The following discussion seeks to reflect the current situation of Syrian individuals who are trying as hard as they can to free themselves from patterns of collective hypocrisy and over-optimistic thinking. Our experiment was still just newly born when it developed the problem of being unable to clearly distinguish the latent authoritarian power in society and in the state, to draw back the curtains that have concealed it. At the start of the revolution, in small gatherings of friends, we predicted that if the struggle lasted longer than a month, then the country would descend into civil war – this wasn't just an intellectual exercise, as it's our current reality.
Translator's Introduction to The Formation of Local Councils by Omar Aziz
Omar Aziz, revolutionary anarchist born in Damascus, was a friend and comrade to many and is fondly remembered and deeply missed. His text, The Formation of Local Councils, remains one of the core strategic proposals of the social revolution in Syria. He first published it in late 2011, and then released an expanded and revised version in February 2012 with a new introduction. This present translation offers the introductions to both versions and the full text of the second version. It doesn’t seem that Omar’s intention was to produce a static, finished text -- with his emphasis on adapting to local context and changing conditions, it’s likely he would have continued to revise and change his proposals.
Nonviolence can be used in many circumstances as an effective tactic, but it is irrelevant, irresponsible, and utterly ridiculous to even consider it as a strategy. So yes, nonviolence should be utilized as a tactic where pertinent, and in turn pacifism, as an ideology and a strategy, must be purged from our movement.
“The question is not: who has the guns? but rather: what do the people with the guns do? 10,000 or 100,000 proletarians armed to the teeth are nothing if they place their trust in anything beside their own power to change the world. Otherwise, the next day, the next month or the next year, the power whose authority they recognize will take away the guns which they failed to use against it.”
From It's Going Down
Today we announce the formation of the International Revolutionary People’s Guerrilla Forces, an explicitly anarchist, militant group in Rojava seeking to defend the Revolution and advance the cause of anarchism.
The discussion below reflects an overview of the conditions experienced by individuals who are trying to liberate themselves from the system of social hypocrisy and the mentality of subordination. Our experience is still fragile, a newborn.
For many years, I was torn between understanding myself as an artist and as a revolutionary. As I considered the future through the hyperbolic lens of youth, I felt I would eventually have to make a stark decision: either throw myself into the serious business of fighting oppression, or turn my back on my principles and content myself with making things of beauty to be ignored or consumed by the very society I wanted to destroy.
We members of the Black Rose/Rosa Negra Rojava-Syria Solidarity Committee (BRRN-RSSC) in the strongest terms condemn the Bashar al-Assad regime and its Russian and Iranian allies for their recent conquest of Eastern Aleppo.
From Anarkismo by Wayne Price
Review of Samuel Farber, The Politics of Che Guevara (2016)
The recent death of Fidel Castro makes it timely to review this account of how Che Guevara and Fidel Castro created the ideology and social structure of "Communist" Cuba.
“In 2011 and 2012, Syrians launched a popular revolution of enormous consequence and reach. New forms of organisation and expression emerged which reconfigured social relationships away from those based on hierarchy and domination towards the empowerment of individuals and communities. From 2013 on, however, these experiments were increasingly submerged by fierce counter-revolutionary trends, both Assadist and regional. War dismantled the country's infrastructure and social fabric. Over half the population fled its homes. What does this mean for revolution as a desired end?” (219)
Anti-authoritarians Leila Al-Shami and Robin Yassin-Kassab look back over the past fifteen years of resistance movements in Syria, to understand the anarchistic currents that emerged during the revolution that began in 2011. Altough this revolution has gone farther than any other in recent memory, it is poorly understand and has received little support. With Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War, the authors seek to change that.