Claudio Locatelli – YPG Fighter

Claudio Locatelli – YPG Fighter

I did this interview with Claudio Locatelli in February . Claudio is an Italian journalist, media activist, & YPG Kurdish fighter.

This is a transcript of the first part of the interview.

Claudio with members of the women’s unit (YPJ)

Claudio: I’m Claudio Locatelli. I come from Italy and I was a YPG fighter. So I was fighting in the People’s Protection Unit in the North of Syria in the battle of Tabqa, Iraq, and I’m usually a media activist and journalist in the Middle East and Europe. And I have always been active in society.

Linda: How long have you been back in Italy?

Claudio: I came back in October and I have been in Rojava for seven months and a half, more or less, and exactly the end of February of the last year. Actually, it was exactly one year ago because today is the 27th. So it was exactly the 27th of February I took off with the plane towards Iraq. From Iraq I passed to Syria. I crossed the border to Syria.

Linda: Why did you join the Kurdish forces in Syria?

Claudio: Well first of all, because there was a big enemy and the enemy was not only ISIS. The enemy was whatever is considered oppressive and a patriarchal society, and ISIS is a theocracy, patriarchal society and oppressive. And that was intolerable for me and was unacceptable. So that was the main reason. The second reason was what the Kurdish society and the DEMCON- the democratic confederation together with the rest of the people in the area Christiana, Yazidi, Turkmen, and many other people of the area… they are building something different from ISIS. Something where the women are included, have the same dignity of the men. Something that takes care of the ecology.
Something that really cares about democratic, social, and inclusive values.
That’s what the second main reason is… as a media activist and journalist, I was already in the area especially in the Eastern part of Turkey in 2014 in 2015, and I was an international observer during the Newroz day Kurdish festivities, because there was a risk of attack or military presence of Turkey. In that period at the end… sorry at the end of August of 2014 and then in 2015 there was a big issue; the Yazidi genocide. I remember clearly in my mind, the imaging on the television these people escaping from Iraq, from the Sinjar mountain. Many women were enslaved by ISIS. For me that was the limit. I
couldn’t accept more that… in this world.. in 2018, there was a strong force like ISIS that was enslaving women, and raping them, as a low. This for me was unacceptable.

Linda: Can you please explain how the fight against patriarchy and these ideas, how they play out in Rojava?

Claudio: Absolutely, that is why this is one of the main points, absolutely something that also in Europe or I guess also in Australia is an issue. For example in my country, in Italy, the salary the income of the month is based on your gender, if you are male or female more exactly. So it’s absurd because in my opinion, if you work well, if you work, if you do something, whatever you’re doing, the income or whatever other things are connected should not be based on whether you are a man or woman. That in
Rojava is something really important. For example, the general commander of the Iraq operations is a woman. I really don’t remember a general commander of the army of Italy being a woman. So this is one of the big revolutions in Rojava. The patriarchal system is also an economical issue because the capitalists/the modern economical system is really using the submission of the women, the oppression of the women as a system.

You know typically you imagine the women in this kind of western society, as the women that stay in the kitchen, that take care of the babies, that provide the assistance for the man to go to work. That is absolutely creepy in my opinion because we don’t consider it (in Rojava instead they consider it): the woman as a full person. There’s the problem. In
Rojava, the entire struggle is fair to women. When we liberated Raqqa, the entire liberation of the town was dedicated to the women. From us from the women, moreover the YPJ, the female section unit, is a specific unit of our army completely composed by women and the main target is to protect women.

So to create a safe environment where women have the same right and condition of the men.

Linda: The argument in western countries is often about not using violence and changing people’s minds by talking rather than violence. You’ve been in an actual war against ISIS and others. What do you say as a response to those arguments now?

Claudio: That’s a very interesting topic. I’ll give you an example. If you are in the winter, I guess you use the ‘jacket,’ if you are in summer I guess you use a t-shirt. So you are not using a t-shirt in winter and the opposite. That’s the point. The necessity of the times, also with violent methods like weapons, sometimes can be necessary. I don’t think that is ‘the way,’ I don’t think that is ‘the way’ in every case.

It’s ‘the way’ in the winter, using the example of before. So we tried to send an ambassador… I don’t know this word in English, people that we send for diplomacy.

Linda: ….    ambassador, yeah.

Claudio: Ambassador, thank you. In Tabqa, at the end of the campaign of Tabqa, almost at the end. There was many… surprises on a hill in front of us, so we tried to send an ambassador. You know what happened? ISIS sent him back in pieces in a box. They killed this guy. He was probably 20 or 21 years old and he was killed and sent back in a box. So how can you react to this? With talking?

We tried but actually you can’t really live accepting that an oppression like this can continue everyday, instead of fighting. I’m not for violence, in the majority of contexts, in 99% of the contexts, but I am ready to fight to defend what is right against the oppression when it is necessary. That is my idea on the concept.

Linda: You’ve come back to Italy from the trenches and this topic of violence when it is appropriate or not, in Italy does for example fascists who are quite nasty… What’s your opinion of how to deal with those people?

Claudio: If talking about the Nazis, we can say… racist action because in theory it’s supposed to be at that part in Italy, fascism, Nazis fascism. According to the law but unfortunately for some reason, some ridiculous reason, in the last years, more people and people are joining these extreme right-wing movements. That are actually against our laws, actually against our constitution, actually against our values but the people don’t take this seriously.

I want to tell you something. Also, with the real fascism in 1936, 1937, 8, 9, 40, so during the second World War the people really didn’t take seriously the Nazis and the fascist movement. You remember also Hitler was elected in election. So according with
the question that you asked me, we are to proportion the reaction.

If the Nazis and the fascists become again a violent political movement in Italy, we are to be ready to defend ourselves. To defend our values and to defend our people. In the meanwhile we are to keep an eye on the situation and be purposeful, why, why is something like this? Because our main target is collect the people. We cannot collect the people if we scare the people, but at the same time we are to make the people  understand it’ll be more scary if fascists take the power again like they did in the past.

Of course, the way, the method will be the same of the fascism of the past but the logo will be probably different. They change name. In Italy the call Forza Nuova or for example CasaPound. It’s two names really represent two fascist parties.

Transcription by Silvia A.

Rojava, Italy, Brisbane, with Love.

Rojava, Italy, Brisbane, with Love.

This show really is global. We have contributors and interviewees on most major continents.

This show is an example our global footprint.  An Italian Subversion team member connected us with a man who had fought with the People’s Protection Unit (YPG) in Syria. This interview is our main feature this week.

It might come as a surprise but we also have an interview with Donald Trump. We find out his answers to some pressing issues.

And Bad Cop No Donut with some shocking cases of police brutality.

Download from


ANTI-FLAG        …………..     Underground Network

ALAS                       …………………………..                                  Cop Killer

AZIZ WAISI      ……………………………       Kurdish song

DDM                        …………………………..                   Class War

POOR PEOPLE                 ………………………………………                   Sold Ourselves

Featured Image – Love Birds for Kurdistan

Claudio Locatelli – fighter with the YPG Kurdish forces in Rojava

Claudio Locatelli – fighter with the YPG Kurdish forces in Rojava

Claudio is an Italian journalist and media activist.

After working in the Middle East he decided to return and join the People’s Protection Unit (YPG) fighting in Rojava against ISIS and others.

Also to help the revolution which is building a new autonomous region.

Claudio has returned to Italy where he is speaking to us from his home town.

In this interview I wanted to ask some basic questions about why he decided to go to Rojava, and how his experience has informed his politics back home in Italy.

Some international fighters who fight in Rojava are under threat from their own governments when they return home. Claudio and I speak about this issue and the political motivations behind it.

As the story of Rojava has captured the hearts and minds of many drawing some to consider joining the Kurdish struggle, I asked Claudio what his advice would be to anyone thinking of travelling to Syria.

I am closely connected with some Iranian Kurds in Brisbane. In my experience most of them do not share the revolutionary goals of Rojava, such as the issue of gender. I discussed this with Claudio and he feels it important to add this comment.

Download from Radio4all.

Across the Void: Behrouz Boochani

Across the Void: Behrouz Boochani


When the Australian immigration department incarcerated Behrouz Boochani, a Kurdish journalist fleeing the oppressive Islamic regime in Iran, they made a huge tactical error.

Seasoned at fighting human rights abuses in his home country Boochani has continued inside the Manus Island detention centre in Papua New Guinea.

He’s not the only voice speaking out from inside this prison like facility but he is one of the loudest.

Voices like his will be part of what brings this unjust, unfair system to its knees.

His writing has featured in major newspapers in Australia, and around the world, and is opening up the gates of this prison and exposing the human rights abuses occurring inside.

After several failed attempts I finally managed to record an interview with Behrouz, coincidentally just when he announced he had shot and co directed a film from inside Manus – ‘‘Chauka, please tell us the time’.

This interview was recorded by using Skype from my computer to ring Behrouz’s mobile. Due to this occasionally there’s some odd bleeps and bloops.



The Chauka bird of Manus Island.
The Chauka bird of Manus Island.

A review of Chauka, please tell us the time.

By Arnold Zable.

‘Chauka, please tell us the time’ is a remarkable film,’ shot on a mobile phone, in restricted and distressing circumstances by Kurdish-Iranian journalist and writer, Behrouz Boochani.

Incarcerated since mid-2013 in the Manus Island Detention Centre, Boochani co-directs the film with Amsterdam based Iranian filmmaker and editor, Arash Kamali Sarvestani.

Far removed from the action, Sarvestani, honours Boochani’s vision, and works with him, across a vast distance, to create a poetic, hypnotic film, which is both a work of great artistry, and a damning inditement of a brutal policy.

At the heart of the film, the central thread around which all the others are woven—is the chauka, a bird that is sacred and central to Manus Island culture.

The camera roams through the centre, and beyond, and conveys the torturous ordeal endured by the 900 men, incarcerated in the prime of their life, for over 40 months now, endlessly waiting, aimlessly pacing, enduring the heat, the erosion of hope, and destruction of the spirit.

The many visual and aural threads include tense phone-calls back home, hinting at family breakdown and the unbearable pain of separation: ‘I am parted from my child,’ one asylum seeker laments in his three-minute weekly call. Referring to a child born after he fled his country, a detainee says: ‘I haven’t had a chance to hold him, touch him or feel his presence’.

We hear the incessant whirring of fans, the dentist-like drill of the fumigation apparatus. We witness the wasted lives of men, their loss of agency: ‘I have no control over this’, says one. ‘Look mum, please don’t cry. Please don’t cry. Look mum, I am stuck here’, pleads another.

Boochani’s mobile phone pans over the cramped living spaces and the tiny cubicles, partitioned by sheets and tarpaulins to create a fragile and claustrophobic privacy.

We hear the comments of broken spirits: ’I prefer to be dead because I have nothing anymore… no one is waiting for me, and I am waiting for no one. I have lost everything.’

There are startling, poetic surreal-like images—rows of empty white plastic chairs leaning against the wire through which can be seen the unobtainable sea; the exuberant, beautiful faces of Manus Island children, dancing just beyond the wire, images of cats, contrastingly free, at home in any space within and without the wire.

The soundtrack compliments the imagery—with two recurring sounds in particular—a haunting Kurdish folksong, sung by one of the inmates, and the chirping of the chauka bird.

The folksong is a lament, a cry of longing, and the birdsong, a homage to Manus Island culture. The theme of the Chauka, and what it symbolises is a brilliant conception.

Through an ongoing conversation with several Manus Island men, we begin to understand the deep significance of the bird, and the ongoing colonial history of the island.

We come to see the cruel irony—the name of a bird that means so much in Manus Island culture, being used as the name for a high security prison within the wider prison, which, for a time, was a place of isolation, and punishment.

We come to understand that the appropriation of the Chauka, as a name for a place of such abuse and suffering, is obscene, and reflective of the neo-colonial system on which the offshore detention system is based.

Also interwoven is an eye witness account of the murder of Reza Barati in February 2014, and eerie footage of a detainee, who at the end of his tether, has self harmed, and is carried, at night, to an ambulance.

The mesmerising rhythm, the recurring imagery, the glimpses of Manus Island culture, the bird song, the sound of the sea, and the intermittent silences, have a powerful cumulative effect.

When we briefly see, at film’s end, Australian Prime Minister Turnbull trying to justify the brutal policy for which his government is responsible, he is condemned by his own words.

He tries in vain to justify the horror, and is revealed as a man in self-denial, representing a government that is, at best, in self denial.

Boochani’s inclusive vision is enhanced by the respect he shows for the Manus Islanders. The mobile phone camera lingers on scenes of island life and culture.

Boochani allows the voices of Manus islanders to be heard. The people of the island are stuck in a terrible dilemma, co opted into the offshore processing system through their desperate need for work.

They are on a lower rung in the camp hierarchy, with the Australian government firmly established at the apex.
Chauka please tell me the time’ is driven by a unique, poetic vision. It is filmed by a man who has an eye for life’s beauty, but also deeply feels its injustices, and cruelties—a man who has personally suffered these injustices.

Boochani is at heart an artist, who works intuitively, and instinctually. He, and his distant partner, Arash Kamali Sarvestani, allow the images, the sounds, the snatches of conversation, to speak for themselves.

They transcend the severe limitations of the circumstances under which the film was shot, to give us a glimpse of hell, juxtaposed against the island’s tropical beauty and fragments of its indigenous culture.

They have documented a specific time and place, and helped expose the horror that is indefinite offshore detention, whilst remaining true to the paradoxical beauty of their art-form, and their deeply humanistic vision of life.

Radical Equal Love

Radical Equal Love


The issue of marriage equality is in focus around the world. In Australia the big news recently is that the plebiscite which the ruling Liberal party was seeking to hold has been halted after the opposition Labor party voted against it.

A rally was still held in Brisbane on October 15 at Queens Park. It was attended by over 1000 people.

There was mainstream media coverage of the protest of course, but to find out what really happened I spoke to two eminent Brisbane gay personalities.

What follows is a low down honest account of the various high and low lights of the event.

I was lucky enough to catch ‘Power Gays’ Daniel Johnson and Mark Ashenden in my lounge-room and record this interview.


One of the issues which arose in this controversial interview is the de radicalisation of queer communities.

This is an issue which Autonomous Action Radio has tackled before when Anna Kissed halted the Pride march in 2015, to protest police joining the march.

Around the world queers are bashing back resisting the ‘pink washing‘ of their communities.


Crossing the Void: A call to Nauru


The Australian Government has done its best to silence the voice of refugees who have arrived by boat. They have isolated them on remote islands and tried to rob them of their humanity.

Thanks to technology these people are able to break through the barrier and use their voices to cross the void.

I spoke to Arash a refugee from Iran. He is living in Nauru in a detention centre. He sleeps in a tent with somewhere between 30 and 40 people.

He left Iran because of the strict Islamic government… he came to Australia searching for a place he could build his future in a country of freedom.




First Hand Insight of Australia’s Brutal Refugee Centres


Navven Nave Ravi  journeyed to Australia seeking refuge from the trouble in Sri Lanka.

Upon arriving in Australia he found that this wealthy generally safe country was not going to provide him with the peaceful life he so badly yearned for and needed.

Drawing and writing poetry was an outlet for Navven while he spent 3 years at Nauru Regional Processing Centre and in Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation.

Now living in Perth these drawings and the poetry have given him an opportunity to share with others the painful experiences he endured in those 3 years locked up despite having committed no crime.

His book From Hell to Hell has already been launched in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth and the first print run of the book has sold out.

With the help of activists a crowd funding campaign has been set up to print 1000 more books.

On Monday April 18 I spoke to Navven on 4ZZZ’s AnarchyShow.