Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Kurdistan, Kobanê, Communism and everything else

Pepe Escobar has written a good article explaining the issue of Kobanê, Kurdistan and Turkish-led Islamism, I strongly recommend reading it:

The Kobani riddle
By Pepe Escobar

The brave women of Kobani - where Syrian Kurds are desperately fighting ISIS/ISIL/Daesh - are about to be betrayed by the "international community". These women warriors, apart from Caliph Ibrahim's goons, are also fighting treacherous agendas by the US, Turkey and the administration of Iraqi Kurdistan. So what's the real deal in Kobani? 

Linked in the article but very much worth a separate mention is the ideological handbook of the Kurdish Revolutionaries: Abudullah Oçalan's "Democratic Confederalism", which is surely one of the most advanced theoretical analyses of the issue of nations, the so-called "nation-state" and how it must be overcome in Communism (of the libertarian kind, naturally). 

As I have mentioned several times the Kurdish revolutionaries are at the forefront of the renovation of Western* (and possibly other) Revolutionary ideals and clearly deserve our respect and attention.


*Western understood as West Eurasian (i.e. roughly the lands West of Pakistan and North of the Sahara). I don't really care for the rusty medieval remnant of Islamo-Christian divide, which may be still somewhat noisy and painful but is a dead man walking anyhow.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

As the Fascists enter Kobane, Kurds protest in Western Europe

Kurdish protest at La Hague
The Fascist Islamist genocidal threat is reaching the streets of the besieged town of Kobane in Western Kurdistan (formally part of the Syrian state). The city is being attacked from the South by the Nazil-like forces of the Western-organized Islamic State and cut from its only possible support via the North by the Turkish Army and Police, which do not allow Kurds to cross the artificial border line on the railroad to join the fight. 

As reaction, Kurdish emigrants in Western Europe have been holding major rallies in London and La Hague, among other places. In London they occupied the largest subway station, Oxford Circus, while in La Hague they took the gates of of the Dutch Parliament. They demand decided action against the Islamic State and in support of Kurdistan. 

Meanwhile in Kobane the self-defenses have declared the town military zone and asked all civilians to leave, as it is well known that the Islamic State holds a genocidal policy against all those they consider their enemies. By the moment it seems that the presence of Fascists in the streets of Kobane is limited to a few outskirts buildings but the situation is dire in any case, with US air attacks (secretly approved by Damascus) shown to be nearly useless. 

In this sense Kurdish forces demand mainly one thing: good weapons that can be used against the Fascists, whose equipment is excellent thanks to Western support and the takeover of large hoards from the Iraqi Army. As we have seen in Ukraine, this kind of technical advantage may not be enough against a decided popular resistance fighting for their lives, but, while the Ukrainian Christian-Fascists have only a very weak grasp on the populace and totally plays the Western Imperial game as subordinates, the Arab Islamo-Fascists seem to have a much better organization, capable to defy established stats like Syria and Iraq and co-opt large chunks of the Sunni Arab population, including expert soldiers, while their game is blurrier: with vague pretenses of establishing a supposedly anti-Western empire but clearly historical and present day support by Western Imperialist forces. 

The most obvious one is Turkey. While Saudi Arabia, the USA and even Israel now pretend to be against the Islamic State, taking some formal and even military actions against it. Turkey is clearly playing in favor of their Arab Fascist allies by blocking any possibility of support from Northern Kurdistan (under Turkish occupation). 

Naturally the USA is playing with two decks here: the IS is designed to be an excuse for the Empire to intervene in Syria and Iraq, weakening the influence of Iran, Russia and China in the area. By the moment the USA has conducted some air strikes, which seem to have no or very limited impact in the developments on the ground. The situation is in nearly all aspects a repetition of the Islamist uprising in Mali, which served the USA to gain some drone bases in the region and for France to return to its traditional role of post-colonial "protector" of the African regimes.

However West Asia is by all means much more geostrategical and volatile than West Africa. And the perilous game that the Western agents are playing there will have no doubt much greater consequences for all, including Europe. 

Biden speaks out

US Vice-President Joe Biden has been saying a few truths as of late, even if he had to apologize for them and some imperialist press paint him as prone to the foot-in-mouth disease. The reality is that he's saying, very mildly, what needs to be said. 

First of all, he accused Erdogan's Islamist Turkey of supporting the IS by allowing many of its members to enter Syria, what is true. Erdogan claimed to Heaven and Hell for his innocence and said that those fanatics crossed the border as unarmed tourists.

He also claimed that, as it is true that they kept the border way too open in the past, now they are keeping it tightly closed. What translated to plain English means: yes, we did allow the Fascist Islamists to enter Syria and provided all kind of help to them and now we won't allow the Kurdish militias to help the defense of Kobane. 

A full confession in diplomatic slang. Still Biden had to apologize, what underlines the actual role that the USA and its allies in the region are playing regarding the IS: covert support and a mere pretense of indignation, mostly oriented to gain imperialist control.

Another interesting remark by Vice-President Biden was that the USA has embarrassed its European allies by forcing sanctions against Russia that mostly harm the EU.

Kurdistan as bastion of Humanism and Progress in West Asia

Kurdistan and the Kurdish People stand today as the main bastion of resistance against Islamism and Imperialism. But they are more than that: in the course of their struggle for self-determination, they have developed strong progressive and socialist ideals, even recently trying to overcome the burden of bourgeois nation-state cages by appealing to confederate democratic self-rule of the peoples and communities of the region. 

It is not needed to mention that, among Kurds, and in spite of the deeply rooted historical burden of Muslim Patriarchy, women enjoy increasingly equal status, largely thanks to their own commitment in the guerrillas and militias that defend their country against their oppressors. Socialist ideals stand high among Kurds and definitely they hold better than anyone else the banner of Humanism in West Asia, being nearly impossible to defeat thanks to their numbers (the largest stateless nation on Earth) and the mountains that shelter them. 

In this sense I can't but issue again another appeal for almost unconditional support for the Kurdish cause, because it is not different in essence to the cause of Humankind. 

Long Live the Kurdish People!
Long Live Free Kurdistan!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Catalonia calls independence referendum

Support for independentism in Catalonia per the 2012 elections
Yesterday at 10:30, Catalan President Artur Mas, backed by his cabinet and the parliamentary majority, solemnly signed the decree 129/2014, which calls for a referendum on Catalan independence on November 9th. 

After signing such a historical decree, Mas spoke to the press in Catalan, Spanish and English, emphasizing the broad majority that supports this decision and recalling the massive citizen mobilizations of the last years, which have gathered millions once and again, in support for the right of self-determination of Catalonia. 

Then he walked out to the street to personally greet members of the movements National Catalan Assembly (ANC) and Òmnium Cultural, which have been impelling the movement for self-determination at grassroots level in a non-partisan way. 

These organizations installed a giant urn and a counter, which yesterday marked 42 days and 12 hours until the referendum. 

Meanwhile in the offices, Vice-President Joana Ortega was approving the technical aspects of the vote: the census that will be used (the population registry of the Catalan Statistical Office, Idescat), printing the ballots, organizing the urns, etc. An informative campaign on the referendum was also initiated. 

Most of the parties supporting the referendum already have clear that they will call for a YES vote. These are Democratic Convergence (CDC), Republican Left (ERC) and the Popular Unity List (CUP). Two other parties are still debating: Democratic Union (UDC), minor partner of Mas' CDC, will decide their position on a meeting this Sunday, while Intiative for Catalonia - The Greens will do so via an internal vote. 

Meanwhile the Spanish Nationalist parties PSOE, PP and the racist far-right seedling Ciutadans, have all decided to ignore the referendum altogether, as they consider it illegal.

For reference, this is the representation that each party or coalition has in the Parliament of Catalonia:
  1. Convergence and Union (CiU = CDC + UDC): 50 seats
  2. Republican Left (ERC): 21 seats
  3. PSC-PSOE: 20 seats
  4. PP: 19 seats
  5. Initiative for Catalonia - Greens: 13 seats
  6. Ciutadans: 9 seats
  7. People's Unity: 3 seats
Notice that in the European elections and opinion polls CiU has yielded much support to ERC, while the Spanish Nationalist parties have clearly lost support, among other reasons for their support and implementation of draconian EU pro-bankster anti-social policies but also because of the striking national awakening of the Catalan People. 

Madrid dead-set to veto democracy

With their usual imperialist arrogance and disrespect for democracy, the Spanish twin party PP-PSOE stands clearly determined to block the right of Catalans to decide on their own affairs. 

Today an emergency cabinet meeting will be held in Moncloa Palace, the see of the Spanish government. The cabinet will appeal the referendum to the Constitutional Court, which will meet on Tuesday. It is widely expected that the Spanish tribunal will veto the Catalan decree that very day. 

While this outcome is widely expected no matter what, as there is no real separation of powers in Spain nor effective judicial independence, from a purely legal viewpoint the reason seems to stand in favor of Catalonia. In this sense the preamble of the referendum decree clearly underlines that Catalonia has been transferred the right and management of popular consultations in order to gauge the opinion of the people. 

Technically the referendum is just consultative and the Catalan authorities have the power to promote Constitutional reforms and to ask Catalans on their opinion for this purpose. With the law on hand, the referendum is therefore absolutely legal. 

Even if the Spanish Constitutional Court vetoes the referendum, Mas has announced that he will keep the process rolling on the pretext that, if the decree is suspended and not directly declared null, this suspension can theoretically be removed at any moment, reason why the whole process must keep going. 

Source: Gara[es].

Spain on the eve of its dissolution

The very continuity of the State of Spain, as we have known it, presents every day more question marks. This is how Gara's cartoonist Tasio sees this critical moment:

... with the pen of the Catalan referendum decree being a torpedo that threatens to sink Ship Spain. 

No kidding: France, Spain and many other European and Mediterranean states built on the uniformist, assimilationist and hyper-centralist Jacobin (neo-Absolutist) model designed by the French bourgeoisie after the Revolution, have serious cohesion issues. 

The case of Spain is however paradigmatic: Catalonia, with 7.6 million inhabitants, makes up 16% of all the population of the state. Together with almost three million Basques, who are also fighting for our self-determination, that is more than 21% of the so-called "Spanish" population. In industrial and overall economic might, the share is even greater. And I haven't yet counted the other Catalan Countries or the other nations like Galicia where independentism is a strong force. Even in historical core areas like Andalusia or Aragon, nationalism, particularly left-wing nationalism with a strong social consciousness and revolutionary programs, is clearly growing as we speak.

Naturally not just Castile or "core Spain" will actively and even violently fight against the rights of the Catalan and Basque peoples to rule ourselves in democracy, but France particularly will do as well. By extension and design so will do all NATO. So shaking off the joke of Spanish and French occupation does not seem easy at all. 

But Spain is the weakest link in all this Western Imperial alliance bloc. It has been so historically and it is even more nowadays. Spain is economically and politically weak. Even in its recent apogee in the late 1990s and early 2000s, it could not manage to be accepted among the G7 powers, not even in the much wider G20, a clear sign of its dependency on other powers such as France, the USA, Germany and Britain. The weakness of its "economic miracle", based on real state speculation even more than in the USA or Britain, was revealed under the light of the global economic crisis that began in 2007 and shows no sign of abating.

It is of course very possible that Spain will, very provisionally, survive this ongoing process of self-determination in Catalonia and the Basque Country, thanks to its police and military might and its international alignment as vassal of the NATO Empire. But it is extremely clear that it is weakened to the marrow and that its chances of survival, in its current extension, in the mid term are very close to zero. Time and the will of the Peoples strongly work against this authoritarian monster created only by the power of military bullying. 

Today this military authoritarian only pillar of the Kingdom of Spain is clearly not anymore enough to keep the state together. We don't live anymore in the times of Absolutist nor Fascist tyrants: cohesion can't be produced only by military violence, the Peoples are not willing to swallow that anymore, the whole social paradigm has changed and, sooner than later, Democracy will prevail.

ETA calls for a broad national agreement for self-determination

On the Basque Fighters' Day, September 27th, the Basque guerrilla Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (Basqueland And Freedom), in unilateral permanent ceasefire since more than three years ago, has issued a new communication.

They argue that the international situation for self-determination of oppressed peoples has entered a new stage with the Scottish and Catalan referendums and that, being the right to decide an overwhelming demand of Basque society, a broad-spectrum agreement must be reached among the political forces around this immediate goal.

While this demand is clearly hegemonic among Basques, the occupant authorities from Madrid of Paris are doing everything to harm the Basque Country, imposing all kind of laws and economic impositions and increasing political repression against Basque citizens. 

That is why ETA calls for a broad National Agreement with the goal of effectively implementing the right of self determination in the Basque Country. Being this a key historical moment for the hopes of freedom of the Basque Nation.

With the sight quite clearly on Catalonia, which is calling for a referendum for November 9th in spite of all Spanish legal and political obstacles, ETA mentions that the upcoming months will see critical developments for the hopes of the Basque People, making a rally call for all activists of the Basque Nationalist Left to work for the success of this opportunity.

They reckon that the way ahead is not easy, but they sustain that it is possible:
We are building the road to freedom and, with faith in our strength, illusion and energy, we will achieve it.
They finish with the usual slogan:
Long live the Free Basque Country!

Long live the Socialist Basque Country!

Keep working until independence and socialism are achieved!

Sources: Gara: 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Tortures reported in political trial against Basque youths

The five youths arrested in Loiola are part of a much larger group of 28 being tried for their political activism and ideology at the Spanish Inquisition (Audiencia Nacional) these days in Madrid. 

The trial began yesterday with the victims of political persecution turning their backs to the court in signal of non-recognition and showing banners in demand of repatriation of Basque prisoners. 

After an hour and a half of suspension the farce trial continued at close doors with the declarations of the victims of persecution, most of whom have denounced tortures that forced them to sign self-inculpatory declarations. 

Ander Maeztu reported systematic beatings and the so-called "bag" torture (asphyxia by putting a bag on your head). Garazi Autor denounced sexual agressions and beatings. 

Izaskun Goñi, who knew for two years before her arrest that she was being under persecution, reported the anguish suffered for all that time expecting that any night (it's almost always by night) police entered her home and arrested her, beginning the much feared "long journey". When it finally happened she suffered a panic attack. 

Among the "evidence" against her is her participation in a protest against the murder of baker Anger Berrueta by a policeman in Pamplona in 2004. 

Ohiana López and Eneko Villegas reported systematic beatings and forced physical exercise up to extenuation. They say that their declarations are totally false. 

Ibon Esteban and Egoi Irisarri also denounced tortures. Esteban managed to identify one of his torturers and showed a photo of this vile man to the court. Irisarri declared that in Canillas [police station] I went through hell.

The only one not reporting tortures this first day of the trial was Endika Pérez, who was arrested by French police in the Northern Basque Country, soon after taking part in a sit-in in Izpura precisely to denounce the possibility of being arrested and deported to Spain. 

Second day of the hearing

The day began with the court sending to prison the five citizens arrested in Loiola, claiming risk of evasion, action that was opposed by the defense on the grounds that they were all the time localized and never attempted such evasion. 

Then the narrations of torture sessions continued:

Imanol Beristain reported being subjected to forced postures, beatings and kickings, sexual aggressions. He reported to have lost consciousness because of the pain, waking up drenched in sweat. 

Rubén Villa declared that he began to be tortured already in the Bilbao police station. He was told, sarcastically, that he could relax, that they would not pull out his fingernails nor bury him in quicklime (as happened to two ETA members decades ago, after being captured by the Spanish police). Then they dragged him to a window, pulling half his body out and said: this is the last time you will breathe the air of Bilbao. The forensic doctor did not even pay attention to his complains. 

Xabat Moran explained: they manage to make your head crack... your body is still yours but your head they own it. I did not control my own actions

Moran denounced forced postures, beating, "the bag" (asphyxiation) and insinuations that they were raping his girlfriend in the nearby room. Just an hour before being sent to the instruction judge he was naked and in state of shock in the very room he had been tortured, being that the reason he signed a false declaration. 

Ainara Ladrón reported "hell" in the journey to Madrid: they beat me, they hit me with their fists on my ribs, they pushed me against the window and yelled at me all the time. She also denounced sexual aggressions in the police station, rejecting what she signed then, even if this declaration was not self-inculpatory. She has requested to skip the bulk of the trial sessions on the grounds of being pregnant, request that has been granted.

Ikoitz Arrese, Saioa Zubiaur and Xabier Bidaurre also reported tortures in the incommunicado period of their arrest. Arrese denounced a fake execution, with a policeman placing a gun on her head. Among other tortures, Bidaurre reported that he was threatened with the rape of his companion.

The farce trial continues today. 

Source[es]: Naiz Info (link 1, link 2).

Monday, September 22, 2014

Civil resistance against political repression at Loiola

The five youths challenging the Spanish Inquisition
Several Basque youths under political persecution by the Spanish authorities have staged today, along with a huge number of supporters an act of civil resistance against the repression they are subjected to for their political ideas. The scenario chosen for this act of defiance was the Sanctuary of Loiola, a Jesuit temple erected in the home lands of Eneko Loiola, known to posterity as Ignatius of Loyola.

"Basque" police soon appeared in riot gear, their faces covered under the black masks of mercenary shame. The result can be watched in the following videos:

Masks made easy identification of the persecuted impossible
Update (Sep 24): 

Those above were just the first videos that made it to the web. The police intervention lasted three hours and included a good deal of violence. Besides the five victims of inquisitorial persecution, two others have been arrested accused of "aggression" against a policeman, almost certainly untrue.

You can watch several other videos at Muy Basto and judge yourself.

It is true that a cop was injured but that's because he slipped badly on the stairs, falling down painfully, but all on his own. 

Many citizens were also injured by police violence.

The names of the five victims of inquisitorial persecution are: Jazint Ramirez, Xabier Arina, Imanol Salinas, Igarki Robles and Irati Tobar.

Repression for civil resistance: huge fines requested against some nonviolent activists

In a distinct but related development, five Basque citizens are being judged for taking part in the "human wall" that attempted to protect another victim of political persecution, Urtza Alkorta, last year (see here and here).

Arbitrarily accused of "aggression against authorities", four of them face possible fines of € 8850, around a year's salary for many.

Source: Naiz Info[eu].

Imagine that there is a pro-occupation demo and nobody goes...

Go away!!
Yes, I'm paraphrasing the old war resisters' slogan "Imagine that there is a war and nobody goes". It's not that different in fact and that is exactly what happened.

Far right groups called for a demo in Pamplona in support of the Spanish occupation forces. Only some ten fanatics showed up and the demo was canceled right away by the organizers, admittedly because nobody had come.

It seems obvious that NOBODY supports the Spanish military and police occupation or Navarre or the Basque Country in general.

Source: Sare Antifaxista[es].

Update (Sep 24):

Image of the demo:

Satire of the failed demo:

Source: BGD!

Fundamentalist pincer against Kurdish civilians

The Western-armed "Islamic State" has attacked the Kurdish town of Kobanê (also known as Ayn al-Arab), causing the flight of some 70,000 civilians to Northern Kurdistan, under Turkish occupation. The Islamist government of Ankara, known to be the most unconditional supporter of Ibrahim's "Caliphate", has closed the artificial colonial border, which runs along the Istanbul-Baghdad railroad through this part of Kurdistan. 

Thousands of Northern Kurds have been pushing towards the barbed-wire occupation line with the intent of helping the refugees or even joining the struggle against the Islamists. As the Turkish occupation forces wouldn't let them move freely, clashes began near the checkpoint.

A large number of civilians remain trapped south of the occupation line (→ video) without food nor water after being forced to run for their lives as the Islamist forces advanced around Kobanê destroying everything.

As happens with the Yezidi refugees taken under the protection of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), the Turkish state is not at all willing to help them even passively, regardless of the fact that the PKK and Ankara have been in a stable truce for a whole year now. The attitude of Ankara has been all the time to support the Islamic State and favor their war crimes. Thousands of Ibrahim's fanatic followers are Turkish, the Turkish Army has trained Islamic State's thugs in NATO's most important airbase in the region: Incirlik (what implies also US participation and blessing) and, while closing the occupation line to Kurds, has allowed the border to remain open for the Islamist terrorists. 

Much as in Ukraine or Palestine: NATO, the US Empire and its many puppets, means fascist dictatorship and terror for the civilians everywhere, whose lives become incidental to the power-mongering of the imperialist forces and totally expendable. Kurdistan is no exception and, especially considering that the Kurdish forces have one of the most advanced socio-political analysis in our West Eurasian region, they deserve all the solidarity we can muster: because they are the only good guys and girls in all the region, the only ones who seem to have clear priorities of equality, freedom and respect and not some fanatic fascist agenda that only serves the oligarchs of the World at the expense of the people.  

The Humanist ideals in West Asia are spelled "Kurdistan", let's give them all our support, let's smash those fascists!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Scotland votes today on its future

Will the majority of Scots vote for an independent Scotland or prefer to stay under English rule? Whichever their choice, what is most important is that they do get to choose, something that most people-nations in Europe or elsewhere are not allowed to. 

This makes the Scottish referendum a central reference in the ongoing process of internal European decolonization, which is one of the most painful democracy issues in the subcontinent awaiting resolution. 

All other oppressed people-nations of Europe look at Scotland today with great interest and to London also with some admiration for being able to allow the fundamental democratic right to secession. Meanwhile the petty tyrants of Madrid, Paris and other neo-Absolutist (Jacobin) regimes shiver and grunt, fearing not just contagion (most of the separatist movements in their residual empires are older and stronger than the Scottish one) but particularly the difficulty of justifying repression against attempts of democratic empowering when such a precedent has been set.

Would I live in Scotland (where I'd be entitled to vote as resident EU citizen, per the rules of this referendum), I would definitely vote YES. No nation has ever repented from regaining sovereignty, even if some times the road to freedom may be difficult. Ask the Estonians if they would want to be again under Russian domination, ask the Angolans if they would like to be Portuguese again, ask the Irish if they would rather be British, ask the Icelanders if they'd prefer to be Danes, ask the Kosovars if they'd wish to be under Serbia or ask the Greeks if they'd want to be under the Turkish yoke? Nobody ever repented from getting their natural rights. And that will also be the case with Scotland if the YES option succeeds today. 

Of course it is the decision of Scots and we must all respect it, whichever it is, but we must also all be glad that they get the right to choose, something that is a fundamental human right, seldom respected. 

Hopefully soon Basques, Catalans, Corsicans, Bretons, Kurds, Chechens, Sahrawis and other oppressed peoples of this part of the World will follow suit. It is time of decolonization.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Millions of Catalans march for freedom in their National Day

a segment of the massive demo
Some 1.8 million people (according to police sources) gathered at central Barcelona to form a human "V" on the two main avenues of the capital. 

This is the third consecutive year in which millions demonstrate for Catalan independence on their national day. But this year it seems even more relevant because a referendum on independence is scheduled for November 9th, but this one has been declared illegal by Spanish Imperialism. 

Catalans showed their defiance in this day. Muriel Casals, of Òmnium Cultural, said in her speech: 
We are not afraid, the voice of the Catalan People is above whatever a tribunal in Madrid may say. 

It is also the 300th anniversary of the defeat of Catalonia, which fought for the Habsburgs in the War of Spanish Succession - because these granted their statehood, suppressed by the Bourbons upon French-Castilian victory. This was reminded by Carme Forcadell, of the non-partisan Catalan National Assembly (ANC) movement, who said:
We have demonstrated that our People is able to take upon any challenge and, thanks to that, on November 9th we will decide on whether we want to remain part of the Spanish State or become a free and sovereign state of our own.

She then demanded from the Catalan elect authorities to adhere to the will of the People and set the urns. President Artur Mas showed his adherence to this demand in press conference later on.

general view of the demo

Some international representatives were also present, among them Liam O'Hare of the Radical Independence Campaign of Scotland, who showed his disapproval of the Spanish veto to the Catalan referendum. 

Pathetic Unionist counter-demos

A few thousand concentrated in Tarragona at the call of all the so-called Catalan Civil Society, gathering representatives of all Unionist parties (PP, PSOE, UPyD, PxC, MSR - some of them outwardly fascist). A small fascist group also tried to sabotage the acts in Barcelona.

Sources: Gara[es], photos from La Vanguardia and El Periódico.