On the occasion of reports that talk about transforming the building where occupation Rosa Nera is in a hotel, the Anarchosindicalists Initiative “Rosinante” has published the following announcement:
In the last week, in newspapers (Eleftheros Press, Kathimerini) and racist web sites belonging to the “New Democracy” appears the Rectorate of the Polytechnic of Crete to offer informal “in secret” auctions buildings of the city to tourism bosses. Among these buildings is the building of the Rosa Nera Occupation. This move is part of the wider attack on social and labor movements – and with the backs of the current government.
The occupation of Rosa Nera, for 13 years, is a working machine of support and organization for important aspects of social and labor movements in Chania. Through a libertarian and anarchist culture that supports the organization on the ground, the political work of occupation offers both a hospitable “home” for social struggles and a critical human potential for most social, labor, environmental and rightful claims in Chania.
They know this well both in the villages of the county, which have been plagued by the looting and destruction of the environment from “green growth” and in the city: In the world, by trade unions, student co-ordinates, migrant and immigrant initiatives, Artistic groups and productions, social solidarity initiatives and initiatives to claim public spaces supported and / or collaborated with Rosa Nera. The occupation, unlike some others, has hosted refugee families when the city’s bodies were unable or disinterested. And along with other collectives – such as Immigration Stake, Immigration Forum and Social Kitchen – Rosa Nera has been a powerful force in one of the most important issues of modern class struggle: defending migrant life and struggles for rights and Life that deny to migrants by the same racist bosses who today want to take the place of occupation.
It is logical, therefore, to have the bosses with Rosa Nera. On the one hand the world of struggle for the class and social revaluation of life, and on the other hand the exploiters and their political staff. Much more, when we talk about bosses exploiting work in tourism businesses, bosses who have frozen wages for 20 years, with more recent cuts of up to 40%, have eliminated stamps, bonuses and insurance. It is also logical that the specific business will be made by the aspiring politician of the right and now rector Dimalakis in collaboration with the party of the ND. Which is involved in a lot of scandals, more recently the case of the loans of “Kirikas Chania” and the “golden buildings” of the Pancretan Bank.
Prior to the occupation, this area was always in the hands of the city’s authority as an administrative or military center, and its history is heavy: in its basements, fighters have been tortured by the Gestapo during occupation and by the ESA during the dictatorship . When the building was handed over to the polytechnic, it was left to chance as a closed dilapidated space. Thanks to the collective work of many people, for the first time the building and the area of occupation became accessible and opened safely to society. For the first time, one can enjoy the ride and his company, in a place that has always been locked up by power. Finally, 13 years now, Rosa Nera’s occupation is another social barrier to the rise of the extreme right and the effort of racists, militarists and neo-Nazis to appear with demands on the streets and workplaces of the city.
The solidarity and our support is given.
-Hands down from the occupation of Rosa Nera and the social occupations
-Solidarity with the social spaces that fight against fascism, militarism, exploitation
-Non-tolerance to state repression
translation: revolution sociale
A few facts are enough to show the horror of the situation facing the migrants:
- On 27 August, in Austria near the Hungarian border, 71 bodies (including 8 women and 4 children) were discovered in an advanced state of decomposition, locked into a lorry abandoned by the roadway;
- A few days later, the body of a little boy of three, drowned at the same time as his mother and brother, was washed up on a beach at Bodrum in Turkey.
These were both cases of migrants from Syria fleeing the nightmare of four years of war. This phenomenon of refugees has now been globalised on an unprecedented, going well beyond the exoduses of the worst years of the 20th century.
Propaganda and solidarity
One thing about this is striking. The media are not trying to hide the unbearable horror of the situation. On the contrary, they are headlining it and are coming up with more and more shocking images, like that of the little boy on the beach. Why?
In fact, the bourgeoisie is exploiting, for the purpose of its propaganda, both the barbarism for which it is itself responsible, and the feelings of indignation it provokes, and the spontaneous expressions of solidarity between local working people and migrants which in the last few months has begun to develop in several parts of Europe. The propaganda is aimed at strangling at birth any possibility of independent thought and to instil nationalist ideology in a more insidious way. In the eyes of the ruling class, left to themselves, proletarians in Europe are acting in a curious and even irresponsible way: they are helping and supporting the migrants. Despite the permanent ideological bombardment, we find that very often when these proletarians are in direct contact with the refugees, they bring them what they need to survive – food, drink, blankets – and sometimes even take them in to their homes. We have seen such examples of solidarity in Lampedusa in Italy, Calais in France and a number of cities in Germany and Austria. When, after being hassled by the Hungarian state, train loads of refugees have arrived at the stations, the exhausted migrants have been welcomed by thousands of people offering them support and material aid. Austrian rail workers have worked extra hours to transport the refugees towards Germany. In Paris, thousands demonstrated on 5 September to protest against the treatment of the refugees. They raised slogans like “we are all children of migrants”.
Faced with such massive and international expressions of solidarity from the civil population, when the main concern of the state has been to intimidate the refugees and keep them under control, the ruling class has had to react. Almost everywhere the bourgeoisie has had to modify the anti-immigrant discourse of the last few years and adapt to the situation. In Germany, the turn-around of the bourgeoisie has helped it to strengthen the image of the country as a very advanced democracy, to exorcise the ghosts of the past in response to those of its rivals who never miss an occasion to refer to Germany’s dark history. What’s more, it’s the trauma of the Second World War which explains the sensitivity of the German proletariat to the question of refugees. The German authorities have had to suspend the Dublin agreement which calls for the deportation of asylum seekers. In the eyes of the world’s migrants, Angela Merkel has become the champion of Germany’s openness and a model of humanity. In Britain, David Cameron has had to modify his hard line stance, along with the worst right wing tabloids which up till now have been describing migrants as a threatening and sub-human horde. For the bourgeoisie, one of the key issues has been the need to hide the fact that there are two totally antagonistic logics at work here: capitalist exclusion and ‘every man for himself’ versus proletarian solidarity; a dying system sinking into barbarism versus the affirmation of a class which bears within itself the future flourishing of humanity. The bourgeoisie cannot avoid reacting to the real feelings of indignation and solidarity which are appearing in the central countries.
The spectacular explosion in the number of refugees
The situation is not totally new. In 2012, the High Commission for Refugees (HCR) was already counting 45.2 million “displaced” people and was ringing the alarm bells about this growing human disaster. In 2013, 51.2 million were fleeing various kinds of horror. The threshold of 50 million had thus been crossed for the first time since the Second World War. The HCR explained this as the result of “the multiplication of new crises” and “the persistence of old crises which never seem to die down”. The year 2015 is about to mark a new record: 60 million refugees for Europe alone. Since January, appeals for asylum have increased by 78%. In Germany, according to the minister of the interior, these appeals have quadrupled, reaching the record figure of 800,000. Macedonia has declared a state of emergency and closed its borders. Officially, more than 2800 of these exiles, men, women and children, have drowned in the Mediterranean in the last few months. In Asia, the phenomenon is also massive. For example, a growing number of people have been fleeing repression and persecution in Myanmar and desperately seeking refuge in other southeast Asian countries. In Latin America, criminality and poverty have reached such levels that hundreds of thousands of people are trying to get to the USA. A goods train which goes from the south of Mexico to the north, nicknamed ‘The Beast’, has been regularly carrying thousands of migrants. They run the risk not only of falling from the carriage roofs or being thrown off in the tunnels, but also of being assaulted by the authorities; they are above all at the mercy of the drug gangs or other bandits who ransom them, rape them, kidnap women for prostitution, and as often as not kill them. And for those who have the fortune to get through all this, all along the US frontier they face a wall of barbed wire policed by armed guards who don’t hesitate to shoot at them.
In fact, the hypocritical and civilised speeches of the democratic states go very well with the nastiest and most xenophobic rants. The first encourages feelings of powerlessness, the second of fear. Both obstruct any real reflection, any real development of solidarity.
A phenomenon accentuated by the reality of decomposition
Entire zones of the planet are being devastated and made uninhabitable. This is particularly the case for the regions linking Ukraine to Africa via the Middle East. In certain of these war zones, half the population is in flight and are being held in gigantic camps, at the mercy of the most unscrupulous traffickers, organised on an industrial scale. The real cause of this hell is the decay of the world system of exploitation. The breadth of the refugee phenomenon is a clear expression of the downward spiral of capitalism, which brings in its wake pogroms and violence of all kinds, growing pauperisation linked to the economic crisis, and ecological catastrophes. Of course wars, crises and pollution are not new. All wars have led to people fleeing to save their lives. However, the intensity of these phenomena is growing all the time. Up until the First World War, the number of refugees remained relatively limited. The war then brought the beginning of massive displacements, ‘population transfers’ etc. This spiral took on a whole new dimension with the Second World War, when the number of refugees reached unheard-of levels. Then, during the Cold War, the numerous proxy wars between east and west generated a significant number of refugees, as did the famines in Sub-Saharan Africa in the 70s and 80s. But since the collapse of the eastern bloc in 1989 a veritable Pandora’s box has opened up. The antagonism between the two imperialist blocs imposed a certain order and discipline: most countries obeyed the diktats of their respective bloc leader, the US or Russia. The wars of this period were inhuman and murderous, but in a sense they were ‘ordered’ and ‘classical’. Since the collapse of the USSR, growing instability has given rise to a multiplication of local conflicts, to all sorts of shifting alliances. Conflicts have gone on and on, resulting in the disintegration of states and the rise of warlords and gangsters, in the dislocation of the entire social fabric.
In addition, the contradictions between the imperialist powers (marked by the development of ‘every man for himself’, in which each nation plays its own imperialist card with increasingly short-term objectives), have led the latter to make military interventions in an increasingly regular, almost permanent manner. Each of the big powers support this or that mafia clique or warlord, this or that increasingly irrational band of fanatics, in the defence of their imperialist interests. What dominates in capitalist society today is the disintegration of entire regions, where the most crying expressions of social decomposition can be seen: whole regions controlled by drug gangs, the rise of Islamic State with its barbaric atrocities, etc.
The bunkerisation of the great powers
The states which bear the main responsibility for all this social, ecological and military chaos have at the same time become real fortresses. In a context of unemployment and chronic crisis, security measures are being stepped up to a drastic degree. States have become ‘bunkerised’. Only the most qualified migrants are allowed in to be exploited, to lower the cost of labour power and create divisions within the proletariat. The majority of refugees and migrants, the ‘undesirable’ ones, those reduced to misery and starvation, are cynically enjoined to stay where they are and die without inconveniencing anyone. The northern states have literally chased them into a corner, as in the case of France with its ‘Jungle’ near the Channel Tunnel at Calais. Gangrened by a crisis of overproduction, capitalist society can no longer them any perspective. Instead of opening up, the doors are being closed: states are barricading their frontiers, electrifying fences, constructing more and more walls. During the Cold War, the time of the Berlin Wall, there were about 15 walls defending frontiers. Today more than 60 have been built or are being constructed. From the ‘apartheid wall’ raised by Israel in the face of the Palestinians, to the 4000 miles of barbed wire separating India from Bangladesh, states are falling into a real paranoia about security. In Europe, the Mediterranean front is littered with walls and barriers. Last July, the Hungarian government began construction of a four meter high razor wire fence. As for the Schengen space in Europe, and the work of the Frontext agency or Triton, their industrial-military effectiveness is formidable: a permanent fleet of surveillance and war ships there to prevent refugees from crossing the Mediterranean. A similar military machine has been set up along the Australian coastline. All these obstacles seriously raise the mortality rate among refugees, who are forced to take more and more risks to get past them.
The cynicism of the bourgeoisie
On the one hand, the bourgeois state is barricading itself in. It feeds to the maximum the warnings of doom coming from the most xenophobic populist parties, sharpening hatred, fear and division. Themselves facing deteriorating living conditions, the weakest sections of the proletariat are hit full on by this nationalist propaganda. In a number of countries there have been anti-migrant marches, physical attacks, arson attack on refugee centres. The refugees are the target of campaigns against ‘foreigners who threaten our way of life’. The state legitimises all this by setting up internment camps (over 400 in Europe), deporting those it can, patrolling the frontiers.
On the other hand, this same bourgeoisie fakes its indignation through the voice of politicians who talk about the ‘moral challenge’ posed by the refugees and offers them token support and assistance. In short, the capitalist state, the arch-criminal, poses as their saviour.
But as long as capitalism lasts, there can be no real solution for the migrants and the refugees. If we don’t fight against this system, if we don’t go to the roots of the problem, our indignation and solidarity will not go beyond the stage of basic aid, and the deepest and most noble human feelings will be recuperated by the bourgeoisie, turned into heavily publicised acts of charity which will be used to fuel a more hidden form of nationalism. Therefore, we must try to understand what’s really happening. The proletariat has to develop its own critical and revolutionary point of view on these questions.
In future articles, we will return in more depth to this historic issue.
My name is Assata Shakur, and I am a 20th century escaped slave. Because of government persecution, I was left with no other choice than to flee from the political repression, racism and violence that dominate the US government’s policy towards people of color. I am an ex-political prisoner, and I have been living in exile in Cuba since 1984.
I have been a political activist most of my life, and although the U.S. government has done everything in its power to criminalize me, I am not a criminal, nor have I ever been one. In the 1960s, I participated in various struggles: the black liberation movement, the student rights movement, and the movement to end the war in Vietnam. I joined the Black Panther Party. By 1969 the Black Panther Party had become the number one organization targeted by the FBI’s COINTELPRO program. Because the Black Panther Party demanded the total liberation of black people, J. Edgar Hoover called it “greatest threat to the internal security of the country” and vowed to destroy it and its leaders and activists.
In 1978, my case was one of many cases bought before the United Nations Organization in a petition filed by the National Conference of Black Lawyers, the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, and the United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice, exposing the existence of political prisoners in the United States, their political persecution, and the cruel and inhuman treatment they receive in US prisons. According to the report:
‘The FBI and the New York Police Department in particular, charged and accused Assata Shakur of participating in attacks on law enforcement personnel and widely circulated such charges and accusations among police agencies and units. The FBI and the NYPD further charged her as being a leader of the Black Liberation Army which the government and its respective agencies described as an organization engaged in the shooting of police officers. This description of the Black Liberation Army and the accusation of Assata Shakur’s relationship to it was widely circulated by government agents among police agencies and units. As a result of these activities by the government, Ms. Shakur became a hunted person; posters in police precincts and banks described her as being involved in serious criminal activities; she was highlighted on the FBI’s most wanted list; and to police at all levels she became a ‘shoot-to-kill’ target.”
I was falsely accused in six different “criminal cases” and in all six of these cases I was eventually acquitted or the charges were dismissed. The fact that I was acquitted or that the charges were dismissed, did not mean that I received justice in the courts, that was certainly not the case. It only meant that the “evidence” presented against me was so flimsy and false that my innocence became evident. This political persecution was part and parcel of the government’s policy of eliminating political opponents by charging them with crimes and arresting them with no regard to the factual basis of such charges.
On May 2, 1973 I, along with Zayd Malik Shakur and Sundiata Acoli were stopped on the New Jersey Turnpike, supposedly for a “faulty tail light.” Sundiata Acoli got out of the car to determine why we were stopped. Zayd and I remained in the car. State trooper Harper then came to the car, opened the door and began to question us. Because we were black, and riding in a car with Vermont license plates, he claimed he became “suspicious.” He then drew his gun, pointed it at us, and told us to put our hands up in the air, in front of us, where he could see them. I complied and in a split second, there was a sound that came from outside the car, there was a sudden movement, and I was shot once with my arms held up in the air, and then once again from the back. Zayd Malik Shakur was later killed, trooper Werner Foerster was killed, and even though trooper Harper admitted that he shot and killed Zayd Malik Shakur, under the New Jersey felony murder law, I was charged with killing both Zayd Malik Shakur, who was my closest friend and comrade, and charged in the death of trooper Forester. Never in my life have I felt such grief. Zayd had vowed to protect me, and to help me to get to a safe place, and it was clear that he had lost his life, trying to protect both me and Sundiata. Although he was also unarmed, and the gun that killed trooper Foerster was found under Zayd’s leg, Sundiata Acoli, who was captured later, was also charged with both deaths. Neither Sundiata Acoli nor I ever received a fair trial We were both convicted in the news media way before our trials. No news media was ever permitted to interview us, although the New Jersey police and the FBI fed stories to the press on a daily basis. In 1977, I was convicted by an all- white jury and sentenced to life plus 33 years in prison. In 1979, fearing that I would be murdered in prison, and knowing that I would never receive any justice, I was liberated from prison, aided by committed comrades who understood the depths of the injustices in my case, and who were also extremely fearful for my life.
The U.S. Senate’s 1976 Church Commission report on intelligence operations inside the USA, revealed that “The FBI has attempted covertly to influence the public’s perception of persons and organizations by disseminating derogatory information to the press, either anonymously or through “friendly” news contacts.” This same policy is evidently still very much in effect today.
On December 24, 1997, The New Jersey State called a press conference to announce that New Jersey State Police had written a letter to Pope John Paul II asking him to intervene on their behalf and to aid in having me extradited back to New Jersey prisons. The New Jersey State Police refused to make their letter public. Knowing that they had probably totally distort the facts, and attempted to get the Pope to do the devils work in the name of religion, I decided to write the Pope to inform him about the reality of’ “justice” for black people in the State of New Jersey and in the United States. (See attached Letter to the Pope).
In January of 1998, during the pope’s visit to Cuba, I agreed to do an interview with NBC journalist Ralph Penza around my letter to the Pope, about my experiences in New Jersey court system, and about the changes I saw in the United States and it’s treatment of Black people in the last 25 years. I agreed to do this interview because I saw this secret letter to the Pope as a vicious, vulgar, publicity maneuver on the part of the New Jersey State Police, and as a cynical attempt to manipulate Pope John Paul II. I have lived in Cuba for many years, and was completely out of touch with the sensationalist, dishonest, nature of the establishment media today. It is worse today than it was 30 years ago. After years of being victimized by the “establishment” media it was naive of me to hope that I might finally get the opportunity to tell “my side of the story.” Instead of an interview with me, what took place was a “staged media event” in three parts, full of distortions, inaccuracies and outright lies. NBC purposely misrepresented the facts. Not only did NBC spend thousands of dollars promoting this “exclusive interview series” on NBC, they also spent a great deal of money advertising this “exclusive interview” on black radio stations and also placed notices in local newspapers.
. . .
Like most poor and oppressed people in the United States, I do not have a voice. Black people, poor people in the U.S. have no real freedom of speech, no real freedom of expression and very little freedom of the press. The black press and the progressive media has historically played an essential role in the struggle for social justice. We need to continue and to expand that tradition. We need to create media outlets that help to educate our people and our children, and not annihilate their minds. I am only one woman. I own no TV stations, or Radio Stations or Newspapers. But I feel that people need to be educated as to what is going on, and to understand the connection between the news media and the instruments of repression in Amerika. All I have is my voice, my spirit and the will to tell the truth. But I sincerely ask, those of you in the Black media, those of you in the progressive media, those of you who believe in truth freedom, To publish this statement and to let people know what is happening. We have no voice, so you must be the voice of the voiceless.
Free all Political Prisoners, I send you Love and Revolutionary Greetings From Cuba, One of the Largest, Most Resistant and Most Courageous Palenques (Maroon Camps) That has ever existed on the Face of this Planet.
Assata Shakur Havana, Cuba
Below is a clip of Assata Sakur’s Documentary “Eyes of the Rainbow: Assata Shakur Documentary”
“I am a Black revolutionary woman, and because of this i have been charged with and accused of every alleged crime in which a woman was believed to have participated. The alleged crimes in which only men were supposedly involved, i have been accused of planning. They have plastered pictures alleged to be me in post offices, airports, hotels, police cars, subways, banks, television, and newspapers. They have offered … rewards for my capture and they have issued orders to shoot on sight and shoot to kill.” — Assata Shakur
“People get used to anything. The less you think about your oppression, the more your tolerance for it grows. After a while, people just think oppression is the normal state of things. But to become free, you have to be acutely aware of being a slave.”
― Assata Shakur, Assata: An Autobiography
Ukrainian civil war caused another heavy blow to those social forces in Russia, who call themselves “left”, “anti-fascist” or “anarchist movement”. Unable to withstand the tests about the infamous “national question”, or more precisely the examination on internationalism, this milieu splinted into supporters of one of the bourgeois camp who grappled with each other in the struggle for power in Ukraine.
The logic of support of Maidan coup and the regime in Kiev established by it, on the one hand, or of pro-Russian regimes in Donetsk and Lugansk, declared their secession from Kiev, on the other hand, inevitably led their apologists to the justification either of imperialist interests of NATO, or 0f predatory expansionism of Kremlin – that is, those powers which confront each other on the Ukrainian soil through their puppets and satellites.
The failure of the “left”
Many of the “left wingers” and “anarchists” in the former “Soviet Union” long time ago abandoned internationalist position and – in the pursuit of popularity in the “masses” – were ready to compromise with the various forms of nationalism. The Ukrainian war was the push that helped complete this evolution toward “right”. The left camp in Ukraine crashed into two main groups. The Leninists of “Borotba”, faced with open anti-left and Ukrainian nationalist rhetoric and practice of the Maidan, in fact, supported the opposing “Antimaydan” movement and declared the pro-Russian eruptions in the East of the country “anti-fascist”, despite of an active presence of ultra right-wingers on the very first roles in these activities. At the same time, leaders of the “Autonomous workers union” (AST) not only welcomed Maidan as “antidictatorial” protest, despite the leading role of ultra-rightist fighters on Maidan, but then got up on the side of Ukrainian centralized bourgeois state, denying any existence of dissatisfaction with the Kiev coup in the East of the country and reducing the whole problem solely to the aggressive actions of the Kremlin. Some groups suffered a brutal split. For example, some members of platformist RKAS went to the Maidan, others condemned the struggle for power in Kiev, but then proclaimed the intention to defend the “homeland against the aggressor”, Russia, the third is rumored to have entered into military formations of separatist “Donetsk People`s Republic” (DPR)…
No less confusion reigned among the Russian “left”. Some people (including most of the “anarchists”) from the outset sympathized Maidan as the alleged “people`s” and “self-organized” movement, ready to justify a tactical alliance with the Ukrainian nationalists and ultra-rightists. Someone supports Kiev in its conflict with the East and the Kremlin, guided by simplest “anti-Putin” motives and by the motto “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. Others are still in captivity of idea of “progressive” national “liberation” movements, and have seen in the Maidan orientation toward NATO a manifestation of the progressive struggle against centuries-old yoke of “Russian Empire”. Fourth group, on the contrary, leaned in favor of the Republics of Donbass or even began to express more or less cautious support for the Kremlin’s policy by announcing the Russian imperialism a counterweight to “more terrible” enemy – imperialism of the West. Fifth group continues to declare the insurgency in the East an anti-fascist manifestation, claiming that “anti-fascism” should unite the entire political spectrum from the ultra-right-wing up to the ultra-leftists. Sixth tendency interprets the annexation of Crimea by Russia and the secession of Ukrainian East in the sense of “the right to self-determination” …
The inability of most of the “left” (in the broadest sense of the word) movement in Ukraine and Russia to take a consistently internationalist position in this conflict, of course, is not an accident, and – unfortunately – not a surprise. Its roots are the same, that once, with the onset of the First World War, splinted the Second International: nationalism, patriotism, statism and political logic of opportunism (“lesser evil” and “graduality”).
The position of KRAS-IWA
The anarcho-syndicalists of Russia from the outset took a position against all confronting bourgeois groups in Ukraine and against the imperialist powers behind them – NATO and Russia. Our anti-nationalism was formulated clearly in the statement “war on war” signed by the Russian section of the IWA in early March. We condemned the struggle for power between the oligarchic clans in Ukraine, manifested in the confrontation between the Maidan and Antimaydan, and we emphasized expansionary policy of powers with regard to Ukraine, which has become a bone of contention between the emerging military-political blocs. Even before the annexation of the Crimea, we warned that “Russian capitalism intends to use redistribution of Ukrainian state power in order to implement their long-standing imperial and expansionist aspirations in the Crimea and eastern Ukraine where it has strong economic, financial and political interests. On the background of the next round of the impending economic crisis in Russia, the regime is trying to stoking Russian nationalism to divert attention from the growing workers’ socio-economic problems: poverty wages and pensions, dismantling of available health care, education and other social services. In the thunder of the nationalist and militant rhetoric it is easier to complete the formation of a corporate, authoritarian state based on reactionary conservative values and repressive policies”. And we warned from the interests and aspirations of Western powers too, because “their intervention in the conflict could lead to World War III” (http://www.aitrus.info/node/3607)
We were well aware that – in the situation of the current weakness – the workers movement and of the social-revolutionary forces in the Ukraine and Russia will hardly be able at this stage to provide an organized resistance to the war. But this does not mean that they should not resist the nationalist hysteria and they must go to shed their blood for the interests of their masters, whoever they may be. We called for the deployment of a wide antinationalist, anti-war, anti-capitalist and antistatist agitation, seeing it as a necessary step on the way toward the future social-revolutionary upsurge.
This internationalist position was reaffirmed in an extensive interview that one of our militants gave to German anti-militarist libertarian newspaper “Graswurzelrevolution”. Although he did it in a personal manner, his words reflect on this issue the point of view of our organization. The comrade said that “pro-Russian movement in the East and in the Crimea is as heterogeneous as the Maidan. And just in the same degree nationalist and reactionary in its predominant orientation. The leaders of pro-Russian forces in the Crimea are prominent representatives of the local Russian-speaking bourgeoisie”. He said about “the participation of Russian (Russian-speaking) ultra-rightists in the current anti-Kiev protests in the east, south of Ukraine and Crimea. First of all, they are the Cossacks, which are now something like the KKK in the United States, and members of various pro-fascist groups”.
Of course, special attention was paid in the interview to the plans and actions of the imperialist powers. “It is clear that Putin’s regime took advantage of the chaotic situation in Ukraine in order to carry out its own hegemonic plans”, our comrade said. “The interests of the Russian state and capital in the Crimea are diverse. Geopolitically, Russia sees itself as a regional superpower, which claims at least for hegemony in the former space of the “Soviet Union”. Ukraine has become a conflict zone in the imperialist contradictions between Russia and the EU. In contrast to association projects of Ukraine with the EU, Moscow launched membership of the southern neighbor in the block under its domination, the Customs Union. Logically, Russia is not would like to tolerate an anti-Russian government in Kiev. (…) Putin’s regime even prefer to take the risk to find a stable and lasting enemy with future revanchist aspirations in Kiev, only to capture the region of Crimea. Crimea is for the Russian state of great military importance. There are the main bases of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, and these term expires in 2017. From a strategic point of view, the peninsula jutting out into the deep sea is the key to the Black Sea. And possible prospects of Ukraine’s membership in NATO scares the Russian government. Also and economic interests having an importance. Russian capitalists make their business in the Crimea and have real estate there. New profitable projects are in planning. (…)The information about the presence of rich oil and gas resources in the sea in the vicinity of the Crimea gives the additional excitement”. Finally,” there are clear internal political motives (for the intervention). The Russian government is increasingly intensifying its neo-liberal policies of austerity, and on the background of very low salaries. Many analysts based on the fact that the economic crisis in the country this year will worsen. So that incitement to nationalist and military hysteria is the best means to distract discontent of population, which is pushed to patriotically close ranks around the government “.
“(…) We have to deal with competing imperialisms, with another round of struggle for the re-division of the world”, our comrade said. “In the world, there are many players: imperial aspirations of the USA, China, etc. Each state would like to expand its influence and to imperial policy. Not everyone can, but everyone wishes. Hence hypocrisy on all sides. Each state allows such a policy to itself, but denies it to everyone else. I think that the first and most urgent task of the anti-nationalist is to unmask this position and such a situation and to explain it as much as possible to general population. We have always – and as systematically as we can – to explain that the imperial policy and militarism are inseparable part of the system. If we can not contribute to a change of consciousness, we can never break the discursive domination of capitalist-statist system”(http://www.aitrus.info/node/3650)
The dogs bark, but the caravan goes on
Since then, our position has not changed. We continue to oppose NATO and the Kremlin, Kiev and Donetsk-Lugansk, Maidan and Antimaydan. Our slogan is still all the same: “A plague on both your houses, bourgeois!”
But adherence to principle annoying the Russian and Ukrainian “left” which are restless in the chaos. Forgetting what it is, they are willing to condemn any loyalty to the (betrayed by them) ideals of internationalism and class resistance as something naive, marginal and sectarian, and if they can`t, then simply to slander it.
It is clear that today we are burning hatred by both the advocates of Maidan / Kiev and the adherents of the Donetsk and Lugansk “people`s” republics (DPR & LPR) / Kremlin. Someone really does not understand how you can not support any of the warring parties: because politics it’s “art of the possible”. It is useful to reminder to such persons that the anarcho-syndicalists did not engage in “politics” in their understanding, so to get such a sparrow, we simply do not need to bend down. We are not interested in the names and covers of politicians, but in the struggle for social and economic interests of working people.
Someone lives in the logic of Stalinist State prosecutor Vyshinsky: “Who is not with us is against us”. Bifurcating the world schizophrenically, these people believe that anyone not supporting “liberation struggle of the Ukrainian people” (under the leadership of patriotic oligarchs, of course) is direct or indirect agent of the Kremlin. Not being a psychiatrist, we do not know how to treat their political schizophrenia.
Finally, there are those who prefer to just open lies and slander. So there were liars, who invent that the KRAS-IWA refuses to criticize the pro-Russian republics in Eastern Ukraine and even supposedly supports them.
Anyone who understands the logic of our position and who is familiar with the above quote, can notice very easy that this is certainly not the case. Yes, there were more material about social problems and anti-war protests in the area controlled by the Kiev regime on our website until now. But it is, first and foremost, because there was no coherent information on these topics from the areas controlled by the separatists. We know nothing about strikes broke out in these areas, if there are protests against the war, rising prices, mobilization… As soon as we receive the relevant information, we intend to publish and distribute them in the same way as we do with the materials about strikes in the Crimea annexed by Russia.
Nevertheless, in order to avoid any misunderstanding (we believe unnecessary to refute open slander of our enemies), we can only confirm frankly that we don`t consider the regimes of DPR/LPR some “better” than the Kiev regime. Even with all the widely scattered and fragmentary nature of objective information, we have enough sufficient grounds for this opinion:
– The regimes of DPR and LPR are bourgeois (as the regime of Kiev). At the head of them, there are representatives of the local middle or petty bourgeoisie and the security forces, and behind them is quite clearly seen the interests of large Russian corporations, repeatedly sent their trusted men to the governing structures of these republics;
– The regimes in Eastern Ukraine are extremely nationalistic, but, in contrast to Kiev, it is not Ukrainian nationalism but Russian. To see this, it is enough not only to get acquainted with the constitution of the DPR saturated with the Black Hundreds style exclamations about “Russian World” and “Russian civilization”, about the primacy of Orthodox Christianity and traditional values, but also to listen to or read the relevant statements of statesmen and military leaders of the two republics. Evidence of this give also direct references of these leaders to the traditions of the Russian White Guards.
– The regimes in eastern Ukraine (as well as in Kiev) are ready to receive support from their own and foreign neo-fascists. It is hardly possible to believe that the militants of “Russian national unity”, of “National bolshevist party”, the Cossacks and the heirs of the White Guards are something “better” than the battalion “Azov”, an openly neo-Nazi Ukrainian unit of “the National Guard.”
– The regimes in Eastern Ukraine are extremely repressive (as in Kiev). International human rights organizations fix numerous human rights violations in the both zones of the country. As in the territory controlled by the Kiev authorities, the DPR and LPR installed and practice censorship, the political opponents are persecuted; arrests, kidnappings and beatings occur. Of both parts of Ukraine, there are reports about forced mobilization in the army or the construction of fortifications. In August, the DPR adopted a law on the establishment of courts-martial and the restoration of the death penalty. We have no reliable information about who and when it was executed, but the fact that such laws are extremely disturbing .
– The regimes in Eastern Ukraine are antisocial (though, unlike the Kiev government, yet do not follow the dictates of the IMF and the EU in matters of “austerity”). None of the leaders of the republics doesn`t want to encroach on the property of the capitalists; there is no information about any attempts to freeze prices, to raise the salary or to declare additional social guarantees…
Enough said. Those “leftists” who can declare their support for such regimes, are just out of mind … or they are not more than “left” fig leaf of the bourgeoisie.
Anarcho-syndicalists remain in their principled positions. We have never supported, will not support and will not support any state, any ruling class, or any bourgeois or national movement. Our course toward social revolution and anarchy is unchanged. Here we stand and we can do none other.
original available on russian