Category Archives: freedom

Daniel Cohn-Bendit & Claus Leggewie: “1968: Power to the Imagination”

“Our solidarity with the national liberation movements was immense. … What we largely ignored, however, was the suppression proceeding from the liberators themselves, once they had seized power.”

“Drawn to a Cause, British Woman Dies Fighting Alongside Kurds in Syria”

“In Britain, Ms. Campbell, 26, was active in causes like animal rights and environmental protection, but until recently, she had no personal connection to the Kurds. Yet she was deeply moved, family and friends said, by the fight to defend an autonomous, mostly Kurdish region in northern Syria, known as Rojava, whose leaders advocate a secular, democratic and egalitarian politics, with equal rights for women.”

David Graeber: ” Why are world leaders backing this brutal attack against Kurdish Afrin?”

Afrin‘s “inhabitants had taken advantage of their peace and stability to develop the democratic principles embraced throughout the majority Kurdish regions of north Syria, known as Rojava. Local decisions were devolved to neighbourhood assemblies in which everyone could participate; other parts of Rojava insisted on strict gender parity, with every office having co-chairs, male and female, in Afrin, two-thirds of public offices are held by women. Today, this democratic experiment is the object of an entirely unprovoked attack”

Bronwen Everill: “Demarginalizing West Africa in the Age of Revolutions”

‘It is true that the West African Age of Revolutions did not inspire specifically democratic change in the polities that were “revolutionized”, and that the revolutions’ relationships with the practices of the slave trade and slavery were complicated. But if not all of these revolutions were democratic, then maybe it wasn’t an age of democratic revolutions at all, which makes the particular cases of democratic revolution interesting in different ways.’

James C. Scott interviewed on “Most Resistance does not Speak its Name”

“France after the revolution was a great emancipatory state, but prior to it, the state only had access to the population through the different parliaments and different estates of the feudal order. Once the revolution occurred, the state for the first time had direct access to every citizen. That was the birth of citizenship, and that made possible the total mobilization of the population under Napoleon. So you had organization and mobilization of total war and emancipation being linked integrally to the achievements of the French Revolution.”

“Symposium on the Bicentennial of the Latin American Revolutions of Independence”

Journal of the History of Ideas, 79: 1, 2018

“Mexico’s Zapatista rebels, 24 years on and defiant in mountain strongholds”

‘Today the Zapatistas, who have never disarmed, claim to control much of the state of Chiapas. “There are 50,000 families, or nearly 300,000 people in 55 municipalities. Their rules of ‘good government’ involve giving their time several days a week to the community, sharing food, helping to teach the young, and organising,” says Heredia. “They are autonomous,” he adds. “Most villages are in the mountains and the great Lacandon forest. They have their own system of education, health, justice, government and security. They are still poor but they train their own teachers and doctors, and some have their own currency. The Mexican government mostly leaves them alone.”’

“The world’s most progressive democracy is being born. Don’t let it get strangled.”

“So why should we care about this latest development in the Syrian war? Because Afrin, along with the cantons of Euphrates and Jazira, is experimenting with a form of bottom-up, direct democracy that is arguably more progressive than any other system in the West.”

Mamadou Diallo: “Thomas Sankara and the Revolutionary Birth of Burkina Faso”

‘The Sankarist Revolution was the peak of a series of revolts, the breakdown of an inept cycle, and the beginning of a historical sequence that would see Upper Volta become Burkina Faso and, to deal with its critical situation, “dare to invent the future.”’

“An Investigation Into Red-Brown Alliances: Third Positionism, Russia, Ukraine, Syria, and the Western Left”

“As radical leftist anti-fascists, anti-racists, anti-colonialists, and anti-capitalists struggling for liberation, we can fight against imperialism, against racism, and against fascism at the same time, and we can oppose the American war machine and oppose colonialism without siding with reactionary and oppressive entities. We can support liberation in Palestine, Bahrain, India, Venezuela and everywhere else where people are struggling against oppression without allying to fascists or allowing them to try co-opting our movements. Unfortunately sections of the radical movement have failed or have been purposely misled by crypto-fascists.”