Translated by Bordered by Silence
Translators intro: I chose to translate this text because there aren’t many texts circulating in English critiquing the complicity of the Syrian opposition groups in Turkey with the increasingly authoritarian position of the Turkish government, especially not from an anti-authoritarian perspective. Though I do consider this text to be substantially anti-authoritarian for its insistance that revolt must not confine itself to a single country or tyrant, the author situates his argument relative to several categories that are essentially authoritarian, particularly “state-building”. Though state-building is often presented as nearly a synonym to “peace-building” and the word “state” is sometimes carelessly used to mean “society”, there author doesn’t get into enough detail on these concepts to allow us to understand them other than literally. That said, “state-building” and “the rule of law” are juxtaposed with radical Islamist groups and “developing citizenship” is presented as an alternative to the sectarianism pushed by meddling foreign states — this is a context for which anarchists in North American or Europe have no comparison. That’s why, in spite of the references to “state-building”, “citizenship”, “rule of law” and rights discourse, I still consider this text to be of interest to anarchists and to anyone interested in understanding grassroots struggle in the Syrian diaspora.
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.
From It's Going Down
The first anarchist battalion has been launched in Rojava, and with that a new call for revolutionary anarchists from around the world to join them. Rojava Solidarity NYC (RS NYC) conducted an interview with the members of the International Revolutionary People’s Guerrilla Forces (IRPGF) about how they got started, how they have experienced revolutionary life and the possibilities for anarchists when an autonomous region supports the movement.
Posted by tahriricn Omar Aziz (fondly known by friends as Abu Kamel) was born in Damascus. He returned to Syria from exile in Saudi Arabia and the United States in the early days of the Syrian revolution.
An intellectual, economist, anarchist, husband and father, at the age of 63, he committed himself to the revolutionary struggle.
From Anews Podcast
This is the sixth episode of the podcast for Anarchist News dot org. This is a topical news project based on the posts of Anarchist News, about what is happening in the anarchist space.
It was recorded the 8th of April and covers the last week.
Last night the U.S. military launched nearly 5 dozen cruise missiles at Syria from U.S. Navy ships in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. This was a U.S. response to chemical attacks against civilians allegedly ordered by Bashar al-Assad. The Democrats and Republicans are united in their support for U.S. imperialism. Hours before the attack Hillary Clinton “came out of the woods” to say that the U.S. should conduct air strikes against targets in Syria. Today stocks in Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, war profiteers who make hellfire missiles, have been rising. The war profiteering companies U.S. officials euphemistically call the “defense industry” are full of alchemists who know the right mixtures to turn blood, horror, displacement, and human misery into profits. It is difficult to formulate an adequate response, beyond our general stance against imperialism and militarism, when there is so little information to go on beyond U.S. State Department statements and corporate media reporting based on those statements. However the following are some short initial thoughts from Black Rose – Central Illinois. This is not a definitive position paper or anything so official, but simply an initial reaction.
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.