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IFA statement on Belarus situation and solidarity

The following statement was produced at the online delegate meeting of the Relations Commitee of the International of Anarchist Federations (CRIFA) on 24-25 October 2020, and subsequently translated. Scroll down for Italian, Spanish and Portuguese translations or visit the websites of the respective federations.

BELARUS: AGAINST CAPITALISM AND DICTATORSHIP, FOR INTERNATIONALIST SOLIDARITY

The Commission of Relations of the International of Anarchist Federations (CRIFA) expresses its support and internationalist solidarity with the struggles of people in  Belarus against Alexander Lukashenko’s dictatorship, a mass movement that is participated in by our anarchist comrades there. The situation in Belarus concerns the autocratic dictatorship that has lasted for 26 years, the current economic, health and public services crises. A wave of protests have filled the squares of the country to request the dictator’s withdrawal.

As anarchists, we are not empassioned by the debate on whether the last presidential elections were fair or not. It is simply clear that the people in Belarus are saying ‘enough is enough’: they do no longer want a government which is starving, beating and oppressing them.

We stand in solidarity with Belarusian political prisoners and demand their immediate release. We also demand the reinstatement of all workers who have lost their jobs for participating in strikes or protests, and urge an immediate end to the repression. We denounce the violence and abuses of the political policies that are in place, and the regime’s
military or paramilitary forces, who are arbitrarily detaining, beating and torturing its political opponents. We demand the fall of an authoritarian power which is a sad remainder of the totalitarianism of the former Soviet Union, one which still serves as a weapon for the military strategy of Putin’s Russia which which uses its neighbouring country as a military foothold.

However, in the same way as we oppose Russian militarism in Belarus, we also oppose the militarism of Atlantic (NATO) forces in the Baltic Republics, together with all the armies and all the wars that are made by states against the people. Likewise, we do not buy the current rhetoric of Western ‘freedom’, nor of a possible mediation role of the European Union. The only role that the EU has is to manage the interests of European capitalism and therefore, as internationalists, we are opposed to this institution.

Instead, we call for international solidary between all workers and oppressed people and for all social movements which are committed, in the East and in the West, to syndicalism and workers rights, to the right of housing, to feminist and LGBTQ mobilisations, to the defence of land and environments against speculators, to people’s solidarity and mutual aid, to the occupation of spaces, to the production of alternative cultures, and to the defence of civil society all freedoms against exploitation and authoritarianism – to quote only some of our preferred axes of social intervention.

Only the direct participation of people in struggles from below can make a difference and produce a movement that go beyond the substitution of an old government with a new one, more or less corrupt, more or less authoritarian. Among all other challenges that humanity is facing, the current pandemic has confirmed that state and capitalism do not work when it comes to the need for solidarity.  It is the entire society that must change towards equality and freedom, and anarchism is more than ever the option that we put forward to achieve this.■

The Commission of Relations of the INTERNATIONAL OF ANARCHIST FEDERATIONS (IAF/IFA) – 25 October 2020

Originally hosted with Italian / Spanish / Portuguese translations here.

The Italian version is also available to listen to on YouTube:

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On Belarus | Editorial

For the past five days I have watched batons smashing into the faces of the working class. I’ve watched people be shot and trucks plough into yet more without any sense or reason other than the sick poison that oozes in the hearts of the police.

I’ve watched children get smacked around and listened to women talk about the police beating and sexually assaulting them in the backs of vans and while locked in cells. I’ve seen hours of footage both broadcast publicly and shared through private channels that has sickened me. I’ve spoken to comrades both local and in the diaspora who’ve kindly taken the time to share their concerns and report on events.

I’m listening to Belarus cry out in the birth pains of a revolution and watching the death throws of a totalitarian regime. They tried to squish the revolutionary movement before it had began, they failed. The moment the factories stepped out and long muted resistance sprang up across the country the future of Lukashenko was sealed. The future of Belarus is being written now on the streets and at the factory gates.

This began last Sunday (9th of August) Belarus was put through an election rife with fraud, by the end of the day 50,000 people from all walks of life had descended onto the streets of Minsk. The police response was brutal with some 3000 arrested, hundreds injured and at least three protestors lost their life. The next day there were hundreds of thousands on the streets of at least twenty cities. Factory workers went on strike and Anarchist affinity groups erected barricades. The aims are clear to all. Lukashenko must be removed.
 
In over 20 cities huge numbers of working class people are fighting for their future, to find liberty from underneath the boot of Lukashenko. Like any popular movement they come from all walks of life and across the spectrum of politics, from the anarchist affinity groups that have existed underground for years to the all manner of nationalists, neo-liberals and progressives. They are not united by the politics they desire but by the politics of those they need to break free from. As comrade put it;

“For sure, there are people in the demonstrations with a wide range of different political views. Most of them don’t define themselves politically at all. When miners go on strike because they don’t agree with the corrupt state government and the exploitation that their bosses are engaged in, do we try to determine their exact political identity as communists, anarchists, or liberals? Trying to define this huge crowd of hundreds of thousands of people who have suffered through humiliation, exploitation, and oppression for the last quarter of a century seems ridiculous to me. For me, there’s one obvious fascist: Lukashenko”


It is vital that we listen to our Belarusian kin, and amplify their voices. The working class have no borders between us, no nations to tear us a part. We feel the pain of injustice wherever it occurs, whether that is Brest or Bolton. There can be no question in our minds that the working class of all lands must know that they do not stand alone.

Speak up and share your solidarity.
Belarus, you do not stand alone.

Peter Ó Máille
Editor of Organise!

Read about the situation:

Belarus: Anarchists in the Uprising against the Dictatorship
https://crimethinc.com/2020/08/12/belarus-anarchists-in-the-uprising-against-the-dictatorship-an-interview

Call for solidarity actions with the uprising against the Lukashenko regime – 14 August
www.abc-belarus.org/?p=12980&lang=en

Belarus: ‘without organisation, without struggle, the oppressive unfreedom will never disappear’
https://libcom.org/news/belarus-without-organisation-without-struggle-oppressive-unfreedom-will-never-disappear-140

Websites to follow:
www.pramen.io – Anarchist Media Collective
www.abc-belarus.org – Anarchist Black Cross Belarus

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The Demands of CHAZ | Statements

THE DEMANDS OF THE COLLECTIVE BLACK VOICES AT FREE CAPITOL HILL TO THE GOVERNMENT OF SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

In credit to the people who freed Capitol Hill, this list of demands is neither brief nor simplistic. This is no simple request to end police brutality. We demand that the City Council and the Mayor, whoever that may be, implement these policy changes for the cultural and historic advancement of the City of Seattle, and to ease the struggles of its people. This document is to represent the black voices who spoke in victory at the top of 12th & Pine after 9 days of peaceful protest while under constant nightly attack from the Seattle Police Department. These are words from that night, June 8th, 2020.

For ease of consideration, we’ve broken these demands into four categories: The Justice System, Health and Human Services, Economics, and Education.

Given the historical moment, we’ll begin with our demands pertaining to the Justice System.

  1. The Seattle Police Department and attached court system are beyond reform. We do not request reform, we demand abolition. We demand that the Seattle Council and the Mayor defund and abolish the Seattle Police Department and the attached Criminal Justice Apparatus. This means 100% of funding, including existing pensions for Seattle Police. At an equal level of priority we also demand that the city disallow the operations of ICE in the city of Seattle.
  2. In the transitionary period between now and the dismantlement of the Seattle Police Department, we demand that the use of armed force be banned entirely. No guns, no batons, no riot shields, no chemical weapons, especially against those exercising their First Amendment right as Americans to protest.
  3. We demand an end to the school-to-prison pipeline and the abolition of youth jails. Get kids out of prison, get cops out of schools. We also demand that the new youth prison being built in Seattle currently be repurposed.
  4. We demand that not the City government, nor the State government, but that the Federal government launch a full-scale investigation into past and current cases of police brutality in Seattle and Washington, as well as the re-opening of all closed cases reported to the Office of Police Accountability. In particular, we demand that cases particular to Seattle and Washington be reopened where no justice has been served, namely the cases of Iosia Faletogo, Damarius Butts, Isaiah Obet, Tommy Le, Shaun Fuhr, and Charleena Lyles.
  5. We demand reparations for victims of police brutality, in a form to be determined.
  6. We demand that the City of Seattle make the names of officers involved in police brutality a matter of public record. Anonymity should not even be a privilege in public service.
  7. We demand a retrial of all People in Color currently serving a prison sentence for violent crime, by a jury of their peers in their community.
  8. We demand decriminalization of the acts of protest, and amnesty for protestors generally, but specifically those involved in what has been termed “The George Floyd Rebellion” against the terrorist cell that previously occupied this area known as the Seattle Police Department. This includes the immediate release of all protestors currently being held in prison after the arrests made at 11th and Pine on Sunday night and early Saturday morning June 7th and 8th, and any other protesters arrested in the past two weeks of the uprising, the name Evan Hreha in particular comes to mind who filmed Seattle police macing a young girl and is now in jail.
  9. We demand that the City of Seattle and the State Government release any prisoner currently serving time for a marijuana-related offense and expunge the related conviction.
  10. We demand the City of Seattle and State Government release any prisoner currently serving time just for resisting arrest if there are no other related charges, and that those convictions should also be expunged.
  11. We demand that prisoners currently serving time be given the full and unrestricted right to vote, and for Washington State to pass legislation specifically breaking from Federal law that prevents felons from being able to vote.
  12. We demand an end to prosecutorial immunity for police officers in the time between now and the dissolution of the SPD and extant justice system.
  13. We demand the abolition of imprisonment, generally speaking, but especially the abolition of both youth prisons and privately-owned, for-profit prisons.
  14. We demand in replacement of the current criminal justice system the creation of restorative/transformative accountability programs as a replacement for imprisonment.
  15. We demand autonomy be given to the people to create localized anti-crime systems.
  16. We demand that the Seattle Police Department, between now and the time of its abolition in the near future, empty its “lost and found” and return property owned by denizens of the city.
  17. We demand justice for those who have been sexually harassed or abused by the Seattle Police Department or prison guards in the state of Washington.
  18. We demand that between now and the abolition of the SPD that each and every SPD officer turn on their body cameras, and that the body camera video of all Seattle police should be a matter of easily accessible public record.
  19. We demand that the funding previously used for Seattle Police be redirected into: A) Socialized Health and Medicine for the City of Seattle. B) Free public housing, because housing is a right, not a privilege. C) Public education, to decrease the average class size in city schools and increase teacher salary. D) Naturalization services for immigrants to the United States living here undocumented. (We demand they be called “undocumented” because no person is illegal.) E) General community development. Parks, etc.

We also have economic demands that must be addressed.

  1. We demand the de-gentrification of Seattle, starting with rent control.
  2. We demand the restoration of city funding for arts and culture to re-establish the once-rich local cultural identity of Seattle.
  3. We demand free college for the people of the state of Washington, due to the overwhelming effect that education has on economic success, and the correlated overwhelming impact of poverty on people of color, as a form of reparations for the treatment of Black people in this state and country.
  4. We demand that between now and the abolition of the SPD that Seattle Police be prohibited from performing “homeless sweeps” that displace and disturb our homeless neighbors, and on equal footing we demand an end to all evictions.
  5. We demand a decentralized election process to give the citizens of Seattle a greater ability to select candidates for public office such that we are not forced to choose at the poll between equally undesirable options. There are multiple systems and policies in place which make it impractical at best for working-class people to run for public office, all of which must go, starting with any fees associated with applying to run for public office.

Related to economic demands, we also have demands pertaining to what we would formally call “Health and Human Services.”

  1. We demand the hospitals and care facilities of Seattle employ black doctors and nurses specifically to help care for black patients.
  2. We demand the people of Seattle seek out and proudly support Black-owned businesses. Your money is our power and sustainability.
  3. We demand that the city create an entirely separate system staffed by mental health experts to respond to 911 calls pertaining to mental health crises, and insist that all involved in such a program be put through thorough, rigorous training in conflict de-escalation.

Finally, let us now address our demands regarding the education system in the City of Seattle and State of Washington.

  1. We demand that the history of Black and Native Americans be given a significantly greater focus in the Washington State education curriculum.
  2. We demand that thorough anti-bias training become a legal requirement for all jobs in the education system, as well as in the medical profession and in mass media.
  3. We demand the City of Seattle and State of Washington remove any and all monuments dedicated to historical figures of the Confederacy, whose treasonous attempts to build an America with slavery as a permanent fixture were an affront to the human race.

Transcribed by @irie_kenya and @AustinCHowe. Special thanks to Magik for starting and facilitating the discussion to create this list, to Omari Salisbury for the idea to break the list into categories, and as well a thanks to Kshama Sawant for being the only Seattle official to discuss with the people on Free Capitol Hill the night that it was liberated.

Although we have liberated Free Capitol Hill in the name of the people of Seattle, we must not forget that we stand on land already once stolen from the Duwamish People, the first people of Seattle, and whose brother, John T. Williams of the Nuu-chah-nulth tribe up north was murdered by the Seattle Police Department 10 years ago.

Black Lives Matter — All day, Every day.

The Capital Hill Autonomous Zone is an occupied area of Seattle, taken on June 8 2020 during BLM Protests and encompasses around 6 city blocks. You can find out more, and watch the live streaming at www.caphillauto.zone

This statement was originally shared on Medium.

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Against the Terror of Anti-Terror | International

The Philippine government is another step closer to revealing its true self: an undemocratic, oppressive entity ready to protect and serve the interests of the powerful, wealthy, and privileged few. Before there was talk of lockdowns and quarantines during the COVID-19 pandemic, there was the issue of updating the Human Security Act, a law defining the parameters of terrorism. After many days and weeks of politicking, grandstanding, and red-tagging, Congress unveiled the 2020 Anti-Terror Bill.1

In it, the government aims to strip whatever semblance of constitutional liberties and rights are left after the Duterte administration’s stints into extrajudicial killings and human rights abuses, that have claimed upwards of 5,000 lives and left indelible marks on the lives of countless Filipino families.2

On the 28th of February 2020, the Senate passed their version of the Anti-Terror bill, with 19 senators voting yes, and only 2 voting no.3 Debate still rages in the House of Representatives on its merits and its dangers,4 however, as of the 29th of May, two congressional committees approved the Anti-Terror Bill.5 As the people of the archipelago face the greatest health crisis of this century without mass testing, public safety, and financial stability, Congress is trying to take advantage of us while we are down and already suffering from pandemic and the excesses of government.

A History of Insurgency

Different insurgent groups exist within our country, whose goals aim to threaten and change the status quo — to overthrow the people who benefit from it: the current ruling class. The most prominent of these groups are the Bangsamoro separatists (such as the MNLF and MILF), the Islamic fundamentalists (such as the BIFF, the Abu Sayyaf, and the Maute Group)6 and the Marxist-Leninist parties engaged in armed struggle (the CPP-NPA-NDF and remnants of MLPP-RHB).7

These sets of militant organizations with their own allegiances and motivations have been operating for decades across the archipelago, challenging government power in rural and urban areas around the country.

It is in this landscape of insurgency that in 1996, then-Senator Juan Ponce Enrile introduced a bill that would create a legal definition for terrorism, and outline what the police and military can or cannot do to catch and prosecute convicted “terrorists.”8 A “watered-down” and “toothless” version of this bill became the Human Security Act, signed into law by then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2007.9

However, the rhetoric since then has evolved as Rodrigo Duterte became the President of the Philippines. Duterte has condoned and even called for the extrajudicial execution of alleged drug users and pushers as part of his campaign against illegal narcotics.10 He also told soldiers to shoot female rebel combatants in the genitalia, a clear violation of the Geneva Convention.11

Meanwhile, police and military forces regularly illegally detain dissidents, regardless of their affiliation or intention.12 There are even cases where farmers, workers, and activists are murdered as part of “anti-subversion activities.”13 Worse still, indigenous Lumad ancestral land across the country are being occupied illegally, while atrocities against their communities continue to be perpetrated.14

Left and right, in the name of public safety and order, the current administration has committed grave violations of human rights. Civil and military officers even called for the restoration and enhancement of laws and measures to make their jobs easier, presumably so that they could claim more victims and plunder more territory. This included the push by Secretary Año to bring back the Anti-Subversion Law that specifically targeted communists and those with communist sympathies.15

In this context, one cannot help but be skeptical about the government’s motivations in changing the definition of terrorism, and extending the punishment to be meted out to suspects and convicts under this bill.

Reading Between the Lines

In the Senate, this bill was authored by Senator Panfilo Lacson, to “provide a strong legal backbone to protect our people from the threat of terrorism, and at the same time, safeguard the rights of those accused of the crime.”16

Terrorism has been given a different definition under this bill. Simply, terrorism is any organization of people proving to be harmful to the social, cultural, and economic structures of society, capable of causing harm to property or personage, and inciting other people in joining their cause.

Under the proposed law, suspected “terrorists” can be held for 60 days without an arrest warrant. Aside from this, a 60 day period can also be granted for digital surveillance, meaning any gadget connected to the internet, a phone, a computer, and appliance can be spied on, with a simple suspicion by an involved police or military authority. This basically means that freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and even freedom of conscience can be violated as soon as any investigator deems a person or a group “terrorist.” Anything suspects do can be considered a “terroristic act” and will be subject to the state’s extrajudicial ways and means.

Once convicted, those who will “propose, incite, conspire, and participate” in the “planning, training, and facilitation of a terrorist attack” face life imprisonment. The same punishment goes for any “recruiters and active supporters of a terrorist organization.” Lesser sentences are given to those who “threaten to commit terrorism, incite others to do so, voluntarily join any terrorist group, or be an accessory in any acts they do.” In short, anybody remotely related to any “terrorist organization” can be charged with a crime under this act.17

Overbroad and Overpowered

We can all agree that safety of the public is always the concern of our society. Our safety and the safety of our friends, our family, and our communities have been part of the Filipino psyche for centuries. Once this welfare has been violated, we come to each other’s aid, and struggle to restore it to them. An injury to one is an injury to all.

However, the government has consistently shown itself as the primary violator of our freedom, our security, and our right to live. Whether it be on issues of labor, civil rights, the indigenous peoples, or even human life, the State continues to side with the powerful and supports Capital, the wealthy, and the privileged.

Yet, the State itself has the audacity to declare what is a public threat, what is terrorist or not. Under this bill, any organization can be dubbed terroristic as long as there is enough “evidence” to secure a conviction. Anyone can be convicted as a terrorist just because they called to oust the current president, joined a rally that suddenly became a “serious risk to public safety,” or even shared posts or messages that are remotely critical of the government. They can be detained for as long as the police or military would need to build a falsified, trumped-up case against them.

For years, activists have been discriminated on without any proof from the government. Students, labor leaders, and even indigenous elders from Mindanao have been harassed and persecuted for their views and beliefs. If the Anti-Terrorism Bill passes, anyone the regime considers an enemy can be silenced with practically life imprisonment. No wonder why many people consider this bill as a Martial Law in all but name.

The Terror in Anti-Terror

Mikhail Bakunin once said that:

“The human being completely realizes his individual freedom as well as his personality only through the individuals who surround him, and thanks only to the labor and the collective power of society.”18

This means that freedom is only achieved when all people are themselves equally free. Freedom can only be achieved when a person’s beliefs and actions are recognized by their fellowmen. The fact that our conscience can be arbitrarily punished by any leader in government means that freedom can be punished for being in the way of greed for power.

Once we start thinking about this reality, it then dawns upon us that we have never really been free. We may have freedom to post online, to make our opinion and dissent heard, and to act according to our beliefs and interests. However, as soon as we point our fingers to those in power and disclose their weaknesses and faults, they will do everything in their power to silence us, and hide it from plain view. For years, this facade of democracy reigned over the archipelago. In reality though, it is nothing but a game the rich and powerful play to become even richer and stronger. This bill merely shows us the rules they want to play on.

A society that is libertarian, a society that respects liberty, does not rely on organizations that say they protect and serve us, only to break up protests, discriminate based on sex or race, and kill in cold blood. It recognizes and respects the autonomy of each person, the ability of each person to think, speak, and act however they want. As such, the power to protect themselves and those they care for from the threat of terrorism, perpetrated today by cops, bosses, and government officials.

We have a long way to go before we can even ponder on what we should do to build a better society. Today, we see what little freedom we have left collapse into authoritarianism and fascism. We have seen Bolivia, the United States, and Hong Kong. If this bill is not junked, we could see it too in the Philippines. This is not just an issue for Filipino libertarians and anarchists. This is an issue for everyone in the archipelago, regardless of age, sex, religious belief, or political affiliation. If the State can take away from us, how more are they willing to terrorize us further? Besides, how can we trust fascists to tell us who are the real terrorists?

Written by Malaginoo
Original post can be found here on Bangilang itim’s website.
Bandilang Itim aspires to end the atomization imposed upon us by capitalist society, an alienation that separates us from each other. Bandilang Itim aims to be the banner that rallies together libertarian socialists in the archipelago known as the Philippines.

  1. See a report on the proposed law: Neil Arwin Mercado, “Longer warrantless detention among features of Lacson anti-terror bill.” Philippine Daily Inquirer. October 02, 2019. https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1172687/longer-warrantless-detention-among-features-of-lacson-anti-terror-bill []
  2. See a list of some of the victims: Jodesz Gavilan, “LIST: Minors, college students killed in Duterte’s drug war.” Rappler. October 21, 2019. https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/iq/179234-minors-college-students-victims-war-on-drugs-duterte []
  3. Op. Cit. Neil Arwin Mercado, “Longer warrantless detention among features of Lacson anti-terror bill.” []
  4. Filane Mikee Cervantes, “House panels OK non-contentious provisions in anti-terror bill.” Philippine News Agency. March 10, 2020. https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1096093 []
  5. Filane Mikee Cervantes, “House panels approve anti-terror bill.” Philippine News Agency. May 29, 2020. https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1104372 []
  6. See the report: Agence France-Presse, “Tracing back the Philippine Muslim conflict.” Rappler. October 7, 2012. https://www.rappler.com/nation/13759-tracing-back-the-philippine-muslim-conflict []
  7. See the report: Alan Robles, “Explained: the Philippines’ communist rebellion is Asia’s longest-running insurgency.” South China Morning Post. September 16, 2019. https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/politics/article/3027414/explained-philippines-communist-rebellion-asias-longest-running []
  8. Janess Ann J. Ellao, “Human Security Act: ‘Draconian, Fascist.’” Bulatlat. August 11, 2007. https://www.bulatlat.com/2007/08/11/human-security-act-‘draconian-fascist’/ []
  9. GMANews.TV, “Arroyo to sign proposed anti-terror law Tuesday.” GMA News Online. March 5, 2007. https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/33045/arroyo-to-sign-proposed-anti-terror-law-tuesday/story/ []
  10. Sofia Tomacruz, “Duterte: It is my job to kill.” Rappler.com. March 10, 2020. https://www.rappler.com/nation/254037-duterte-says-job-to-kill []
  11. Paterno Esmaquel II, “Duterte defends ‘shoot in the vagina’ remark.” Rappler. February 26, 2018. https://www.rappler.com/nation/196966-duterte-defends-shoot-female-rebels-vagina-remark []
  12. See for example the harassment of mutual aid activities during the pandemic: Rambo Talabong, “10 feeding program volunteers arrested in Marikina.” Rappler. May 1, 2020. https://www.rappler.com/nation/259615-feeding-program-volunteers-arrested-marikina-may-2020
    See also the harassment of benign May Day protests: Eimor Santos, “Cases filed vs. 18 ‘protesters’ arrested in Quezon City.” CNN Philippines. May 2, 2020. https://cnnphilippines.com/news/2020/5/2/Alleged-Labor-Day-protest-Quezon-City-cases.html []
  13. See for example a report on the killings perpetuated on the island of Negros: Ronalyn V. Olea, “Negros killings, ‘a war against unarmed civilians’ — groups.” Bulatlat. July 27, 2019. https://www.bulatlat.com/2019/07/27/negros-killings-a-war-against-unarmed-civilians-groups/ []
  14. See for example the report: Cristina Rey, “Increased militarization under martial law threatens Lumad teachers in the Philippines.” Intercontinental Cry (IC). July 15, 2017. https://intercontinentalcry.org/increased-militarization-martial-law-threatens-lumad-teachers-philippines/ []
  15. Janella Paris, “Proposed anti-subversion law a ‘repressive weapon’ – law group.” Rappler. August 17, 2019. https://www.rappler.com/nation/237963-law-group-says-anti-subversion-law-repressive []
  16. Op. Cit. Filane Mikee Cervantes, “House panels OK non-contentious provisions in anti-terror bill.” []
  17. Taken from the contents of the bill itself. See: Senate Bill No. 1083 “The law on the prevention of terrorist acts of 2020.” https://senate.gov.ph/lis/bill_res.aspx?congress=18&q=SBN-1083 []
  18. Mikhail Bakunin, “Man, Society, and Freedom.” The Anarchist Library. https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/michail-bakunin-man-society-and-freedom []
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Life has stopped, we have not stopped | Statement

May 1st is the day of struggle and solidarity. For centuries, workers have been rebelling against the persecution of bosses and the injustice of capitalism in their workplaces; they bring their struggles together in the streets and squares. This year, we enter May 1st on days that are extraordinary for us every day, but this time for the rich. The corona crisis has become a new one of the ongoing crises of the system for young workers who are in crisis every day. We had to grapple with difficulties as hundreds of thousands and millions, both desperate and unconcerned, as well as those who stayed in their homes with their accumulated, paid leave or who did not need a salary to close home already. The struggle for us is every day in our lives, where we have to choose between working disease and staying hungry.

We speak as young workers, those who serve their homes closed under the name of corona virus outbreak measures. It is now time to raise our voices, which we maintain between cashiers, we deliver from one cargo engine to another, and we whisper between parcels on our back, and orders in the kitchens.

Who are we? We are young workers, we are forced to work even under the most inoperable conditions.

We are cargo workers, in our workplaces where measures are regarded as expense or delayed, we are forced to keep up with an increased workload. The simplest mask, as if we had to touch what hundreds and thousands of people touched from home to home, from warehouse to home every day, are the ones who eat little by little in our disinfectant demand. In these days when walking around the street is prohibited, we are the ones carrying shoes from warehouses to houses.

We are warehouse workers. Among the boxes we have to raise for cargoes, we measure the limits of the product that a person can carry by forcing them with his body. We are paying the increase in the workload due to the epidemic by decreasing our salaries despite the increase in working hours.

We are market workers. We are seen as snoring as a source of virus in workplaces where the human tail is not missing at the door. On days when people are afraid to spend even 1 hour outside, we have no employees working for less than 13 hours. Precautionary preparations are not even included in working hours. We are the ones who take care of the departments that they are not interested in before and who are forced to do things that are not responsible.

We are fast food workers. We are those who are not paid or delayed while working in the world’s largest chains. As a reason for this, we are billed for less incoming orders. We are forced to be even faster in the industry where we work fast.

We are waiters, komis, dishwashers who are fired; In this system of injustices, where we do not have the luxury to close home, we are the ones who are taken away from work. We are workers who are forced to use their annual leave and sometimes even use it as luxury.

FOR SOME FREE
LEAVE FOR SOME

We, the young workers, have been the most exploited and the most oppressed since the beginning of the process. This violence continued to increase to our friends working in different service sectors, where precarious, flexible working conditions are used as a weapon. While only a few of the workers working in secure jobs were on paid leave, none of the service workers had paid leave. Those who can take leave are either used their annual leave or leave for free leave and are sentenced to starvation at 39 lira per day.

EMPLOYEE EXPLOITATION ALWAYS MORE

For those of us who have to work to live and whose sector is not directly affected, precautions were presented as a reason for our struggle with increasing workload. Our working hours participated in the preparatory phase of the mandatory measures. We have worked more in the workplaces where we have always worked more, this time with our salaries reduced by half. The government said that layoffs were prohibited, but many of us were already laid off until the whole process was over. Legal cases were created for unpaid leaves, with the excuse of banning layoffs.

In the epidemic, capitalism continued to exploit child labor without slowing down. For other young workers, double standard practices… After the declaration of curfew under the age of 20, young workers who could work with a permit were granted “privilege”. A small amount of assistance for basic foodstuffs and other needs could not be accessed, we were forced to take care of our families trying to get along.

We are entering May 1st when we are most aware of the increasing pressure, exploitation, and our lives trying to be devalued. We call on our fight against bosses who steal our lives with or without viruses. We call on all young workers to participate in the program we have prepared for May 1st and to raise the sounds we make amongst us.

Declaration of May 1st from the Young Workers Association (Genç İşçi Derneği) of Turkey.
You can find them on Twitter

Originally posted (and in the original Turkish) on Meydan.org

Translation by DAF (Devrimci Anarşist Faaliyet)

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International Workers Memorial Day | Calander

Every year, more than two million people worldwide are killed as the result of work-related accidents or diseases, more than the annual total of every person who is killed in every war across the world. This means that every fifteen seconds, a worker is killed. My use of the word, ‘killed’, is intentional; the majority of these deaths were preventable, but, of course, the profits of the Capitalists are always prioritised over even the most basic of measures necessary in order to ensure the healthy and safety of the workers.

People are not fools and do not willingly accept these risks, but they are forced to accept them if they want to access food, water and shelter. By maintaining their control over the means of production, Capitalists take workers hostage- work or starve- and attempts to demand better, bearable conditions are suppressed with the constant threat that there is always another desperate person willing to take the job, in spite of its dangers.

It doesn’t have to be this way; if workers controlled the place they work, they would not subject themselves to unnecessary dangers and would ensure that the workplace was as safe and hygienic as possible, but, as long as Capitalism exists, thousands of people are condemned each day to die, sacrificed to sate the gluttony of an ever-growing economy. In the midst of a global pandemic, with thousands of people being forced to work in cramped, unsanitary conditions that allow for the rapid spread of the virus, this fact bears down on us more harshly than ever.

Workers’ Memorial Day, which takes place on the 28th of April each year, was originally started in 1989 by the AFL-CIO in the U.S.A, but it soon became international, being formally recognised by the Canadian Parliament in 1991 and adopted by the International Trade Union Confederation in 1996. Now, International Worker’s Memorial Day is formally recognised in at least 18 countries, and commemorated by workers across the entire planet, celebrating the lives, struggles and contributions of the countless workers who have been killed at work, whilst also providing a solemn reminder of the alienation, oppression and danger that the overwhelming majority of workers still face in their day-to-day lives.

The commemorations are made in a wide variety of forms, ranging from a minute of silence, to the laying out of empty shoes, to direct, workplace action, such as strikes or slow-downs, attacking the system that took the lives of the workers. Whatever action you feel like taking, we hope that you’ll join us this Worker’s Memorial Day to remember those whose lives have been taken by the Capitalist system, and to continue the struggle to overthrow it once and for all!

Solidarity Forever.

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Pronunciation for the dignity of the Yacuiba university | Statement

During statements made in Yacuiba, to the media on April 23, 2020, by José Quecaña of the Transitional Regional Executive of the Autonomous Region of Chaco, utilised language that violated the dignity of the Public University and which are aimed at guiding the actions of the State to provocatively violate University Autonomy.

For this reason, the “Autonomía” University Front affiliated to the FEBA and adhered to the IFA associative pact, pronounces:

First. The Repudiation of any declaration or intention by the Bolivian State to violate the University Autonomy.

Second We demand, a public retraction of the José Quecaña of Transitional Regional Executive of the Autonomous Region of Chaco, for his statements that violate the legal principle of University Autonomy.

Third Confirmation that, faced with threats to University Autonomy, the student body will unite in the sole cause of defending the dignity of the University.

Fourth We request solidarity support from the student movement, to stop any attempt to violate the grounds of the University Campus of Yacuiba.

Yacuiba, 24th April 2020

Original statement
https://bit.ly/358MCkw

For context of the situation students face in Yucuiba here is a report from el Popular

For José Quecaña “the university autonomy does not matter” and affirms that the state will have the environments of the UAJMS in Chaco

The Transitional Regional Executive of Chaco, together with other local authorities, decided to use the University Campus of the Juan Misael Saracho Autonomous University (UAJMS), so that its facilities are transformed into a temporary shelter for more than 500 people with Bolivian nationality, who will return from Argentina after being stranded in that country.

The repatriation of Bolivians is scheduled for the first days of May 2020, the Minister of Defense, Luis Fernando López, together with the authorities of the Region, toured the environments of the UAJMS in Yacuiba, which will be used as a temporary shelter. or quarantine center.

Subsequent to this determination, the Rector of the UAJMS, Gonzalo Gandarillas denied the use of the environment for the installation of the Yacuiba quarantine center.

The Rector reminded the Chaco authorities of the existence of a co-government for decision-making within university autonomy, “there is a definitive legal impediment that makes it impossible to grant the requested university properties, due to the rule of law and why doing so otherwise -as provided by the EOU- commits the university authorities to authorize such legal nonsense and manifest illegality, before our own regulations, “explained Gandarillas, in a formal letter sent to the Minister of Defense.

In addition, he warned that following the request to use the university premises located in the north of Yacuiba, as a quarantine center, would put the continuity of the semester at risk, it was categorical, the students would lose the semester.

“The fact of following the request of his ministerial office, considering that the entry of compatriots would be the first days of May and they must be in quarantine for 14 days, would seriously jeopardize the health of our students and teachers who provide services in the Faculty of Integrated Sciences of the Gran Chaco – Yacuiba and would determine the loss of the semester ”

In relation to this response, the Transitional Regional Executive of Chaco, José Quecaña, recalled that all the infrastructures in the Region were built, with economic resources from Chaco, “no one has to oppose,” he warned, explaining that it will be the State (referring to the central level), which will have the environments “the infrastructures in the Chaco are of the State (…) you cannot tell the State (referring to the response of the Rector of the UAJMS) that you are not going to provide an environment that the State built” Quecaña indicated. “Now there is a (negative) answer, it can be autonomous, not autonomous (referring with disdain to university autonomy) the State has to enforce,” he said, stating that the UAJMS will not have the last word regarding the use of environments. from the Yacuiba university campus, infrastructure that must be transformed from the last week of April into a Quarantine Center.

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Against a Quarantine with Martial Law Characteristics | International

The Opportunism of Martial Law
In March 2020, the people of the archipelago known as the Philippines were alarmed at the rate of local transmission of the disease known as COVID-19. On March 12, police and military forces were mobilized to enforce a community quarantine for the whole of Metro Manila scheduled to start on the midnight of March 15. This quarantine was later generalized for the whole island of Luzon, a population of some 53 million souls. That the mobilization of the state’s apparatus of violence was more noticeable than the mobilization of medical and social resources is telling of the administration’s priorities.

A regime of violence is in place. Soldiers with assault rifles set up checkpoints; one questions the necessity of assault rifles against the coronavirus—do these people plan to shoot it? At these checkpoints, some women report being sexually harassed. Local police and Barangay officials took it upon themselves to creatively experiment in punitive measures like caging alleged lock down violators in a small cage. A police officer was recorded threatening to shoot residents for purportedly breaking lock down while hitting residents with a stick in a Muslim community in Quiapo. A homeless lola was violently arrested for being outside during curfew hours—essentially arrested for being homeless! Houses are still being demolished during a time when people urgently need homes to stay in. A teacher and her son in General Santos were arrested without warrants over Facebook posts. A congregation of people looking for relief goods in Barangay Bagong Pagasa were arrested. The National Bureru of Investigation is subpoenaing people for “unlawful utterances” on social media. President Duterte went on record threatening warrant-less arrests against “disobedience” and in a later speech threatened to shoot people for going out of their homes. Indeed, someone was shot by police at a Bulacan checkpoint, the police washing their hands of it like they did with the drug war.

Under the state of things, it is not an exaggeration to say the government of the Philippines has effectively imposed martial law in fact, if not formally declared in law. At a time of crisis, the gut instinct of the State was to mobilize and deploy its apparatus of violence. The deployment of medical resources is secondary to the assault rifles deployed. Instead of the deployment of increased medical resources, we have uniformed forces aimlessly and needlessly straying city borders with no other purpose than installing themselves as the false faces of the state’s peace and order. It is peace and order and not public health that is the priority of the state.

This martial law is extralegal, not that legality has significance to anarchists in the archipelago. Activists of all stripes understand that the state apparatus of violence is not limited by what they prescribe in law. State violence has always been both legal and extralegal, never mind that legality is a pointless distinction when the balance of power favours the state. Legality is meaningless when what is violent can simply be legalized in an act of congress or municipal ordinance—indeed that is what happened with the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.

The deployment of the apparatus of violence to literally combat a medical emergency betrays a certain opportunism from the state. The state is opportunistically using the crisis to expand its police power. While the purported purpose of the lock down is to quarantine, it is also a godsend to the fascists in the police and military as an excuse to crack down on dissent. And what of the new laws they put into place now? What guarantee do we have that the extreme measures the state takes today do not become the new normal after the end of COVID-19 crisis?

We have seen an unprecedented expansion of the surveillance state with drones and cameras being drafted to keep a close eye over public spaces. Instead of using their resources to feed people, they instead use this crisis as an opportunity to expand their ability to do surveillance!

In a special session, congress railroaded the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act with its controversial provisions on granting special powers to the Office of the President and dramatic jail time and fine penalization for dissenters.1 This is the use of shock doctrine, or the opportunistic use of crisis to pass controversial or questionable laws. First described by investigative reporter Naomi Klein, the shock doctrine is used specifically during crises like our own to take advantage of the difficulty to build resistance to these policies due to the crises. The state is using this crisis as an opportunity to expand its power. This is not a phenomena isolated in the Philippines; Hungary is now practically a dictatorship after Prime Minister Viktor Orban used the crisis to expand his powers to practically dictatorial levels and now rules by decree.

We anarchists are sceptical of authority itself. We do not think those in authority have our best interests at heart. We think they are there only to reproduce and expand their own power. After the crises passes, the state of emergency will be lifted, but the new powers and the new state of surveillance will stay.

Solusyon Medikal, Hindi Militar!
We anarchists in the archipelago do not contest the need for a quarantine. After all, a quarantine and social distancing is needed to protect the most vulnerable among us like the immunocompromised, people living with HIV, and our elderly.

With that said, a quarantine enforced by violence and guns is clearly the wrong way to implement a quarantine. It does more harm than good. The checkpoints are made up of squads of large men with guns with barely any medical equipment in sight, not to mention the repeatedly noted lack of trained medical professionals. Reports of the vagueness of protocol, sexual harassment, and sometimes outright robbery and extortion on the part of the police and military personnel are being posted by people who go through the ordeal of dealing with them. What is even more alarming is the possibility of the checkpoint officers becoming vectors for the diseases themselves with reports of checkpoints without face masks or police and soldiers in close contact with the people they check. Checkpoints also risk becoming a place where people are forced to congregate, creating possible vectors for viral transmission. Ultimately, soldiers and police are trained in violence, not empathy or care-giving. Thus when confronted with homelessness, these people respond with violence—arresting the homeless instead of giving them a home, as was the case with lola Dorothy Espejo.

The severe discrepancy between resources devoted to militarized policing versus medical needs is made even more apparent by this trend of “VIP testing.” Politicians, oligarchs, and elites are able to jump the line and gain priority access to COVID-19 testing all the while people are being turned away from critical treatment due to lack of testing.

On April 1, the elitism of the regime was apparent where people congregated at a national highway in Barangay Bagong Pagasa upon hearing a rumor that food packs would be distributed there. They were met with mass arrests, purportedly for breaking quarantine. Instead of meeting needs, the state opts to just arrest them all. Meanwhile Senator Koko Pimentel who wilfully broke quarantine protocol knowing that he was a patient under investigation is still a free man without any repercussion other than public outrage. Pimentel scandalously endangered critical medical personnel when it was revealed later he was positive for COVID-19. One also remembers that convicted plunderer and widow of the old dictator Imelda Marcos is still a free woman despite the courts deeming her criminal. It is clear that law and protocol only apply to toilers and dispossessed while the elites can live as they will, wilfully endangering working people around them.

We also see the discrepancy in the dismal provision of relief packs. Endless emergency funds are activated but relief provided is paltry. These dismal relief goods are contrasted with images of agricultural traders in the Cordilleras destroying and discarding vegetables simply because they cannot sell these! Vegetables are being thrown away while people are being arrested for protesting their hunger. In these times of crisis the need for an economy to fulfill needs instead of profits is increasingly urgent. One wonders why with all these emergency funds activated from the crisis, government agencies cannot simply purchase all these produce before they are discarded.

Against a militarized quarantine, the people of the archipelago demand in one voice: Solusyon Medikal, Hindi Militar!—Medical solutions, not military! Against the elitist privilege in accessing COVID-19 testing kits, activists cry out: free mass testing now! Against the paltry provision of goods, the people organize in mutual aid and bayanihan networks that seek to fulfill needs.

Quarantine and capitalism are incompatable.
During this time of crisis, it is increasingly apparent that quarantine and capitalism are incompatible. A quarantine requires people to stay at home, limit going out, and practice social distancing. But how can people stay at home if they are precarious workers under a no-work no-pay scheme and live pay check to pay check? How can people confine themselves to their homes if their needs are dependent on their pay checks? If workers are laid off, how will they afford groceries and rent while in quarantine?

A quarantine needs to fulfill the needs of the people as a irreducible minimum for the reproduction of daily life, that is to say, to be able to access food, water, medicine, and other things needed to stay alive. But production under capitalism does not revolve around meeting needs, it revolves around meeting profits. Thus when a state of emergency shuts down the engines of profit, so does the engine of wages shuts down, and with that the needs are left unfulfilled.

Against the contradictions between capitalism and quarantine we need a system that meets needs instead of profits. We need a quarantine that ensures people do not starve. Without work and against the demand of rents and profits, our demands must be to distribute according to need, to cancel rent, and to cancel residential utility bills. And after the crisis, to keep these cancelled.

For a non-militarized, self managed quarantine
In the face of a martial law dressed in medical gowns, what can we count on? Each other.

Regular people, people like you and me, are doing what they can to make sure that not only they survive, but to ensure the well-being of those around them, too. We see people practicing mutual aid, or as it is known in the Philippines, bayanihan. We see people making masks and medical gear, not for profit, but because there is a need for it. Mothers in Los Angeles are taking over abandoned houses in search of quarantine like Kadamay did in Bulacan. Neighborhoods all over the world are helping each other out by pooling together what little they have, and like the political dissident Jesus breaking bread and fish, are able to fill each others’ needs with the most shoestring of supplies. These are seeds for a future post-capitalist economy based on needs rather than profits.

It is clear we can expect no salvation from the state or capital. Against the quarantine with martial law characteristics, it is urgent that we forward a liberatory alternative based on solidarity and mutual aid instead of militarism and impunity. It is possible to have a self-managed quarantine that is not enforced with assault rifles. For example, residents among urban poor communities in Metro Manila have taken the initiative of setting up their own self-managed checkpoints, sans assault rifles and macho egos. In Hong Kong and Taiwan, quarantines are not enforced by force of arms but rather by the collective responsibility of everyone. A quarantine without coercion and violence is possible if we care to look.

Indeed, a better world is possible if we care to look. ■

by Simoun Magsalin with input from the Bandilang Itim Collective
Originally hosted by Libcom


Bandilang Item (Filipino for “Black Flag.”) aspires to end the atomization imposed upon us by capitalist society, an alienation that separates us from each other. Bandilang Itim aims to be the banner that rallies together libertarian socialists in the archipelago known as the Philippines.

Their website can be found here:
www.bandilangitim.noblogs.org

Bibliography

Acayan, Ezra. @eacayan. Twitter Post. 9:07 AM, March 21, 2020.
https://twitter.com/eacayan/status/1241169606787477504

Pasaway daw ang mahirap? Residents of Manila’s poorer districts defend against the coronavirus by putting up makeshift barricades to halt movement in its tight alleyways and jampacked slums where social distancing is nearly impossible.”

Buan, Lian. “Cops Arrest Homeless Lola Who Shouted at Tanods Warning About Curfew.” Rappler. Last modified March 17, 2020.
https://www.rappler.com/nation/254926-cops-arrest-homeless-lola-shouted-…

Cabato, Regine. @RegineCabato. Twitter Post. 4:13 PM, March 26, 2020.
https://twitter.com/RegineCabato/status/1243088696435281920

“The government says it will exercise “human compassion” as a COVID-19 positive senator broke quarantine rules. Here’s a thread of how / why Filipinos don’t feel this on the ground. First, from Manila police today: ‘Anyone out at the wrong time will be shot, you sons of bitches.’”

Cabato, Regine. @RegineCabato. Twitter Post. 4:53 PM, March 26, 2020.
https://twitter.com/RegineCabato/status/1243098655092903941

“Someone who evaded a checkpoint in Bulacan was shot and killed by police. The police said he fought back and shot first, a common script from authorities in Duterte’s bloody drug war.”

Chow, Vivienne. “How People Power Has Flattened the Covid Curve in Hong Kong.” Lowy Institute. Last modified March 20, 2020.
https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/two-months-hong-kong-copin…

Cyrus, Smiley. @MINGAWKU. Twitter Post. 10:54 am, march 18, 2020.
https://twitter.com/mingawku/status/1240109402889191424

“May demolisyong nagaganap sa Pasay city yes po tama kayo ng basa demolisyon sa kabila ng banta ng COVID-19 at pagsasabi ng gobyernong ‘manatili sa loob ng bahay’ ay tatanggalan nila ng tirahan as usual ang mga maralita. Fuck this government!”

Diokno, Chel.@ChelDiokno. Twitter Post. 10:19 AM, April 2, 2020.
https://twitter.com/ChelDiokno/status/1245536276964495360

“Di lang si Mayor Vico. Pati ordinaryong mamamayang nagpo-post ng hinaing online, pinapatawag ng NBI. Tinanggap ko ang kasong ito dahil di na makatao ang nangyayari. Ang dami nang namamatay, pati frontliners, pero imbis na COVID, kritiko ang gusto nilang puksain. #ProtectThePeople”

Engler, Mark. “Theory: The shock doctrine.” Beautiful Trouble. Accessed April 3, 2020.
https://beautifultrouble.org/theory/the-shock-doctrine/

Famatigan, Mark Ernest. “Barangay Captain Cages Curfew Violators in Laguna.” Rappler. Last modified March 21, 2020.
https://www.rappler.com/nation/255342-barangay-captain-cages-curfew-viol…

Human Rights Watch. “Respecting Rights During Coronavirus: Taiwan and Hong Kong Show Beijing the Benefit of Open Societies.” Hong Kong Free Press. Last modified March 19, 2020.
https://www.hongkongfp.com/2020/03/20/respecting-rights-coronavirus-taiw…

Ilas, Joyce. “TIMELINE: Koko Pimentel’s Activities, COVID-19 Diagnosis.” CNN Philippines. Last modified March 26, 2020.
https://cnnphilippines.com/news/2020/3/26/Koko-Pimentel-COVID-19-timelin….

Lazaro, Ramon Efren. “Bulacan Checkpoint Evader Killed in ‘shooutout.’” Philstar.com. Last modified March 25, 2020.
https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2020/03/25/2003278/bulacan-checkpoint…

Madarang, Catalina Ricci S. “The ‘Bayanihan to Heal As One Act’ and What’s at Stake in the Law.” Interaksyon. Last modified March 30, 2020.
https://www.interaksyon.com/politics-issues/2020/03/26/164950/bayanihan-…

Marquez, Consuelo. “MPD Probes Cop for Allegedly Threatening Quiapo Resident.” Inquirer.net. Last modified March 26, 2020.
https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1248757/mpd-probes-cop-for-allegedly-threa…

Petty, Martin. “‘Shoot Them Dead’ – Philippine Leader Says Won’t Tolerate Lockdown Violators.” Reuters. Last modified April 2, 2020.
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Philstar.com. @PhilstarNews. Twitter Post. 8:51 AM April 2, 2020.
https://twitter.com/PhilstarNews/status/1245514201776324608

“Human rights lawyer @ChelDiokno reveals he has taken on the case of a netizen who was being summoned by the NBI because the situation is turning ‘inhumane.’”

Rey, Aika, and Rappler.com. “Teacher, Son Arrested Without Warrant in GenSan over Facebook Post.” Rappler. Last modified March 28, 2020.
https://www.rappler.com/nation/256157-teacher-son-arrested-without-warra…

Stojanovic, Dusan. “Democracy Test: Hungary, Serbia Leaders Expand Emergency Powers.” The Christian Science Monitor. Last modified March 31, 2020.
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Tagani Philippines. @TaganiPH. Twitter post. 4:17 PM, March 24, 2020.
https://twitter.com/TaganiPH/status/1242364791878045697

“Gone to waste. LOOK: Carrots are forced to be disposed of as farmers are not able to sell their produce to buyers at a trading post in Ifugao. Photo by Pubg RenJa Cat-Lamhi”

Tagani Philippines. @TaganiPH. Twitter post. 2:10 PM, March 26, 2020.
https://twitter.com/TaganiPH/status/1243057834448678913

“Let’s help them get their produce to Manila, please! #SupportFarmersPH
http://gogetfunding.com/supportfarmersph WATCH: Almost a ton of pechay wasted in Benguet due to scarcity of buyers during #LuzonLockdown.”

Talabong, Rambo. “Quezon City Residents Demanding Help Amid Lockdown Arrested by Police.” Rappler. Last modified April 1, 2020.
https://www.rappler.com/nation/256628-residents-quezon-city-protesting-h…

Talabong, Rambo; Gavilan, Jodesz. “‘Walang-wala Na’: Poor Filipinos Fear Death from Hunger More Than Coronavirus.” Rappler. Last modified April 2, 2020.
https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/in-depth/256695-poor-filipinos-fear-de…

Tomacruz, Sofia. “Duterte Signs Law Granting Himself Special Powers to Address Coronavirus Outbreak.” Rappler. Last modified March 24, 2020.
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  • 1. Against the co-option of bayanihan by the state to label its expansive powers, anarchists in the archipelago forward a genuine bayanihan in its original meaning of mutual aid.
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The Revolt In Iran

There is open revolt in Iran and for some reason and no one seems to be talking about it.

Protestors first hit the streets over the issue of rising fuel prices and they met with a brutal crackdown by the Iranian regime. The situation escalated at an alarming rate with an internet black out starting on the 16th of November near masking the news while comrades international were focused on Hong Kong, Bolivia and Chile.

By the 19th, Amnesty International said that at least 106 people had been killed and that the number may be much higher, Iran’s government called it “baseless allegations and fabricated figures.” Meanwhile a UN agency said that it was looking to be more like 200 and Anarchists on the ground put the figure closer to 3/500.

It’s was hard to pin a figure on the dead with only the broadcasts of the Iranian government to turn to and they were pouring out a mixture of protestors burning Qurans in Tehran and pro-government rallies in an attempt to alienate the protestors from their communities. Through VPN’s and the occasional bit of signal the odd status update or picture leaked out, however these calls for support seem to have been drowned out in the reams of shocking footage coming from elsewhere.

So here is the situation.
In 2015 the US imposed crippling economic sanctions on Iran and there was a subsequent economic collapse. This ofcourse overwhelming affected the working class Iranians, the parasites in control remained quite comfortable. President Hassan Rouhani’s solution was to raise the fuel price (as opposed to say increasing the taxation of the economically wealthy and this saw an explosion of civil unrest. Iran has the cheapest petrol prices in the world, sitting on top of the fourth largest oil reserves . Petrol is seen as a something which should be accessible to all in abundance. A rise of near 200% was simply intolerable to working class Iranians.

However the fuel price increase is simply the straw that broken the camels back as the people face a constant waves of government corruption and wide spread poverty which sees millions unemployed or living extremely precarious lives, depriving them education, healthcare, food, and housing.

Protestors were initially met with water cannons and tear gas. This quickly escalated to live ammunition and local Anarchist comrades reporting tanks on the streets and people being shot at from helicopters.

On the 25th, the internet was restored. Reports came out indicating at the very least there were 400 deaths, 4000 injuries and some 10,000 arrests. Anarchists comrades report protests in 170 cities being composed of a mixture of workers, students and homeless, identifying it as a class war. The protesters were now demanding the overthrow of the Iranian regime, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani and the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) due to their corruption and the plague of economic problems and the lack of freedom and fundamental rights.

A statement by The Iranian leftist diaspora in the United Kingdom, France and Germany, formed by a loose coalition of academics and militants calling upon the global left to express solidarity with those struggling in Iran was issued later that day:


“Our world is on fire. Not only forests but also cities are burning all over the world. Social conflicts of all sorts are erupting, spreading their flames across the planet: Algeria, Chile, Ecuador, Haiti, Hong Kong, Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan, you name it. Located within this global context of struggles against the social hell of neoliberal, financialized capitalism, there has been another mass uprising in Iran since November 15 …

. There are many videos showing the police shooting demonstrators in the head and chest — as we observed before in the case of Iraq. This happened mainly in the Kurdish and Arab provinces whose discriminated people are once again at the very forefront of the uprising and have paid the highest price….

The left needs to learn from the oppressed classes to simultaneously oppose US imperialism (especially US sanctions) and the Islamic Republic’s interventions in the region.

We, the undersigned academics and militants, urge the global left to break its silence and express its solidarity with the people of Iran and their resistance.

It is pointless for us to demand anything from the Islamic Republic, but we will demand from our comrades and progressive forces all over the world to be — in any possible form — the voice of the oppressed people in Iran suffocated by the forced isolation. We also call on the international left to condemn the atrocities of the regime against its own people.

Finally, we stand in solidarity with the Iranian protesters who are reclaiming their dignity by refusing austerity, authoritarianism, militarization of society, as well as any other form of domination that stifles their autonomy and freedom.”

Here is a link to those who have signed.
The full text and the contact to add signatures can be found on ROAR

This was subsequently followed by The Anarchist Union of Iran and Afghanistan issuing a statement for a call to arms on the 26th:

The Anarchist Union of Iran and Afghanistan believes that the Islamic Republic of Iran’s regime will not hesitate to massacre millions of Iranians, like it has done in Syria and Iraq as well as in Iran these these last few days. Therefore, the Anarchist Union of Iran and Afghanistan is prepared to declare that it will cooperate with all Kurdish, Arab and Baloch armed opposition forces. With respect to the widespread repression of defenseless people in Iran, we must be able to provide them with the right tools to defend themselves, before there are more dead and the people’s movement has been permanently suppressed. Therefore the need to form an armed revolutionary front to support and defend the people against the Islamic regime’s executioners is urgent and necessary. If it is possible to transport weapons to people inside Iran, you should not hesitate for a moment to prevent more people from being bled and buried. The duty of the revolutionary and radical opposition outside of Iran is to provide logistical and strategic support to the struggles and resistance of the people inside Iran”

These statements come just days after President Hassan Rouhani celebrating on the 20th remarked “our people have been victorious against… the enemy’s conspiracy” stating that “Those anarchists who came out onto the streets were few in number,” he said, insisting “this is the biggest display of the power of the nation of Iran”.

Two days later protestors burnt down a bank in Behbahan.

Behbahan, Iran

Protesters have burnt down the central bank in Behbahan, Iran-EW161

Posted by E X I T W O U N D on Friday, 22 November 2019

It would seem he is wrong.

It would seem that Iran is gearing up for a revolution.

Express your solidarity.

Peter Ó Máille

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Bolivia: A Very Latin American Coup | International

FACT. What just happened in Bolivia is a coup d’etat if we consider the dictionary definiton which is “the sudden, violent overthrow of an existing government by a small group. The chief prerequisite for a coup is control of all or part of the armed forces, the police, and other military elements. “

It is being said the former president Evo Morales resigned so he was not overthrown. It is also said he committed fraud and that is why he left. It is also said it is not a coup because Evo himself called it ‘civic and police coup’ as oppose to military cup. Wait.

This view is quite simplistic and does not go deep into the history of Bolivia, how the elections were held, and votes counted, and what was achieved in 13 years 9 months and who benefited and who did not, and who took power, how and what has happened I Bolivian streets since then.

During what his opponents call ‘dictatorship’, Evo Morales Ayma,  the first Indigenous president ever in Bolivia, and South America, reduced poverty from 35% to 15%, increased the minimum wage 127%, and very importanly, nationalised natural resources including natural gas and lithium, redistributed the lands among indigenous peasants, and made healthcare universal and free.  Also, Bolivia was named by the UN as free of illiteracy, and unemployment levels fell.

Bolivia held elections on the 20th of October. After the count of the overall votes he was declared victor with 47% against Carlos Mesa, right wing, with 36%. The latter immediately challenged this supported by the Church, and the governments of the USA, Brazil, and Argentina’s soon to be ex president, Neo-liberal, Macri, with the complicity of the American States Organisation (OEA) whose General Secretary, Luis Almeguer said in press conference on 12th of November that what was happening in Bolivia was not a coup and the military was not involved. All of this should should ring bells.

Evo Morales agreed to have international observers after his opponents accused him of stealing the election. On 2th of October he called for a second election. In the streets, there were clashes between supporters and police and opponents. Evo Morales was forced to resign to avoid bloodshed and was offered political asylum by Mexico who sent a plane to Paraguay for him which he boarded on the early hours 12th of November.

But that is not all that happened. During all this time, right-wing opposition gangs kidnapped family members of cabinet ministers and forced them to resign, burnt Evo Morales’ sister’s house, looted his own home, and burned the homes of some politicians loyal to the regime, and Patricia Arce, mayor of Vinto, was attacked, asasulted and publicly humiliated by an angry right wing mob. Ordinary people, mostly indigenous supporters, were also attacked, and graffiti appeared saying ‘Indios out” and “Bolivia free of “Indios” and the Wiphala flag, a symbol of unity of Original Nations has been burned and taken from police officers uniforms.

The perpetrators of this coup, some alleged quite simplistically is the USA. The European left forgetting that Latin American is a continent still colonised mentally and in all aspects of life. We do have agency and reactionary and fascist powers of our own that do not really need US support, even f they do look for it and they do get it.

That the CIA has backed every single coup in our continent since the 50’s is a given, however it is a fact that the plots come first from within. The USA usually provides money, weapons and a blessing.

The perpetrators of this very Latin American Coup D’Etat, which started being arranged as early as July 2019 , according to audio and documents seen by the new progressive elected government of Argentina to be made public soon, are many.

Carlos Mesa, the neo- liberal candidate to presidency, a privateer of course, but he is not leading this. The real brain behind this is Luis Camacho, a multi millionare religious fundamentalist which much to lose in a plurinational nation led by a socialist president. His family profited from the sale of Bolivia’s natural resources and health insurance. He is also a fascist leader of the separatist Union Juvenil Crucenista,(UJC) whose young members seems to have taken a leaf from the SS and Hitler Youth book. There are pictures of them sieg heiling, in fact.

The role of the evangelical churches in this coup and the far right in the whole continent must be mentioned too. The UJC are fanatics and there is now also an army of Christian youth in Argentina with fascist leanings, too. The Catholic church, as they have done historically in Latin America, are either keeping quiet or actively preaching to keep the oligarchy in power.

Important to mention the fact that the coup happened just a week after Evo Morales stopped a multimillion deal to exploit the country’s lithium resources.

Camacho entered the Palace of Government as soon as Evo had resigned waving a flag, and donning a bible. A sign of things to come. He has made speeches quoting the bible and has vowed to bring it back to governmental circles.

In terms of the army involvement, the Chief of the Armed Forces, General Williams Kaliman called for Evo to resign and after he did, the general gave a speech consecrating the army to Jesus Christ. They have also attempted to bribe Evo Morales’ security with 50 000 dollars to hand him in before he had to flee.

The army, too, have being asked by the police force to assist them in the streets to control the thousands of people who support Evo and who have pledged to revolt if he is not reinstated. I am talking about Indigenous organisations, Community leaders, Farmers and doctors.

Contacts in Bolivia now have reported to me that their friends have been arrested or attacked by young fascists or the police, with video evidence, and, oddly, they say a large number of indigenous people out in the streets last night seem to have vanished. There is also the fear of not knowing what side the neighbours are in or if they can leave the house.

The resistence is huge and grassroots and Indigenous, and community organisations are leading it. EveN doctors have taken to the streets. A the time of writing this, the Bolivian Workers Central (COB),who reject the coup, has pledged to call for a general strike and deploy all its affiliated workers to La Paz if consitunional order is not restored in 24 hours (13th of November 23.00 GMT) . 20 provinces are, I am told, going to La Paz to resist.

Unfortunately, today after midnight GMT, Jeanine Anez, a right wing senator proclaimed herself president of Bolivia, clutching a bible, with NO elections but standing by her side were Luis Camacho, and a leader of the UJC and was approved by the army, police and the elite. No indigenous people around despite them being 62% of the population. It must be stressed that this goes against articles 161, 169 and 420 that forbid this categorically.

Make no mistake. In words of Adriana Guzman, leader of Feminists of Abya Yala (The pre colonial name for what is now South America in Guna language) “The coup d’etat in Bolivia is racist, patriarchal, ecclesiastic and oligarch” A very Latin American coup, then.

Tais is a Mexican Native and activist based in London. She has been part of the student and Indigenous movements in Mexico and has been involved in animal rights, Antifascism and solidarity work in Ireland and the UK for many years.

(Article originally posted on Freedom)