Since this is the time of year when so many of us choose to articulate goals and promise big changes, I say we transfer this concept to the realm of dissent. With that in mind, I offer an admittedly incomplete list of 20 activist resolutions for 2015.
- Join the struggle against patriarchy, sexism, and misogyny
- Don’t carry protest signs that bear the URL of self-promoting sectarian groups
Mickey Z. -- World News Trust
Jan. 5, 2014
Since this is the time of year when so many of us choose to articulate goals and promise big changes, I say we transfer this concept to the realm of dissent. With that in mind, I offer an admittedly incomplete list of 20 activist resolutions for 2015. (Feel free to add yer own!)
- Join the struggle against patriarchy, sexism, and misogyny
- Don’t carry protest signs that bear the URL of self-promoting sectarian groups
- Let this be the year you finally stop falling for the two-party deception
- Environmentalists: wherever and whenever possible, ditch the earth-killing food habits and move quickly and dramatically towards a plant-based way of living
- Vegans: stop bragging about how compassionate you are until you participate in much more than animal rights activism
- Join the struggle against racism and white supremacy
- White people: never again use words and/or phrases like “post-racial” and “play the race card” and “we’re all one” and “I don’t see color”
- Let this be the year you finally stop falling for corporate media propaganda
- Become your own fuckin’ media: write, sing, paint, livestream, blog, tweet, photograph, dance, spread the truth by whatever method works for you
- Get off social media and meet yer comrades face-to-face
- Join the struggle against ableism, ageism, and speciesism
- White people: learn how to be a better ally
- Men: stop being rapists, stop being rapey, stop being quiet in the presence of misogyny, stop blaming feminism for your failure or unwillingness to evolve
- Join the struggle against transphobia, homophobia, and hetero-normativity
- If your favorite tactics haven’t created change by now: Try. Something. New.
- White people: learn how to fuckin’ listen
- Join the struggle against capitalism
- Surrender any and all privileges bestowed upon you
- Choose solidarity, community, and intersectionality instead of ego
- Recognize that all our grievances and all our solutions are connected…
Bonus entry: Listen to Mr. Zinn: "As dogma disintegrates, hope appears. Because it seems that human beings, whatever their backgrounds, are more open than we think, that their behavior cannot be confidently predicted from their past, that we are all creatures vulnerable to new thoughts, new attitudes. And while such vulnerability creates all sorts of possibilities, both good and bad, its very existence is exciting. It means that no human being should be written off, no change in thinking deemed impossible."
Mickey Z. is the author of 12 books, most recently Occupy this Book: Mickey Z. on Activism. Until the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on the Web here. Anyone wishing to support his activist efforts can do so by making a donation here.
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20 Activist Resolutions for 2015 by Mickey Z. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Regime change in Cuba? Che rolling in his grave? The first shriek comes from a liberal, the latter a Marxist. With all due respect to both, I think the former quite confused if he thinks that Castroite Cuba more closely reflects his own Keynesian delusions, and the latter seems not to understand Che’s significant contribution to the normalization of relations between Cuba and the US (even though it occurs long after his death). Che was the Beard’s partner in the charade that was Cuban socialism, and his ally in the effort to rid that island of all forms of dissent and opposition.An Anarchist Critique of the Cuban “Revolution”
by Dave Fryett
December 29, 2014, Seattle
Sri Lanka Guardian
Regime change in Cuba? Che rolling in his grave? The first shriek comes from a liberal, the latter a Marxist. With all due respect to both, I think the former quite confused if he thinks that Castroite Cuba more closely reflects his own Keynesian delusions, and the latter seems not to understand Che’s significant contribution to the normalization of relations between Cuba and the US (even though it occurs long after his death). Che was the Beard’s partner in the charade that was Cuban socialism, and his ally in the effort to rid that island of all forms of dissent and opposition. This seeming capitulation by Raul Castro finds its theoretical justification in a teleology which slithers back through Che and Sankara and Deng and Ho and Lenin, and eventually to Marx and Engels in the First International. More specifically, this fiasco finds its provenance in a single, horrifying, insipid, enervating phrase: the dictatorship of the proletariat.
There will be no regime change in Cuba because the social revolution did not occur. There was instead a Leninist reorganization of capitalist social relations and the ascension of a new ruling class to enforce them. Was anyone quite so gullible as to think that that this would lead to socialism?!? How rich it is to see authoritarian socialists of various stripes hang their heads in holy despair as they try to figure out just where the Cuban Revolution went off the rails. Did anybody really think that this application of Leninist principles was going to produce a different result in Cuba than it had everywhere else? Did anyone really believe that a political party; a party which reproduces within its infrastructure the bourgeois disparities of empowered and powerless, bureaucrat and supplicant, rewarded and punished, rulers and ruled, benefactor and beneficiary; that a party so conceived and constituted could actually create proletarian democracy?
Was anyone quite so witless as to believe that a party whose organizing principle was centralism; a party which disenfranchises the toiling classes, which expunges all organs of worker management and control and utterly divorces the proletariat from public affairs, could at the same time emancipate it?
Well, if anyone had any doubt in their minds about whether this was really a revolution, or just some kind of window-dressing, I’d say the visit put that permanently to rest. There are still people talking like that: This is just a PKK (The Kurdistan Workers’ Party) front, they’re really a Stalinist authoritarian organization that’s just pretending to have adopted radical democracy. No. They’re totally for real. This is a genuine revolution.“No. This is a Genuine Revolution”
By David Graeber and Pinar Öğünç
December 26, 2014
Professor of Anthropology at the London School of Economics, activist, anarchist David Graeber had written an article for the Guardian in October, in the first weeks of the ISIS attacks to Kobane (North Syria), and asked why the world was ignoring the revolutionary Syrian Kurds.
Mentioning his father who volunteered to fight in the International Brigades in defence of the Spanish Republic in 1937, he asked: “If there is a parallel today to Franco’s superficially devout, murderous Falangists, who would it be but ISIS? If there is a parallel to the Mujeres Libres of Spain, who could it be but the courageous women defending the barricades in Kobane? Is the world -and this time most scandalously of all, the international left- really going to be complicit in letting history repeat itself?”
According to Graeber, the autonomous region of Rojava declared with a “social contract” in 2011 as three anti-state, anti-capitalist cantons, was also a remarkable democratic experiment of this era.
In early December, with a group of eight people, students, activists, academics from different parts of Europe and the US, he spent ten days in Cizire -one of the three cantons of Rojava. He had the chance to observe the practice of “democratic autonomy” on the spot, and to ask dozens of questions.
Now he tells his impressions of this trip with bigger questions and answers why this “experiment” of the Syrian Kurds is ignored by the whole world.
The Institute for the Study of Insurgent Warfare has released The Seemingly Quixotic, but Remarkably Effective, Journey of a Small Band of Extreme Islamists And Why It Seems As If They Are Winning, When They May Not Be, a report on the history and strategy of ISIL and its relevance to anarchist insurgents. Since the report was written ISIL have suffered major setbacks, and no longer seem as if they're winning, but these defeats support the analysis presented in the report. Keep checking our blog for updates on the situation.What We Can Learn From ISIL
The Institute for the Study of Insurgent Warfare has released The Seemingly Quixotic, but Remarkably Effective, Journey of a Small Band of Extreme Islamists And Why It Seems As If They Are Winning, When They May Not Be, a report on the history and strategy of ISIL and its relevance to anarchist insurgents. Since the report was written ISIL have suffered major setbacks, and no longer seem as if they're winning, but these defeats support the analysis presented in the report. Keep checking our blog for updates on the situation.
Over the past weeks the news has been dominated by the discussion of the advances of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS, The Islamic State of Iraq and asSham/Syria) through Iraq, the apparent ease with which this has occurred, and the virtual absence of any concerted resistance from an Iraqi military that was trained and armed through an expensive and arduous US military program. The common narrative in the Western media has been centered around the extremism of ISIL, their supposed military prowess, the “threat” that the organization poses domestically to the United States, and the potential for US military intervention in response. There have been other voices, largely in the think tank community, that have been attempting to inject an element of nuance, through a discussion of the constellation of fighting forces on the ground, a discussion of the political history behind the recent uprising, and some of the possible regional dynamics at work, but these have been largely ignored. This seems to be a result of the opacity of the entire discourse, the density of the recent history in the area, and the complexity of the situation on the ground. However, without this sort of background the current events seem to have sprung from nothingness.
As the dominant narrative goes, the US military drew down forces from Iraq in 2010 after succeeding in their mission to stabilize the political structure that resulted from the US invasion and occupation of the country in 2003. There are clearly issues with this narrative, issues that are clear to anyone that has been following events in Iraq closely for the past decade, but even where doubt about this narrative has persisted there is still a sense that the past few years have been relatively stable in Iraq. Hidden by this narrative is not only the political resentment that has been accelerating since 2010, culminating in a protest and occupation movement that was violently dispersed in the early part of 2014, but also the quiet reorganization that has been undertaken by a number of insurgent groups, as well as the dynamics of a region that is characterized by false borders that traverse vast swaths of open desert, a region that has been in a process of political upheaval for the past three years, particularly in Syria and bordering regions of Iraq. To really understand the media phenomena that is now termed ISIL we have to first be clear about some points. Primary among these is the multiplicity of forces that are arrayed within Iraq, specifically the tribal councils, most importantly in the rural north and east of the country, Kurdish groups, and the myriad of organizations participating in the current insurrection, which has largely, though inaccurately, been attributed completely to ISIL. But before discussing ISIL and the current array of forces around Iraq we will return to a period before ISIL or any of its previous incarnations existed, to May 22, 2003, when Paul Bremer signed Coalition Provisional Authority Order Number 2 disbanding the Iraqi military and placing 400,000 people with arms and military training out of work. This move is widely considered to have set the stage for the Iraqi insurgency against the US occupation forces, beginning a trajectory that would move from resistance to occupation through sectarian civil war, the founding of AlQaeda in Iraq and the sectarian militias, the collapse of AQI from US counterinsurgency, the Anbar Awakening (a movement which had much to do with American funding of employment) and the betrayal of the Awakening members by first the US and then the Maliki regime.
It is in this background that we can understand how a small organization, less than 5,000 fighters by most estimates, has come to be the most dominant military force in an area roughly the size of Indiana in which there are tens of thousands of insurgents and any number of regime forces, and how they could launch a lightning strike of such speed and ferocity. Without this background it would almost seem as if ISIL is an invincible force, impervious to defeat, with unlimited resources and numbers that vastly outweigh the actual levels of force that they are able to deploy. ISIL is very adept in the use of guerilla tactics, and many fighters within their ranks have previous experience in insurgent conflict in Iraq, Syria, or Chechnya, among other places, but it is not possible to understand the dynamics of the current conflict without examining their tactics through one essential lens; they are really good at projecting force, expanding capacity and moving through space quickly. This approach, though highly effective currently, generates a widely dispersed force dependent on other elements for its success. The strategy becomes difficult to maintain after a common objective dissipates, and makes impossible the inevitable attempt to move on to constitute the state. State building requires occupying, holding and policing space, and much higher concentrations of force than ISIL is currently able to mobilize. But before moving ahead in this analysis it is important to establish events starting from March 19, 2003, a day many of us who were active at the time remember, the day that Shock and Awe began in Iraq.
Perhaps this modest revolution is better than nothing. But it is hard to see how such a revolution could ever inspire the new Arab Spring that is needed to overthrow both ISIS and their Saudi, Gulf and Turkish backers. The Rojava revolution, with its ‘radical Kurdish identity’ and its bizarre semi-religious cult around Ocalan, will always have limited appeal to Arabs. Only a revolution that clearly offers the prospect of communising ALL the private and state capital of the Arab world (i.e. the vast oil wealth) could begin to compete with the appeal of Islam.Some Comments on the 'Rojava Revolution'
Recent eyewitness reports from Janet Biehl, David Graeber and others from Rojava confirm two things:
1) The economic revolution there is still rather modest. This is further confirmed by a RojavaReport interview with an economics minister in Rojava who wants any cooperatives to compete with private capital. He also admits that ‘with the beginning of the revolution … it was even forbidden to break open a cash box’.
2) The feminist revolution has also been modest. Men still predominate both in the streets and workplaces. And, as the PKK website shows, the organisation’s feminist theory derives more from the thoughts of its patriarch, Abdullah Ocalan, than from any independent feminist movement. Furthermore, any empowerment of women derived from joining - or from being forcibly conscripted into - the militia is unlikely to last. As in previous revolutionary wars, it will inevitably be contradicted by the disempowerment of obeying orders, combined with the brutalisation and trauma of war.
Perhaps this modest revolution is better than nothing. But it is hard to see how such a revolution could ever inspire the new Arab Spring that is needed to overthrow both ISIS and their Saudi, Gulf and Turkish backers. The Rojava revolution, with its ‘radical Kurdish identity’ and its bizarre semi-religious cult around Ocalan, will always have limited appeal to Arabs. Only a revolution that clearly offers the prospect of communising ALL the private and state capital of the Arab world (i.e. the vast oil wealth) could begin to compete with the appeal of Islam.
The PKK/PYD were reluctant to join the anti-Assad uprising in 2012 and are now equally hesitant to overthrow private property. Instead, having allied with Assad’s murderous dictatorship in the past, they are now allying with the US and its murderous bombing campaign. This campaign may have saved Kobane but it has also probably encouraged even more Arabs to distrust the Kurds and to join ISIS. And this is now pushing the region even further into an inter-imperialist bloodbath.
The Rojava delegation never met with the top PKK/PYD politician, Salih Muslim - perhaps because he was busy having a more important meeting with US diplomats. This meeting must have discussed the fact that the PKK/PYD are now trying to work with other more bourgeois Kurdish parties - an arrangement that may have been a condition of further US support.
Evidently, the only hope for the Kurdish proletariat is to overthrow ALL the Kurdish political parties - including the middle-class technocrats of the PKK/PYD. And any such genuine revolution will inevitably require inspiration from proletarian uprisings elsewhere.
Such a scenario may seem impossibly optimistic. But it is probably more realistic than David Graeber's apparent hope that the capitalist Rojava state and its police will somehow wither away once the people have been trained to police themselves!
Today in Bil'in demo 6 Israelis and about doze internationals joined dozens of Bil'iners. Due to changing wind many of us succeeded to resist the efforts of the Israeli armed tugs to disperse us for about an hour. However, when the wind changed to a western one most of us had to return to the village.
This 26-12-14 Friday in Bil'in demo. 5 Israelis and many international activists joined the Bil'iners in the march towards the lands returned and the new separation wall.
The Israeli armed forces stopped us with barrage of tear gas from even approaching the route of the dismantled separation fence. Taking advantage of the friendly northern wind many of us succeeded to around the armored cars and defied them in more than an hour of confrontation.
In our weekly demonstration in Turmus Aya near Ramalah today , in spite all the terror of the Israeli occupation, we have succeeded to plant the olive trees and to raise our voice .
Bil'in activists participated in the demo in Turmus Ayya (where two weeks ago a Palestinian minister was murdered). Two Palestinians, one Israeli, and one international activist were arrested by the Israeli army today (19.12.14 in the peaceful demonstration in Turmus Ayya - Mohammad Al-Khatib (and another 3 activists). Abdallah Abu Rahma. was injured by a direct hit of a sound bomb.
Dozen and the other Palestinian were released s of citizens from suffocation and hit by rubber coated still bullets, after prayers on Friday afternoon, during clashes near the village of "Turmus'ayya"...The Israeli and the International activist released few hours later, Mohammed and the other Palestinian were released on Monday.
Activestills were there to capture it: http://bit.ly/1AB2CF9
19-12-14 The weekly Friday demonstration in the village of Nabi Saleh launched this week from the center of the village, as protesters, villagers and solidarity activists a like marched together towards the expropriated spring. The IDF attempted to disperse the march with tear gas canisters and rubber-coated steel bullets. Soldiers raided the village, chasing after Palestinian teens. Several soldiers invaded a private residence, threatening to arrest the family’s children for throwing stones.
David Reeb http://youtu.be/dcS2DrMP038
Musical Marsh in Al Maasara and a settler replies with live bullets.
The Peaceful Demonstration started from the center of Al Maasara Village, South of Bethlehem. This time the demonstration was with Musicians without Borders group who played music in an initiative to feel the Christmas in a place that is far few kilometers from the Jesus cradle.
The participants were singing and holding the Palestinian flag, when the demonstration reached the Road “60” a settler started firing the protesters, he wanted to kill them.
Tens wounded due to the brutality of the Israeli army, locals and International supporters were attacked as they marched to the village's confiscated lands.
PSCC called for the activity to stand their ground and fight in honor of Ziad Abu Ain martyr.
Al Maasara, south of Bethlehem, is one of many villages that have developed Popular Committees to nonviolently resist construction of “apartheid wall.” And this time the popular committee in Al Maasara called for punishment for the settler who wanted to kill the peaceful protesters.
Friday weekly demonstration, 19.12.2014
As we reached the village - well before the march started a strong smell of gas.flooded us.
Tearfully we realized the falsify statement that the occupation army fires the means of dispersing "Rioting" gas only on "processions without permission" and "illegal demonstrations". They shoot just because they can.
On Friday, participated in the demonstration "a senior Fatah official of Qalqilya and Nablus" and the demonstration was Particularly festive. Less solemn and dignified was the conduct of the army of occupation. The army was waiting inside the village leaving far behind the lines the forbidden road.
The amount of gas that was fired yesterday in Qadum was unusual even to the experienced of us.The whole Village was shrouded in gas. Plenty of gas. They fired stun grenades, rubber.coated steel bullets and even the first time regular live ammunition (not the 22 kind). Several people were hurt after inhaling tear gas or heated by canisters and were treated on the spot. The http://leg.of one Palestinian youth was hit by a live bullet. The bullet entered on one side of the leg and came out on the other side. Non-lethal crowd-control measures? Not even their according to their claims. Do I meet the criminal shooter in Salem? Not likely. It seems that everything is possible these days.The tear gas clouds finally dissipated and it was probably the signal to use to spray the skunk stench water so its mark will remain for days.
In Qassum the Qadumians know to protect their home. Some older women moved forward and stood at the edge of the demonstration not far from the main crowd, one carrying a prayer. A group of girls cheerfully advanced with signs - advancing and retreating, back and forth. Will this be a feminist women's demonstration ? Not.But it was a pretty sight.
I wish recovery to the injured.And thanks to Abdullah Qadumi for this video.
Don't Say We Didn't Know 433
On Wednesday morning December 10th, 2014, Border Policemen in Hebron fired teargas near the Kiton Checkpoint (209), not far from the Palestinian elementary school Ibrahimiya. The gas penetrated the schoolhouse and the principal had to send the children home. One child was hospitalized. On the next day the Israeli forces repeated the action and fired teargas grenades. At Hadiya three teargas grenades landed at the entrance of the school, in Al Khalil four teargas grenades landed in the schoolyard. A child was physically hurt from a teargas grenade and hospitalized. Both schools were closed.
On Monday, December 8th, 2014, Israeli government agents escorted by police demolished the Bedouin village of Al Arakib in the Negev once more.
DON’T SAY WE DIDN’T KNOW #434
According to the Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality’s home demolition statistics, there were 859 Negev Bedouin homes demolished between July 2013 and June 1014!
78% were demolished by the owners under threat by the inspectors that if they didn’t demolish their homes themselves, the State would demolish them, and the owners would have to pay the State’s demolition costs.
On Wednesday, government representatives escorted by police came to demolish homes in Bedouin localities in the Negev. In Tel Arad, north of Kseife, a large addition to a mosque was destroyed. In A-Zarnug, north of the Beer Sheva – Dimona highway, they demolished two structures. In Al-Ghara, west of Nevatim air force base, they demolished a structure, and in Laqiya, they demolished a structure.
For further information: email@example.com
* From my blog at: http://ilanisagainstwalls.blogspot.com
See at the blog previous reports about the joint struggles the Anarchists Against the Wall take part in.
See also: Stories from the year 2100 - 50 years after the revolution
Ahdut (Unity) blog: http://unityispa.wordpress.com/
Ahdut (Unity) Position paper about the Palestinian struggle
English - http://www.anarkismo.net/article/27019
Arabic - http://www.ahewar.org/debat/show.art....aid=430180