november 2019

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“G’morning November
You lurch & you lumber
From bonfire to ember
From waking to slumber
You deaden the grass & you piss in the pot
The birds all haul ass And the pumpkins all rot”

– Lin-Manuel Miranda

(October 2019 here)

References to Hong Kong will not appear here, but in “HONG KONG latest!”,  references to Chile will appear herereferences to Iraq and Lebanon will appear here

“Reading the morning newspaper is the realist’s morning prayer. One orients one’s attitude toward the world either by God or by what the world is. The former gives as much security as the latter, in that one knows how one stands. ”

   Hegel

12/11/19:

France, Lille: conference by ex-President Hollande cancelled after attack by students, his books torn up,  following self-immolation of student desparing about precarity

On 8th November a 22-year-old student set himself on fire in front of the building of the regional Center for Academic and Scholarly Works . “I accuse Macron, Hollande, Sarkozy and the European Union of killing me, creating uncertainty about the future of everybody,” wrote Anas K., before setting fire to himself. Although still alive, his chances of survival are slim.  See also “Suicide or Revolution”.

11/11/19:

Syria, Idlib: threats by local terrorist state to massacre protestersas Russia, supporting the central state against the local state,  bombs town’s hospitals (see entry for 7/11/19 below)

10/11/19:

India, Haryana: interesting report on sit-in of Honda plant by about 2000 workers

9/11/19:

France, Marseille:  cop hospitalised after march on anniversary of death of 8 people due to crap buildings

Police used tear gas canisters to prevent protesters from approaching City Hall. The police received projectiles, a police officer from Security and Intervention was wounded in the throat and transported to the hospital. The protesters then went up the Canebière, a window was damaged, garbage burned. At 8:30 pm, the police announced that they had arrested a dozen people.”

7/11/19:

Syria, Idlib: some recent accounts of protests Leila’s account of the situationHayat Tahrir al-sham (Syrian Al-Qaïda) attacks village where there’ve been protests

SF: This is from a contact (this interesting development certainly  requires more research and more critical insights). He wrote:

“Today in Idlib (Syria), the population demands the restoration of the power of Local Councils.

A wave of demonstrations against the rule of the Hayat Tahrir al-sham (Syrian Al-Qaïda) group has swept through the cities of the Syrian region of Idlib. People are demanding the departure of this group, which collects taxes from them and organizes violence against residents. People are in favor of the restoration of the power of Local Councils.

It is a little-known fact that after the beginning of the Saura (uprising against Assad) only in the Idlib region, which today has a population of 3 million people, 150 Local Councils were established in various cities and towns. The self-governing bodies tried to provide the population with everything necessary. Unlike Rojava, these Councils were predominantly non-partisan. However, no one went to protect them…

The conflict in Syria is complex and multifaceted. It cannot be reduced to clashes between different religious paramilitary groups and the government, between parties, or between ethnic and religious associations. All this exists in Syria, for sure. But along with the parties there is a social movement and self-organization. In the chaos and war, hundreds of thousands of Syrians from different ethnic groups and faiths have learned to live without a state, creating Local Councils and providing themselves with everything they need – food, medicine, municipal services. This is an important layer of Syrian reality, completely ignored by much of the media, “leftists”, and many anarchists. Meanwhile, Local Сouncils have developed enormously in Arab areas but also wioth the participation of minorities (Kurds and Turkmens, Ismailis and Alawites).

A Syrian anarchist, a participant in the Syrian revolution, Leila al Shami wrote,  in The New York Times:

“The people of Idlib have been at the forefront of the struggle against Hay’at Tahrir Al Sham, or H.T.S. Since Idlib’s liberation from the regime — partially in 2012 and then fully in 2015 — many of its citizens worked to build a free society that reflected the values of the revolution. According to researchers, more than 150 local councils have been established to administer basic services in the province; many held the first free elections in decades. Long-repressed civil society witnessed a rebirth. Independent news media, like the popular Radio Fresh, were set up to challenge the regime’s monopoly on information. Women’s centers grew, empowering women to participate in politics and the economy.” here

Of course, the Local Councils in Syria were not pure class organizations, they were not like the Workers ‘ Councils of Budapest in 1956 or in Northern Iraq in 1991. However, these self-governing bodies operated outside the centralized state, without the influence of parties (or this influence was minimal). The network of non-partisan Local Councils covered not only Idlib, but also Daraa and several other regions of the Syrian province. Today, almost all of them have been destroyed by Assad or his Islamist opponents. The huge and most shameful act of  so-called anarchists and leftists is that they did not pay attention to this phenomenon when talking about Syria.

The non-partisan Councils of Syria have been destroyed. But people want them back.”

SF: I feel that maybe more research may lead to a more critically nuanced take on all this. For instance, the sentence written by the anarchist in The New York Times – “Women’s centers grew, empowering women to participate in politics and the economy.” could merely mean the beginnings of the kind of reformism that could lead to a Thatcher or a Hillary Clinton or a Marine Le Pen in a few years unless it’s seen within a CRITIQUE of politics and the economy.

For more information see this, this, this and this and this.  Also here “…the demonstrators have dismissed the deputies of the General Authority for Zakat stationed in Olive compressors. The demonstrators also burned the papers on which they write down the amount of Zakat of each farmer, and dismissed the members of the police outpost thet belongs to Hayyaat Tahrir Al-Sham. In this context, an evening demonstration went out in Idlib city condemning the decrees of the Salvation Government. On the 3rd of November 2019, SOHR published that residents of “Idlib” continued their rejection of the decisions of the “Rescue Government”, where there was an evening demonstration in the city of Idlib demanding the “Rescue Government” to reduce taxes and prices….”

Despite it’s limitations, this movement is a refreshing contrast with the more obviously hierarchical state of Rojava, beloved by far too many “anarchists” desperate for some mirage of “hope” which allows them to throw their uncritical minds into supporting it, rather like Leftists did in their admiration of Mao’s China back in the 60s. See this, which in part deals with the insurrectionary movement  in Syria in 2011, which the municipalist anarcho-Stalinists of the PKK abstained totally from participating in, despite its considerable stash of arms.

6/11/19:

Belgium, Brussels: JD Sport shop looted after manager’s racist remarks

5/11/19:

France, Yvelines: continuation of a  week’s on-and-off clashes with cops and fires More here

Following 2 youths badly injured in the eye and abdomen by cops’ flashballs, and continuous racist insults by patrolling cops on estates, youths set fire to 2 bulldozers amidst sporadic ambushes of cops and stone-throwing etc., over the previous week in different areas of the department.

4/11/19:

France, Yvelines: another night of clashes with riot cops

Haiti: movement continues (links and videos)

“The previous regime may have stolen as much as hundreds of millions of dollars. The current regime has been branded as just as bad, although that would be nearly impossible given the lack of cash to steal or construction projects to skim from. ..the government has barely functioned for over a decade, with all parties and individuals using the people’s taxes as their own personal piggy bank. Call me cynical, but I very much expect the next administration — whoever and whenever that is — to do the same thing…Six weeks of barricades and clogged streets have had huge repercussions on the masses that all sides of the political morass purport to represent. School, currently postponed until January, has not opened at all this year…” here.  This  mainstream article claims that the riots and barricades are purely organised by the official opposition and that barricade-builders are paid by them.  Whereas, this article, from the end of September, tends to make out that it’s a revolutionary movement. I suspect that  both are simplifications. It’s really useless and exasperating reading anarchist sites like itsgoingdown that almost invariably avoid looking at, or at best minimising,  the contradictions of movements, that think being excessively positive about wherever actually contributes to the progress of movements, when it’s clear that it just helps blind people to the complexities.

2/11/19:

France, Paris: cops get a bit heavy after yellow vests invade Gard du Nord chanting “Work, Consume & shut your gob!” (video)

Germany, Berlin: clashes with cops on anti-gentrification demo 

“Around 2,000 people took the streets tonight against gentrification in . Construction sites were looted for projectiles which were then thrown at cops. Luxury cars had their windows smashed out. Reports of a joyous atmosphere….Fires set in Friedrichshain near , cops repelled with bottles. Later in the evening folks went to a different district and attacked a police administration building with rocks, paint bombs, and set up burning barricades outside

Haiti: movement continues with workers’ demos

…textile and health workers filled the streets of this capital with anti-government protests, and denounced corruption, as well as a complete change to the imposed neoliberal system, to resolve poverty and inequality.”

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