An interview with comrades from the International Revolutionary People’s Guerrilla Forces (IRPGF).
Interview by Enough is Enough
Download, print, read and spread the Interview here (PDF file)
Enough is Enough: Its a few days ago that we received the announcement of the creation of the IRPGF. Its not the first international guerrilla group that operates in Rojava. Whats the difference between the International Antifascist Tabur and the IRPGF?
IRPGF comrades: First, the IRPGF is an explicitly anarchist project that has several goals very specific to advancing the cause of anarchism, not just in Rojava but around the world. In that sense, the International part of our name works two ways – first and most obvious, that our group is comprised of people from different countries, and second, that we consider the struggle against domination an international and connected one, which will of course entail serhildans (uprisings) in every neighborhood around the world. Thus, IRPGF is not just a militant group for anarchists to join and fight against DAÎŞ, but it is also a group that is creating infrastructure that will enable anarchists to join and learn how to advance the anarchist struggle once they return home. Second, the members of IRPGF are aware that a revolution spans both social and military spheres of life; therefore, we believe it is crucial that anarchists coming to Rojava gain experience in both civil and military projects, if they so desire, in order to develop a more comprehensive conception of what the revolution truly looks like on the ground. For this reason we also plan to develop civil projects that anarchists can partake in. These are just two of the main characteristics that we believe define the uniqueness of IRPGF.
Enough is Enough: What role does the revolution in Rojava play in the transnational anarchist struggle in your opinion?
IRPGF comrades: The Rojava Revolution is an indigenous struggle against the state, capital, colonialism, and fascism. Furthermore, it places woman’s liberation and the destruction of patriarchy at the forefront of the struggle, as it is believed that man’s domination of all cannot be stopped if his domination of the woman is left intact. Thus, while this is not an explicitly anarchist revolution, it definitely has anarchist characteristics and is a revolution that all anarchists should support. Beyond it simply being necessary for anarchists to support the struggles of the most oppressed wherever they are, Rojava is important for the transnational anarchist struggle because it sheds light on how a revolution might be carried out and maintained. For example, from organizing neighborhood assemblies to training militant defense groups that can resist against fascists in the streets, already we have seen how the revolution has inspired and even provided a blueprint for anarchists to progress their more localized movements in the west. Again, the IRPGF views all of these struggles as connected and important pieces for the world revolution we strive for and we urge that if possible, anarchists come to both assist and learn from the revolution.
Image and statement by RUIS & IRPGF: “From Rojava all the way to Athens, u will bleed to capture the liberated grounds of the struggle. Solidarity to the Squats!”
Enough is Enough: In the announcement was written that the IRPGF is working “to defend social revolutions around the world, to directly confront capital and the state, and advance the cause of anarchism.” In the days that followed we have read solidarity statements about Belarus and squats in Athens. Is the IRPGF working on connecting struggles?
IRPGF comrades: We believe that struggles against domination and authority are already connected simply by their nature. All we simply wish to do is reveal and strengthen such connections both through symbolic and practical acts of solidarity. Again, the International part of our name works two ways and as such we strive to support and push for international struggles that may lead to international revolutions. In order to do so we of course need to shed light on and strengthen the connections that exist between all of us fighting for liberation.
Enough is Enough: In the IRPGF position paper it was written that “For the IRPGF, peaceful methods are unable to confront and destroy the state, capitalism and all forms of kyriarchal power. In fact, they do the reverse.” Can you explain to us why peaceful methods can’t defeat capitalism in your opinion?
IRPGF comrades: It’s quite clear historically that any resistance movement against domination based strictly on ‘peaceful methods’ will not only fail to affect any substantial change but will also be used by those in power as a means of funneling legitimate revolutionary momentum and potential into recuperated, non-threatening, stagnant nothingness. Considering the readership of your publication, we don’t believe we have to discuss this fact in too much detail; however, we do wish to remind everyone of Ward Churchill’s diagnosis of the pathology of pacifism, which is that it is delusional, racist, and suicidal. Further, he states that “With activities self-restricted to a relatively narrow band of ritual forms, pacifist tacticians automatically sacrifice much of their (potential) flexibility in confronting the state; within this narrow band, actions become entirely predictable rather than offering the utility of surprise. The bottom-line balance of physical power thus inevitably rests with the state on an essentially permanent basis, and the possibility of liberal social transformation is correspondingly diminished to a point of nonexistence.” Examples of this can even be seen within the history of the Syrian Civil War itself. Omar Aziz was a self-described anarchist who was committed to non-violent resistance. However, this commitment only resulted in his movement’s inability to defend itself against State repression, with his local councils never reaching their full potential and himself dying in prison. On the other hand, the YPJ/G, which grew out of armed defense groups formed in response to the Qamişlo riots of 2004, has proven to be the only force on the ground capable of resisting state hegemony and fascism. Peaceful methods will only result in either the maintenance of the status quo and/or death for those employing them – so either pick up the gun and join the armed resistance now or prepare yourself to be able to do so when the time comes.
Image and statement by Black Bloc Rojava (IRPGF): From Rojava to Brazil: “The most basic weapons of the people will always be found on the streets. Solidarity to the workers of Brazil!” Portugese: “As armas mais básicas do povo serão sempre encontradas nas ruas. Solidariedade aos trabalhadores do Brasil”
Enough is Enough: A bit further in the position paper was written that “We believe that the third world war has already started and that the conflicts in Syria, Ukraine and in other parts of the world are only the beginning. The capitalist system, nearing its end and having plundered the world and stripped it of its resources, faces its most acute crisis yet.” How do you think things will develop?
IRPGF comrades: The IRPGF believes that conflicts, especially in the global south, will become far more complex and convoluted, with relationships between state and non-state actors transcending ideological boundaries. This can already be seen in the wars both in Syria and Ukraine. Coupled with this is the fact that as rural populations are (semi)proletarianized, moving into already overcrowded cities, for example in China, the increasing amount of slums and favelas will lead to spontaneous outbursts and insurrections from those left marginalized or outright unincorporated into the capitalist system. That is to say that the capitalist system itself is unable to incorporate large sections of the human population into it, leading to a crisis of surplus labor and an ever increasing informal working class. The IRPGF does not believe the supposed future revolution is a historically determined actuality. In fact, it may not happen at all or at least in the way we desire. However, insurrections will occur against authority and capital in a way unprecedented in history. We will be there to join the people on the streets and in the mountains to combat these systems of oppression and allow neighborhoods and communities to emerge as free, autonomous and self-organized entities. Anarchism is not a guarantee for the future nor do we consider ourselves missionaries for some sacred doctrine. The IRPGF will be there to fight and work within social revolutions around the world while upholding certain principles that we see as a precondition for a liberated life. Revolutions and insurrections are messy but we are ready to get our hands dirty. Are you?