Category Archives: autonomy

Alex Kostantopoulos: “The Law of the Zapatista: A Presentation about the Laws Passed by EZLN”

“In the autonomous municipalities of Zapatistas, laws that are passed from the Council of Governance are not enforced by police or a judicial system but through a way that treats offenders as members of the community.  Justice is delivered by the authorities of the Zapatistas. They resolve issues among the members of the community and also between Zapatistas and non-Zapatistas.”

Bree Busk: “The popular assemblies at the heart of the Chilean uprising”

“Chile has a long history of radical neighborhood organizing — a tradition that is now put at the service of drafting a new constitution for a country in turmoil.”

J. Daniel Elam: Hong Kong: “When We Burn You Will Burn With Us”

‘Like Hong Kong itself, the current protests are a harbinger for the rest of the world. Old revolutions promised egalitarianism on the basis of a shared world to win. A revolution for our times promises very little, except perhaps an egalitarianism based on a shared world in which there is nothing left to lose. “When we burn you will burn with us,” graffiti at the University of Hong Kong says. Is that a threat or a resignation? It’s both: for the future, there is nothing left at all.’

Julius Gavroche: “Song is a weapon: For José Mário Branco (1942-2019)”

“If his music reflects a particular history which may seem dated to some, his art is a rare example of ethical-political engagement for a world without oppression. Below, we share songs (most with lyrics translated), interviews and a lecture.”

Yavor Tarinski interviewed on “Direct democracy and the passion for political participation”

‘If we want create a radically democratic and ecological society, we will have to abandon all bureaucratic and exploitative means. It is not enough to consume ethically or vote for the lesser evil. We have to build democratic and resilient communities capable of confederating with each other so as to tackle large-scale issues. As Castoriadis has said, “an autonomous society cannot be instaurated except through the autonomous activity of the collectivity.” This might sound too general or abstract, but the direct democracy of which we are speaking represents such a paradigm shift, that must surpass both globalization and localism and can lead towards genuine social emancipation.’

“Catalonia: Trapped between nationalisms”

‘While both the Spanish and the Catalan regional governments, and their respective parliaments, are divided and paralysed over what to do next, anarchists find themselves again in the uncomfortable position of siding with neither, while opposing and fighting against state violence, and defending more radical forms of autonomy, beyond “national sovereignty”.’

“Statement of the Internationalist Commune on the Agreement between self-administration and the Syrian state”

“It is important to reemphasize once again that nothing changes in the political administration within northeastern Syria with this agreement. The revolution has its own principles, and these are not negotiable; not with the US, Russia or the Syrian regime.”

James L. Gelvin: “Turkish attack on Syria endangers a remarkable democratic experiment by the Kurds”

‘The key to understanding the Rojava project, as those involved often refer to it, is the notion of “confederalism.” In this form of government, local units – in this case, Kurdistan’s “autonomous regions” – come together in a federation yet retain a great deal of autonomy.’

“Ecuador’s indigenous people are leading the anti-government protests.”

‘“Our fight is in defense of our territories,” he said. He said measures to appease the IMF have led to increased oil and mining in indigenous lands, actions that “don’t respect the collective rights of the indigenous people.”’

“Resistance in Rojava”

The people of Rojava in northern Syria—both Kurdish and Muslim—were at the front of the struggle to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), sustaining thousands and thousands of casualties in the course of years of warfare. As soon as ISIS was beaten, the US government tricked the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) into dismantling their defenses along the Syrian border, promising to secure peace in the region and discouraging them from seeking other international allies. Once they were defenseless, Trump gave Turkey permission to invade.”