An interesting report by Zaher Baher of Haringey Solidarity Group and Kurdistan Anarchists Forum who spent two weeks in Syrian Kurdistan, looking at the experiences of self-government in the region
What you read below is the experience of my visit, for a couple of weeks in May this year, 2014, to North East of Syria or Syrian Kurdistan (West of Kurdistan) with a close friend of mine.
Throughout the visit we had the total freedom and opportunity to see and speak to whoever we wanted to. This includes women, men, youth, and the political parties. There are over 20 parties from Kurdish to Christian, of which some are in the Democratic Self Administration (DSA) or Democratic Self Management (DSM) of the region of Al Jazera. Al Jazera is one of three regions, (cantons) of West Kurdistan. We also met the Kurdish and Christian political parties who are not in the DSA or DSM. In addition, we met the top people from the Democratic Self Administration (DSM), members of the different committees, local groups and communes as well as businesspeople, shopkeepers, workers, people in the market and people who were just walking in the street. Read the rest of this entry
بقلم صادق جلال العظم
ترجمة: مروان زكريا
فاجأتني انتفاضة الشعب في وجه نظام عائلة الأسد العسكري ودولته الأمنية في سورية. خشيت في البداية أن يقوم النظام بسحقها بشكل شبه فوري، بسبب شراسته وقمعيته الأسطوريتين. وكغيري من المثقفين السوريين، شعرت بعجز تام أمام هذا الوحش الضاري، الذي كان يدفن أي صوت جماعي على وشك أن يقول “لا” أو حتى يضمر نية قولها.
وتفاجأت بالثورة مخطئاً. إذ بشرت الوقائع والمشاهدات اليومية بحدوث أزمة حاول الكثير من السوريين جاهدين إنكارها. وإنكارها هو ما فعلناه، وسأشرح ذلك.
By Sadik J Al-Azm
The people’s intifada in Syria, against the military regime and police state of the Assad family, took me by surprise. I was fearful at first that the regime would crush it almost instantly, given its legendary ferocity and repressiveness. Like other Syrian intellectuals, I felt total impotence before this devouring monster, which precluded any thought of an imminent, or even possible, collective “no.”
I was surprised by the revolution, but I should not have been. Daily experiences and recurrent observations foretold a crisis that many Syrians tried hard to deny. And deny we did. Let me explain. Read the rest of this entry
By Leila Al Shami
Syrians have repeatedly shown that they refuse to accept the tyrannies of either Bashar Al Assad or any extremist group that tries to impose its vision upon them. In the last couple of months, strengthened by American and Iraqi army weapons captured in Iraq, the Islamic State (formally ISIS and known locally as Daesh) has made dramatic gains in north and eastern Syria. Where it has gone it has imposed its hate-filled, reactionary interpretation of Islamic Law and severe restrictions on local people, committed sectarian massacres and other atrocities such as crucifixions and beheadings, and assassinated and imprisoned revolutionaries. But in the eastern province of Deir Al Zour, close to the Iraqi border, local popular resistance is now doing what the Syrian regime and American-funded Iraqi army failed to do; it is forcing Daesh out. Read the rest of this entry
GREECE/SYRIA: Statement by SRSB in solidarity with struggle against dumping of chemical weapons in the Mediterranean sea
Protests in Crete continue against the destruction of the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons in the Mediterranean sea. The United States, Russia and the United Nations wanted to get rid of the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons and did not mind turning the Mediterranean sea into a waste dump for toxic agents.
The process of burying the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons in international waters between Malta, Greece and Italy has already begun, but local communities are not watching this idly.
On 23 March, almost 10,000 Cretans rallied in the tiny village of Arkadi against the plan to dump the chemical weapons in the Mediterranean. An international online petition has been issued to demand a a halt to process that poses catastrophic ramifications on the marine ecosystem. On 25 July, a flotilla of three boats carrying about 30 fishermen, activists and scientists attempted to sail to prevent the destruction of the chemical weapons aboard the US vessel MV Cape Ray. The flotilla, however, was derailed by bad weather and high waves. Protests took place in Italy, too. Some of the Majors of Gioia Tauro protested outside the parliament against the arrival of chemical weapons in their port. Activists from Crete said: “If you don’t fight you won’t achieve anything. If you fight, you might achieve something.” And now more than ever, it’s our duty to support their fight and reject the destruction of Assad’s weapons in our sea. Read the rest of this entry
By Leila Al Shami
I spent a lot of time in Gaza during the first two years of the Syrian revolution. Unlike in other social contexts, where I often hesitated to talk about Syria fearful of having to deal with stupid reactions or banal analysis, in Gaza this wasn’t an issue with people I met. Gazans who experience terror on a daily basis never failed to ask me how my family in Syria was doing, or express their solidarity with the Syrian uprising against the terror of the Assad regime. Through their own experience, they empathized with the suffering of the Syrian people, understood their desire for freedom and supported their resistance to tyranny. Read the rest of this entry
To sign on to this statement please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Scroll down for other languages and list of signatures
As Syrians mark the first anniversary of the Assad regime’s chemical attacks on Al Ghouta, which caused the death of several hundred people, we the undersigned stand in solidarity with the millions of Syrians who have struggled for dignity and freedom since March 2011. We call on the people of the world to act in support of the revolution and its goals, demanding the immediate end of the violence and the end of the illegitimate Assad regime. Read the rest of this entry
by Michael Karadjis
As a coalition of Sunni-based forces, including the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS), took the major northern Iraqi city of Mosul and then most of the Sunni heartland in the north and west of Iraq, regional and western capitals went into crisis mode: the entire post-US occupation stabilisation had collapsed in a heap.
And the coalition leading this revolt consists of none other than the same forces which led the Iraqi resistance to US occupation throughout the middle years of the last decade. Yes, once again the arch-reactionary ISIS itself has revealed its brutality, with reported mass killing of captured soldiers, a crime against humanity; in the same way that monstrous acts, such as bombing work queues and Shiite mosques, were carried out during the anti-US resistance by al-Qaida in Iraq (ie, what became ISIS); horrific repression is partly to blame for breeding horrific reactions. In both cases however, this most violent and irrational element does not define the movement, still less explain its strength. Read the rest of this entry
PALESTINE: Freedom for all Palestinian prisoners in Israeli occupation jails; down with administrative detention and all forms of imprisonment
On Thursday, 24 April 2014, nearly 100 Palestinian administrative detainees launched an open-ended hunger-strike to demand their immediate release and an end to the policy of administrative detention, routinely employed by Israel. Since then, the number of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners in Israeli occupation jails has risen to more than 130, with other political prisoners, including ill and elderly prisoners, joining the protest in solidarity. Read the rest of this entry
الحرّيّة لجميع الأسرى والأسيرات الفلسطينيين/ات في سجون الاحتلال، وتسقط كافة أشكال الاعتقال والاحتجاز
أعلن زهاء مئة معتقل إداري فلسطيني في سجون الاحتلال الإسرائيلي، إضراباً مفتوحاً عن الطعام ابتداءً من 24 نيسان/أبريل الماضي للمطالبة بالإفراج الفوري عنهم، وبإنهاء سياسة الاعتقال الإداري التي يتبعها الاحتلال الإسرائيلي بشكل ممنهج، وقد ارتفع عدد المضربين عن الطعام منذ ذلك اليوم إلى أكثر من 130 أسيراً، بعد انضمام عدد من الأسرى السياسيين الآخرين والمرضى والكبار في السن إلى الاضراب تضامناً مع الأسرى الإداريين. Read the rest of this entry