Kashmiri woman at grave site Apr 11 2018

A Kashmiri woman kisses the tombstone of her son at martyrs graveyard in Srinagar, Kashmir, 2008. After the funeral prayers & protests with thousands of other mourners celebrating the life of the deceased & protesting the occupation, family members & friends must grieve alone & recover from their loss. Every new funeral must evoke the sorrow of their own loss like a wound that never heals.

End the occupation. Self-determination for Kashmir.

(Photo by Altaf Qadri, 2008)

Never a day goes by when there aren’t funerals in Kashmir for those killed by occupying forces. How do they sustain such a burden of violence, loss, & grief?

Mohammed Matter, a Palestinian from Gaza who worked with Syrian refugees & tried to work with Rohingya refugees, called Assad a war criminal for the chemical attack on Douma. Assadists poured out from under their rocks to denounce him as a supporter of head-chopping terrorists. Assad propagandist Eva Bartlett, who supports the Rohingya genocide & sucks off the Palestinian struggle for credentials, accused Mohammed of propagandizing for Al-Qaeda for years & of having “blood on his hands” for supporting the Syrian revolution against Assad. That “blood on your hands” thing is Bartlett’s accusation against anyone who dares defy her narrative as a ventriloquist dummy for the Assad regime. She even tossed it my way one time like a live grenade. I laughed. She has all the qualities necessary to make a good concentration camp guard.

It’s always astonishing to see how little respect the Arab Spring uprisings receive. Not just lack of respect but contempt. As if millions of people in several countries were fools for trying to take their destinies into their own hands away from brutal autocrats to forge democratic societies. You can only hold such contempt if you have never actually been part of building social movements, if you have no idea what it takes or the complexities & conflicts involved in hammering out strategy & a leadership. Changing the world is immensely difficult. Possible but difficult. It takes a lot of chutzpah to turn up your nose at millions of people who tried to do that & who put forward the most advanced ideas of our times. It takes a lot of political inexperience & nerve to turn up your nose when so many people can only envision militarism, bombers & special forces, as the solution for revolution & counterrevolution & have no concept of the role of working people in making the world a suitable place for human beings to live in. To my mind, the Arab Spring uprisings were among the most monumental struggles of the last 100 years. The peoples of Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Tunisia, Syria, Libya, with reverberations in Jordan, Iraq, Morocco, should be honored for what they tried to do, not considered fools or failures. The fools are those who look to Syrian, Russian. or US bombers.