Category Archives: Turkey

Dilar Dirik on the Rojava Revolution, part 1

http://dilar91.blogspot.com/
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This week, Sean Swain rescinds his 5 minute segment for an election statement from Jwow “Kasich”.

For the main portion of this episode, Bursts spoke with Dilar Dirik. Dilar is a Kurdish refugee living in Germany who’s a phd candidate studying and working around issues connected with the Kurdish Women’s movement and the PYD, or Democratic Union Party, in the Rojava territories within the borders of Syria.

Dilar is a Kurdish refugee living in Germany who’s a phd candidate studying and working around issues connected with the Kurdish Women’s movement and the PYD, or Democratic Union Party, in the Rojava territories within the borders of Syria. With it’s foundation in 2004, the PYD has been attempting to create a dual power situation with the government and centering on an anti-state, anti-capitalist, feminist & ecological critique stemming from the influence of the PKK’s founder, Abdullah Öcalan, and his model of Democratic Confederalism. Democratic Confederalism is, in a large part, influenced strongly by the libertarian socialist philosophy of communalism, a term coined by the late Murray Bookchin. Bookchin, although not an anarchist upon his death, had been influential to certain strains of social anarchist thought since the 1960’s and included elements Communalism of Left Anarchism, Marxism, Syndicalism and Radical Ecology. Following the the 2012 pullout of Syrian government forces from the northern territories, the PYD, a group aligned with the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, has held the territory as three independent cantons (Rojava, Cizre and Efrin) organized through a series of communes, councils and alternative representational structure.

Primarily during this episode and the following, Dilar speaks about the methodologies of the Kurdish Women’s movement in Rojava to autonomously push the PYD at large to create not just an inclusive but to attempt to center on gender balance in all functions, moving to shift things often called “women’s issues” to the fore and make them issues for the movement at large. Dilar also speaks about the shift from the former national liberation struggles of the Kurdish people for inclusion in the nationstates of the middle east to an embracing of a stateless status and an attempt to invite and include as many ethnic, religious and national communities and individuals of the region into the implementation of Democratic Confederalism (that implementation is also known as Democratic Autonomy) as could be done. Their hope, as people in the larger Rojava Revolution, is to expand the model into a self-sustaining, directly democratic society in tension with the state and capitalism.

The Democratic Union Party (PYD), Rojava region, the YPG (Peoples Defense Units) militia and YPJ Star (Women’s Defense Units Star) have come into media headlines in the U.S. of recent because they’ve been some of the main actors in the defense of Kobane (the capital of Rojava) against the forces of the Islamic State In the Levant (ISIL). ISIL has been attacking the three cantons in recent months, in fact for the last 2 years prior to U.S. recognition of it’s existence, and the YPG and YPJ Star have been among the groups fighting ISIL back. The press of ISIL to take the lands, weapons, slaves and wealth and to destroy heretics, continues throughout the 3 cantons despite the retaking of most of the city of Kobane. Perhaps the U.S. public hasn’t learned about resistance and attempts at alternative self-organization until the Siege of Kobane because it challenges the stability of U.S. allies like Turkey, Syria and also of Iran and other countries with significant Kurdish populations in the region.

In the last 2 years, many anarchists in the west have been looking on with interest on the organizing and resistance in Rojava. Recently, David Graber wrote in an op-ed for the U.K. Guardian that the PYD in Rojava fighting the ISIL parallels the Spanish Revolution of 1936 with the Rojava as the anarchists of the FAI and ISIL as the Falangists, and thus that social libertarians worldwide need to pay attention and offer support to the struggles in Rojava. Other western anarchist sources have been critical of the shortfalls of the Rojava Revolution from their ideological perspectives. We here at the Final Straw are excited to present the words of Dilar Dirik about Rojava not because the revolution is by name an anarchist project, but because it teases some boundaries between philosophies and attempts to put them into practice in the midst of a warzone and fight for their lives. This case of Rojava is interesting, but more importantly it’s people, again fighting for their lives.

With that said, because the PKK, which is aligned with the PYD, is on the U.S. terrorist list, it’s difficult to solicit donations for them in the U.S. However, if you’re in the Asheville area, on Wednesday November 5th, 2014 at the Winehaus at 86 Patton Ave, in Asheville from 6:30pm – 8:30pm. There will be music, vegetarian food and the sliding scale tickets from $20-60 will go to the Kurdish Red Crescent to offer material support for those facing assault from the Islamic State. More info can be found at http://bit.ly/aid4rojava

You can find writings by Dilar at http://dilar91.blogspot.com
Also, we’d like to apologize for the quality of Dilar’s audio on the episode, we had a poor connection.

Next week’s show will be the second half of our conversation on the Rojava Revolution and Kurdish women’s movement, media representation of women in Rojava and in the YPJ Star militias fighting against ISIL, if there’s an overlap between anarchism and Democratic Confederalism and more.

For some articles on the Rojava, check out: http://tahriricn.wordpress.com/tag/kurds/
and remain aware that the KDP (Kurdistan Democratic Party) is a seperate movement operating in Iraq and that the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) is a movement based in Turkey. Both groups operate inside of Syria and were involved in the fight against ISIL on Mount Shengal (Sinjar in Arabic), which crosses the border between Iraqi Kurdistan and Rojava.

http://ideasandaction.info/2014/10/rojava-anarcho-syndicalist-perspective/
https://robertgraham.wordpress.com/2014/10/12/david-graeber-support-the-kurds-in-syria/

Playlist

Migrant solidarity and squatting in Calais, France

http://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com/
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Calais is a port city in France that sits as the major nexus of migrants attempting to leave the French (and thus European) mainland to reach the U.K. in seek of asylum. These migrants are fleeing the effects of imperialism (sometimes war, always capital) in their home countries. They hail from Pakistan, Egypt, Syria, Afghanistan, Chad, Nigeria, Sudan and many other places and seek peace and stability in the EU. The irony is that the EU, like the U.S., is a major exporter of the troubles the migrants seek to escape. In many ways, the “immigration crisis” in the U.S. mirrors the reality of the “immigration crisis” in the EU.

This week’s episode of the Final Straw features a conversation with Greta, a No Border Activist living in the UK about struggles of immigrants in Calais, where over the last 2 months there have been raids that have netted hundreds of migrants seeking to leave the mainland and land in the UK with expectation of receiving a refugee status. Greta tells us about the immigration structure of the EU’s Shengen Zone (of which the UK is not a part), about the recent raids and squat evictions in Calais, and the new squat “Impasse de Saline” outside of the city. She also touches on the plight of immigrants in the UK.
http://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com/

The second half of the episode features a segment recorded by our audio-comrades at A-Radio Berlin, entitled “Europe and beyond: the resistance against mega-projects”. From the A-Radio blog:

“We pre­sent an in­ter­view with Bog­dan, an ac­tivist from Ru­ma­nia. The main topic is the re­cent 4th Forum against un­ne­cessa­ry im­po­sed me­ga-​pro­jects, a net­work of major strugg­les against in­fra­struc­tu­re, mi­ning and fra­cking pro­jects (in Eu­ro­pe an bey­ond). The last mee­ting took place in May in Rosia Mon­t­a­na, Ru­ma­nia. The pre­pa­ra­ti­on, the sub­ject of the in­vol­ve­ment of po­li­ti­cal par­ties in such mo­ve­ments as well as the fu­ture per­spec­tive of this par­ti­cu­lar co­or­di­na­ti­on are at the heart of the in­ter­view, but it also gives a quick over­view of the de­ve­lop­ment of the local strugg­le against the pro­po­sed big­gest open-​cast gold mi­ning pro­ject in Eu­ro­pe.”
More at http://aradio.blogsport.de/

For past shows dealing with anti-dev struggles like the ones mentioned above, see the following links:
Hambach Forest Defense: Germany
Zone À Défendre (ZAD): Notre Dames de Landes, France
No-TAV: Turin, Italy

Playlist

A (proxy) conversation with a Turkish Anarchist & Metal

March in Istanbul on May Day 2013
March in Istanbul on May Day 2013
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This week’s episode of the final straw features our light-handed curation of another project’s work. We bring y’all an english language interview with a member of a Karakeok Autonome (http://www.karakok.org/), a Swiss-Turkish anarchist grouping related to the International of Anarchist Federations. The interview was conducted, translated and rerecorded by our comrades at Anarchistisches Radio Berlin. Their work can be found in multiple european languages at http://aradio.blogsport.de . Check them out.

The latter half of the show is metal and crust. This episode features a track from the new Damascus, Syria-based thrash project called Anarchadia, as well as new tracks from SF’s Deafheaven, LA’s Solus and Aberdeen’s Fifteen Dead.

Cheers!

Playlist is available here.