Eight years ago, on 19 July, a Kurdish-led coalition began the biggest revolution of the 21st century in Kobanê, Rojava – an autonomous region of northern Syria. This revolution has led to the development of grassroots democracy for all ethnicities with social-ecology and women’s liberation are central pillars of this radical alternative to the nation state. It is a beacon of hope for other parts of Syria, the Middle East and, indeed, the world.
International solidarity with Rojava has been growing after Turkey’s continued attacks on north-eastern Syria and, in recent months, an incursion into Iraqi Kurdistan. This has included intensified bombing the Mexmur refugee camp, Shengal, and the Medya defence areas – the area under control of the Kurdish freedom movement. Since June Turkish troops have also conducted a renewed ground offensive into Iraqi Kurdistan (aka Southern Kurdistan).
In July, more than 100 diverse and creative actions took place across 30 countries under the slogan ‘RiseUp 4 the Revolution – Against Colonialism, Fascism, Patriarchy and Femicides, Ecological Destruction and all forms of oppression around the World’. The actions were called by RiseUp4Rojava, together with Women Defend Rojava, Make Rojava Green Again and the Internationalist Commune of Rojava. On 15 August the pressure intensified and the movement called for an end to the war machinery and revenues enabling the violence perpetrated by the Turkish military and state.
We showed that we, as a global resistance movement, stand with all the people of Rojava and that this struggle is international. We received solidarity from friends in Portland, one of the centres of the current resistance in the US; from Indonesia, during the protests against the Omnibus Law; from Brazil, where people are facing the brunt of the Bolsonaro-led regime. People, across different parts of the world, are realizing that this revolution is also their own.
A crucial moment
The refugee camp in Mexmur was attacked by Turkey because it had successfully built up democratic confederal structures, a system that is the reality of Rojava, with the pillars of women’s liberation, radical democracy and social ecology.
Shengal, where Yezidi people, have since liberation from Islamic State in 2014, established self-administration based on the model of Rojava, is also the target of repeated Turkish air attacks.
It’s as if the Turkish state is attempting to finish what Daesh did not manage. The intensified attacks are attempts to cut off different Kurdish areas from one another and establish more military bases in Iraqi Kurdistan.
We are certain that an attack on Rojava is imminent. The medium-term goal of the occupying forces is to establish a buffer zone several dozen kilometres wide under permanent Turkish occupation. This buffer zone is to be used as a base for further occupation operations inside Iraqi Kurdistan and the Iraqi provinces of Mossul and Kerkuk.
Turkish war crimes and occupations continue with the support of companies, banks and friendly states. This is why global resistance movements must step up in western cities, calling for consumer boycotts and a ban on arms sales to Turkey.
Without the technological, military, financial, political and diplomatic cooperation of the US and western European states, the Turkish regime’s attacks against the revolution would not possible.
In the first week of November we will also be calling for a week of global solidarity and civil disobedience against fascist rule and Turkey’s military invasions. Join actions and keep up to date via #RiseUp4Rojava, #SmashTurkishFascism, #RiseUpAgainstFascism.
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