Category Archives: freedom

Julia Kornberg: “In Rocinante’s Stirrups: Che Guevara’s quixotic journey”

“Wherever there has been oppression, wherever there is some kind of revolutionary spirit left, Che’s image—not Guevara’s, but that of the nicknamed icon—accompanies and surveys, watching lopsidedly from the distance in Alberto Korda’s historical image. But what lies behind it remains elusive, his name now reduced to an almost empty signifier for individuals on the most confused sides of the political spectrum.”

Hall Greenland: “After Independence, Algeria Launched an Experiment in Self-Managing Socialism”

Local democracy wasn’t always perfect: there were many examples of local bigwigs, mafia, and armed mujahideen doing side deals with emigrating European owners or seizing European property. However, in the latter cases, there were often ongoing struggles between the usurpers and local workers for control.  The spontaneous reality of the summer of 1962 set the stage for the struggle that was to dominate the next three years: direct democracy versus bureaucratic and bourgeois control. To put it another way: the people against a nascent ruling class.”

Sahar Delijani: “Watching From a Distance As Women Fight for Freedom in Iran”

“There is a revolution in the making, and you must rush to make impressions of its traces, its familiar faces. You must learn to listen to its heartbeat, memorize it, keep it safe. For, this is for you too. This struggle. It encompasses your life, your freedom, your beliefs, your dreams of a better world. There is nothing abstract about it, nothing apart.”

David Palumbo-Liu: “Rise Up in Anger and Hope: How Eruptive Protests Can Propel Urgent Issues to the Center of Political Debate”

“When politicians and governments are held accountable for defaulting on their promises to support democracy and to practice it, the streets become a place where unofficial, yet highly visible plebiscites can take place.”

Deion Scott Hawkins: “Not all insurrections are equal – for enslaved Americans, it was the only option.”

“In my view, rebellions of the enslaved can aptly be classified as insurrections.  From the early 1600s, historians estimate that there were around 250 insurrections in America that involved 10 or more enslaved people using violence to fight for equal rights.”

Ethan Oversby & Benjamin Maiangwa: “Thomas Sankara, Intersectionality and the Fate of Africa’s Liberation”

Thomas Sankara is relevant today as a Marxist revolutionary, and a martyr to those inspired by his subaltern resistance to what bell hooks calls the “white supremacist capitalist patriarchy”; an “interlocking system of domination” that exist between the west and the rest of the world. Sankara’s legacy is particularly felt among the younger generation in Africa and elsewhere who are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with exploitative capitalism, the kleptocracy of their leaders and other planetary crises.’

introduction to “Smash The System! Punk Anarchism as a Culture of Resistance” (2022)

“Our subculture will be Dionysian—sensual, spontaneous, wild—an uncontrollable geyser of raw feeling. The Apollonian (the rational, the intentional, the orderly) will follow the chaotic energy that drives this movement, not precede it. Intellectual proposals can build on adrenaline, lust, violence, and pleasure, but they can’t substitute for them.  So nothing sanctimonious, nothing triumphalist or moralistic. Better a gritty romanticism that sees dignity in defeat as well as victory.”

Janet Afary & Kevin B. Anderson: “Woman, Life, Freedom: The Origins Of The Uprising In Iran”

“Many issues besides women’s rights are bound up in the protests: authoritarianism, economic stagnation and severe unemployment, climate disaster, and various religious-fundamentalist impositions. The current uprising also represents the public’s response to the regime’s colossal cronyism and corruption, and to its confrontational foreign policy and regional expansionism, which have isolated Iran and contributed to extremely high inflation in the country.”

Paulius Vijeikis: “Revolution in progress: Voices of Belarusians in exile”

The Belarus Revolution started in 2020 after a rigged presidential election. It ended, at least to outward appearances, with President Lukashenka’s brutal repression and stricter outlawing of future protests. But, for many, the struggle continues: a new study on protestors’ recollections refutes the perception that the revolution failed.”

Mona El-Ghobashy: “The Arab Uprisings and the Many Meanings of Revolution”

After ten years as the Arab region’s only functioning democracy, Tunisia is now imperiled by a presidential strongman who in 2021 dissolved parliament and attacked the judiciary, and in 2022 rewrote the constitution to reflect his plebiscitary conception of direct democracy. Egypt is governed by a personalized military dictatorship that incarcerates or eliminates all forms of opposition, even its erstwhile business cronies. Yemen, the Arabian peninsula’s sole republic, is ravaged by an air war between a Saudi-UAE alliance and Houthi rebels, rendering 80% of Yemenis in need of humanitarian aid. In Syria, the nationwide uprising did not end the 50-year rule of the al-Assad dynasty. With military support from Russia and Iran, Bashar al-Assad has subjected Syrians to staggering state violence; over half a million have perished and 13 million forced to flee their homes.”