Daily Archives: March 4, 2014

Crisis, City and Democracy: notes on the uprising in Turkey

Turkey-Istanbul-protests

Κείμενο που αναδημοσιεύθηκε στο roarmag από την μπροσούρα για την εξέγερση του Ιουνίου 2013 στην Τουρκία This is only the beginning

Κάποιες από τις επισημάνσεις του κειμένου έχουν ενδιαφέρον. Τις αναπαράγουμε εδώ (η έμφαση σε ορισμένα σημεία δική μας):

Looking at content and experience rather than quantity and votes gives us a clue for a way out of the democratic stranglehold. Mutual aid, solidarity and direct action, all of which have been the hallmarks of the Gezi Resistance, are in fact the antithesis to the democratic system run by elections and regulated by representatives. In fact, the Gezi Resistance was profoundly anti-democratic in the sense that it barricaded itself against the guardians of bourgeois democratic relations: the police. Those who have been evicted from Gezi Park attempted to recreate its spirit in popular assemblies that mushroomed around Istanbul and in other cities. The proliferation of these public forums has lead some to claim that it is an experience in direct democracy. Regardless of what one might call them, they are a refreshing form of political being for those who have lost hope in a democratic system. It is still unclear what shape these forums might take, but at their onset and during the largest participation they’ve had, they forego any sort of decision-making structure that would pretend to speak and act on behalf of the whole assembly. Apart from some exceptions, by and large the crowds did not seem to opt for a crippling consensus system neither for a majority vote negating the agency of minority opinions. Instead, proposals would be made from the stage and if there seemed to be enough interest, action would be taken. Sometimes this would be in the form of a spontaneous march and sometimes in the form of a working group.

[…]

A further lesson concerns the idealized revolutionary worker. Those who see the worker as the primary revolutionary agent must begin (as if they have not had sufficient reasons to do so already) to shift their gaze away from labor unions. Even the most leftist labor confederations in Turkey, such as DISK and KESK, were impotent in propelling the movement into the realm of the economy. Although this is not completely a fault of their own and also has to do with the historical decimation of organized labor by the state in Turkey, it was also clear that beyond the classical factory or industrial worker, the formally unorganized, precarious, white-collar and diploma holding proletariat on the brink of unemployment have the potential to take many initiatives in social revolts. Furthermore, the traditional blue collar proletariat might hold more revolutionary potential outside of their workplaces under the dominion of their unions. A crucial turning point for similar rebellions will come through the arrival of the antagonism from the squares and parks into the arena of commerce and work where this unorganized proletariat either already works, or is kept docile with its promise.

Σ. Αραβία: Ταραχές με νεκρό σε στρατόπεδο συγκέντρωσης μεταναστών

Την ίδια στιγμή που απελαύνονται χιλιάδες σομαλοί μετανάστες στα πλαίσια της αντι-μεταναστευτικής πολιτικής των τελευταίων μηνών από το κράτος της Σ. Αραβίας (δες video) συνέβη και το ακόλουθο γεγονός:

An illegal migrant has died and nine others were wounded when Saudi police intervened to quell “chaos” at a detention centre in the west of the kingdom, police said Monday.
The casualties fell during a “stampede” at Al-Shumaisi detention centre, south of the holy city of Makkah, where migrants of various nationalities are held pending deportation.
Detainees “tried to cause chaos… resulting in damages to the centre,” Makkah police spokesman Commander Ati al-Qurashi told AFP. He did not elaborate on the nature of the disturbances but said that police “had to intervene” and that a migrant was killed and nine others wounded in a “stampede”.
The spokesman did not provide details on the nationalities of the casualties, the number of illegals held at the centre, or the progress made in their deportation procedures.
Police have been cracking down on illegal migrants since the expiration in early November of a seven-month amnesty during which they had to regularise their status or leave the country.
The operations have sparked deadly clashes, with two Saudis, a Sudanese and another foreigner killed, according to official figures. The Ethiopian embassy in Riyadh has said three Ethiopians were killed in clashes.
More than 307,000 illegal migrants have been expelled since the start of the campaign, according to Saudi authorities.
Nearly a million migrants from various countries took advantage of the amnesty to leave voluntarily, while another four million were able to find employers to sponsor them, a legal requirement in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.

Μπιλμπάο: Συγκρούσεις στη διαδήλωση ενάντια στη φιέστα της τρόικα

While Lagarde’s comments were met with applause inside the Guggenheim Museum where the forum was being held, the main street of Bilbao told a different story. A group of protesters smashed the shop windows of major shops including the department store El Corte Inglés and clothes chain Mango at around 10.30am, according to local daily Diario Vasco. A police van was also tipped over during the demonstration which saw hundreds of protesters chanting “Troika go home” — a reference to the IMF, the European Central Bank, and the European Commission. The troika are blamed by many in Spain by exacerbating the country’s crisis by demanding debt reduction and spending cuts. At least two people were arrested during the protests according to Spanish news agency Efe.

Η πολυπλοκότητα της Βενεζουέλας

A French questionnaire: Venezuela today

 

αναδημοσίευση από periodico el libertario

Rafael Uzcátegui

As the Venezuelan situation changes every day, I should clarify that I wrote this on 03/01/14 at 06:00 pm.

– Who are the people who took to the streets? They are only upper middle class people of some housing developments, militants of far-right parties and Colombian paramilitary activists, (“Aguilas Negras”)?

– This question can only be answered correctly, referring to the beginning of this cycle of protests in Venezuela. On February 4 students at the Universidad Nacional Experimental del Tachira (UNET), in San Cristobal, staged a peaceful protest against insecurity, caused by the sexual abuse against a student. The protest was brutally suppressed by the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB), the agency of the Venezuelan Armed Forces in charge of “maintaining public order”, and 6 students were arrested. On this episode we should clarify two things: 1) Historically the student movement in Latin America and Venezuela, has always rejected detained students in protests and 2) San Cristobal, capital of Tachira state, is a city located in a border area with Colombia that has been particularly hard hit for several years by interruptions of utilities (water and electricity mainly), price inflation as well as shortages of various consumer products. The arrest of these students led protests in other cities of the country, which in turn were suppressed by increasing the number of students arrested. This created an “snowball-effect”, from the inner cities of the country to Caracas. It is in this climate of protests and unrest, which two opposition politicians (Leopoldo Lopez and Maria Corina Machado), make a call to hold demonstrations to demand the resignation of President under the slogan “the exit”.

It is important to say that the rest of the opposition parties, including the coalition “Bureau of Democratic Unity” (MUD), and the governor of Miranda state, Henrique Capriles; rejected the first few days the protests, which have overwhelmed the political parties opponents. When I write these answers (03/01/14) the protest against the government was decentralized, with some violent foci but largely, peacefully. It also has two different dynamics : One in Caracas , starring with middle class students from public and private universities territorially in the east of the city, and basically with political demands (release of the students, the resignation of President and rejection of repression); and in the rest of the country, qualitatively more important than that one in  Caracas because it incorporates popular sectors; and in some cities, (such as San Cristobal), rural areas (thus this city was militarized), and including social demands and lack of products, the high cost of living and lack of basic services.

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