave everyone alone? Have they ever done that? In fact, have US bombs ever led to peace?

Quote:
I really want to learn what history teach you to win an actual civil war?

Well, part of the problem is the notion in and of itself of a civil war, which denotes a war within one nation state. Of course, the situation in Syria is now more complicated than a civil war, since IS are technically fighting on 4-5 different fronts against different groups over two countries, but the battle is still for the reins of a nation state (in IS' case, presumably the 'state' would be an Islamic caliphate which extends across as many national borders as possible, destroying them in the process...making them some sort of Islamo-Trotskyists or something wink ). The point is not to 'save' the nation state, but rather to remove it via a revolution, which is why people on here critique the 'nationalism' of FSA etc. So, we say no war but the class war for a reason, since we don't believe human life is worth sacrificing for the restoration of an oppressive, unfree nation state.

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Do you know it better than them now? Do you think you could do it better than them? I think such knowledge can not be had, it is shaped in the actual political process.

Yes it is, and I think it's pretty churlish of some people to cast aspersions on the fighters in Kobane or anywhere else. It seems like a reasonable response to take up arms some mad nutjob religious fundamentalists showing up in your manor to steal your home, kill the men and abduct the women as sex slaves. I think Mikhail would have a hard time convincing Kurds that they should abandon their property, their livestock and their possessions instead of joining the armed resistance. Being 'right' is sometimes not the most important thing.

Godless
Oct 8 2014 17:10

I am going to say one thing and one thing only: Marx Trek is right to support anarchists and YPG-YPJ fighters protecting the people against ISIS. If you had bothered to read an official statement published by the YPG earlier, you would know that there were still civilians present and so the anarchists have every need to take up armed resistance. Or shall we believe that everyone (apart from anarchists because obviously we're all ideologically infallible and would never do anything for the purpose of propaganda) are liars?

Marx-Trek
Oct 8 2014 17:25

I think the WWII era Comintern "anti-fascist" support for Capitalist aggression and the supporting US-led airstrikes under the guise of "anti-imperialism" or suggesting passive support of a humane imperialism is no longer all that relevant due to it being 2014. Large economic shifts have occurred since these old leftist arguments and ultra-left critiques (though historically valid) and the global and local political landscapes have significantly changed, shifted , or been degraded.

I think there is a lingering problem present within this more historical leftist view that if the US or any capitalist actor is involved then all is lost and cannot be supported. This logic blocks anyone's ability to support something on the ground for different economic and political reasons, opposite of the capitalist or US logic of support, whether or not the US is leading airstrikes or not.

Regardless of US airstrikes or not, it is very interesting to see such resistance to a local and regional social-political-economic problem such as ISIS (the threat of ISIS halting "progress", for lack of a better word, anarchist progress, or whatever anti-capitalist & anti-statist progress you wish to call it); such resistance is important.

To put it plainly, I no longer buy the argument that just because the US had led airstrikes against ISIS that action itself is bad or anything within the realm of that action is bad. This argument all but shuts down agency of any other political actor and in effect makes us all powerless to act.

Instead, I see the emergence of another option or another political current flowing forward. The breakup of the region and the creation of a necessity to fight and an opportunity to possible create something different is very exciting. The idea of counter-power, subjective and objective conditions beginning to meet, or the building of revolution/insurrection/etc....may be present and should be pushed and supported. Though I admit the guarantee of success, the failure of such political emergence, or even blatant betrayal of such an emergence is always possible.

There is more going on and more interesting players involved than just the US. The US's interests are not the point of interest - in fact the opposite is the point. US and ISIS a double edged sword, I instead am interested in the 3,4,5,6th actors and their interests or possibility of changing interests. And, the existence of left wing groups and armed people's defense and that anarchists in the region are willingly and wantonly partaking in some fashion is very interesting and encouraging for a new emergence.

kurekmurek
Oct 8 2014 18:10

Caiman del Barrio:

1)

Quote:
I salute the bravery and courage of the female fighters, it seems like the PKK hierarchy are keen on recruiting female comrades as sex slaves 'for the revolution'

This is just bullshit. Come on. This is Turkish state propaganda and if you even cannot get how artificial and made up this is I really think you have no idea what was said about any revolutionary movement by its political rival groups and status quo. I am really amused by your capacity to humiliate Kurdish women by assuming that they are just stupid people. So they even don't know they are used. It is even insulting to reply back to this. Yeah Caiman del Barrio only you know what is revolution, political action etc... and rest (especially the Kurdish women I guess) are just mindless zombies ordered to do stuff. Maybe you could save them as obviously they lack capacity to think for themselves.

2) You can be skeptical as much as you want however the problem is that people in Kobane has no time for that they are stuck because of their bravery to establish an autonomous zone and other the region a freer alternative and not a some sort of dictatorship. And because of that they are now attacked by Islamic State while whole the world does not give a shit. So take your time man no worries... We can always make heroes and reaffirm our political identities after everything is finished.

3)

Quote:
If we don't and can't learn from the experiences of Spain '36, then there really is no point in your mentioning it.

Yeah lets learn from it. What did you learnt? Why it failed you think? Do you think they lost because they were unaware of communist threat? Or because they participated in government? I really don't get what you wish to achieve by discussing this? (I think it will not help you at all: because hard cold fact is a war is a war, you lose it if you have not enough military power.) (By the way I mentioned it to show that this problem of war, the need for supply from countries that are not directly involved etc are always needed. So we should rethink before condemning the Kurds in fight to being cooperative)

4) Yeah what do you want to win? What you don't? But since you think women fighters are stupid sex slaves it is comical to discuss. If you did watched the video I shared you would see women organize separate from Kurdish movement and elect a co-leader for every position (I underlay every, from each canton's government leader to military positions) And you think probably this all the same with ISIS. Maybe their Syria would be so much better every man will have to buy his wife a flower each day?
Also in the same video she mentions they employ quotas in Canton communities to achieve equal participation of every ethnicity, from Arabs to others. But I guess it is also totally meaningless for example FSA with its Arab nationalism will embrace Kurds just as well and possibly they do not plan to write a constitution based on Arab nationality I guess. Yeah yeah I am sure whoever wins everything will be so bad or so good nothing is really important in this fight i guess...
Maybe you should also take a vacation with this nihilistic communist guy? grin Maybe you could visit Kobane after the war to see how nice now after the Kurd's autonomous uprising is crashed.

5)

Quote:
So, we say no war but the class war for a reason, since we don't believe human life is worth sacrificing for the restoration of an oppressive, unfree nation state.

So I guess there are two forms of societies? One is unfree nation state and other totally free and fine communist state. How I never thought of that? You westerners are really intelligent maybe I should go tell this to Fighters in Kobane? Nobody heard about it for sure. By the way you should also please try to organize class organization after Kurds in Syria, with Assad, ISIS or FSA I guess it will be fun.

6) I think it would be meaningless to point about the international potential of a Bookchinian model in Syria. As you think it is something only national no matter what they say. How (maybe) it could show the power of anarchist principles compared to capitalist modernization, Islamic fundamentalism etc, dictatorships etc... and how could have effect beyond neighboring countries and movements in them.

7)

Quote:
Yes it is, and I think it's pretty churlish of some people to cast aspersions on the fighters in Kobane or anywhere else. It seems like a reasonable response to take up arms some mad nutjob religious fundamentalists showing up in your manor to steal your home, kill the men and abduct the women as sex slaves. I think Mikhail would have a hard time convincing Kurds that they should abandon their property, their livestock and their possessions instead of joining the armed resistance. Being 'right' is sometimes not the most important thing.

What what WHAT?.. what do you mean you saying Mikhail coming to Kobane to say people lets give up the arms and give up our livestock?? What imaginary world you live in? What kind of phantasy is that? So you think they need a Turkish guy to teach them how to be a proper communist (and not a stupid Bookchinian) Maybe he can even show some heroic communist skills in gunfighting by“fragging” some jihadists. You know he could pull some magic international communist shots from his AK-47. grin (Maybe he can do it from where he is now as it would be much more international) Then maybe Mikhail could free them from their capitalist class and divide everything to everyone: D This is just comical. It is sad that you think so much about Syria but know so little.

(Unfortunately Caiman del Barrio I really can’t reply back to your post. But please clarify one thing for me? You really think that it would be mostly the same whether the Kurdish autonomous region somehow prevails (or even extends its model to Syria) or ISIS, FSA or Assad wins? Do you think the resulting Syria would be same for you? What do you think would it be same for women or for future politically progressive developments or movements? Other do you also think the same? )

kurekmurek
Oct 8 2014 18:16

Yeah by the way did anyone say that there is no civilians now in the area? It is wrong there is more than 10 thousand people still there, some of are still civil some of them just take arms not to be slaughtered or moved out of their homes. If the ISIS takes Kobane it would be a massacre.

However I still think regardless of "civilians" what everyone should really is the potential that could generate if somehow the Syrian Autonomous regions persist and continue realizing Bookchinian ideas. I think the focus (of this political discussion) should be more on this.

Mark.
Oct 8 2014 19:00
kurremkarmerruk wrote:
You really think that it would be mostly the same whether the Kurdish autonomous region somehow prevails (or even extends its model to Syria) or ISIS, FSA or Assad wins? Do you think the resulting Syria would be same for you? What do you think would it be same for women or for future politically progressive developments or movements? Other do you also think the same? )

I'm only following the discussion, not really taking part, but as the question is being asked I'd say it wouldn't be the same. I'd be interested to hear any arguments that it would be.

kurekmurek
Oct 8 2014 19:18

Mikhail:

Is this your opinion on this issue?

Quote:
Today PKK poses as "secular" simply because it wants to play into the rising anti-Islam, racist sentiments in the west.

1) I think the opposite: Back then as there is a neoliberal Islamist government and it play the card of islam to reintegrate Kurds to Turkish capitalism (I guess we agree on this) and Ocalan (not PKK really) and HDK (the legal part) tried to answer it by saying "we are not anti-Islam as you can see from the congress" (more on this continues below)

2) HDK is designed as a congress to make a platform from every group, especially the Turkish ones from Stalinist parties (most of the left parties in Turkey sympathizes with Stalin (or Mao), except Kurds) to civil societies, from LGBTQ organizations to well all forms of ethnic and religious groups. You know to make the legal side of the movement more strong. Yeah Altan Tan (an Islamist Kurd [but NOT the only Islamist Kurd there are different forms of this ideology]) However I underline HDK is not an Islamist or Kurdish it is much bigger than that (more on this also below)

I think the complex situation can be shown by an example: For example Altan Tan you know what he thinks of the Islamic congress? He should very happy with it right? No not at all he did not even attend to it (go check it) Because if you look at the reports of the Islamic congress It was designed to support the new movement "anti-capitalist muslims" (not the movement I guess but ideology) The speakers etc were from anti-capitalist muslim thinkers (the most important one was Ihsan Eliacik a Turkish interpreter of islam following the way of Ali Seriati) and Islamic congress is not such action for example there were civil Friday prays these were all political mobilisations of masses for rights for ethnic minorities, social justice and confederal government. And no surprise Altan Tan is currently not happy with HDK (and its party now HDP) he claims it is being a marginal leftist organization. (please also check this out, there is an interview made with him)

You see: the "insturment" is there if you pull it to libertarian/secular/social side PKK will not definitely stop you. However it is meaningless to say you must be secular in a sense that you should not even say anything at all about religion, as it might lose power to Kurdish movement. (Especially if we just say this from outside just as a non-living abstract principle) However currently I see no sign in Kurdish movement (I mean the civil side, for Guerrillas it is even absurd to discuss) for counter revolutionary form of Islam becoming dominant. Though of course like Turks, Kurds have high religious commitments in Turkey. And I think Kurdish movement represents the best possible way (in real politic sense) to direct this to a libertarian and social justice causes.

3) I really don't know it very well. what form of collaboration you mean? I thought they were mostly criticized for being sided with Assad against FSA. (as now they do not attack Assad) However I know that they are not given a seat in FSA congress (I forget where it was held but in western country) due to them not accepting to give up their project of Autonomy. Also it is again Turkey's wish (and demand to help them now) they give up autonomy and be part of FSA against Assad. I think these examples show they do not put religion over their democratic ideals (and unfortunately this cost them being alone and helpless in region)

However my main point is that they are giving a war to survive in this hard environment surrounded by very counter revolutionary forces. They do and had to make strategic political moves otherwise they would be wiped out. (so we should not judge them on every act by a sword of political correctness, if it is not a total redirection of ideological principles)

4) No list does not goes on forever, it ends in 3 grin (sorry couldn't help myself) but after that you also make some generalizations: on first one: I think I illustrated enough to show that Kurdish movement is not Islamic. It utilizes it, it does not close its doors to it if that current form of Islam has some sort of compatible goal. but there is no sign that kurdish movement just get lost in Islamism.

5)

Quote:
In fact, it is quite dishonest to give half broken weapons to a bunch of young girls aged 16 or 17 and to send them to the front to die at the hand of ISIS brutes, just to send some PR messages to the West...

no please dont say that, do not victimize women fighters again. Why nobody comprehends that PKK is not a state and it does not "draft" people. People go there voluntarily. People fight there with "bad" weapons not because they are stupid morons or sex slaves or romantics etc. They go there and fight because to have establish a better future. And if this requires war than so be it. They are not PR. What you are saying is just conspiracy to blame Kurdish movement.

There are very good books on kurdish cildren youth and women (in Turkish) full of stories, how little kurdish children saw many pictures of young people in their home's living room and ask for their parents to find out who they are they are their brothers and sisters killed by Turkish forces years ago. moreover learn their names as are the same, families giving the name of the ex-sister to younger sister to make the name live again. however families mostly try to hide this events from their children not to encourage them to join PKK or attend the protests at all. however it is of course find out by child as he learns the world and this happens quite early in these harsh conditions and how they become traumatized by this. and how they go to mountains and take the risk for no other children to die again.

Anyway you should read them (I say this not in the sense "you should learn this super theoretical study and then come back and talk to me" but like if you have more first hand account with Kurdish activists (especially the Guerrillas) and their motivations it would convince you" kind of way) I also met writers of some of them (who got imprisoned for writing these, or their thesis not accepted as it contains to much PKK, seriously) For example two of them I just mentioned are not even Kurds at all. They mostly involved to this by very basic social responsibility or academic stuff and learn about it etc... so do not think these are just propaganda documents. In short we should really learnt to give more subjectivity (or give them the political subjectivity they deserve) to Kurds and Kurdish movement.

kurekmurek
Oct 8 2014 19:26

Mark:
But for example for women you think it would be same under ISIS or Autonomous government? In what way would it be same? Do you think really there will be no meaningful difference? and why do you think that given that Autonomy project applies 50 percent quota to women to all levels of self organization of society. And women organize also as separate to protect their interests? I underline "APPLIES" you know it is not an "yeah surely we will do this in the future no worries" kind of stuff. It is an actual practice protected by the Canton's laws. On what ground you think it will be the same (I even did not mention the obvious reactionary policies ISIS would apply based on their understanding of Islam)

I really do not get it how could it be the same for a women?

Mark.
Oct 8 2014 19:34

I was saying it wouldn't be the same, not that it would be the same.

kurekmurek
Oct 8 2014 19:41

Yeah I am totally sorry man. I hooked up in this debate too much I guess ( I will have a pause grin )

Mark.
Oct 8 2014 19:43

No problem

Wellclose Square
Oct 8 2014 19:52

Auld Bod. Thanks. That's appreciated.

mikail firtinaci
Oct 8 2014 20:08

Kurremkarrekuk:

I neither deny the fact that Kurds are oppressed by the Turkish state nor tried to victimize women. Obviously Kurdish women are very courageous. However, I find it horrible that children are sent to be killed for the purposes of a national cause.

About PKK and religion; thanks for your answers. I think we are basically in agreement that PKK and its numerous front organizations form a cross-class national alliance that is open to the participation of reactionary islamists as long as they comply with PKKs overall nationalist agenda.

And the list about PKKs concessions to islamism goes on... One can start by reading Ocalan's own books. I have neither time or nor any wish to read him again, so anyone interested can just search online.

On PKK and FSA: you should read PYDs declarations that I gave the links for earlier. Salih Muslim said that they are WILLING and IN collaboration with FSA. I believe you know Turkish. Please just see this:

http://t24.com.tr/haber/asli-aydintasbas-pyd-ve-ozgur-suriye-ordusu-anla...

Caiman del Barrio
Oct 8 2014 20:34
kurremkarmerruk wrote:
Caiman del Barrio:

1)

Quote:
I salute the bravery and courage of the female fighters, it seems like the PKK hierarchy are keen on recruiting female comrades as sex slaves 'for the revolution'

Quote:
This is just bullshit. Come on. This is Turkish state propaganda and if you even cannot get how artificial and made up this is I really think you have no idea what was said about any revolutionary movement by its political rival groups and status quo.

From the thread I linked you to:

Caiman del Barrio wrote:
Loath as I am to link to the waffleburgers in the ICC, the accusations against Ocalan and other senior PKK members of repeated rape and sexual abuse of its female members deserve to be heard and maybe Zaher can respond to them:

Quote:
Is there a reason to rejoice about 'the freedom of women' advocated by the PKK?

The PKK says that within the organization men and women are treated equally and that women adhere to the PKK on a voluntary basis. The question is to know whether this is a desirable principle, inherited from its ‘proletarian orientation', or a deceptive illusion.

Numerous accounts mention that many women members of the PKK were fleeing oppression by the family, especially the risk of forced marriage and honor killings in the traditional Kurdish territories and in Turkish society. But contrary to what our speaker from Fekar stated, these women were also victims of male violence in PKK camps and by none other than the great leader himself.

The source of such information is not the propagandists of the Turkish state but several founding members of the PKK itself who left the organization in disgust over the years. Mehmet Cahit Sener, one of the founders of the PKK who led an early and short-lived split called PKK – Vejin[10] wrote in 1991, a year before being killed on a joint operation of the Syrian intelligence and the PKK[11]: “Apo has forced dozens of our female comrades to immoral relations with him, defiled most and declared the ones who insisted on refusing to be people 'who haven't understood the party, who haven't understood us' and has heavily repressed them, and even order the murder of some claiming they are agents. Some of our female comrades who are in this situation are still under arrest and under torture, being forced to make confessions appropriate to the scenarios that they are agents (…) The relations between men and women within the party have turned into a harem in Apo's palace and many female comrades were treated as concubines by this individual.”[12]

Another founding leader of the PKK, Selim Curukkaya, who did actually manage to escape from Apo's grasp to Europe a few years later, wrote in his memoirs of countless incidents supporting Sener's general statements, further elaborating the repressive measures towards women in particular and in regards to the relations between men and women in general. According to Curukkaya's memoirs sexual relations were banned for the entire membership, and those caught were severely punished – tortured, imprisoned and even declared traitors in some cases which led to their executions – male and female alike. One striking example in Curukkaya's memoirs was the imprisonment of a couple of young guerrillas for no reason other than practicing ‘adultery of the eye’, in other words looking at each other. In contrast, the great leader of the PKK had the right to any women in the organization, and the rest of the leadership were rewarded if they proved obedient and useful[13]. Other founding leaders who have left since have admitted that these testimonies were indeed correct.

Not that Ocalan himself hasn't been as open as he could've been in his own speeches, texts, books, declarations and so on and so forth over the years. In a book written by him in 1992 titled Cozumleme, Talimat ve Perspektifler (Analyses, Orders and Perspectives), he stated: “These girls mentioned. I don't know, I have relations with thousands of them. I don't care how anyone understands it. If I've gotten close with some of them, how should this have been? (…) On these subjects, they leave aside all the real measurements and find someone and gossip, say 'this was attempted to be done to me here' or 'this was done to me there'! These shameless women both want to give too much and then develop such things. Some of the people mentioned. Good grace! They say 'we need it so, it would be very good' and then this gossip is developed (…) I'm saying it openly again. This is the sort of warrior I am. I love girls a lot, I value them a lot. I love all of them. I try to turn every girl into a lover, in an unbelievable level, to the point of passion. I try to shape them from their physique to their soul, to their thoughts. I see it in myself to fulfill this task. I define myself openly. If you find me dangerous, don't get close!” [14]

In a pamphlet he wrote more recently, Ocalan called Toplumsal Cinsiyetciligin Ozgurlestirilmesi (The Liberation of Social Sexism), he says: “In the ranks of the PKK, a true love is possible by a heroism proving itself with success. And what can we call the many female-male runaways? Frankly, we can call them the lapsed Kurdish identity proving itself (…) Besides myself and our martyred comrades have heroically been workers for the road to love. If those who supposedly fell like experiencing love haven't understood the value of such efforts, they are either blind, or evil, or scum or traitors. What else can be expected of us for love? You won't run to any successes in your revolutionary duties, and then you'll say you feel like having a relationship! It is clear that this is a shameless approach (…) Even birds make their nests in places untouched by foreigners. Can love build homes in lands and hearts occupied till the throat? Any force you'll take shelter in will do who knows what to the lovers. My experience has showed this: Living with a woman of the order isn't possible without betraying revolutionary duties.”[15]

The talk of freedom of women advocated by the PKK today is rather a cruel irony.

http://en.internationalism.org/icconline/201304/7373/internationalism-on...

Quote:
I am really amused by your capacity to humiliate Kurdish women by assuming that they are just stupid people. So they even don't know they are used. It is even insulting to reply back to this. Yeah Caiman del Barrio only you know what is revolution, political action etc... and rest (especially the Kurdish women I guess) are just mindless zombies ordered to do stuff. Maybe you could save them as obviously they lack capacity to think for themselves.

I honestly don't think Kurdish women fighters are idiots. I stated that there is a history of PKK commanders forcing women into sex, and my evidence is above. Or do you think that the women - and commanders themselves, who've admitted it! - are lying?

Quote:
2) You can be skeptical as much as you want however the problem is that people in Kobane has no time for that they are stuck because of their bravery to establish an autonomous zone and other the region a freer alternative and not a some sort of dictatorship. And because of that they are now attacked by Islamic State while whole the world does not give a shit. So take your time man no worries... We can always make heroes and reaffirm our political identities after everything is finished.

3)

Quote:
If we don't and can't learn from the experiences of Spain '36, then there really is no point in your mentioning it.

Yeah lets learn from it. What did you learnt? Why it failed you think? Do you think they lost because they were unaware of communist threat? Or because they participated in government? I really don't get what you wish to achieve by discussing this? (I think it will not help you at all: because hard cold fact is a war is a war, you lose it if you have not enough military power.) (By the way I mentioned it to show that this problem of war, the need for supply from countries that are not directly involved etc are always needed. So we should rethink before condemning the Kurds in fight to being cooperative)

4) Yeah what do you want to win?

International communism.

Quote:
What you don't?

A nation state which subjugates ethnic minorities, or indeed, a series of monoethnic/communalist Balkanised states.

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But since you think women fighters are stupid sex slaves it is comical to discuss. If you did watched the video I shared you would see women organize separate from Kurdish movement and elect a co-leader for every position (I underlay every, from each canton's government leader to military positions)

I think it's important to take a class line, which means distinguishing between women fighters and the commanders who have a history of forcing them into sex, or indeed, slut-shaming them when they have consensual sex. Like I say, I don't see any point in criticising the fighters, but I can see reasons why people shouldn't travel to the area to take up arms (the original subject of this thread).

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I am sure whoever wins everything will be so bad or so good nothing is really important in this fight i guess...
Maybe you should also take a vacation with this nihilistic communist guy? grin Maybe you could visit Kobane after the war to see how nice now after the Kurd's autonomous uprising is crashed.

I'm not sure who'll win or how. A discussion about this would be good, rather than placing all our chips with the Kurds. There needs to be breaks and rebellions within all the forces there, against militarism, against this war, against the elite's plans. I've heard it said that the IS core is actually reasonably small, and they rely on the support of Sunni tribal leaders. At some point, the villages and towns in which they are embedded need to rise up against them. Likewise, the Kurds would be better off without the PKK, and Syrians would do well to get rid of Assad and the Ba'athists, the FSA leaders positioning themselves (many of whom - even the Pentagon's selected 'moderates' - have some pretty disastrous plans).

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5)
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So, we say no war but the class war for a reason, since we don't believe human life is worth sacrificing for the restoration of an oppressive, unfree nation state.

So I guess there are two forms of societies? One is unfree nation state and other totally free and fine communist state. How I never thought of that? You westerners are really intelligent maybe I should go tell this to Fighters in Kobane? Nobody heard about it for sure. By the way you should also please try to organize class organization after Kurds in Syria, with Assad, ISIS or FSA I guess it will be fun.

Well, no, since I'm an arrogant Westerner (I am, this is true, wink and I hold that the West's 'interventions' in the war is doubtless gonna be negative - my original point, if you remember). You're the one talking about going over there anyway, so if you wanna intervene, I think it falls on you to build the class organisations.

Here in London, I'd probably be better off offering support to refugees from the conflict, helping them fight for asylum seeker status and establish themselves, and supporting them defending themselves against racists and the ripples of the conflict into European cities (like what happened in Hamburg).

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7)
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Yes it is, and I think it's pretty churlish of some people to cast aspersions on the fighters in Kobane or anywhere else. It seems like a reasonable response to take up arms some mad nutjob religious fundamentalists showing up in your manor to steal your home, kill the men and abduct the women as sex slaves. I think Mikhail would have a hard time convincing Kurds that they should abandon their property, their livestock and their possessions instead of joining the armed resistance. Being 'right' is sometimes not the most important thing.

What what WHAT?.. .

You've totally misunderstood me there. I was actually saying that Mikhail wouldn't be able to convince fighters not to fight, and I'm not sure how productive it would be. It seems...insensitive to the point of absurdity to tell people to abandon their homes, property, etc.

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(Unfortunately Caiman del Barrio I really can’t reply back to your post. But please clarify one thing for me? You really think that it would be mostly the same whether the Kurdish autonomous region somehow prevails (or even extends its model to Syria) or ISIS, FSA or Assad wins? Do you think the resulting Syria would be same for you? What do you think would it be same for women or for future politically progressive developments or movements?

Well, possibly not. It's not impossible that a Syria under FSA, or even a Kurdish region under PKK control, would be better than being subsumed into IS. But then, you can use that argument to support Assad (as some do!), forgetting the brutality of the first 18 months of the war before IS' arrival (remember the chemical attacks?). You could also use it to argue for Gaddafi, or Saddam, or even Yanukovich in Ukraine.

The possible permutations of military conquest are actually far more complex than many people would like. It seems much simpler to discount other factors: economic, geopolitical, climactic, etc, and even forget the Faustian Pact of sending the West's planes in. Rather, I think this sort of speculation by foreign 'radicals' on which horse to back is rather cynical. People are dying in their hundreds of thousands and others are using them to furnish their Facebook status and subcultural lifestyle choices.

petey
Oct 8 2014 20:36
solidariedade wrote:
Sectarian violence continues to spread in germany. Last night in Hamburg there were reports of extremely violent clashes between kurds and salafists.

http://www.zeit.de/news/2014-10/08/demonstrationen-kurden-und-salafisten-pruegeln-sich-in-hamburg-08070804

my german has evaporated, so in english:

http://rt.com/news/194060-germany-kurds-muslims-brawls/

http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/10/08/mideast-crisis-germany-protests...

kurekmurek
Oct 8 2014 20:51

Mikhail sorry but we do not agree at all:

1)

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However, I find it horrible that children are sent to be killed for the purposes of a national cause.

I guess everyone is. however this is fault of Turkish (or other states) who did never offer these kids a life in their own language and discriminate and exploit them endlessly.

2) I do not think PKK is ONLY a national movement to see it that way is just like saying AKP (governing party in Turkey) is only Islamist and that is all. (However they are also neoliberal in economy, authoritarian in politics, conservative in certain social issues, On the other hand PKK (as the guerrilla movement) is organized in poorest regions in Turkey (or Kurdistan actually) and among poorest of population (not exclusively but mostly) it is socialist by history, has current libertarian tendencies, has feminist values etc.) However I am tired of repeating this and do not wish to discuss it no more.

3) What nationalist agenda? What nationalist agenda you mean? did you see it in your dream? (I am sorry if this is rude but come on I am really tired now) Agenda of PKK is obvious it is written in so many books now. it is Bookchinian. It is called "Ecological Confederalism" it is based on communal economy all can be found even in english, if you care you can go and see it yourself. It is written by Ocalan himself, Bookchin himself (of course) Daily articles about it can be found in Ozgur Gundem (a Kurdish newspaper) It is discussed by autonomist marxist movement in Turkey, and other numerour publications; go check it out yourself. Please do not make me repeat myself.

4) Yeah I guess you are right they strategically open their doors to even "reactionary islamists" ok? But what does it mean in political terms? Does this mean they are following what islamists say? You know Altan Tan (the islamist Kurd pm) was actually asked by AKP to be with them. Would it be better if AKP had more Kurdish Islamist to their site (combined with their current still huge vote base) Whatever Kurds do politically you always seem to try to find their real true political self under it. It does not even matter to you the wider political reality people need to face while building an mass progressive organization.

5)

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And the list about PKKs concessions to islamism goes on... One can start by reading Ocalan's own books. I have neither time or nor any wish to read him again, so anyone interested can just search online.

No this is just no! what book you mean? what did you read? List still stops here but you frantically switch now to some texts (as opposed to your arguments about at least some social stuff that happened) You even don't bother to support your argument. I think you only pretend to be look good but has no substantial argument or example to support your claim (and your organization possibly)

6) The interview you share is from last year (january) It is very obsolete. Now (let me inform you) YPG is seen as siding with Assad. and you know why YPG seems to change sides so many times but not making any substantial alliances: it is because they want to imply Bookchinian Confederalism for the first time. They do not give a shit about Islamists, or Arab nationalists or dictators . They make strategic moves to maintain their existence. They want a confederate Syria organized by principles of direct democracy.

Why nobody wish to believe in this despite all the evidence to contrary (should I count again?: equal participation of women in all offices, quotas to encourage all ethnicities to participate in governments, a social economy [see Zaher's article], a government based on confederation of cantons and smaller communes and in general their progressive politics) Why this is really hard to swallow?

mikail firtinaci
Oct 8 2014 21:21

Thanks for this enlightening post Kurremkarmerruk.

Anyway, about PYD and FSA, if you want to see a more recent report:

http://www.aljazeera.com.tr/al-jazeera-ozel/pek-cok-konuda-fikir-birligi...

I don't understand why you keep rejecting this. You argued that PKK is a democratic organization and thus (as you seem to accept) it is open to collaboration even with reactionary-islamists; so why are you disturbed by the fact that PKK is in collaboration with FSA?

kurekmurek
Oct 8 2014 21:41

Caiman del Barrio:
1) Ok if you want to believe in this sex slave issue do as you please. But it is never proven It was made by a dissident of PKK who might be in a strategy to get the control of Kurds in his movement. It possibly a made up story. I mean how the hell I can now (or you know) It just seems fishy to me. But important point is: this is a very old accusation that is told to happen years ago. But we are discussing a current fight? Current women fighters? Should all their movement ust becondemned according to something that is not know for sure?

2)

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4) Yeah what do you want to win?

International communism./quote]

Ok International communism. Maybe we should change it to Galactic comunism to start to build it from mars. Not an actual transnational movement that tries to make a revolution and imply Bookchinian ideas. Good thought. I am on it with you, no worries.

3)

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Like I say, I don't see any point in criticising the fighters, but I can see reasons why people shouldn't travel to the area to take up arms (the original subject of this thread).

So you found a rape threat I guess in Kobane (based on a just a claim) . Maybe we should warn everyone. But interestingly women does not seem to care. Why is that maybe they might know whats going on there more than you? (as the original subject was tha fact that people go there grin ) Is it somehow possible? Maybe we should make rape surveys to women there? Come on is this what amounts to "International communism?" (and why are you still phantasize about women and their "commanders"? Don't you read every position has a female co-leader in rojova. For example: Salih Muslim you know he is not the only leader, he has a co-leader who has same right with him and she is currently fighting with ISIS in Kobane)

4)

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A nation state which subjugates ethnic minorities, or indeed, a series of monoethnic/communalist Balkanised states.

It must be obvious by now but Autonomous region is not monoethnic (yeah it is communalistic though in a Bookchinian way)

5)

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There needs to be breaks and rebellions within all the forces there, against militarism, against this war, against the elite's plans. I've heard it said that the IS core is actually reasonably small, and they rely on the support of Sunni tribal leaders. At some point, the villages and towns in which they are embedded need to rise up against them. Likewise, the Kurds would be better off without the PKK, and Syrians would do well to get rid of Assad and the Ba'athists, the FSA leaders positioning themselves (many of whom - even the Pentagon's selected 'moderates' - have some pretty disastrous plans).

Yeah maybe ISIS should say that it was just a joke and come out as international communists? grin What you discuss above is just using some terms (derived from western societies) to to make wishful thinking (they should? what do you mean by they should?) And as a note I am not directly interested in whose going to win. I am interested in realization of a a social direct democracy established in Syria not to fall down. (and what does it mean chips? Would you play your chips to ISIs or Assad? What would it win you? International communism?)

6) Yeah about refugees you are right of course. But I think you could much better to create public attention (it might not solve it of curse but it might be helpful for future that Kurds ofr example know that you supported their cause and maybe form better political bounds.

7) sorry for misunderstanding I am rather tired.

8) So you think it is the same if Syria under FSA or Kurdish autonomy or even Assad (except ISIS):

Quote:
it's not impossible that a Syria under FSA, or even a Kurdish region under PKK control, would be better than being subsumed into IS.

Then challenge you to support your argument: In what sense it will be the same for ethnic/religious groups (Sii, Kurdish, Sunni, Turkmen) will they have quotas and will be represented in governments? will they be able to speak their own languages freely? If FSA wins wont the constitution of new state would not indicate it is an "Arabic state". (FSA). Or women will they for example have the same rights (for example will they be able to fight in armies if they wish so? ) Will communalist economy continue? Will there be a confederation? and please explain how on earth you know none of this is totally worthless? On all these accounts Kurd's Autonomy project is very progressive, how this does not matter? Of course you can ignore everything that is applied so far and argue from total abstract point of view and say "Nah its all nationalism" but I really can not say no more to this insensitivity towards real human struggle and development.

mikail firtinaci
Oct 8 2014 22:00

Ocalan (PKKs imprisoned leader) on Islam: http://www.bianet.org/bianet/siyaset/155582-ocalan-dan-islam-kongresi-ne...

I wish this was in English. This is basically a letter sent by Ocalan to "Kurdistan Democratic Islam Congress," which is addressing his "believer brothers". Ocalan in this text basically praises Islam and Ummah. He says that "we can not be defined by western concepts such as communism and atheism". He then talks about how Kurdistan needs an Islamic institutionalization and so on...

But, I am sure there is a proper Bookchinist and democratic explanation to all this...

kurekmurek
Oct 8 2014 22:02

mikail firtinaci:

No I am not against FSA and Kurds collaboration. I just did not know that it is becoming real now (or seems to) Thank you I did not know it.

However when I read it, it sounds very unreasonable. According to interview Turkey must change its position totally, which seems not the case for now. You know the heart of the matter is that Turkey does not which establishment of autonomous region connected to political goals of PKK for obvious reasons. And Salih Muslim does not really explicitly say we agree on this ( he even say stuff that means Turkey does not follow the implications of the agreement: for example does not attack back to ISIS side after being hit by bombs) Turkey is known to support ISIS quite secretly and speak very soft on issue (but does not help Kobane at all)

So I am having hard time to believe this interview. For example FSA also of course does not wish any Cantons and does not accept it. I really do not see how this issue is solved magically?

Moreover today 5 people are arrested by Turkish Army. They are said to be members of YPG and they crossed to border with AK-47's. This news combined with continuing street protest in Turkey called by HDP. (with death toll of 22 now).I really can not believe Turkey would keep its promise if this thing is happened at all.

However if we would really speak strategy. I guess a change in the attitude of Turkey is realy needed otherwise it would require magic to make Kobane (and others) to survive. The time is against us. they are badly armed. It is really not realistic (I think) to assume they will win. However if my "optimistic" idea is this: I actually think it is possibly only way for them to continue if FSA accepts them and consequently Turkey needs to keep its promise (as they support FSA) and there is somehow an international attack on ISIS and Assad. I am totally not qualified to make such analyses and I am already made myself ashamed but, this seems to be only way they could survive ( however please no one blame me for being supportive of international action, I am just saying a scenario, I would be much much more happy if Turkey just makes arms support to Kurds an they liberate Syria one by one and possibly inspiring all the people around the globe. but i guess life does not work that way.)

kurekmurek
Oct 8 2014 22:16

Mikhail: Yeah but I know all of this:

Quote:
Ocalan (PKKs imprisoned leader) on Islam: http://www.bianet.org/bianet/siyaset/155582-ocalan-dan-islam-kongresi-ne...

Unfortunately there is no Bookchinian explanation. There is only a cold blooded, hard fact political explanation of this Ocalan needs to counter AKP and Hizbullahs (its Turkish part that is different from others it is basically a kurdish islamist fundamentalist group) and to do so he choose the way to get involve in it on isntitutional basis.

The Islamic congress you mention is the same one I mentioned above (it is only one actually I do not what happened to that:

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For example Altan Tan you know what he thinks of the Islamic congress? He should very happy with it right? No not at all he did not even attend to it (go check it) Because if you look at the reports of the Islamic congress It was designed to support the new movement "anti-capitalist muslims" (not the movement I guess but ideology) The speakers etc were from anti-capitalist muslim thinkers (the most important one was Ihsan Eliacik a Turkish interpreter of islam following the way of Ali Seriati) and Islamic congress is not such action for example there were civil Friday prays these were all political mobilisations of masses for rights for ethnic minorities, social justice and confederal government. And no surprise Altan Tan is currently not happy with HDK (and its party now HDP) he claims it is being a marginal leftist organization. (please also check this out, there is an interview made with him)

I think Ocalan wants to connect anti-capitalist muslim movements and sentiment to Kurdish movement who otherwise might be influenced by AKP or Hizbullah. I really think Kurdish movement is in every way much more better than them compared to others.I think it is really important not to miss he fact that Altan Tan (an Islamic Kurd pm he is also self declared reactionary) was not happy with the Islamic Congress at all.

Moreover you can also give example of his last Newroz speech (letter) It also mention we are bounded by islamic bound etc... But these are really strategic moves on the side of Ocalan I think. He tires to reach a much more massive audience. (By the way he also said about this later speech he was misunderstood and did not wish to discriminate against Alevis or others [ Alevies are a religious minority in Turkey])

mikail firtinaci
Oct 8 2014 22:22
Quote:
So I am having hard time to believe this interview. For example FSA also of course does not wish any Cantons and does not accept it. I really do not see how this issue is solved magically?

Why don't you consider the possibility that maybe all those talks about cantons and democratic con-federalism is just the ideological smokescreen, that the real issue here is political hegemony of PKK as an armed nationalist organization?

I agree that only foreign intervention can keep Kobane out of ISIS control. But for communists these are strategic questions of world imperialism. Now, in my humble view the question remains:

1) How to build solidarity with the Kurdish immigrants? How to counteract against the brutal capitalist exploitation of the immigrants?

2) What is the meaning of Kobane question for the world working class? How all this chaos effects the prospects of world revolution? To me this is the only strategic question we can pose here.

kurekmurek
Oct 8 2014 22:23

This news say:
http://www.radikal.com.tr/dunya/isid_kobaniye_guc_yigmaya_devam_ediyor-1...

ISIS Still puts more arms, people, vehicles to Kobane to take it. It also made a successful "positioning" to block the Turkish national border. Now if they take the city the civilians have no place to go. It could end up in a massacre, if Kurds lose.

kurekmurek
Oct 8 2014 22:38

Mikhail:

Quote:
Quote:
So I am having hard time to believe this interview. For example FSA also of course does not wish any Cantons and does not accept it. I really do not see how this issue is solved magically?
Why don't you consider the possibility that maybe all those talks about cantons and democratic con-federalism is just the ideological smokescreen, that the real issue here is political hegemony of PKK as an armed nationalist organization?

I agree that only foreign intervention can keep Kobane out of ISIS control. But for communists these are strategic questions of world imperialism. Now, in my humble view the question remains:

1) How to build solidarity with the Kurdish immigrants? How to counteract against the brutal capitalist exploitation of the immigrants?

2) What is the meaning of Kobane question for the world working class? How all this chaos effects the prospects of world revolution? To me this is the only strategic question we can pose here.

I mean I am totally agree with you. You know if they go and become part of FSA you would be totally right. I have no problem with that (on the condition that if it was obvious in a point that they have no hope of winning at all and they kind of just give up and agree to FSA not to cause more deaths, you know surrender out of total necessity) (Although I must admit the news I copied above seems not good at all)

But if they do not and fight for their ideals would you reconsider your position like you demand from me?

kurekmurek
Oct 8 2014 23:01

By the way I also would like to add this to discussion ( if anyone except me and Mikhail still follows it)

http://anarkismo.net/article/27455

How we should interpret this call for solidarity from "Feminists and LGBTs from Turkey" ? Are they maniacs whishing to be oppressed by not Turkish state but by a Kurdish state? Or might there be something else to it?

The HDK (people's democratic congress, it was organized by kurds to reach more other ethnicities, groups like different womens groups leftist parties, islamists, LGBTQ organizations [not just Kurds at all]) I think for example was a good move on their site and (I think) it appears to produce such statement for example.

I mean this might seem very secondary if you look at the picture from far far away. And I do not claim that Kurdish movement (or Kurds in general) are totaly anti-homophobic but why do you think is that they support Kobane? Could it be because they know Kurdish movement in Turkey? Could it be they know what Autonomy project offers to LGBTQ people (we talked about women already lets neglect that) in Syria (as compared to others or in general maybe)? Or they don't know shit and this is just a propaganda?

How much communists /anarchists care about them? I ask this in relation to my question: Do you think it would be same if Autonomy experiment survives or not? I mean I do not want to make this like a liberal consciousness stuff. But rather like you know for advancement of the interests of global working class (which certainly includes LGBTQ people [as well as woman] how does it relate? Should not we care what they support what they do in the sense that you know, you might need to speak to them later in time? You might be asked what were you doing when the only hope in Syria for me was falling down? Why as a communist you claimed it is the same for you if it is Assad or ISIS or Democratic Autonomy?

kurekmurek
Oct 9 2014 01:40

By the way related to topic I just saw this facebook post by DAF (link: https://www.facebook.com/anarsistfaaliyetorg/photos/a.1489777307904821.1...)
In summary:
It says we have people in Kobane who are acting as "human shield" for three weeks now. In last two days the sound of clashes in the streets of Kobane increased. Turkish army throws pepper gas grenades to us. The current opposition in Turkey and other places give everyone power here. Long live the people's resistance of Kobane!

ben.
Oct 9 2014 02:37

Rush job PDF pamphlet of the article David Graeber wrote about the situation: http://oplopanaxpublishing.wordpress.com/2014/10/09/why-is-the-world-ign...

ajjohnstone
Oct 9 2014 02:55

Sorry to say i am very much a Johnny-Come-Lately to understanding the situation and so still in catch-up phase and cannot make any comments.

However i did come across this article of a visit to the region not too many months ago published by Norwegian Bookchin-influenced group, which some may not have read before and might find interesting and explain the sympathies of many anarchists.

http://new-compass.net/articles/revolution-rojava