Resistance is Life!
A message from a British revolutionary in Rojava, working with the Syrian resistance against the Turkish invasion, to those marching around the world in solidarity today, October 13.
It is hard to describe quite how powerful it is for us on the ground here to see the photos and videos of your actions and demonstrations across the country, across the rest of Europe and the rest of the World. These actions give us a strength that we cannot gain ourselves by eating, sleeping or training. They are an act of care, care that we sorely need in this dark moment in history.
There are hundreds of internationalists across North East Syria. We are working in hospitals in Kobanî, we are co-ordinating media operations in Qamishlo, we are building fortifications in the streets of Dayrik and right at this very moment we are fighting street by street to protect the city of Sere Kani from the jihadi gangs that Turkey have flooded across the border.
This spirit of internationalism is at the very core of this revolution because this revolution is a truly global movement. By being out here on the streets today you are all comrades in the same struggle, fighting the same fight as if you were standing alongside us on the barricades here in Rojava.
We came here to help in the building of a peaceful, democratic and feminist society. But each and every one of us knows that if you desire peace, you must prepare for war. And we are prepared, heval. We will fight to preserve this precious peace that the Kurds, Arabs, Syriacs and a multitude of other peoples have created out of the ashes of ISIS's religious fascism.
While we prepare now with our tools, our computers and our cameras, in the coming days we will fight with our rifles and our machine guns. We will fight alongside muslims and christians from myriad sects and denominations, we will fight alongside men and women, we will fight alongside the young and the old, and we will fight with a spirit and a passion that you have all imbued us with by showing your solidarity here today.
But do not let today be the pinnacle; let it be just the first step in your global resistance to tyranny and fascism. Take the battle online, on the airwaves, hit them economically, and make this war as painful for the Turkish state as it was for the innocent Kurds that Turkey's proxy militia dragged from their cars last night and brutally executed by the side of the road near Girê Spî. Because if we don't take this fight to them, the ethnic cleansing, the mass murder, and cultural genocide that Erdogan openly promised in front of the UN General Assembly will become a reality.
Let us make this historic resistance together, comrades, because resistance is life.
Berxwedan jiyan e
Stop the Turkish Invasion!
F16 NATO jets are bombing Rojava as the rogue Turkish state begins its long-planned invasion of NE Syria. Many howl with rage at Trump for his betrayal of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) by US withdrawal. The governing councils of the multiethnic enclave of the Autonomous Administration were always aware this would happen. That hardly exonerates the US for its sneaky conspiracy in getting the SDF to comply with ‘security measures’ by dismantling border defences, before abandoning them to Erdogan.
‘When a repressive, murderous fascist who’s locked up 1000’s and eliminated all press freedom, says he can’t “feel safe” as long as a fully democratic, women-led, multicultural society exists on his border, isn’t it obvious which side the US should be on?’ So tweeted Debbie Bookchin, daughter of Murray Bookchin, the founding philosopher of democratic confederalism.
But British complicity in arming to the teeth the eighth most powerful army in world is equally disgusting. Comrades of Anna Campbell, the young British woman killed in Afrin in March 2018 when fighting with the YPJ (Women’s Protection Units), immediately responded to the Turkish invasion by locking down BAE Filton, Bristol. More such actions need planning (see map).
By bombing prison camps, Turkish airstrikes enable ISIS/Jihadi gang fighters to escape. The Turkish state prefers to rearm these war criminals, getting them to do very dirty work, rather than risk its own soldiers. We know already from the lessons of the Turkish invasion of Afrin (NW Syria) what will follow: rape, torture, kidnap, terrorism and displacement of civilians. Erdogan explicitly stated that ethnic ‘cleansing’ and population replacement was the intention behind his invasion. Yet, astonishingly, a UN special meeting on Oct 10 was unable to secure a statement condemning Turkish action.
So far the SDF have resisted incursions at Gire Spi (Arab: Tel Abyad) and Serekaniye (Arab: Ras al-Ayn) but face impossible odds against the sustained airpower and artillery of a powerful NATO force. In the one part of Syria with relative peace and stability, an extra 100,000 refugees already flee. Down south in the Arab tribal heartlands at Deir ez Zor, Iranian forces are moving in to preempt ISIS resurgence. Assad’s regime will try to return east of Euphrates. Russians troops have flown in to defend Qamishli airport which has been under Assad regime control throughout.
This cannot simply be seen as a war of Turks against Kurds. Oil is being poured onto the conflagration of the Middle Eastern Third World War. Rojava has been practicing community-based governance since July 2012, rooted among several different local ethnic and religious groups, refugee minorities subject to long historic genocidal persecution (from the former Ottoman empire). They include Christian Armenians and Assyrians, the ancient Yezidi peoples, Turkmen and Chechen minorities as well as the larger Arab and Kurdish populations of the area. Erdogan’s project is effectively Islamofascist, sponsoring settlement of an ISIS caliphate.
Identifying as Syrian, Rojava’s project of democratic confederacy is intrinsically transnational, not Kurdish nationalist. But its mode of governance inevitably leads to linking up with communities across the Turkish-Syrian border – an artificial border following the line of an old colonial railway, dividing communities and families.
The Kurdish civil rights struggle across the border in SE Turkey, led by the HDP (People’s Democratic Party), has pioneered confederal structures, with male and female cochairs, and women’s leadership. Launching invasions is a favourite distraction for unpopular dictators. Erdogan has been in trouble in recent Turkish elections. Three HDP mayors elected by large popular margins in Mardin, Van and Diyarbakir were refused certificates to take office and arbitrarily replaced by ‘trustees’ of the Turkish state.
The sister movements in SE Turkey and NE Syria have generated extraordinary achievements of women’s rights, representation and mobilization, in a cultural area where traditions of forced marriage and honour killing still persist. If the Islamofascist project is allowed to succeed, it will be women of many diverse Middle Eastern communities who bear the brunt. One of the very first victims of Daesh resurgent terrorism was the key women’s organiser Hefrin Khalaf.
Supporters are asked to table motions at Labour and Union branch meetings with these immediate demands:
Cease fire, withdrawal of all Turkish and allied forces behind the Turkish border;
A no fly zone to be established over NE Syria;
Cultural boycott and economic sanctions against Turkey’s produce (barcodes 868 & 869), tourism, corporations etc;
Stop all arms sales;
Inclusion of the Autonomous Administration in the current Syrian Constitutional Reform Committee.
Donations to Kurdish Red Moon/Hevya Sor (UK bank account details: sort 089299, acc no 65863091) probably the most direct method to support medical resources for Rojava.
See https://riseup4rojava.org/ for many useful resources to support demos and actions.
For the Syrian Democratic Force commander’s statement on the possibility of switching alliances, click here.
This Constituency Labour Party resolves to support the people of Rojava, including on demonstrations, and condemns the Turkish invasion. We call for:
The immediate cessation of Turkish military action
International economic sanctions against the Turkish state
The British government to follow the lead of the German and Finnish governments by implementing an immediate and indefinite halt to all UK arms sales to Turkey
The provision of humanitarian aid for the people of the region,
The implementation of a no fly zone
An international plan to safely and humanely secure the 12,000 ISIS prisoners currently held by the Syrian Democratic Forces
This CLP further resolves to make a financial donation to The Kurdish Red Crescent that provides medical aid to the civilians and refugees and to call on [ insert MP] to raise these issues in Parliament and demand that the government take action in line with the above.
Kurdish Red Moon (Heyva Sor a Kurdistanê)
Fairfax Hall 11 Portland Gardens London N4 IHU
Registered Charity No: 10 93 741
Company No: 42 85 714
The Co-operative Bank
Bank Sort code: 089299
Bank Account No: 65863091
IBAN: GB55 CPBK 0892 9965 8630 91
BIC: CPBK GB22