Saturday 28 January 2017

Sacred Land and Water : Standing Rock - Inspiring Wales and the World

Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr supports the Welsh Socialist Republican Congress and the Land and Water Struggle in Wales addressed by the  October documents of Welsh Socialist Republican Congress in 2016. 

In struggles we all need inspiration to sustain ourselves - we look to the struggle of the indigenous people of the United States at Standing Rock  and it gives us strength.

For 800 years we have been struggling for Welsh Land and Water and that struggle continues in 2017 and just like our brothers and sisters in America we may have setbacks but we are never defeated as generation after generations rises up and struggles until the Land and Water returns to the people of Wales. 


Mae'r tir fu i ni'n gartref
Yn nwylo'r milwyr gwyn
Machludodd haul ein pobl
I'w fedd tu hwnt i'r bryn
A heno wedi'r teithio'r pell
Hiraethwn am ein tiroedd gwell

Yng ngwersyll Bosque Redondo
Yn awr mae'r Navaho
A minnau Manuelito
Gwelais ddiwedd bro

Cerddasom dri chan milltir
Cysgasom dan y lloer
Diffoddwyd fflam ein hysbryd
Gan storm o eira oer
Nid oes ni fydd ymgeledd bryd
A chartref mwy i'r Navaho yn y byd

Yng ngwersyll Bosque Redondo
Yn awr mae'r Navaho
A minnau Manuelito
Gwelais ddiwedd bro

Yng ngwersyll Bosque Redondo
Yn awr mae'r Navaho
A minnau Manuelito
Gwelais ddiwedd bro


The land that was once our home
Is in the hands of the white soldiers
The sun set on our people
To its grave beyond the hill
And tonight after the long journey
We grieve for our better land

In the camp of Bosque Redondo
Now live the Navaho
And I, Manuelito
I saw the end of an age

We walked three hundred miles
And slept under a silver moon
The flame of our spirit
Was extinguished by a storm of snow
There is no more, never will be a safe haven
Or a home for the Navaho in the world

In the camp of Bosque Redondo
Now live the Navaho
And I, Manuelito
I saw the end of an age

In the camp of Bosque Redondo
Now live the Navaho
And I, Manuelito
I saw the end of an age

Deep in the land
The men sleep
Their bodies lie
In the earth of their land

They lost the day
Between these hills
Their blood dried
On the white snow

The men's blood
On the white snow
Blood on the white snow

The valley is cold
The fire extinguished
The birds flew away
Their song silenced

An eternal dream died here
That's the blood
On the white snow

The men's blood
On the white snow
Blood on the white snow

No cross can be seen
No grave was prepared
Their bodies were abandoned
To lie in peace

They were abandoned
To sleep like this
While the blood remains
On the white snow

The men's blood
On the white snow
Blood on the white snow

The men's blood
On the white snow
Blood on the white snow

"I did not know then how much was ended, When I look back now from this high hill of my old age, I can still see the butchered women and children lying heaped and scattered all along the crooked gulch as plain as when I saw them with eyes still young. And I can see that something else died there in the bloody mud, and was buried in the blizzard. A people's dream died there. It was a beautiful dream... The nation's hoop is broken and scattered. There is no center any longer, and the sacred tree is dead." 

Black Elk of the Lakota.

Sunday 22 January 2017

Brexit to highlight the biggest contradiction in Irish Society? by Séamus Ó Coisdealbha

In now seems likely that when Britain leaves the EU, some form of physical border will be reintroduced between the occupied six counties and the 26 county free state.

There is a lot of talk in establishment circles about this taking the form of a 'customs' border, but there can no doubt that any physical border will result in an increase of armed crown forces harrasing the daily lives of Irish Citizens.

Those who sit in Stormont, Leinster House and Westminster are very keen to play down the reintroduction of a physical border. They want to play it down because they know that a physical border in our country will expose before the word that the situation in Ireland is far from normal, and that the struggle for national liberation is far from over.

Despite what we have been told since 1998, Ireland is not a normal society. The Good Friday Agreement did not, and is in fact incapable of removing the root cause of conflict in Ireland, namely imperialist interference.

Today in Ireland, there are two failed artificial states. Partition is enforced by 5,000 full combat British troops, a paramilitary police and hundreds of British spooks and spies. The people of Ireland, north and south remain exploited by British EU and European Imperialism.

Brexit looks set to highlight these contradictions, placing the question of British interference in Ireland back into mainstream political discussion. If Brexit can reawaken the masses of the Irish people to the reality of partition, the biggest issue facing the Irish working class, then there is hope for a renewed and rejuvenated struggle for national liberation.

It's time to smash the border and remove the interference of British, EU and US imperialism in Ireland.

Let Brexit be the catalyst needed!

It's time to fight for the Socialist Republic

Tuesday 17 January 2017

"The Kurds are the key of the Middle East. Only they are proposing a common existence." by Engin Sustam

This article is published by Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr for discussion and debate about the universal and specific lessons of Rojava.

Rojava is a molecular revolution: Kurdish academic Engin Sustam

Evoking French philosopher Félix Guattari, academic Engin Sustam has called the revolution in Rojava-Northern Syria a "molecular revolution".

Speaking at a conference at the university of Rennes on 13 January, Sustam said Kurds in Rojava, under attack from all sides, had had to "turn the area into an ideological laboratory to build a structure outside the state."

Emphasising the link between the transformation of social movements across the globe and the Kurdish movement, the  Kurdish academic said, "Social movements' political readings changed. This influenced the revolution's thinker Abdullah Ocalan, who transformed a Marxist-Leninist movement into a autonomist movement."

"Words in the sphere of social ecology and feminism need to be suitable to our aims. This has even become the butt of a joke in our circles because we don't have 'vice chair' or 'assistant commander' anymore but 'co-chairs'. The use of the word 'Rojava' is also very recent. In the 1990s this area was called 'Little Kurdistan'. It was a place of exile for the PKK's Kurdish militants. Today geographical terms are being used more than nationalist terms."

Sustam also said Kurdish revolutionaries had created a new social contract [in Rojava] and this had had an influence, adding, "It was normal for us that all other minority languages were being encouraged alongside the Kurdish language, which had been suppressed for a long time."

The academic also criticised the Jacobin revolution and said the Kurdish revolution was based on anti-colonialist thinkers like Frantz Fanon, philosophers like Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari and ecologists like Murray Bookchin.

"We are foregrounding the principle of social ecology, the common use of water, land and energy. This is neither a proletarian nor a national revolution. It is a molecular revolution."

Sustam also commented on developments in Turkey and said the Peoples' Democratic Party's victory in the 7 June 2015 general elections had wiped out conservative, nationalist parties like the AKP and MHP.

"The HDP in short was saying, 'We, the excluded want to take our futures back. Our future isn't to take power. This is why they were targeted," Sustam said.

The online French magazine 'Le peuple Breton', reporting the conference commented on Sustam's words saying, "Now it becomes clear why the Turkish President Erdogan is targeting the HDP and the Kurds in general. 

The Kurds are the key of the Middle East. Only they are proposing a common existence."

Monday 16 January 2017

Red Salute from Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr to the Struggle for Basque Prisoners Rights

70,000 protested in Bilbao in Basque Country and 10,00 in Bayonne in France for Basque Prisoners Rights

The Spanish and French governments applied the policy of dispersal against the Basque political prisoners. Since then and according to the information given by “Sare” the family members and friends that visit the these prisoners travel 352.329 km every week, as much as turning around the earth 8.8 times weekly.

The policy of dispersal has an average cost of 12.257 Euros per family a year and 16 people have died in traffic accidents while going to visit their dear ones. Like in the last years there has been a massive demonstration in Bilbao in order to demand the respect towards the rights of the Basque political prisoners and the end of the policy of dispersal.

Currently there are around 460 Basque political prisoners in 73 jails in France and Spain. Within this collective there are members of ETA, pro-independence politicians, trade union members, members of the youth movement, journalists... even though the Spanish government catalogues the whole of them as “everything is ETA”.

Red Salute to our brothers and sisters in the Basque Country and Solidarity from Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr and the Welsh Socialist Republican Congress and best wishes to Basque People's Struggle for Land and Liberty in 2017.

Thursday 12 January 2017

The Rojava Revolution: Either betrayal or freedom by Sinan Cudi

“Revolutions that take power and gain statehood immediately cannot just be considered as exhausted; they are also the betrayal of the ideals of equality, freedom and democracy. In this sense the history of revolutions is also the history of the tragedy of betrayal. The French, Russian and Islamic Revolutions are full of important lessons in this regard.”*

Of course, sovereign powers have always played a substantial role in making sure all revolutions suffer the same tragic fate.

The Rojava Revolution and its practises hold an important place in the history of revolutions in Kurdistan. Even though the practices of the Rojava revolution were first formed amongst the Kurdish nation, they have, in a short space of time and due to conjuncture and geography, become the leading practices of the Syrian revolution.

This influence is undoubtedly linked to the ability to build a new economic and social model. The fact that this model is a real alternative to capitalist production and distribution relations and bourgeois democracies means it is a serious risk to all the forces engaged in the struggle for control over the region. This is why these forces are trying to survive by either being for or against the Rojava Revolution.

Forces and parties that are relatively open to innovation and are convinced that the current system needs to change -but are not certain how it should be- are standing (or pretending to stand) with the revolution, whilst forces that see their interests in the continuation of the current status-quo are trying to strengthen their positions by standing against the revolution.

However both sides are also continuing to seek and engage in ways to undermine the revolution and divert it from its fundamental political line. They are employing at every opportunity all means available to pressure, limit and dissuade the revolutionary vanguard from the revolutionary line predicated on independence and self-sufficiency.

The Rojava Revolution, as has happened with all revolutions in history, is attacked on two fundamental fronts. 

The first is the use of violence and military force. The revolution is under constant attack by the invading Turkish state and groups under its control; these attacks are coordinated with the Syrian regime.

The second is the constant insinuation that it will be accused of terrorism; which is done to damage and prevent alliances with other revolutionary forces, isolate the revolution in the economic, political and diplomatic sphere and eventually weaken the revolution’s political line and impose a liberalisation resulting in surrender.

In the ideological sense, the nation-state mindset –the cause of the current crisis– is being imposed on the revolution’s cadre and support base; they are being forced into accepting the current system and it statist relations. This is also the reason why the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in South Kurdistan is so favoured as an alternative.

The aim is to convince people that the Rojava Revolution, which has proven that a governance model “beyond the state and borders” is possible and that neighbouring nations can live together democratically and in peace without recourse to war, is not viable. What is viable and should be chosen according to them is the nation-statist KDP model.

However, as mentioned in the quotation at the beginning of this article, this can only be achieved if the revolution betrays itself. That is the essence of the matter.

Will the revolution betray its own values and become a satellite for external forces thus losing its identity, or will it continue proving to the Middle East and world that the impossible can be achieved and gift them a true spring of freedom?

* Civilisational Crisis and the Democratic Civilisation Solution in the Middle East - Abdullah Ocalan


Wednesday 4 January 2017

Rojava or Northern Syria ? by Cihad Hammy

On 27 December in the town of Rmeilan (Rimelan), the Northern Syria Constituent Assembly voted to remove “Rojava,” meaning ‘Western (Kurdistan), from the federal system; initially named the “Democratic Federal System of Northern Syria-Rojava and now called the “Democratic Federal System of Northern Syria”.

The removal of “Rojava” has led to debates and tensions among Kurdish people across the four Kurdish regions. The opponents of this change see it as a degrading of the Kurdish aspiration for national rights. Others have gone so far as to say it devalues and belittles the sacrifices of the Kurdish people in Rojava. People who have defended the change have said the removal of an ethnic term makes the federal system more inclusive and correct in terms of encapsulating areas outside Rojava and which do not have Kurdish dominated populations.

Rojava as a collective and revolutionary heritage

So what is the correct way of looking at the situation in terms of the political and ideological approach of the system being built there?

We know that communities, societies and peoples have a strong collective memory. In this sense the change in name cannot erase “Rojava” from social life and history because it has become a collective and revolutionary heritage – to use Hannah Arendt's terms. For the past five years Rojava has been celebrated in songs, stories, poems, and in local, national, regional, and international conferences, newspapers, and outlets. Many people have even named their new-born children Rojava.

Furthermore the impact and potential of Rojava and its project of building a “Democratic Nation” – in terms of administration, democracy, pluralism, gender equality and self-defence – is not and should not confined to a specific Kurdish geography (Cizire, Kobani, Afrin). Importantly, as a leading member of the TEV-DEM Aldar Xalil wrote in Arabic newspaper Elaph, it should not exclude the other ethnic groups, cultures, languages and religions, which are in coexistence with Kurdish people in the same geography. Aldar wrote: "Therefore not using "Rojava" a political term does not mean to dissolve or deny its existence. Rather it shows a real effort to increase the effectiveness and impact of the Rojava revolution on the national and regional levels in terms of democracy and resistance against repressive and reactionary regimes and ideologies."

What does the North mean?

In order to grasp the significance of Northern Syria, it is essential to shed light on the voice of one of its martyrs, Abu Leyla, who knew well the sociological complexity of the region. During the Kobani resistance against the Islamic State (IS) group, Abu Leyla sent a letter to his daughter, Leyla. He wrote: " This is our way my daughter, our way is a duty to defend, work and fight to have a better and free future for you and for all children like you." In this letter, Abu Leyla focused on a "better and free future" for all future generations in Syria, going beyond narrow national tendencies.

Abu Leyla was leading a battalion called the “North Sun” whose members were Arabs, Turkmen, Armenians, Alevis and Kurds. The name of the battalion was carefully chosen to denote it’s welcoming of all people in Northern Syria. It played a major role –alongside the YPG and YPJ- in the liberation of Kobani. Many Arabs were martyred in Kobani fighting IS; in return, Abu Leyla, a Kurd, was martyred in the liberation of Manbij, which is composed predominantly of Arabs.

In a phone call the official spokesperson for the Manbij Military Council (MMC) Shervan Darwish -who was Leyla’s best friend and together with him established the North Sun battalion- told me that the new federal constitution is what the North Sun Battalion aimed for. “Our project was not only limited to defending the people against terrorism, but for a democratic project. A project that can embody the dreams of all peoples in a democratic constitution which contains all the different social components in Syria.”

Shervan expressed that a homogeneous political vision cannot contain all the diversity of cultures and languages in the city of Manbij, for the city is both multi-cultural and multi-ethnic. He said that the reason the people of Manbij were successfully administering their lives in a democratic manner was because, “there is a democratic political project that encompasses all the richness and diversity of the city. Now there is cooperation and solidarity among all people. This is because we work on the basis of the democratic constitution, not on a narrow nationalistic vision.”

What is the Northern Syria Democratic Federal System project?

The core of the Northern Syria Democratic Federal System project, as it was issued by the Constituent Assembly in its final declaration, is the Democratic Nation.

The Democratic Nation is a project developed by the ideological leader of the PKK, Abdullah Ocalan, and aims to engender fraternity, democracy, peace and freedom not just in Kurdistan and Kurds but also across the rest of the Middle East. The project’s objective is to create a mind-set and structures formed by and of free and active citizens regardless of their race, language, culture and religion. It is a project that goes beyond “the limited artificial political borders that were drawn by the colonialist powers as an extension of its politics of divide and rule in society”.

Ocalan continues: “The definition of a democratic nation that is not bound by rigid political boundaries, one language, culture, religion and interpretation of history, signifies plurality and communities as well as free and equal citizens existing together and in solidarity.”

This project aims to empower and politicise all people at the grassroots level. The power stems from institutions and assemblies created by all people. These assemblies confederate with each other on the local, regional, and national level. It is on the basis of this blueprint that the people of Northern Syria have declared a federal democratic system.

The Northern Syria Democratic Federal System also stands at odds with the centralised nation-state in Damascus. Damascus's nation-state is based on the denial and marginalisation of all the different languages, cultures and religions of the region, whereas the federal project celebrates all diversity and pluralism by embracing each unique aspect of the various languages, cultures, religions, and peoples in all Syria. This diversity is reflected in its social contract, society and daily politics.


Democratisation starts with the democratising and radicalising of terms. Therefore, terms should be carefully chosen to avoid nationalistic attributes. Nationalism should be fought whenever it becomes the determining factor in driving institutions to make political and social decisions. These terms should be named on the humanistic level.

To protect and secure the legacy of Abu Leyla and all fighters who lost their lives for a free and democratic Syria, the Northern Syria Democratic Federal System should be the new sun rising from the north that can light the darkness of what Damascus’ nation-state has clouded for the past six decades. Rojava will continue being one of the brightest rays of this sun and will live on in the collective and historic memory of all peoples who contributed and continue contributing to this revolution.

Note: “Rojava” as a term and geography is a constituent entity of the Northern Syria Democratic Federation and will be recognised as such


Tuesday 3 January 2017

Ireland : On the first day of 2017 Éirígí sends New Year greetings and solidarity to our members and supporters across Ireland and beyond.

On the first day of 2017 Éirígí sends New Year greetings and solidarity to our members and supporters across Ireland and beyond. Throughout the centenary year of the 1916 Rising our activists worked within their communities to challenge injustice and inequality. From Galway to Dublin and Wexford to Belfast we honoured our patriot dead by continuing the struggle for an all-Ireland Republic that will put the interests of the many ahead of the greed of the few.

In a change from previous year’s, this New Year’s statement will focus on a single issue – namely the privatisation and commodification of housing and the devastating impact that this is having on our people, the economy and the environment.

While there are some differences in relation to housing in the Six and Twenty-Six County states, both jurisdictions are now in the grip of a full-blown crisis that is denying millions of citizen’s access to secure, affordable, suitable homes.

Contrary to the propaganda of the political establishment, the housing crisis has not happened by accident or because of factors beyond the control of those who masquerade as Ireland’s political leaders. In truth, the housing crisis has occurred as a direct result of the deliberate, calculated housing policies of those same ‘leaders’ and successive administrations in Leinster House, Stormont and Westminster.

Homelessness, evictions, substandard housing, over-crowded accommodation, spiraling personal and public indebtedness, ghost estates, rack-renting and extortionate mortgages are just some of the symptoms of the underlying disease of privatised, commodified housing. Until the underlying disease of commodified housing is eliminated we will all continue to suffer from the myriad of symptoms that stem from it.

The state-sponsored exponential growth of the private rental sector over the last decade has resulted in a dramatic escalation in rents and subsequent homelessness. The private rental market now functions as a giant wealth conduit – transferring wealth from those who are income and asset poor to those who are already income and asset rich. This transfer of billions of Euro from the poor to a new landlord class is daily increasing wealth inequality in Irish society, a scenario which is intolerable to all right-thinking people.

Éirígí asserts that all citizens are entitled to secure, affordable and suitable housing as a fundamental right and not as a privilege of birth or wealth. In this regard the Right to Housing must be considered on a par with the Right to Healthcare and the Right to Education. We further assert that it is the primary duty of the state to directly provide all citizens with universal access to high-quality housing, healthcare and education.

Privatised and commodified housing has ended in disaster for everyone except the land speculators, bankers, developers, estate agents, legal professionals, corporate media and other assorted parasitic vested interests that have attached themselves to the provision of privatised housing.

Unfortunately, there is no immediate or short-term solution to a housing crisis that has been centuries in the making. It is also clear that the vested interests that have grown fat off the poverty of others will fanatically resist any attempt to transform the Right to Housing from a slogan into a legally enforceable Right. But these realities cannot be allowed to block the march of progress. The tyrannical reign of the private banker and landlord can, and will, be ended. To fail to do so, is to condemn future generations to lifetimes of inequality, insecurity, rack-renting and mortgage-slavery.

We believe that any campaign to secure the Right to Housing must be built upon the core demand for the state to directly provide ALL citizens with secure, affordable, high-quality, suitable housing. The state has the land, finances, legal powers, expertise and other resources to build and procure housing on a scale that can deliver such Public Housing For All. The one component that is lacking is political will.

Over the coming twelve months and the years that follow, Éirígí is committed to working with others in building a long-term, sustained housing campaign that will deliver the necessary political will to provide all citizens with a secure, affordable and suitable place to call home. In the past year, we have shown that commitment with the launch of our Public Housing For All campaign and our support for local housing campaigns and the #ApolloHouse occupation.

The battle for housing justice, whilst critically important, must of course be seen in the context of the wider struggle for national, economic, social and cultural freedom.

James Connolly once declared that, “The Irish Republic must be made a word to conjure with – a rallying point for the disaffected, a haven for the oppressed, a point of departure for the socialist, enthusiastic in the cause of human freedom.”

As 2017 dawns, we in Éirígí re-state our commitment to Connolly’s vision of a socialist Ireland where the people are sovereign and free from the interference of London, Brussels and Washington.

An Ireland where the resources of the land and labour of the people are used for the collective good.

An Ireland where all citizens are treated as equal before the Republic, regardless of their gender, skin colour, sexual preference, religion or other false division.

An Ireland where all citizens are guaranteed access to high-quality housing, healthcare and education.

In the words of the 1916 Proclamation we advance in ‘full confidence of victory’ and invite our fellow citizens to join with us as we help build a wave of people power that will smash the corruption, greed, cronyism and incompetence that defines the political establishment. Bígí linn.