Monday 17 November 2014

We endorse the call of Welsh National Rights Movement and Support the Convoy Against Colonialism

Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr  will unite with and support any organisation that highlights the Land Question in Wales and we call for maximum support by Patriots and Partisans for the convoy Against Colonialism.

We also call up you to sign our petition for a Welsh Land Act  here.

Saturday 15 November 2014

Lift the Ban on the Kurdish Workers Party - The PKK


Memed Aksoy writing on, 2 September 2014. ‘Why the PKK needs to be taken off the terror list’.
The PKK’s listing as a proscribed organisation around the world endangers a potential solution and peace. This became evident when in 2012 three PKK militants were murdered in Paris in what was certainly a provocation to stall peace talks. The assailant was an agent of the Turkish Intelligence Agency who had links to other intelligence groups. Delisting the PKK would ease the discussions between the PKK and Turkish state and also mean that the EU and USA could play their role in bringing a lasting and just solution.

Fr. Matthew Esau LLM, Kurdish Human Rights Action Group (KHRAG) Newroz Message 2012:
The last outstanding matter in the Middle East is the Kurdish question in Turkey. We call on the EU and the US to play a more animated role in resolving this problem. The EU and the US should also remove the PKK from the Terrorist List. The PKK is not a terrorist organisation, it is a liberation movement and keeping the PKK on terrorist list makes it possible for Turkey to accuse and jail thousands of people in Turkey.

Sebahat Tuncel, Vice Co-chairperson and Istanbul Deputy of the Democratic Society Party (DTP), writing in Jadaliyya, 13 May 2013:
For Turkey to manage this process by itself, for there to be no yielding to internal factions who oppose a democratic peaceful resolution, international powers also have a part to play in terms of duties and responsibilities, especially the United States and the European Union. It would be a contribution to the process of peaceful resolution in Turkey if the United States and members of the European Union were to review their “terrorist organizations” list and remove from it the PKK, which has taken strategic steps to transition from armed struggle to democratic struggle in response to the call by the Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan.

David Phillips, Director of the Program on Peace-building and Rights at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights, writing inHuffington Post, 21 May 2013:
Delisting the PKK would open the door to discussions with the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the PKK’s affiliate in Syria, about joining the opposition to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. It would also boost the peace process in Turkey by rewarding the PKK for its recent decision to cease hostilities and withdraw fighters from Turkish soil, maintaining momentum and setting the stage for negotiations aimed at a full final solution to Turkey’s Kurdish question [...]The United States has delisted FTOs before to incentivize peace. Other groups removed from the list during a peace process include the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). Groups have also been delisted when circumstances change. Even the Mujahedin Khalq, which was responsible for hostage-taking at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, was recently delisted.

Ahmet Turk, mayor of Mardin and former chair of the DTP speaking with news outlet Rudaw on 23 May 2013:
In my view, keeping the Kurds on the “terrorist list” will only encourage those who do not want a solution, and serve solely their interest. It is a must that this attitude toward the Kurds should change, and the PKK should be de-listed. What will those, who labeled Kurds as “terrorists”, say about this in the future? How will they defend their incorrect decision? This will certainly not remain as it is, and the international community will discuss this issue. Everybody will see clearly who wants this issue to be solved, and who wants the opposite. Kurds do not have any concern about this issue because they trust themselves. It is time for world to see that Kurds are not an obstacle to peace. We know this very well, and achieving true peace will make us very happy. But, it is equally important to expose the true face of those who do not want peace!

Selahattin Demirtas, co-chair of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), quoted in ANF in November 2013:
The EU should definitively review its list of ‘terrorist organisations’ because of the fact that it provides no contribution but constitutes an obstacle to the peace process in Turkey to keep an armed organization which guarantees disarmament in the list of terrorist organisations.

Dr Vicki Sentas, lecturer in Law at UNSW Australia writing in The Conversation on 13 May 2014:
What does this look like when the support base for an armed conflict demands recognition of minority cultures and languages, accountability for state crimes and an end to conflict? Let’s take the example of how the Kurdish struggle for self-determination in Turkey has been transformed into “terrorism”.
The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is listed by Britain as a terrorist organisation, yet the PKK is currently engaged in fragile negotiations for peace with Turkey. Meanwhile, listing of the PKK as terrorist by the international community has given Turkey the confidence and legitimacy to embark on a mass criminalisation of Kurdish civil society. Between 2009 and the start of 2013, almost 40,000 people were prosecuted for “membership of a terrorist organisation” in Turkey, according to government statistics [...]
Proscription creates an international regime in which some states are empowered to use more repressive tactics against movements for self-determination. The British state, among other states who ban armed conflicts, deserves sustained attention for its role in depoliticising self-determination movements and legitimising and therefore extending state violence elsewhere.

Michael M. Gunter, professor of Political Science at Tennessee Technological University and Secretary General of the EU Turkey Civic Commission, in a piece published in Peace in Kurdistan Campaign on 25 July 2014:
 However, the situation is worse because the United States continues to list the PKK as a terrorist movement. This unfortunate designation hinders the on-going Turkish-PKK peace process. The United States continues to so list the PKK out of deference to its NATO ally Turkey, but since Turkey is negotiating with the PKK the terrorist appellation is no longer appropriate and even hinders the negotiations. If the United States delisted the PKK, Turkey and the European Union (EU) would probably follow suit and the peace process benefit. Instead the United States even continues to denounce falsely such PKK negotiators as Sabri Ok, Remzi Kartal, and Adem Uzun, among others, as drug kingpins.

Sunday 9 November 2014

What do British Nationalists and French Nationalists have in Common with Spanish Nationalists - Fascist Pasts and Fascists Present

Spanish Nazis burn the Catalonian Flag on Referendum Day 
on Catalonia has 2 million people vote in referendum.

The Nationalism of the oppressor means Fascism

The Nationalism of the Oppressed means 
National Liberation and Socialism 





Friday 7 November 2014

Partisans of Great Unrest salute Kurdish Struggle in Kobane


 We Call for  Sanctuary in Wales to Kurdish Refugees stuck on th Turkish Border over Winter will be fatal to Children. 

Plus request Aid is sent to the Refugees in the Camps immediately.

Shot at Dawn : The 15 Welshmen executed during the First World War by their own side by Rachel Misstear

                                                                           William Jones is on Left of Picture

Yr  Aflonyddwch  Mawr says its is time to  have a monument in Wales to those who heroically resisted the First World War on the Western Front as well as at Home.

We are aware of mutinies in three Welsh Regiments on the Western Front  which have been edited out of regimental histories.

The executed and dead will have their say and will not remain excluded from history for  ever.

Private William Jones was probably suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) induced by the horrors of the Great War.

But after deserting the young solider turned himself in – and later found himself blindfolded and put before a firing squad.

The young solider from the Vale of Neath was one of 306 young British soldiers – 15 of them serving in Welsh ranks – who received the ultimate punishment for military offences such as desertion, cowardice, falling asleep or striking an officer.

They were all shot at dawn.

In 2006 a blanket pardon was issued for the men who died this way following a petition in the years after the First World War.

Now a new book by Neath author Robert King, who campaigned and supported the petition, portrays the brutality faced by the 15 Welshmen who all faced this terrifying end.

Shot at Dawn looks at how during the First World War the concept of ‘shell shock’ – now known as PTSD – was not known and was not accepted as an excuse for desertion or any of the other offences which resulted in men being shot..

Pte Jones’ name has since been inscribed on Glynneath war memorial nearly 90 years after he was executed.

Suspected to have been too young to join the army, Mr King thinks Pte Jones was one of the many hundreds of volunteers who lied about their age and signed up by a desperate army.

“Private William Jones, 9th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers, was a Kitchener volunteer who hailed from Glynneath,” said Mr King.

“Jones was a stretcher bearer in France who went missing on June 15, 1917, after taking a wounded soldier to the dressing station.

“The job of a stretcher bearer entailed going out into no-man’s-land collecting wounded and dead soldiers and their body parts and returning them to the dressing station.

“It was a horrendous duty for such a young man and it could have unhinged him, causing him to desert.”

During the early days of September 1917, having been away from his battalion for about three months, he handed himself in to Neath Police Station – possibly encouraged by his family – and the officers there promptly sent him to the assistant provost marshal in Bristol.

“If he had not made the decision to surrender it is probable that he would have been undetected for the duration of the war,” said Mr King.

Pte Jones was executed a month later. In a foreword to the book Neath MP Peter Hain said the men who died had been victims of war rather than failures at war.

Mr Hain supported a proposal in the House of Commons to grant a blanket pardon to the men.

“The terrible injustice suffered by 306 British men executed under the Army Act has been like a deep festering sore,” he said.

“Their ‘offence’ was quite likely to be suffering from shell shock – now called post-traumatic stress syndrome. Through no fault of their own they downed arms and could not serve, so breaching the regulations stipulated by the Army Act.”

In the years following the First World War the executed soldiers’ cause was raised with great passion in the House with Labour MP Ernest Thurtle being one of the first to do so in the early 1920s.

He argued that the executed soldiers should be laid to rest in graves alongside those men who fell in action after responding to a petition submitted by a soldier who felt that they should be honoured in the same way.

Mr King, a local history author from Neath, has been campaigning since the 1970s to have the soldiers pardoned and placed on memorials to those who died in the First World War.

“My attention focused on those Welshmen who had been regulars, volunteers or conscripts and then faced a firing squad for committing one of the variety of offences either through, in some cases, alcoholic inebriation or shell shock (now called post-traumatic stress syndrome).”

Mr King said soldiers who made up the firing line were also mentally scarred by the dawn shootings.
“It must have been horrendous to be instructed to carry out this duty – in some cases the members of the firing party would have known the condemned. To be involved in a firing party would often leave a mark on a man who had knowingly shot someone who had been fighting on the Allied side.”

Four of the 15 Welshmen executed by the British Army had been convicted of murder and were not subject to the blanket pardon that was granted for other offences.

However the court martials they faced were nothing like a civilian murder trial and did not take into account any of the mitigating circumstances surrounding the killings.

Corporal George Povey, from Flintshire, became the first Welshman to be executed and the first soldier to face the firing squad for the offence of leaving his post. He was just 23.

He was executed at Saint-Jans-Cappel in France on February 11, 1915. His immediate grave was lost during the confusion of the war and his name is commemorated on the Menin Gate.

Private Major Penn and Private Albert Troughton, both regular soldiers and single men serving in the 1/Royal Welsh Fusiliers, became the fifth double-execution of the war.

Both had been involved in the fighting around Ypres when the battalion of 300 or so soldiers came under an intense attack from the Germans who, it seemed, had almost penetrated the Allied line. The commanding officer, according to Troughton, told him his brother had been killed along with hundreds of others in the attack.

Troughton said his commanding officers shouted ‘Everyone for himself’ so Troughton and, one assumes, Penn wandered off.

Troughton, along with Penn, was found guilty of deserting his post and executed on April 22, 1915.
Private James Grist Carr was a regular serving in the 2/Welsh 1 Division and was executed for desertion on February 7, 1916.

The circumstances surrounding his alleged desertion are vague. Reasons that led to his desertion are sketchy or nonexistent.

Private Anthony Victor O’Neill (some documents spell his surname as Neil) was a Kitchener volunteer serving with the 1/South Wales Borderers.

The reasons that led to his desertion are, again, sketchy or nonexistent. He was executed on April 30, 1915.

Private John Thomas, a reservist with the 2/Battalion Welsh Regiment 1 Division, was executed for desertion.

The 44-year-old from the Pembrokeshire village of Lamphey was married with three children.

In his defence he argued that, being much older than the majority of soldiers in the ranks, he found it difficult to keep up with them and had expected to be given a job behind the front line.

The argument was not received sympathetically – nor was his marital status nor that he was the father of three children.

He was executed on May 20, 1916.

Private George Watkins was a reservist with 13/Welsh Regiment who was twice wounded and then returned to the action following a period of convalescence.

He deserted his battalion, which was resting behind the lines, during December of 1916. The 32-year-old was shot on May 15, 1917.

Private William Jones, 9th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers, was executed on October 25, 1917, for desertion.

Private Thomas Henry Basil Rigby – known as Harry – served with the 10th Battalion South Wales Borderers.

He was a brigade runner on the front line when he absconded from the recently-captured enemy trenches on the Ypres Salient in August 1917.

He was a recidivist already serving a three-year suspended sentence for desertion. The 21-year-old was executed at Armentières on November 22, 1917.

Private William Scholes, 2nd Battalion South Wales Borderers, was a conscript born in 1893.

He became the last man serving in a Welsh regiment to be executed for desertion or any other offence during the war.

He was executed on August 8, 1918, for desertion.

Sub-Lieutenant Edwin Leopold Arthur Dyett of Albany Road, Cardiff, 21, was shot dead on January 5, 1917 for desertion.

Another four soldiers were executed for murder.

Private Richard Morgan and Lance Corporal William Price were both serving with the 2/Welsh Regiment and were both from Rhondda. They were aged 32 and 41 respectively.

The two soldiers got drunk on the evening of January 20, 1915, and shot Company Sergeant Major Hugh Hayes.

Reports say Hayes had been victimising the pair. Both were executed on February 15, 1915.

Private Charles William Knight 28, was a Kitchener volunteer from London, serving with the 10th Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

He killed Private Alfred Edwards when he shot at his platoon while drunk. He was executed on November 15, 1915.

Private James Skone was a Kitchener volunteer from Pembroke attached to the 2/Welsh Regiment. He was placed on arrest for absence from duty got drunk and shot a man.

He was found guilty of murder and shot on May 10, 1918.

Tuesday 4 November 2014

Is PYD Collaborating with Imperialism ? by Ridvan Turan

Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr is aware of confusion about the relationship of PYD - PKK to Imperialism and our comrade Nickglais has published the Maoist Rebel News Views on his Democracy and Class Struggle site which stresses the collaboration but he has also published material which shows contention.

This article from Turkey throws more light on the contention and collaboration question..

The following piece – “PYD emperyalizmle işbirliği mi yapıyor?” -was written by Rıdvan Turan, the General Secretary of the Socialist Democratic Party (SDP) in Turkey, and confronts allegations made by some on the left that the PYD is ‘collaborating’ with imperialism. 

It originally appeared in Özgür Gündem and has been translated into English below.  

The US airstrikes on ISIS positions around Kobanê and the subsequent delivery of weapons to the PYD has caused a fictitious debate within the left around the question of imperialism.

The debate is revolving around whether or not accepting weapons from the United States is the same as collaborating with imperialism.

I am of the opinion that this thesis’ approach to imperialism is counter to Marxist-Leninism insomuch that ignores any manner of engagement with existing praxis and the current conjuncture of class forces.

But the basis of this question also has a dimension that is related to the way Kurdish resistances have been approached historically.

It is no secret that among those who make this criticism there is tendency to view the processes around Kurdish nation-building and the struggles in this direction as collaboration with imperialism from a denialism inspired by Kemalism.

The directives from the Comintern to support the Kemalist regime against the Kurdish rebellions, which were proclaimed to be ‘backwards’ and ‘feudal,’ are well known, as is what the Turkish Communist Party actually did around this question.

There are some, both then and now, who have already sized up everyone by employing their “god given” anti-imperialism rubric and who have long since sacrificed the right of self-determination to national chauvinism. They have an easy time proclaiming the Kurds to be collaborating with imperialism while not seeing their own state’s collaboration with imperialism.

It carries no value that the PKK has for years avoided coming to resemble the KDP, but their acceptance of the delivery of weapons from the United States under the shadow of massacre is collaboration.

This rote recitation of the same discourse does not change despite the fact that the characteristics of the system in Kobanê have been determined by a leftist paradigm, and the Kurds remain unable get out from under the accusation of collaboration.

What kind of abandonment of reason is this that instead of seeing the success of the Kobanê resistance as a step forward for the revolutionary center forming in the Middle East and of supporting the resistance they joyfulling shout out “look you see – they are collaborating with imperialism”?

Is it not necessary that one choke on one’s own words when claiming that the PYD is collaborating with imperialism while a people resist – man, woman and child – face to face against gangs which have themselves been produced by imperialism?

There is more than two years of cooperation, in both word and deed, between the United States, Turkey and the KDP around the Rojava question.

Do not forget that just yesterday US imperialism and Turkish colonialism was pressuring the PYD to become a part of the Free Syrian Army and fight against Assad.

Do not forget that they wanted the PYD to join the National Council of Syrian Kurds (ENKS), which is controlled by Barzani, and be rendered powerless; do not forget the border politics nurtured by the alliance between Turkey and Barzani, nor the implementation of an undeclared embargo.

Up until the debate about military aid, imperialism had many times attempted to manipulate Rojava through the use of regional powers. Those who are now sounding the alarm about collaboration never once raised their voices against these colonialist/imperialist onslaughts.

Why do you think that those who now degrade the acceptance of arms delivered by the United States while under the shadow of a communal massacre as collaboration with imperialism have for years never brought attention to this movement’s liberatory and anti-imperialist stance? Let me tell you, because of an unredeemable social chauvinism.

Collaboration is not accepting military aid while under the threat of massacre but of entering into imperialist dependency and colonial relations. 

To claim that the acceptance of weapons has this meaning is to discount the class struggle entirely.

The character of such relations are defined not in the “moment” but over the course of a “process.” The reverse means to claim that imperialist dependency and colonial relations are established independently and automatically from the momentary circumstances determining the class struggle.

To advance this argument is to see imperialism as ‘Almighty.”

Remember that it was Lenin’s transportation from Switzerland to Saint Petersburg with the necessary material support of German imperialism that produced one of the finest moments of the First World War. The hope of the Germans was to contribute to the confusion in Russia and work toward the overthrow of the Czar. As a result Germany would end the Russian war and send all of it forces on the Eastern front to the Western front.

The plan was carried out and civil insurrection broke out in Russia.

The Soviet revolution became the most important response to those who in that period claimed that Lenin was a German agent. It was not the support which Germany gave to Lenin that determined the character of the process but the revolution which emerged from the creative forces of the class struggle in Russia.

The class struggle has long since provided an answer to the question “is Lenin a great revolutionary or a collaborator with German imperialism” to all of those who were incessantly ringing the warning bells of collaboration.

Just as it is now. We see that some are running the risk of declaring Lenin an imperialist collaborator and even a German agent in order to declare that the PYD is collaborating with imperialism.

One is surprised and cannot help but ask: where is the dignity of all this hostility to the Kurds?


The 175th Anniversary of the Chartist Uprising in Newport

Children re-create the demands of Chartism to celebrate the 175th Anniversary