Ezel – Anarchist & YPJ Fighter in Rojava

Ezel – Anarchist & YPJ Fighter in Rojava

 

This interview with Ezel Anirshik who is fighting with the Kurdish forces in Rojava Syria, was conducted and translated by Hafez Rahimi and recreated in English with the help of some friends.

Can you tell me your name and where are you from?

My name is Ezel and I’m from Amed which is north of Kurdistan. But for some political reasons I moved to Italy 16 years ago.

Can I ask you what were the reasons if you don’t mind?

Yes, sure. I’ve been arrested by Turkish police three times. First time I was just 13 years old when I spent six month in the jail.  After three years I was arrested again but for one more year. Third time the court decided about my imprisonment. So I runaway to Italy.

How long have you been living in Rojava?

The last five years.

I’ve heard Afrin is defeat is it right? Or would you like to say something different? What is the correct situation in Afrin?

We never accept that Afrin was defeated but my angle of view is completely different. Afrin did very well.

I mean in fact the second biggest army of NATO had said they defeat Afrin in 24 hours and it’s happened after two months by using plenty of weapon including jihadist forces. Some of our friends are still fighting and as you know the YPJ has said we are not leaving Afrin, we have just changed the war method for avoiding the genocide of people.

The YPJ helps people in leaving of the city so how we can say this is defeat.

What makes wars different between war in Afrin and others which are happening all over the world?

In Afrin actually exist heavy war. The war is between two forces. The first one represents evil and darkness. The second one represents good. It’s between the leaders of all countries which been supporting Erdogan and his regime against activities of people living in this autonomic territory –  anarchists, communisms, feminists and etc. So this is kind of World War III.

Why people say the Rojava revolution is the women’s revolution?

That’s right actually. Women in Rojava have a different laws than women in others part of country.  For example they are allowed to have only one husband [men are allowed only one wife] and they [the women] are having education.

By the way we have a village in here called Warejena which is a place where women teach women. It’s been only for women and some NGO.

So yes, one of the characteristic is revolution for woman but it is not just for them, the revolution was triggered for more reasons than we think.

In your speech you has mentioned international forces. What do you mean exactly which forces?

Let me explain you why the communist people came to Rojava as well like feminist, anarchists, people from this territory and others. All of them came because of Rojava.

It’s caused by their hearts; by humility to nature, animals and love for freedom which is hidden in every single human.

And these our friends with a big heart are fighting together against the Turkish state, even when they have a different ideology and perspective.

Can you tell me about feelings of women in the revolution?

I think the women have a good perceive about revolution. That’s right, the revolution is for women so don’t forget for their support came forces to Rojava. I think Rojava is land for all of them.

What can people do for any help in this revolution?

This is a good question. All people who have feeling of similar human values don’t be shy and join us. If you can’t go make a protest in your hometown everywhere in front of the council, in front of the Turkish Embassy and join that protests everyday, don’t give up until we win.

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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.

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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.

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MUSIC

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.

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Charges dropped against Australian man Jamie Reece Williams, who planned to join Kurdish militia

The case against Melbourne man Jamie Reece Williams, charged in 2015 with attempting to travel to northern Iraq to fight with Kurdish forces against Islamic State (IS) militants, has been dropped.

The decision to discontinue the prosecution was made by Federal Attorney-General George Brandis.

A spokesperson for the Attorney-General said the prosecution of Mr Williams required the Senator’s consent.

“In considering giving his consent, the Attorney-General has a broad discretion and is able to take into account a number of factors,” the spokesperson said.

“On this particular occasion, the Attorney-General did not consent to the prosecution. It would be inappropriate to comment further.”

The move could have ramifications for Australians who have fought against IS, returned to Australia, but are still under investigation by the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

Mr Williams, of Epping, in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, was charged in July last year after being detained at Melbourne Airport in 2014 as he attempted to board a flight to the Middle East.

When asked what he was travelling for, Mr Williams told authorities he was going to fight with a Kurdish militia called the YPG, and planned to travel first to the northern Iraqi city of Sulaymaniyah.

Late last year Mr Williams’ lawyers applied to have the case against their client discontinued by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP), arguing that the prosecution was not in the public interest because the Kurds are an ally of the coalition fighting against IS.

They also said the YPG was in fact the effective government of parts of northern Syria.

Under the foreign fighters legislation, which Mr Williams was charged under, anyone who fought with or planned to fight with the armed forces of a government was exempt from prosecution.

Mr Williams’ lawyer Jessie Smith argued that the YPG and its political wing exerted “effective control” over parts of Syria, and therefore constituted a government under the act.

It is not clear on what grounds the CDPP has decided to discontinue the prosecution.

Williams ‘very happy’ with decision

Mr Williams walked from the County Court supported by his girlfriend Jessica and Queensland man Ashley Dyball.

Mr Dyball returned from Syria in December last year after spending six months fighting with the YPG.

“I’m very happy with the result, that’s all I have to say,” Mr Williams said to media outside the court.

The AFP have been ordered to pay Mr Williams’ legal costs.

The decision raises questions about the police investigations into Matthew Gardiner and Mr Dyball, who have both returned to Australia after spending time with Kurdish forces fighting against IS.

Mr Gardiner, a former Northern Territory Labor Party president, spent three months with Kurdish groups last year and returned to Australian in April.

A registered nurse, he was questioned for several hours by AFP officers on his return to Darwin, but not spoken publicly about his activities in Syria.

Under the foreign fighters legislation, Mr Gardiner faces life in prison if found guilty.

Mr Dyball returned from Syria in December last year after spending more than six months with the YPG.

He was also interviewed for several hours by the AFP and released without charge after he was deported from Germany.

The AFP continue to investigate both Mr Dyball and Mr Gardiner.

Last week Canadian man Robert Somerville, who was deported from Brisbane over his links to Kurdish forces, told the ABC that he was asked questions about Mr Dyball’s activities in Syria.

Counter-terrorism expert Greg Barton said it would be premature for Matthew Gardiner and Ashley Dyball to be celebrating today’s decision.

“If you were in the defence team you would be feeling encouraged but I don’t think it necessarily has direct ramifications,” Professor Barton said.

“Whatever they do [Mr Dyball and Gardiner] shouldn’t be gloating in public because they have got a long way to go, in private they might feel a little bit encouraged but their cases are very different given they’ve been picked up going back.

“It’s clear they were in the region, they may make an argument about what they were doing but they are in a very different scenario.”

Via http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-09/prosecution-dropped-against-man-planned-to-fight-islamic-state/7151368

We Stand in Solidarity with the Freedom Fighters of Rojava

In the last show we took a look at anarchism and what it’s all about, in this show we focus on some anarchism which is happening right now.

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“Anarchism is not a romantic fable but the hardheaded realization, based on five thousand years of experience, that we cannot entrust the management of our lives to kings, priests, politicians, generals, and county commissioners.” Edward Abbey.

First of all we hear from The Stimulator with the latest episode of It’s the End of the World as we Know it and I Feel Fine called A Stone’s Throw From Freedom.

Then we hear a bit of worldwide anarchist news.

And finally a portion of the documentary called Rojava: A democratic system in progress.

Rojava: A democratic system in progress

November 1 World Kobane DayNovember 1st is World Kobane Day actions have been held around the world in  Stockholm, London, Sydney, Melbourne, Italy, Japan, Afghanistan, Germany, France, Finland, Denmark, America, Canada, Norway, Belgium, Austria, Spain, Greece and Switzerland.

So the global support for Kobane is immense and still growing.

It may be the David and Goliath narrative of the YPK and YKJ forcing standing their ground fighting against DAESH/ the so called Islamic State or the way the region has adopted an anarchist way of organising.

The following documentary explains a lot about the region and the way it is organised.

The World Kobane Day event in Melbourne was held outside the state library.
The World Kobane Day event in Melbourne was held outside the state library.
The World Kobane Day event in Sydney was held outside the Redfern Town Hall.
The World Kobane Day event in Sydney was held outside the Redfern Town Hall.