What do you think about the anarchist movement in its global form? What stage is it in? How do you see the future of anarchism
– We have seen better years for the global anarchist movement and we have seen worse. In Western mainstream media the meaning of the word “anarchy” equals “chaos” and the anarchists are often presented as nothing more than troublemakers. Such problem is not presented in Eastern societies (as I have heard from a Pakistani anarchist) but the anarchism is not that popular there. The good news is that the seeds of anarchism have always been below the surface and now stems are coming out again. And even not all the people struggling for a radical change call themselves anarchists (some of them call for Direct Democracy, some for Social Justice, some for Freedom), their struggle can be called an anarchist struggle and it can lead (like it often does) to changes we call revolutionary changes.
What stage the global anarchist movement (or “the revolution” like the old school anarchists call it) is in, that’s something I believe no one knows. We will be able to judge about that in 5 or 10 years from now.
I see the future of anarchism as a popular idea and popular movement no one can underestimate. For now I can not say more.
When did you begin, when did you start to rebel? What is the history of your group or organisation? What activities have you had so far? What media resources do you have to advertise and make yourselves known to the public
– I started to rebel when I was 12. The so called “democratic changes” in Bulgaria started in November 1989 when the ex socialist republic started to build it’s “new future”. Thanks to my family traditions I understood that what was going on was just changing the Soviet set regime with a new form of exploitation, coercion, persecution and suppression. And it was even done by the same people – the ex leaders of the state.
I was close to the Bulgarian ФАБ (Federation of Anarchists in Bulgaria), established in 1990. I was a member of אחדות Единство Unity الوحده in Israel, established in 2008 by young immigrants of the Soviet Union. Two months ago members of it and I joined an illegal demonstration against the separation wall at the Palestinian town of Bil’in, inside the occupied West Bank, as part of the “joint struggle” against the occupation.
Today some young comrades and I are trying to make a local anarchist organization in the south part of Israel.
Indymedia is the source I recommend. I have publications for bulgaria.indymedia.org and for the anarchist’s website bezlogo.com. They are all in Bulgarian.
How many anarchist groups in the anarchist movement exist and how well is your movement moving forward
– In the Israeli movement there are the Anarchists Against the Wall, which is an international group, and the one I mentioned – אחדות Unity. In Bulgaria there are more than 5 groups but they have their problems between themselves and have difficulties communicate with each other. The positive in both countries is that the anarchist individuals are getting more and more each day.
With which other anarchist groups in different countries are you in contact? Are you in contact with any other anarchist group in other countries
– Other than Israel and Bulgaria I contact with anarchists from Greece, FYR Macedonia, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine.
In which countries do you think anarchism has been most successful? What locations do you think anarchists have been most effective in social, cultural, and/or political matters
– Well, we had our small victories here in Israel and I believe all the movements all over the world have their small victories. But if we are talking about success, Spain is the name. And maybe Greece on some level.
What has been the impact of your movement and resistance on your location
– Many young Israeli anarchists refused and still refuse to serve the Israeli army. They inspire other young people to refuse and not be afraid of the following prosecution. The number of the “refusniks” is getting bigger and bigger, and now there is an open debate on the issue of the compulsory military service in the Israeli society, no mater the new law which makes it almost impossible to find a legal way not to serve the IDF.
With groups from which Middle Eastern countries are you in contact? Are you in contact with any Middle Eastern countries
– Other than Israeli, I have contacts with Turkish anarchists. As much as I know they are members of AKA.
How much do you know about anarchist movements in Iran, Afghanistan and the Middle East in general
– I don’t know much about the movements in these countries. I read an article on the Russian anarchist’s “avtonom.org” website about the anarchism in Iran once. And I have contacted an Afghan anarchist called Nouri Javed long time ago. Not more than that.
What difficulties and limitation are you facing in your country? What about repression and imprisonment
– Some Israeli anarchist have been arrested for joining illegal demonstrations in the occupied West Bank, some have been imprisoned for refusing to serve the Israeli army. I personally have problems with the reactions of the society towards me knowing I am an anarchist. I was called “traitor” several times, I am not well accepted in the area I live, and if I look for a job, there are companies which will not even allow me to go to the interview if someone have told them that I am an anarchist.
Do you think in the recent years the anarchist tendency has increased in your country? What about other countries
– Yes, it has increased. In Israel and Bulgaria for sure. And as much as I know it has increased all around the world.
؟Please tell us about the history of anarchism in your country
I am afraid I don’t want to do that. Bulgaria has anarchists traditions but many of the anarchists events have been part of a bigger event and I don’t think I can analyze them. And the history of the Israeli anarchism is very disputable because some people from the past are still considered as anarchist while in fact they have never been ones.
How do you think we can collaborate
– At first it is good to know each other well. We can make each other’s voices heard by more people. And why not making an invocation for peace in the Middle East together
More ideas could come in talks, not in an interview.
Do you follow the platform of International Anarchist Activity or, due to special political situations in your country, do you have your own style and methods to operate
– The second one. Even the 1st of May demonstration took place on the 2nd of May in my city.
What do you think about the “Spanish Civil War” and the “Cronstadt rebellion” and how do you analyze these two important historical events in the context of the overall anarchist movement? Also what is your opinion about any other important historical movements in which anarchists played a significant role
– Those are serious questions. I am not a historian and I can not analyze such events. All I can say is that I don’t like any kind of defeatist thinking and I would never say something like “We’ve been so close but we have lost it in Kronstadt” or “Those Bolsheviks tricked us in Spain”. I personally believe that all processes of the 60-s (in China, France, Czechoslovakia, USA…) carried the revolutionary spirit as well and we have to learn from them.
What are the features of an anarchist society?
– To provide equality to all of us; to reject any kind of hierarchy, domination and coercion; to makes us see that we are one.
Can you please tell us about the current political situation in your country
– The current coalition of the so called “Jewish State” includes the far right traditional religious party of settlers of the illegal (according to the UN) Israeli settlements of the occupied West Bank called “Jewish home” party. It made it and makes it impossible for any deal in the peace talks with the Palestinian autonomy representatives no matter prime minister Netanyahu’s words about the acceptance of the two state solution, said during his previous mandate.
The “Jewish state” occupied other people’s land; invaded other countries; imprisoned other nations’ individuals; not allowed it’s Jewish citizens to marry non-Jewish ones on it’s territory; built sort of prison for the African refugees on it’s territory and all that was presented to the public as right, because of the “importance” of being and remaining a “Jewish state”. And now, even the peace talks have been made impossible, because of the “importance” of being and remaining a “Jewish state”.
Is there anything else you would like to tell us
– I was happy to answer your questions. I hope we will keep in touch.