Sep 20, 2013

International animal rights gathering and the struggle against fascism

Les Panthères EnragĂ©es (the Rabid Panthers) is a Toulouse-based group. Their website says, "We fight for animal liberation in a comprehensive approach against all forms of exploitation and domination." They attended the International Animal Rights Gathering in Belgium in August 2013 and raised the issue of fascists within the movement. Here is an excerpt from their report:  

"The debate about anti-fascism exposed the particularly worrying situation in France on issues of animal rights' struggles which are gangrenous with the presence of racist, homophobic and fascist militants and groups. This situation may stem from different reasons, one of which being that the struggles on animal rights are not attracting anti-capitalist, anarchist or anti-fascist militants, which leaves room to the spreading of these sickening ideas without any powerful and united response. Another cause is that a vast majority of this struggle is made in the name of animal protection rather than animal liberation, which makes it into a single-issue campaign, devoid of any political project or intersectionality, which therefore accepts without any problem the presence, support, or funding from anyone, under the pretense that everything must be done and thought solely to protect animals."

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Sep 8, 2013

Syrian Anarchist Challenges the Rebel/Regime Binary View of Resistance

This interview with Nader Atassi, published on Truthout, has been getting some well-deserved attention. Atassi cites a number of voices in Syria concerned with self-determination between two unsatisfactory poles -- "not only anarchists, but Trotskyists, Marxists, leftists, and even some liberals." These passages stood out for me:  

"The mainstream coverage always tries to portray people as belonging to some kind of binary. But the Syrian revolution erupted as people demanding self-determination from the one party that was denying it to them: the regime of Bashar al Assad. As time passed, other actors came onto the scene who also denied Syrians their self-determination, even some who fought against the regime. But the position was never simply to be against the regime for the sake of being against the regime… The regime took self-determination away from the people, and any removal of the regime that results in replacing it with someone else who will dominate Syrians should not be seen as a success."

"There is consensus across the board, from US to Russia to Iran, that no matter what happens in Syria, regime institutions should remain intact. The same institutions that were built by the dictatorship. The same institutions that plundered Syria and provoked the popular discontent that started this uprising. The same institutions that are merely the remnants of French colonialism. Everyone in Syria knows that the US's preferred candidates for leadership roles in any future Syria are those Syrians who were part of the regime and then defected: Ba'athist bureaucrats turned neoliberal technocrats turned 'defectors.' These are the people the US would have rule Syria."