Political struggles over the future of Turkey have left the country profoundly divided. Former Prime Minister, now President, Tayyip Erdogan, has fueled growing polarization through his authoritarian response to protests, his large-scale urban development projects, his religious social conservatism, and most recently, through his complicity in the Islamic State’s war against the Kurdish people in Northern Syria.
Transcribed from This is Hell! Radio’s 4 October 2014 episode and printed with permission. Edited for space and readability. Listen to the full interview:
“If the Department of Education is operating mostly like a debt collector it’s going to think mostly like a debt collector rather than somebody that supervises an education system.”
Chuck Mertz: The college school year has begun. What better time to tell incoming and returning students that university education can be a scam? And now the Too Big To Fail banks have done to colleges what they did to the subprime housing market. If you remember, that didn’t end up so great. Maybe it’s time to strike debt.
Third year NYU law student Luke Herrine is a member of Strike Debt, where he is part of the writing team. Good morning, Luke.
Luke Herrine: Hi, Chuck. Good to be here.
CM: Great to have you on the show. Luke co-wrote the piece The Public Option for Higher Education at Dissent magazine. His colleagues at Strike Debt, economic anthropologist and UCLA assistant professor Hannah Appel and past This is Hell! guest Astra Taylor posted the TomDispatch story this week Education With a Debt Sentence: For-Profit Colleges as American Dream-Crushers and Factories of Debt. Continue reading You Are Not A Loan
The Travel Account of a Karakök Autonome Activist (Part 1)
AntiNote: Since the battle for Kobanê started making headlines last month, and before that if we may say so, the AWC has been conferring with our invaluable comrades close to both the Syrian revolution and the Rojava struggle and trying to determine how best to present these topics here.
Complicating matters, of course, is that news out of Kobanê in particular changes minute to minute—first, the fall of the city was inevitable, then it turned into a lasting siege; then all at once ISIS fighters were in retreat and the battle “over.” But the siege continues, and continues to confound: the roles and statements of the Turkish, American, and many other states shift constantly; people continue to scrape across the Turkish-Syrian border near Kobanê, in both directions; the situation is exquisitely fluid. Continue reading Look Toward Kobanê
Der rechts anpolitisierte Stammtischdeutsche braucht nicht viel, um zur Tat zu schreiten. Ein klares Feindbild, ein paar Dosen Bier und einige Kameraden mit ähnlicher Gesinnung, und schon kann´s losgehen. Als imaginierter Gegner durfte diesmal der „Salafist“ herhalten, den die „Hooligans gegen Salafisten“ (HoGeSa) als den für die Unbill des deutschen Volkes verantwortlichen Schädling ausgemacht haben. Dass mit „Salafist“ einfach „Ausländer“ gemeint war, konnte man schon im Vorfeld in diversen Foren der Promillekreuzritter nachlesen. Also auf nach Köln. Continue reading Köln: “Hier marschiert der nationale Widerstand”
Transcribed from the 2 August 2014 episode of This is Hell! Radio and printed with permission. Edited for space and readability. Listen to the whole interview:
“We’re going to see the rise of a mass detention and deportation system [for immigrants] that will very much rival mass incarceration, and could actually grow as mass incarceration shrinks.”
Chuck Mertz: Live from Berkeley, Jonathan Simon is author of Mass Incarceration on Trial: A Remarkable Court Decision and the Future of Prisons in America. Good morning, Jonathan.
Jonathan Simon: Morning, Chuck.
CM: You write, “Like a biblical flood, the age of mass incarceration is finally ebbing. After forty years, not forty days, a once-unstoppable tide of harsh sentencing laws, aggressive prosecution policies, and diminished opportunities for parole seems to be subsiding.”
Forty years is two whole generations of human beings. What do you think the cultural legacy of that mass incarceration is, or will be?
An in-depth interview with Joseph Daher
“We need to support liberation struggle unconditionally.”
Note from the LeftEast editors: The following interview was conducted with the Syrian revolutionary Joseph Daher by Italian journalist and activist Mattia Gallo. It provides an important perspective on the current Western intervention in Iraq and Syria that has been excluded from much of the mainstream media reporting of this conflict. We acknowledge that the views expressed here concern a conflict that has lasted over three years and has been especially divisive for the Left in both the Middle East and Europe. We therefore wish to remind our readers that our decision to publish this interview does not reflect an official position of the LeftEast editorial board, but rather our commitment to promoting a broad and informed discussion of the current conflict and its significance for the Left more broadly.
Mattia Gallo: The mainstream media have described the civil war happening in Syria since 2012 as a clash between religious groups present in the country against the Assad regime, effectively ignoring the dynamics from below. Have there been groups of revolutionaries who fought for social justice, equality, freedom?
Joseph Daher: For more than three years now, the majority of observers have analyzed the Syrian revolutionary process in geopolitical and sectarian terms, from above, ignoring the popular political and socio-economic dynamics on the ground. The threat of Western intervention has only reinforced this idea of an opposition between two camps: the Western states and the Gulf monarchies on one side, Iran, Russia and Hezbollah on the other. But we refuse to choose between these two camps, we refuse this logic of the “least harmful [evil]” which will only lead to the loss of the Syrian revolution and its objective: democracy, social justice and the rejection of sectarianism.
Transcribed from the 11 October 2014 episode of This is Hell! Radio and printed with permission. Edited for space and readability. Listen to the full interview:
“The level of brainwashing in America doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world.”
Chuck Mertz: Arundhati Roy is the author of Capitalism: A Ghost Story. The way Arundhati tells it, “capitalism has been a tale of horror for millions of people in India and tens of millions of people around the world. For many, capitalism is not a theory or an idea, but a frightening reality that tears apart their lives every day, and it’s getting worse.”
Good morning, Arundhati.
Arundhati Roy: Good morning.