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Category Archives: Revolution

Dark Victory in Raqqa

In August, in the living room of an abandoned house on the western outskirts of Raqqa, Syria, I met with Rojda Felat, one of four Kurdish commanders overseeing the campaign to wrest the city from the Islamic State, or ISIS. Wearing fatigues, a beaded head scarf, and turquoise socks, Felat sat cross-legged on the floor, eating a homemade meal that her mother had sent in a plastic container from Qamishli, four hours away, in the northeast of the country. In the kitchen, two young female fighters washed dishes and glanced surreptitiously at Felat with bright-eyed adoration. At forty years old, she affects a passive, stoic expression that transforms startlingly into one of unguarded felicity when she is amused—something that, while we spoke, happened often. She had reason to be in good spirits. Her forces had recently completed an encirclement of Raqqa, and victory appeared to be imminent.

The Raqqa offensive, which concluded in mid-October, marks the culmination of a dramatic rise both for Felat and for the Kurdish political movement to which she belongs. For decades, the Syrian state—officially, the Syrian Arab Republic—was hostile to Kurds. Tens of thousands were stripped of citizenship or dispossessed of land; cultural and political gatherings were banned; schools were forbidden to teach the Kurdish language.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/11/06/dark-victory-in-raqqa

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Posted by on December 11, 2017 in Middle East, Revolution

 

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VIDEO: How to Resist Trump’s Shock Doctrine

Shock. It’s a word that has come up a lot since November— for obvious reasons.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about shock. Ten years ago, I published “The Shock Doctrine,” an investigation that spanned four decades from Pinochet’s U.S.-backed coup in 1970s Chile to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

I noticed a brutal and recurring tactic by right wing governments. After a shocking event – a war, coup, terrorist attack, market crash or natural disaster – exploit the public’s disorientation. Suspend democracy. Push through radical “free market” policies that enrich the 1 percent at the expense of the poor and middle class.

The administration is creating chaos. Daily. Of course many of the scandals are the result of the president’s ignorance and blunders – not some nefarious strategy.

But there is also no doubt that some savvy people around Trump are using the daily shocks as cover to advance wildly pro-corporate policies that bear little resemblance to what Trump pledged on the campaign trail.

And the worst part? This is likely just the warm up.

We need to focus on what this Administration will do when it has a major external shock to exploit.

Maybe it will be an economic crash like 2008. Maybe a natural disaster like Sandy. Or maybe it will be a horrific terrorist event like Manchester or Paris in 2015.

Any one such crisis could redraw the political map overnight, giving Trump and his crew free rein to ram through their most extreme ideas.

But here’s one thing I’ve learned over two decades of reporting from dozens of crises around the world: these tactics can be resisted.

And for your convenience, I’ve tried to boil it down to a 5-step plan.

http://www.naomiklein.org/articles/2017/06/video-how-resist-trumps-shock-doctrine

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2017 in North America, Revolution

 

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A new shock doctrine: in a world of crisis, morality can still win

We live in frightening times. From heads of state tweeting threats of nuclear annihilation, to whole regions rocked by climate chaos, to thousands of migrants drowning off the coasts of Europe, to openly racist parties gaining ground: it feels like there are a lot of reasons to be pessimistic about our collective future.

To take one example, the Caribbean and southern United States are in the midst of an unprecedented hurricane season, pounded by storm after storm. Puerto Rico – hit by Irma, then Maria – is entirely without power and could be for months, its water and communication systems severely compromised. But just as during Hurricane Katrina, the cavalry is missing in action. Donald Trump is too busy trying to get black athletes fired for daring to shine a spotlight on racist violence. A real federal aid package for Puerto Rico has not yet been announced. And the vultures are circling: the business press reports that the only way for Puerto Rico to get the lights back on is to sell off its electricity utility.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/sep/28/labour-shock-doctrine-moral-strategy-naomi-klein

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2017 in Revolution

 

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Anarchism

I consider Anarchism the most beautiful and practical philosophy that has yet been thought of in its application to individual expression and the relation it establishes between the individual and society. Moreover, I am certain that Anarchism is too vital and too close to human nature to ever die.

Source: Anarchism – Adbusters | Journal of the mental environment

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2017 in Revolution

 

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House of Herbs

Casa delle Erbe (House of Herbs) is a growing community that challenges the idea that we need a capitalistic socio-economic structure.The movement was founded in the 90s, in Capracotta, a mountain village in Molise, Central Italy. In a town with no tourism, consistent emigration, and the school on the verge of closing, the inhabitants found themselves in an old and all too common story. Sustenance and growth required capital that the people did not have. Capracotta was turning into a ghost town.Rather than resign themselves to defeat by an unforgiving future, the locals turned to the past and to the land.

Source: House of Herbs – Adbusters | Journal of the mental environment

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2017 in European Union, Revolution

 

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Anarchists Fill Services Void Left by Faltering Greek Governance 

It may seem paradoxical, but Greece’s anarchists are organizing like never before.Seven years of austerity policies and a more recent refugee crisis have left the government with fewer and fewer resources, offering citizens less and less. Many have lost faith. Some who never had faith in the first place are taking matters into their own hands, to the chagrin of the authorities.Tasos Sagris, a 45-year-old member of the Greek anarchist group Void Network and of the “self-organized” Embros theater group, has been at the forefront of a resurgence of social activism that is effectively filling a void in governance.“People trust us because we don’t use the people as customers or voters,” Mr. Sagris said. “Every failure of the system proves the idea of the anarchists to be true.”

 
 

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Protest and persist: why giving up hope is not an option

Last month, Daniel Ellsberg and Edward Snowden had a public conversation about democracy, transparency, whistleblowing and more. In the course of it, Snowden – who was of course Skyping in from Moscow – said that without Ellsberg’s example he would not have done what he did to expose the extent to which the NSA was spying on millions of ordinary people. It was an extraordinary declaration. It meant that the consequences of Ellsberg’s release of the top-secret Pentagon Papers in 1971 were not limited to the impact on a presidency and a war in the 1970s. The consequences were not limited to people alive at that moment. His act was to have an impact on people decades later – Snowden was born 12 years after Ellsberg risked his future for the sake of his principles. Actions often ripple far beyond their immediate objective, and remembering this is reason to live by principle and act in hope that what you do matters, even when results are unlikely to be immediate or obvious.The most important effects are often the most indirect. I sometimes wonder when I’m at a mass march like the Women’s March a month ago whether the reason it matters is because some unknown young person is going to find her purpose in life that will only be evident to the rest of us when she changes the world in 20 years, when she becomes a great liberator.

Source: ZCommunications » Protest and persist: why giving up hope is not an option

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2017 in Revolution

 

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American Anarchists Join YPG in Syria Fighting ISIS, Islamic State

On the morning of his first battle, Brace Belden was underdressed for the cold and shaky from a bout of traveler’s diarrhea. His Kurdish militia unit was camped out on the front line with ISIS, 30 miles from Raqqa, in Syria. Fighters stood around campfires of gas-soaked trash, boiling water for tea, their only comfort besides tobacco. “I’ve never been so dirty in my life,” Belden recalls. When the time came to roll out, he loaded a clip into his Kalashnikov and climbed into a makeshift battlewagon, a patchwork of tank and truck parts armored with scrap metal and poured concrete. Belden took a selfie inside its rusty cabin and posted it online with the caption “Wow this freakin taxi stinks.”

Source: American Anarchists Join YPG in Syria Fighting ISIS, Islamic State – Rolling Stone

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2017 in Middle East, Revolution

 

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This is how we take back control: from the bottom up

Without community, politics is dead. But communities have been scattered like dust in the wind. At work, at home, both practically and imaginatively, we are atomised.As a result, politics is experienced by many people as an external force: dull and irrelevant at best, oppressive and frightening at worst. It is handed down from above rather than developed from below. There are exceptions – the Sanders and Corbyn campaigns, for instance – but even they seemed shallowly rooted in comparison with the deep foundations of solidarity movements grew from in the past, and may disperse as quickly as they gather.It is in the powder of shattered communities that anti-politics swirls, raising towering dust-devils of demagoguery and extremism. These tornadoes threaten to tear down whatever social structures still stand.

Source: This is how we take back control: from the bottom up | George Monbiot | Opinion | The Guardian

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2017 in Revolution

 

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The Zapatistas Are Building The World We Ask For

“If we had spent those 23 years exchanging gunshots,” says Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation in an evening address to the many gathered for “The Zapatistas and ConSciences for Humanity” encounter currently taking place in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, “would we have been able to build this?”

The Subcomandante was referring to the flourishing infrastructures of self-organized Zapatista life, lived by thousands of rebel Indigenous people in the Lacandon jungle of Chiapas, Mexico. The Zapatista movement today celebrates the 23rd anniversary of its uprising in San Cristóbal on Jan. 1, 1994, the day the North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect. In the 23 years that have followed the Zapatistas are organized by small communities known as caracoles and have built autonomous hospitals, schools, health clinics, security, transport, and communications operations.

https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/the-zapatistas-are-building-the-world-we-ask-for/

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2017 in Revolution, South America

 

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