Eduardo Galeano and the Zapatistas

“Indigenous people, it is plain to see, are only a problem for those who deny them the right to be who they are”

– Eduardo Galeano

Always on the side of the marginalised of Latin America and the wider world, recently deceased Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano consistently recounted and echoed their dignified rage. In fact, his social activism and commitment to the unprotected masses of his continent saw him visit the Mexican state of Chiapas to learn more about the Zapatista communities there.

Having exchanged letters with Subcomandante Marcos (now ‘Galeano’), the author would soon write a number of articles about the Zapatista movement, including ‘Una marcha universal’ (published by La Jornada on March 10, 2001), in which he spoke about how Emiliano Zapata had once again appeared in Mexico City, almost a hundred years after his most famous visit. “This second time”, he said, the deceased rebel had come “from La Realidad to change reality”, travelling from the Lacandona Jungle to deepen the process of change in the whole of Mexico (something the Zapatistas had been doing ever since emerging in the public arena at the start of 1994).

Thanks to the Zapatistas and the “creative energy they [had] released”, Galeano asserted, “not even what was is as it was” in the past. The movement’s indigenous solution to the ‘indigenous problem’, he described, had been to unmask the reality (which had been hidden for five centuries) precisely by donning masks themselves. In other words, it had started to ‘return hope’ to those who had long been ‘condemned to a perpetual process of waiting’ for change.

For Galeano, the Chiapan revolutionaries were standing up to those who had been denying their families the ‘right to be who they were’ for centuries. For too long, societal elites had rejected the concept of pluralism and the right to Mexican citizens to truly exercise their freedom (unless of course they were to accept in silence the “mutilations imposed by the racist tradition” of the Bad Government, which had sought to cripple the souls and ‘cut the legs’ of the People). The Zapatistas, like others before them and after them, refused to accept the government measures designed to destroy all cultures and communities that got in the way of the interests and desires of Mexico’s economic and political elites.

Eduardo Galeano also sought to repel the unending offensive on the people of Latin America, though he chose to do so through his literary works rather than on the ground. And, as perhaps the best-known chronicler of the invisiblised and silenced citizens of the continent, his voice will be sorely missed. Just like the fight of so many other revolutionaries throughout history, however, his was not (and will not have been) in vain. Those who have been inspired and informed by Galeano’s works, for example, have long taken on the fight for justice, freedom, and democratic rule as their own, and will undoubtedly continue to do so. In other words, the aforementioned struggle will never end with the death of revolutionary figures like Galeano. On the contrary, it will always be nourished by their example, which serves as an eternal incentive to keep resisting and creating.

Translated and adapted by Oso Sabio from an article published on page three of the 14/04/15 edition of La Jornada.

Posted in Eduardo Galeano, EZLN, Latin America, México, mexico, Zapatismo, Zapatistas | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Footnotes for “Rojava: An Alternative to Imperialism, Nationalism, and Islamism”

Here is the list of footnotes of my book “Rojava: An Alternative to Imperialism, Nationalism, and Islamism” (the pdf of which is available here https://ososabiouk.wordpress.com/2015/04/07/pdf-of-rojava-an-alternative-to-imperialism-nationalism-and-islamism-in-the-middle-east/ [a hard copy can be bought at http://www.lulu.com/shop/oso-sabio/rojava-an-alternative-to-imperialism-nationalism-and-islamism-in-the-middle-east/paperback/product-22094170.html?ppn=1])

  1. https://ososabiouk.wordpress.com/2014/08/23/gaza-a-capitalist-genocide-essay/
  2. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/imperialism
  3. https://libcom.org/library/national-formation-arab-region-critique-samir-amin-mohammad-jafar
  4. http://www.theguardian.com/science/2010/feb/01/islamic-science
  5. http://www.teachmideast.org/essays/28-history/42-timeline-of-the-middle-east-in-the-20th-century
  6. http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/10/17/a-secular-history-of-islam/
  7. http://www.pbs.org/empires/islam/profilesmuhammed.html
  8. http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/10/17/a-secular-history-of-islam/
  9. http://isreview.org/issue/76/political-islam-marxist-analysis
  10. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6045182.stm
  11. http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/default.aspx?pageid=438&n=the-8216libertarian-constitution8217-of-61-the-myth-and-the-facts-2010-05-26
  12. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/06/turkish-invasion-divided-cyprus-40-years-on-eyewitness-greek-cypriot-family
  13. http://roarmag.org/2014/08/pkk-kurdish-struggle-autonomy/
  14. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/15/egypt-revolution-death-toll-arab-network-human-rights_n_1519393.html
  15. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/16/egypt-nationalism-muslim-brotherhood-crackdown
  16. http://rt.com/usa/iran-coup-cia-operation-647/
  17. http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB435/
  18. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/sep/23/iran-iraq-war-anniversary
  19. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/02/2012215164958644116.html
  20. https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/32191
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  22. http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/10/17/neoliberal-economics-comes-to-iran/
  23. http://www.nbcnews.com/news/other/irans-president-rouhani-we-will-never-develop-nuclear-weapons-f4B11191585
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  26. http://www.vox.com/2014/7/17/5902177/9-questions-about-the-israel-palestine-conflict-you-were-too
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  29. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-south-asia-12024253
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  31. http://www.theguardian.com/news/2007/jul/24/guardianobituaries.afghanistan
  32. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/23/AR2007072301824.html
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  35. http://williamblum.org/chapters/killing-hope/afghanistan
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  37. http://costsofwar.org/article/afghan-civilians
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  71. http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/press-release/us-government-should-call-release-bahraini-political-prisoners
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  77. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/12/world/africa/moroccos-king-slow-to-deliver-on-pro-democracy-vows.html
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  171. http://countrystudies.us/iraq/79.htm
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  1103. http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/01/14/its-not-about-islam-it-never-was/
  1104. http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/01/14/i-am-not-charlie/
  1105. http://kurdishquestion.com/kurdistan/west-kurdistan/who-is-planning-what-in-Kobanî/246-who-is-planning-what-in-Kobanî.html
  1106. https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/57438
  1107. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/08/20128218848907396.html
  1108. https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/57438
  1109. http://www.worldbulletin.net/turkey/145542/turkeys-top-general-vows-to-defend-aleppo-base
  1110. http://fsrn.org/2014/10/turkey-approves-possibility-of-military-action-against-terrorist-threats/
  1111. http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/notebook/9329302/pistols-airstrikes-and-smuggled-cows-a-letter-from-islamic-state-border-country/
  1112. http://www.france24.com/en/20141020-focus-turkey-syria-Kobanî-kurds-border-islamic-state/
  1113. http://www.newsweek.com/isis-take-kobane-natos-second-largest-army-sits-sidelines-275798?piano_t=1
  1114. http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/security/2014/10/turkey-syria-kurds-kobane-isis-coalition-1.html#
  1115. http://www.ekurd.net/mismas/articles/misc2014/9/turkey5117.htm#.VCOVz-qWMCA.twitter
  1116. http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2014/0930/Islamic-State-Is-Turkey-jeopardizing-peace-with-Kurdish-minority?cmpid=addthis_twitter
  1117. http://rojavareport.wordpress.com/2014/10/05/turkey-has-been-strategically-defeated-in-kobane/
  1118. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29488474
  1119. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29490256?ocid=socialflow_twitter
  1120. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29474879
  1121. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29499683
  1122. http://rojavareport.wordpress.com/2014/10/06/turkey-arresting-journalists-crossing-from-kobane/
  1123. http://www.kurdishquestion.com/kurdistan/north-kurdistan/the-new-war-correspondents-and-posing-turkish-soldiers/264-the-new-war-correspondents-and-posing-turkish-soldiers.html
  1124. http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/10/19/382854/press-tv-reporter-in-turkey-killed/?utm_content=bufferb7e3f&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
  1125. http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/10/21/the-death-of-a-reporter/
  1126. http://roarmag.org/2014/10/kurdistan-kobane-turkey-isis/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+roarmag+%28ROAR+Magazine%29 and @Le_Frique
  1127. http://kurdistantribune.com/2014/turkey-censors-twitter-websites-during-kobani-siege/, @amybeam, and amybeam@yahoo.com
  1128. http://i100.independent.co.uk/article/the-country-that-makes-the-most-content-removal-requests-on-twitter–ekBKBAoQhe
  1129. http://news.yahoo.com/kurds-describe-fierce-battles-streets-kobani-175704510.html?soc_src=mediacontentsharebuttons and @relucasz
  1130. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/10/12/kobani-still-stands-against-isis-and-all-odds-but-for-how-long.html
  1131. http://autori.fanpage.it/syria-the-kurds-who-bravely-fight-against-isis/#ixzz3FCHgisH8 and http://www.linkiesta.it/jacques-beres-syria-isis
  1132. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29530640
  1133. http://rt.com/news/194060-germany-kurds-muslims-brawls/
  1134. http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/video-one-killed-several-injured-in-isil-protests-across-turkey-as-curfew-declared-in-two-provinces.aspx?pageID=238&nID=72659&NewsCatID=341
  1135. http://www.gagrule.net/100-thousand-kurds-chant-turkish-hizbullah-charlie-hebdo-protest-southeast-turkey/
  1136. http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/video-one-killed-several-injured-in-isil-protests-across-turkey-as-curfew-declared-in-two-provinces.aspx?pageID=238&nID=72659&NewsCatID=341
  1137. http://www.bignewsnetwork.com/index.php/sid/226481369
  1138. http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/prominent-akp-mp-prefers-isil-killings-to-pkk.aspx?PageID=238&NID=72699&NewsCatID=338
  1139. http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/10/turkey-syria-kurds-isis-kobani-war.html#
  1140. http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/police-crack-down-on-kobane-protests-at-ankara-universities.aspx?pageID=238&nID=72743
  1141. http://turkeyharvest.blogspot.mx/2014/11/kader-ortakaya-killed-at-suruc-kobane.html and http://warincontext.org/2014/11/06/turkish-soldiers-kill-activist-kader-ortakaya-at-kobane-border/
  1142. http://kurdishquestion.com/kurdistan/west-kurdistan/woman-killed-by-turkish-army-at-border.html
  1143. http://en.firatnews.com/news/news/soldiers-deliberately-targeted-ortakaya.htm
  1144. http://kurdishquestion.com/kurdistan/north-kurdistan/secret-hands-want-to-sabotage-the-process/341-secret-hands-want-to-sabotage-the-process.html
  1145. http://www.turkafile.com/kurdish-issue/2014/10/10/ocalans-midnight-letter-to-save-the-peace-process/
  1146. http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/europe/turkey-cyprus/turkey/234-turkey-and-the-pkk-saving-the-peace-process.aspx?utm_source=turkey-report&utm_medium=1&utm_campaign=mremail
  1147. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/13/world/middleeast/kurdish-rebels-assail-turkish-inaction-on-isis-as-peril-to-peace-talks.html?smid=tw-share&_r=1
  1148. http://www.dailysabah.com/nation/2014/10/13/police-capture-4-including-top-figures-in-pkk-crackdown
  1149. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/14/turkish-jets-bombard-kurdish-positions-pkk
  1150. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-29611582
  1151. http://rudaw.net/english/middleeast/turkey/141020141
  1152. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/turkish-warplanes-hit-kurdish-rebels-as-tensions-stoked-by-islamic-state-fight/2014/10/14/cca48b44-538a-11e4-ba4b-f6333e2c0453_story.html
  1153. http://awdnews.com/top-news/10004-turkish-general-prosecutor-we-might-execute-abdullah-%C3%B6calan.html
  1154. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/29/opinion/turkeys-obstruction-of-Kobanîs-battle-against-isis.html?smid=tw-share&_r=2
  1155. http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Egypt-Calls-Turkey-a-Terrorism-Supporter-20140925-0060.html
  1156. http://www.ekurd.net/mismas/articles/misc2014/10/turkey5212.htm
  1157. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29442039?ocid=socialflow_twitter
  1158. http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/10/turkey-syria-united-states-coalition-vote-military-action.html#
  1159. http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/turkey-ponders-new-powers-to-fight-is-militants/ar-BB6Y5t2
  1160. http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-is-trying-to-make-a-smaller-mistake.aspx?pageID=449&nID=72385&NewsCatID=409
  1161. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/war-against-isis-turkey-joins-western-coalition-in-fight-to-stop-militants-9771253.html
  1162. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29685830?ns_mchannel=social&ns_campaign=bbc_breaking&ns_source=twitter&ns_linkname=news_central
  1163. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/isis-in-Kobanî-us-loses-patience-with-turkey-and-resupplies-kurdish-fighters-by-plane–then-ankara-allows-reinforcements-through-9807183.html
  1164. http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2014/10/20/has-obama-realized-the-pkk-can-be-allies/ and @mrubin1971
  1165. http://en.firatnews.com/news/news/ypg-commander-hemo-turkey-s-plans-have-failed.htm
  1166. http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13930806001457 and http://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/syrian-kurds-reject-fsa-aid-in-Kobanî-battle/
  1167. http://kurdishquestion.com/kurdistan/peshmerga-crossing-turkey-mistreated-by-turkish-authorities.html
  1168. http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Iraqi-Peshmerga-Arrive-in-Kobanî-to-Fight-IS-20141031-0016.html
  1169. http://kurdishquestion.com/kurdistan/west-kurdistan/coordinated-operation-by-ypg-and-peshmerga-in-Kobanî/399-coordinated-operation-by-ypg-and-peshmerga-in-Kobanî.html
  1170. http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2014/11/02/Iraqi-Kurds-in-Kobanî-temporarily-says-leader-.html
  1171. http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-0774-Women-are-leading-our-revolution#.VInMmXu8480
  1172. http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2014/11/05/ISIS-warns-female-fighters-face-forced-marriage-.html
  1173. http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2014/11/22/Turkey-trains-Kurdish-Peshmerga-forces-in-fight-against-ISIS.html
  1174. http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2014/Dec-01/279467-isis-suffers-heavy-losses-in-ain-al-arab.ashx
  1175. http://rudaw.net/english/middleeast/turkey/03112014
  1176. http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/11/turkey-syria-isis-kurds-pkk.html#
  1177. http://www.todayszaman.com/newsDetail.action;jsessionid=ApqMrXTa3Agkyedm5RPLRQ3Q?newsId=360995&columnistId=0
  1178. http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/11/turkey-syria-isis-kurds-pkk.html#
  1179. http://www.businessinsider.com/turkey-may-support-independent-kurdistan-2014-7
  1180. http://rudaw.net/english/middleeast/turkey/16102014
  1181. http://mashable.com/2014/10/30/turkish-students-brawl-syria-war/?utm_cid=mash-com-Tw-main-link
  1182. http://rojavareport.wordpress.com/2014/11/29/urfa-governor-admits-isis-attacking-Kobanî-from-turkey/
  1183. http://rojavareport.wordpress.com/2014/11/30/witnesses-say-isis-attacked-from-turkey/
  1184. http://roarmag.org/2014/12/isis-attacks-Kobanî-from-turkey/ and @Le_Frique
  1185. http://stopwar.org.uk/videos/isil-can-be-defeated-if-turkey-opens-its-border-to-kurds
  1186. http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2014/oct/06/bill-maher-islam-ben-affleck
  1187. http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/01/02/islam-will-not-have-its-own-reformation/
  1188. http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2014/oct/06/bill-maher-islam-ben-affleck
  1189. http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/01/02/islam-will-not-have-its-own-reformation/
  1190. http://www.timesofisrael.com/from-egypts-leader-an-ambitious-call-for-reform-in-islam/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
  1191. http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/01/02/islam-will-not-have-its-own-reformation/
  1192. http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius09/p9syll.htm
  1193. http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/01/02/islam-will-not-have-its-own-reformation/
  1194. http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2014/07/11/the-reformation-was-a-move-away-from-reason-not-towards-it/
  1195. http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/01/02/islam-will-not-have-its-own-reformation/
  1196. http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/catholic_church_nazi_germany.htm
  1197. http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/column.php?n=1649
  1198. http://www.iiipublishing.com/religion/catholic/popes/pius_xi_franco.html
  1199. http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/column.php?n=1649
  1200. http://www.bibbiaparola.org/relazioniebraicocristiane.php?a=1a&id=314
  1201. http://www.white-rose-studies.org/The_Leaflets.html
  1202. http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007392
  1203. http://www.alternet.org/belief/how-authoritarianism-created-crisis-engulfing-roman-catholic-church
  1204. http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2014/07/11/the-reformation-was-a-move-away-from-reason-not-towards-it/
  1205. http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/01/02/islam-will-not-have-its-own-reformation/
  1206. https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/04/capitalism-and-nazism/
  1207. http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/timstanley/100261121/hitler-wasnt-a-socialist-stop-saying-he-was/
  1208. http://monthlyreview.org/2014/09/01/the-return-of-fascism-in-contemporary-capitalism/
  1209. http://www.rationalrevolution.net/war/american_supporters_of_the_europ.htm
  1210. http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Fascism/Support_Hitler_US.html
  1211. http://www.rationalrevolution.net/war/american_supporters_of_the_europ.htm
  1212. http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-8bdb-Not-just-concentration-camps-but-capitalist-factories-too#.VQhgNeG8480
  1213. http://www.geopolitics.us/capitalism-is-exploitation/
  1214. http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/12/31/the-best-worst-quotes-of-2014-lies-from-government-officials-and-politicians/
  1215. http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2014/Sep-16/270851-assad-opposition-must-compromise-to-beat-isis-un.ashx#axzz3DO9gtXH9
  1216. http://rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/15102014
  1217. http://rojavareport.wordpress.com/2014/10/25/TEV-DEM-rep-Kobanî-has-upset-their-plans/
  1218. http://basnews.com/en/News/Details/KDP-and-PKK-Move-Toward-Strategic-Agreement-/39942 and http://www.iii.co.uk/investment/detail?code=cotn%3AGKP.L&display=discussion&threshold=0&action=detail&id=11417516
  1219. http://rojavareport.wordpress.com/2014/11/08/duhok-the-kdp-and-the-snc/
  1220. https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/01/the-battle-for-kobane/
  1221. http://www.kurdishquestion.com/index.php/kurdistan/west-kurdistan/why-kobani-did-not-fall/570-why-kobani-did-not-fall.html
  1222. http://kurdishquestion.com/index.php/insight-research/analysis/kobane-isis-and-turkey/432-kobane-isis-and-turkey.html
  1223. http://www.cnbc.com/id/102372884
  1224. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/06/us-mideast-crisis-syria-kurds-idUSKBN0LA0PT20150206?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews and @aylajean
  1225. http://www.cnbc.com/id/102372884
  1226. http://www.longwarjournal.org/threat-matrix/archives/2015/01/islamic_state_admits_its_force.php?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
  1227. http://news.nationalpost.com/2015/01/31/isis-admits-defeat-in-kobani-for-the-first-time-blaming-u-s-warplanes-bombarding-us-night-and-day/#__federated=1
  1228. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/suicide-bombers-defecting-from-isis-and-fleeing-to-turkey-or-rival-militant-groups-10034138.html
  1229. http://www.ibtimes.com/isis-fighters-are-faking-defections-infiltrate-their-home-countries-1814760
  1230. http://news.nationalpost.com/2015/01/31/isis-admits-defeat-in-kobani-for-the-first-time-blaming-u-s-warplanes-bombarding-us-night-and-day/#__federated=1
  1231. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/06/us-mideast-crisis-syria-kurds-idUSKBN0LA0PT20150206?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews and @aylajean
  1232. http://www.longwarjournal.org/threat-matrix/archives/2015/01/islamic_state_admits_its_force.php?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
  1233. http://en.firatnews.com/news/news/commission-set-up-to-rebuild-kobane.htm
  1234. http://www.todayszaman.com/anasayfa_erdogan-rules-out-rebuilding-kurdish-town-of-kobani_371244.html
  1235. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/feb/03/kobani-destruction-opportunity-rebuilding-hope-isis-syria
  1236. http://roarmag.org/2015/02/rebuilding-kobani-ypg-pyd/
  1237. http://en.hawarnews.com/kobani-15-thousand-people-have-returned-so-far/
  1238. http://www.dailysabah.com/nation/2015/03/15/turkish-municipalities-to-rebuild-kobani
  1239. http://www.middleeasteye.net/in-depth/features/kobane-families-return-liberated-city-what-awaits-them-1732971428
  1240. http://www.dailysabah.com/nation/2015/03/15/turkish-municipalities-to-rebuild-kobani
  1241. http://mashable.com/2015/03/18/kobani-rebuilding/
  1242. http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/01/29/kurdish-victory-in-kobani-defeat-for-turkish-policy
  1243. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/06/us-mideast-crisis-syria-kurds-idUSKBN0LA0PT20150206?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews and @aylajean
  1244. http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/02/iraq-mosul-dam-barzani-peshmerga.html#
  1245. http://kurdishquestion.com/index.php/kurdistan/south-kurdistan/what-is-happening-in-kirkuk.html and http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/02/17/in-kirkuk-the-epicenter-of-iraq-s-next-civil-war.html
  1246. http://news.yahoo.com/fresh-off-victory-over-kobani-kurds-seek-more-070116655.html
  1247. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-31534057
  1248. http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/syria-week-review-february-16-23
  1249. http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/02/23/syri-f23.html
  1250. http://www.albawaba.com/news/how-did-turkish-troops-manage-safely-enter-and-exit-syria-660768
  1251. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/22/turkish-military-completes-operation-to-evacuate-troops-from-tomb-in-syria
  1252. http://www.albawaba.com/news/how-did-turkish-troops-manage-safely-enter-and-exit-syria-660768
  1253. http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/02/23/syri-f23.html
  1254. http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/syria-week-review-february-16-23
  1255. http://www.albawaba.com/news/how-did-turkish-troops-manage-safely-enter-and-exit-syria-660768
  1256. http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/02/23/syri-f23.html
  1257. http://www.albawaba.com/news/how-did-turkish-troops-manage-safely-enter-and-exit-syria-660768
  1258. http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/02/23/syri-f23.html
  1259. http://www.albawaba.com/news/how-did-turkish-troops-manage-safely-enter-and-exit-syria-660768
  1260. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/22/turkish-military-completes-operation-to-evacuate-troops-from-tomb-in-syria
  1261. http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/02/23/syri-f23.html
  1262. http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/syria-week-review-february-16-23
  1263. https://rojavareport.wordpress.com/2015/02/28/til-hemis-liberated-by-joint-operation-of-ypgypj-syriac-units-and-local-arab-tribes/
  1264. http://www.theage.com.au/world/kurds-unite-to-build-kurdistan-in-defiance-of-islamic-state-20150314-141xwp.html
  1265. https://rojavareport.wordpress.com/2015/03/09/enwer-muslim-going-to-the-united-states/
  1266. http://www.theage.com.au/world/kurds-unite-to-build-kurdistan-in-defiance-of-islamic-state-20150314-141xwp.html
  1267. https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening/evangelos-aretaios/rojava-revolution#.VQbpYzPC9KE.twitter
  1268. https://rojavareport.wordpress.com/2015/03/14/rojava-goes-to-the-polls-2/
  1269. https://rojavareport.wordpress.com/2015/03/17/interview-with-president-gewriya-of-syriac-unity-party-in-qamishlo/
  1270. http://www.theage.com.au/world/kurds-unite-to-build-kurdistan-in-defiance-of-islamic-state-20150314-141xwp.html
  1271. http://basnews.com/en/news/2015/03/14/krg-elections-in-jazira-are-not-acceptable/
  1272. http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/security/2015/03/syria-pyd-kurds-federalism-middle-east.html#
  1273. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/10/revolutionary-kurdish-isis-ivana-hoffman
  1274. http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/timstanley/100261121/hitler-wasnt-a-socialist-stop-saying-he-was/
  1275. http://www.academia.edu/3983109/Democratic_Confederalism_as_a_Kurdish_Spring_the_PKK_and_the_quest_for_radical_democracy p.185
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The 2015 Political Debate in the UK

The main issues in the 2015 general elections in the United Kingdom seem to be: the cuts to the government’s social spending under the Tory-LibDem coalition (and whether to continue with them to ‘deal with the deficit’ or to reverse them); the worsening situation in the NHS (and whether privatisation is the way to go or not); and the role that Europe and immigrants play in the British economy. Financial problems are very real in the UK (though primarily for the country’s workers and not for its economic elites), but it is perhaps the divisive societal tensions exacerbated by the ConDem austerity policies since 2010 that will play one of the most significant roles in May’s elections.

The Self-Interested Bickering of the Two Establishment Parties

In April’s leaders’ debate[1], current Prime Minister David Cameron stressed that his party ought to be left to “finish what we have started” (in spite of the economic problems which it and its coalition partners have aggravated). Trying to convince the electorate that the Conservatives are the only party able to ‘deal with the economy’ (i.e. keep wealth in the hands of the country’s exploitative and bloodsucking economic elites), he displayed a self-interested arrogance that has long emanated from his party.

Cameron’s main competitor, meanwhile, of the ‘austerity light’ New Labour Party, also emphasised that his grouping was the ‘only real alternative’ to the Conservatives. In doing so, Ed Miliband sought to convince anyone against the Tories’ policies to back him, even though his party was, in reality, no longer that different from its rivals in government. And, while the Lib Dems’ Nick Clegg (whose party had already been tarnished irreparably by its alliance with the Conservatives) stressed that coalitions were a new reality in British politics, Miliband sought to hammer home the point that there was only really a choice between two parties on the UK’s political scene (i.e. the Conservatives and Labour). In other words, just as Noam Chomsky argued that the USA was “basically a one-party state” run by “the business party, with two factions, Democrats and Republicans”, both Cameron and Miliband sought to replicate the US system in the UK.[2]

The Attack of the Reactionary Clowns

Apart from the tiresome bickering between the two main establishment parties, there was also another voice on the political right in the debate – that of UKIP’s Nigel Farage. Although his form of nationalist populism no doubt touched a note in many communities, his rhetoric was really just another manifestation of the type of far-right rhetoric that gained strength in Europe in the early twentieth century (in the wake of the First World War and the Great Depression).

Whilst claiming to be ‘outside the establishment’, Farage’s words suggested that very little would be done to combat the real ills of ‘the establishment’ if his party were to play a role in the next government of Westminster. In other words, as he argued that he would “put our own people first” (which was surely popular among the least conscious of British workers), the UKIP leader was in fact distracting the public from the real issues at the heart of injustice and exploitation (with talk of “health tourism” and bureaucratic interference from Europe – secondary problems at best). Not too different from the intolerant and utterly reactionary nationalists of Hitler or Mussolini in the past, then, Farage showed himself once again to be just another scaremongering clown seeking to take advantage of the justified anger of the British people for the interests of his own bigoted clique and the country’s exploitative economic order.

A Centre-Left Alliance

On the much more progressive end of the scale in April’s debate stood the UK’s prominent female leaders: the SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon; the Green Party’s Natalie Bennett; and Plaid Cymru’s Leanne Wood. Sturgeon was perhaps the best performer out of the three centre-left parties, though Bennett and Wood also made good points. The SNP leader insisted, for example, on the need to “break the ‘old-boys’ network at Westminster” and cooperate with other progressive political forces in the UK.

As the Greens stood for both environmentalism and a number of socialist measures, the SNP and Plaid Cymru represented a form of progressive nationalism (focussed primarily on social welfare, more localised government, and cooperation with other parts of the UK). In short, although none of these parties advocated the immediate replacement of the capitalist system, they were nonetheless focussed on keeping the current welfare system intact (which the other four leaders were not, believing (in different measures) in the need for privatisation and government spending cuts).

Overall, the emphasis on a left-wing alliance seemed to be key for Sturgeon, Bennett, and Wood (and would also be bolstered by victories for Left Unity or TUSC candidates in the elections). None, however, mentioned the need for greater democratisation in the UK or the need to replace the capitalist system with a humane, popularly controlled economic and political system. At the same time, though, a strategy of working to change politics from above and below simultaneously would suggest that supporting the SNP, the Greens, and Plaid Cymru (along with Left Unity and the TUSC) would be the right electoral choice for those hoping to forge a more progressive political system in the United Kingdom. However, the need to increase consciousness, unity, and democratic activity at the grassroots of British politics must never be neglected.

[1] http://www.bbc.com/news/election-2015-32175422

[2] http://www.chomsky.info/interviews/20040102.htm

Posted in Bourgeois Democracy, Britain, Conservative Party, Conservatives, Democracy, Great Britain, Green Party, Greens, Labour, Labour Party, Liberal Democrats, Nationalism, Plaid Cymru, Reactionism, SNP, UK, UKIP, United Kingdom | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

PDF of “Rojava: An Alternative to Imperialism, Nationalism, and Islamism in the Middle East”

Below I have attached a copy of my book in pdf form:

Rojava – An Alternative to Imperialism, Nationalism, and Islamism (Full Size)

For a hard copy, visit http://www.lulu.com/shop/oso-sabio/rojava-an-alternative-to-imperialism-nationalism-and-islamism-in-the-middle-east/paperback/product-22094170.html?ppn=1

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The CNI’s Position on the Wave of Repression Waged against the People

To the original peoples of Mexico and the World;

To the National and International Sixth;

To the Zapatista Army of National Liberation;

And to the memory of Don Félix Serdán Nájera, our leading brother.[1]

Gathered in the Amatlán de Quetzalzoatl community in the Tepoztlán municipality of Morelos, the peoples and tribes that make up the National Indigenous Congress [CNI] have analysed the repressive wave which has been launched against us by the narco-capitalist governors who seek to take control of our homelands.

We wish to make clear first of all that the aforementioned onslaught has nothing to do with the party colours that govern from above, nor with the way in which they have been elected or imposed upon us. For, in short, each political party in government simply administrates the dispossession ordered from higher up the chain of command. Therefore, the government’s repressive wave also has nothing to do with the electoral lie that they call democracy (which is essentially no more than a reflex of the decomposition at the core of the bloody system that is neoliberal capitalism) or with the so-called ‘structural reforms’ that it spawns (which are imposed at the expense of the well-being, freedom, and livelihoods of the suffering peoples of both the countryside and the cities).

In reality, the brutally oppressive offensive carried out against our peoples by the Bad Government has come as a response to our decision to continue with our determined resistance (which hopes to safeguard life in the face of a vicious war of extermination). In other words, it is not simply an example of political persecution but a manifestation of reactionary distress from those governing from above (who design elaborately violent operations in order to consolidate their economic interests, which are based on exploitation, dispossession, repression, and disdain). And, as we will outline below, this reaction has come in a number of different forms:

  • First of all, we still feel today the absence of the 46 comrades from the Raúl Isidro Burgos teacher training college in Ayotzinapa who were killed or disappeared on the orders of the three levels of the Bad Government (and on behalf of all of the political parties, which have turned terror into a business and a means of governing). However, while the criminal State bets on oblivion, the peoples of Mexico bet on reconstruction, and on neither forgetting nor forgiving those responsible for the crimes committed against the People. For what is at play is the past and the future – which both belong to us.
  • We also remember how the repressive forces of the Bad Government have tried to dispossess the Tzeltal community of San Sebastián Bachajón (in the Chilón municipality of Chiapas) of the Agua Azul waterfalls, which they have hoped to hand over to capitalist interests. In fact, on March 21 of this year, more than six hundred members of government ‘security forces’ burned down the San Sebastián regional headquarters.[2] Furthermore, the comrades of San Sebastián and the free press (which has stood by them in solidarity with their struggle) have been assaulted frequently by public security forces while the state police and Mexican army have also escalated their occupation operations in the territory (in support of the paramilitary groups present there).
  • The Nahua community of Santa María Ostula (on the coast of Michoacán), meanwhile, has faced attacks from groups thought to be both linked to organised crime and in cahoots with each level of the Bad Government. The cost of this onslaught has been the disappearance of five community members and the murder of thirty-two more. Additionally, on March 16, 2015, the Mexican Navy tried to dislodge and disarm the community police that had controlled a checkpoint on the main coastal road near the settlement of Xayakalan since recovering the territory in 2009.[3] In response to the government attack, the community closed the road, aware of the fact that disarmament would mean handing their territories over to narco-paramilitary groups and exposing themselves to further dispossession (which would pave the way for the megaprojects of death like mining, multinational tourism, and drug trafficking). And all of this, of course, is both defended and sponsored by all three levels of the Bad Government.
  • At the same time, our comrades Mario Luna and Fernando Jiménez in Sonora, who are the spokespeople of the Yaqui tribe, remain in prison. The reason for their imprisonment is that they stand accused of having committed serious crimes (which have been fabricated by forces that refuse to recognise the ancestral forms of organisation and traditional government of the Yaqui people). Furthermore, an arrest warrant is still out on Tomás Rojo (which represents an attempt to use division and treachery as a mechanism of war), and Lauro Baumea has received numerous death threats (in addition to actual attempts on his life). In fact, the latter has also had his vehicle burnt outside of his house, and his family members’ lives are also said to be at risk. And all of this criminal activity has simply sought to ensure the trouble-free robbery of the water of the River Yaqui.
  • Likewise, the Loxicha comrades in the State of Oaxaca (who were kidnapped eighteen years ago by the Bad Government as part of its terrorist and counterrevolutionary policies aimed at protecting large multinational mining projects) also continue to find themselves in prison. Similarly, the Nahua brothers of San Pedro Tlanixco in the State of Mexico have been in prison for twelve years for having defended their water supplies against the capitalist theft of the precious resource for large agro-industrial complexes.
  • Meanwhile, the dispossession of communities and ejidos in the states of Morelos, Puebla, and Tlaxcala (through the so-called ‘Proyecto Integral Morelos’ (PIM)[4]) is still being accompanied by a widespread persecution of the peoples of the Popocatépetl volcano who are opposed to the planned handover of their territory, security, and water to multinational corporations (which seek in turn to build roads, aqueducts, gas pipelines, and thermoelectric plants – all with the protection of the Bad Government’s forces of repression). In fact, there are currently numerous arrest warrants out against those who have dared to raise their voices against the destruction that has arrived along with the police and army officers protecting the machinery (as has recently been seen with the pipelining of the River Cuautla, where the thermoelectric plant of Huexca was supported to the detriment of the ejidos of the Ayala municipality).
  • We also empathise with the San Francisco Xochicuautla community in the State of Mexico, whose fight against the construction of a private motorway (which would see them dispossessed of their own territory) has even seen them lose the freedom to speak in their own communal assemblies (which have been occupied by dozens of riot police officers seeking to consolidate the capitalist takeover of the land).
  • In addition to all of these cases of resistance against dispossession, thousands more of our comrades have migrated elsewhere in order to survive, with many of them arriving at concentration camps like that of San Quintín in Baja California Sur, where they are exploited and treated like slaves. In this case in particular, for example, the different levels of the Bad Government have supported plantation owners by repressing workers’ mobilisations (which have demanded better working conditions for the thousands of day labourers employed there – most of whom are of indigenous origin).

We are convinced that, in order to stop this war against our communities, slogans are not enough. Nor, we believe, are the calendars, geographies, and techniques of those governing or hypothesising ‘from above’ adequate for bringing about change. Instead, we consider that we need to forge a new country, and a new world. And the powerful are aware that we know about the need for the construction of a new global system from the grassroots up.

In fact, it is precisely because the Bad Government understands our revolutionary position that it has stepped up its military harassment of the Zapatista Caracoles of La Realidad and Oventik, bolstered by the paramilitary aggressions carried out by groups it has fostered, financed, and trained (like Pojcol, the CIOAC-H[5], and ORCAO). The latter, in particular, have been carrying out a campaign of systematic violence against the Zapatista bases of support in an attempt to destroy their autonomous forms of organisation (which, with their roots in the ancient cultures of our original peoples, brighten up the horizon with a civilizational hope).

Therefore, with all of the aforementioned points considered, we declare that:

  1. We will not stop fighting for the reconstruction and reconstitution of our original peoples, because that is a struggle for both life and survival.
  2. We will intensify our battle for the freedom of all political prisoners, for the presentation of the disappeared, and for justice for those who have been murdered.
  3. The repressive wave in progress is a response to our relentless resistance against dispossession, which is ancient and unnegotiable.
  4. We will continue the possible and necessary task of weaving a new world from below and to the left, because only in this way will peace shine down upon our peoples and end the incessant repression that plagues us.
  5. We welcome the realisation of a homage to the comrades Luis Villoro Toranzo and the Zapatista teacher Galeano, which will take place in the Oventik Caracol in Chiapas on May 2, 2015.

For the Total Reconstitution of Our Peoples!

Never Again a Mexico without Us!

The National Indigenous Congress

Amatlán de Quetzalcoatl, Tepoztlán, Morelos

March 22, 2015

[1] The right-hand man of Rubén Jaramillo, who fought under Emiliano Zapata in the Mexican Revolution and fought for the rights of workers until his death in 1962, having been forced into a guerrilla struggle starting in the 1940s because of his advocacy in favour of social justice. He died on February 22, 2015. Also see the letter from the Zapatistas to Serdán’s widow (translated into English): http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2015/03/02/letter-from-the-ezln-to-dona-emilia-aurora-sosa-marin-companera-of-honorary-major-insurgent-felix-serdan-najera/ and La Jornada’s tribute to him (in Spanish): http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2015/02/28/opinion/021o1pol

[2] As seen at https://dorsetchiapassolidarity.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/communique-from-san-sebastian-bachajon-21st-march-2015/

[3] See http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2015/03/mexican-navy-attempts-to-dismantle.html and https://compamanuel.wordpress.com/2014/03/13/ostula-autonomy-self-defense-natural-resources-and-narcos/

[4] https://ososabiouk.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/the-peoples-front-and-the-struggle-against-the-proyecto-integral-morelos-pim/

[5] See https://ososabiouk.wordpress.com/2014/05/08/the-war-against-zapatistas-and-the-role-of-the-media/, https://ososabiouk.wordpress.com/2014/05/12/pain-and-rage-the-zapatista-response-to-aggression/, https://ososabiouk.wordpress.com/2014/05/25/the-transformative-power-of-the-struggle-dignity-and-autonomy-of-the-zapatistas-galeanolives/, and https://ososabiouk.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/the-gaps-the-galeanos-and-the-dignified-rage/

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Rojava: An Alternative to Imperialism, Nationalism, and Islamism in the Middle East

You can buy my book at http://www.lulu.com/shop/oso-sabio/rojava-an-alternative-to-imperialism-nationalism-and-islamism-in-the-middle-east/paperback/product-22094170.html

Alternatively, you can ask for a pdf copy by contacting me directly.

Biji Rojava!

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Rojava’s Communes and Councils

Originally posted on armsforrojava:

On Saturday, December 6, the Academic Delegation to Rojava met in Qamişlo with two representatives of Tev-dem, the Movement for a Democratic Society.

Abdulkerim Omar and Çınar Salih first gave us some background to Rojava’s thinking about the state and democracy. Then they explained the structure of the democratic self-government—the commune and council system—and took our questions. Speaking through translators, Salih did most of the talking.

31.01.2015
Neighborhood meeting, Qamishlo

We have built our democracy so that people of different nationalities live together. We’re new, and we’ve made mistakes, and we’re trying to stop Daesh [i.e., Islamic State] from entering Rojava. Other delegations have come here, but we are delighted to have you. Your project is giving us hope. We haven’t achieved freedom yet, but we’ve learned how to struggle.

Salih and Omar at Tev-Dem headquarters, Qamislo

The system that we’re living in has been going on for five thousand years. Different stages of history have…

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