By Taha Bali
Under Aleppo’s rubble, there is something for everyone to mourn.
For those who believe in peaceful and civil resistance tactics as a means for change: Aleppo was the city that produced the most significant and consequential student movement in the Syrian Revolution, and, in later days, it was the liberated areas in Aleppo that saw some of the most active anti-ISIS demonstrations and an effective, albeit contentious and imperfect, oversight from civil society and local governance bodies over military factions. None of this has ever been or will ever be allowed under the totalitarian Assad.
by Josh Baltimore for SIC
29 April 2015
I’m heading home in two days.
There is something very important happening not only in Baltimore, but across black America. As of now there have been no reported deaths at the hands of protesters in a city where 250 people are killed a year, nearly all of those homicide victims being black. In spite of the fires and the looting, the young people of Baltimore are still showing a greater restraint in their conflicts with police and store-owners than they have shown in their conflicts amongst each other. I say this because for years it has been my family too that has done some of the killing and much of the dying.
Why is it that the current uprising has, in spite of its violence, not tilted toward a shooting war between whites and blacks, cops and kids, landlords and tenants, bosses and workers, given the fact that the shooting war between young black men across the region is invariant? Because young black people still value the lives of their structural enemies more than they value their own. The engineering of what is possibly the most efficient self-cannibalizing social organism in history – the nightly shootouts, the stabbings, the overdoses – is a project that has been centuries in the making.
AntiNote: This article/interview collage appeared last week on LeftEast immediately following an escalation in the student protests that began late last year in Macedonia. Reprinted with permission.
We find these events in Macedonia of particular interest for their largely unsung parallels to the more widely reported student movements and occupations happening in places like Chile, Quebec, London, and Amsterdam as well as the conditions currently being created (and also protested, here and there) in the United States.
It is also encouraging to see this kind of organizing and resistance occurring in a country that appeared, until recently, to understand itself as not having built a culture of political opposition since its independence (there may be hope for Switzerland yet!). The AWC extends our support and solidarity.
Spring has arrived in Macedonia: thousands of pupils and students protest against education policies
by Adela Gjorgjioska for LeftEast
23 April 2015
Thousands of pupils, students and teachers marched today across the country, in a renewed challenge to governmental education policies. Organized by the High School Plenum, the protest comes two months after the [University] Student Plenum declared victory against “reforms” in higher education on the 24th of February, 3 months after the students’ first march on the 17th of November.
“For the first time in the history of Macedonia, but also the region, students and professors will participate directly in the process of devising a law which affects them,” the Student Plenum exclaimed then.
AntiNote: We encountered this article in German at Eisbrecher Wuppertal (via Linksunten Indymedia) shortly after the clashes around the grand opening of the new European Central Bank headquarters in Frankfurt last Wednesday. True to form, the dominant German-language media (and even much of the ‘alternative’ media) has been apoplectically clutching its pearls about the targeted property damage that the first phase of #M18 protests included in their largely successful blockade of the ribbon-cutting—while the dominant English-language media has been mostly silent.
This is a crying shame, considering that Blockupy 2015 represented a significant expansion and escalation of the continent-wide anti-austerity movement and should be considered in this context. This article provides some background on Blockupy (which grew out of the global Occupy movement and has learned and grown in the face of violent state repression—where nearly every other Occupy site faltered), and proposes applying similar levels of targeted militancy more broadly.
“Violence” at Blockupy Frankfurt: Enough with the Hypocrisy!
by some activists from Wuppertal, Germany
20 March 2015
In the country which is the world’s fourth-largest arms exporter, there were hours-long street clashes last Wednesday [18 March 2015]. After the massive repression faced by Blockupy activists in 2012 and 2013, state power lost control—at least for a short time—of entire sections of the city of Frankfurt.
Of course, the discourse over “violence” has dominated media reports. We should gladly engage in these discussions, so that conditions might change and we can finally put an end to the real structural violence all around us every day under capitalism.
There are elements of neoliberalism that we consider fascistic. Let’s start calling them by their name.
by Antidote’s Ed Sutton
In recent years, there has been a discussion emerging about the rise of neofascism worldwide, with the example of Europe (where it has taken classic, readily identifiable, highly visible forms) being most frequently noted. References to a “21st Century Weimar” were being made, even in mainstream Western media, at least as early as 2012 as Golden Dawn’s political prominence was surging and the economic suffering in Greece appeared to explain it.
The unprecedented success of radical rightwing parties in last year’s EU parliamentary elections and the more recent wave of fascistic anti-Islam movements in Europe (most spectacularly in Germany but with parallels in France, Britain, and elsewhere), not to mention the lethal islamophobic violence that accompanied this wave, have accelerated this discussion.