AntiNote: The following is a speech delivered two months ago in the European Parliament by Haj-Ahmadi Rahman (PJAK) at the First International Conference on the Crisis in the Middle East, Iran and the Kurds.
We consider this speech of interest because of the evidence it provides of political cross-pollination across contexts among various branches of the not at all homogeneous Kurdish movement. We have published other material describing and comparing approaches to democratic self-administration and democratic confederalism in predominantly Kurdish areas of Syria and Turkey, but this is the first we heard of the phenomenon in Iran, where conflict and government repression in Kurdish-majority regions has also been escalating of late.
As with any of the testimony we present at Antidote, this speech should be understood as just that, testimony, and not as our endorsement of any particular party or perspective. That said, we do not distance ourselves from Haj-Ahmadi Rahman’s political proposals or their liberatory, collaborative spirit but rather declare our solidarity with Iranian Kurds and all people struggling under and against domination and deprivation.
4 June 2015
First of all, on behalf of the Party for Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK), hello and warm regards to all conference participants. We hope that this conference will be used as a point of departure for dedicated activity.
As we hold this conference, a new political process is being developed in the Middle East, against the backdrop of what might be called the third world war. But against that backdrop, both crises and potential escape routes are becoming visible. As a consequence of conflicts among widely varying socio-political forces, a new Middle East is taking shape, for better or worse.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is quietly becoming a focal point in these red-hot transformations, as its own striving for regional dominance confronts and comingles with the interventionist policies of capitalist world powers as well as the broad spectrum of democratic movements in Iran itself.
The story of an impossible revolution
We share an important documentary made by the Camara Negra Collective which looks at the Syrian revolution and counterrevolution, giving voices to the grassroots activists who continue to struggle for freedom from tyranny and oppression. In Spanish and Arabic with English subtitles.
“I belong to this revolution that surpasses national borders. I love all revolutions. I love the revolutionaries that understand its meaning, its morals, its aspirations and its vision.”
AntiNote: Early in March 2011, inspired by the images coming from Tunisia and Egypt, around fifteen school children were arrested for writing “The People Want To Topple The Regime” on the walls of their schools. In their beautiful naivete they wrote their names under their messages of hope. The mukhabarat (secret police) broke into the houses of the children and arrested them In the dark of the same night. Among other verbal abuses, the chief of intelligence Atef Najeeb told the parents to forget about their children. The first demonstrations broke out, the first victims of a genocidal regime had to be buried, more protests followed. That is where the uprising started. Out of solidarity, for freedom and justice, self-determination, and personal emancipation.
The Syrian revolution did not follow any blueprints. Nevertheless, and contrary to the constant misrepresentation, it remains a struggle for self-determination, liberty and a breaking point of the fear towards an all-powerful regime.
This is where the Syrian revolution conveys countless lessons for revolutionaries around the world. For us here at Antidote, this is expressed first and foremost in the ongoing discussions between an old, dogmatic “left” that refuses to recognize that it is about to become oblivious and marginal to protests and uprisings, so stubborn that it rejects everything that does not fit its approved textbooks, and a radically decolonized, ideologically emancipated and de-centralized left, which represents a fluid and ongoing project, where theory has to stand the test of its context and its time.
Last but not least, it is in the light of the Syrian struggle that we reflect and recognize our own shackles, our own dictators and regimes, and our own fears. And this is why we express our solidarity with those embracing diversity, supporting struggles, searching for allies, striving to become accomplices, wherever humans rise up and shake off the shackles of fear towards oppressive regimes.
The absence of dignity is the driving force of any revolution, that devotes itself to the desire of acquiring a life worthy of being precisely lived.
Ash-Shab Yurid Isqat en-Nizam!/ The People Want The Fall of The Regime
Website of Camara Negra: http://camaranegra.espivblogs.net/