Newsletter #14 of the Internationalist Commune of Rojava
and the campaign Make Rojava Green Again
in August, we sent you the newsletter #13, in which we commemorated the German internationalist Şehid Sara Dorşin (Sarah Handelmann). We have since published a video of the merasîm (remembering) ceremony that was made in her name in Derîk, along with an article giving more details on her revolutionary trajectory, “In memory of Şehid Sara Dorşin”.
Sadly, at the beginning of August, we had to share with you the news of the martyrdom of yet another friend, Şehid Bager Nûjiyan (Michael Panser). Also known as Xelîl Vîyan, he fell and became immortal on December 14, 2018 during a Turkish air strike on the Medya defensive areas in South Kurdistan. We shared our pain and memories, as well as his own words, in the article “Michael Panser : The truth seeker who insisted on another world”. Later in the month, we were able to publish a video interview of him, that we believe to be very inspiring for our internationalist and revolutionary perspective, with, as a title, “My name is Bager Nûjiyan”.
For the first anniversary of the death of Atakan Mahîr and Mam Zekî Şengalî we wanted to commemorate these two great revolutionaries. They are great examples for us in seeking a free and revolutionary life. You will find their portraits in the “Two great revolutionaries” articles : Atakan Mahîr and Zekî Şengalî.
Şehid Zekî fell on the 15th of August, which is a meaningful day for the Kurdish movement, because on 15 August 1984, the PKK shot the first bullet not only at the colonialists, but at the same time a bullet at the Kurdish way of thinking that accepted colonialism. So on 15th of August we published the “History of the PKK’s Armed Struggle”, as it marked the beginning of the armed struggle.
In August, we were able to make some reports about developments in the region, as the village of Jarodî started to build a new social center called the “House of Life”. In Dêrik, we met the chairman of the Christian police, the Sutoro, who explained to us their work and their stance in front of the threat of Turkish invasion, “As God stands by our side, we will defend ourselves”.
A more passionate writing was also produced by one of our members, giving the viewpoint of what it is like to come here as a European antifascist, what we can learn from the Revolution, as well as calling for support in front of the Turkish threats, in the “Letter from an antifa militant in Rojava”.
RiseUp4Rojava – Smash Turkish fascism!
As you all know, the month of August has been a very tense one, with the threat of an invasion by Turkey hanging over our heads. The #riseup4rojava campaign held a special role in this context, calling for and gathering support from the international community, under several calls. First, a call to act and be prepared to react if the Turkish invasion begins, on Day X. Many solidarity actions were made under this call, and the energy built up from it was then successfully passed on to the next action, the International Days of Action.
International Days of Action: Disrupt! Block! Occupy! on September 6 and 7, 2019.
The coordinated as well as spontaneous actions of groups and individuals have sent a strong message of solidarity for Rojava and against Turkish fascism. The links and the unity built throughout this campaign are significant and will surely lead to new developments in international antifascism.
The numerous actions against the bloody deals and dirty deals with the Erdogan regime, against war, destruction and imperialism, were a strong, important sign. They have made it clear once again that there are people all over the world who do not resign themselves to what exists. That there are people who stand up and protest against it. This brings hope. But it is not enough. If we do not manage to develop our protest into a resistance, if we do not manage to block this murderous system in a really sustainable way, if we do not manage to ensure that what does not suit us no longer happens, then this machine of suffering and destruction will continue. It is not enough to say that we are no longer involved. We must ensure that everyone else does not join in. If we want to live up to the call that Şehid Ronahî made to us, we have to cut the supply not just for one day. We have to change the system that relies on these supplies. We must unite our struggles against imperialism, fascism, exploitation and oppression worldwide. The long-term perspective that we should never lose sight of must always be the building of an international front against imperialism and militarism. With regard to the defence of the revolution in Rojava we can unite our struggles, get to know and exchange each other, strengthen each other. The past Days of Action have shown us this.
The Days of Action were a first step in the right direction. Now it is time to build on this and develop the corresponding struggles further.
Situation of the threats against Rojava
Even though Erdogan continues to threaten of a massive ethnic cleansing on the region around the border, and puts pressure on the NATO countries to take his side by blackmailing them with the unleashing of a million refugees in Europe, it seems likely that the situation will stabilize with the current buffer zone : a 5 km-deep and 115 km-long area where forces from the local military councils ensure its security, with presence of some troops of the internationalist coalition, USA and Danish ones, to be precise. Even with all the threats and the negotiations with the USA, Turkey is only allowed a monthly or bimonthly observation patrol in the said area.
Nevertheless, Afrin is still occupied, and the Turkey/NATO military bases have been multiplying in Başur, furthering the circling around of the territories of the revolution, although Turkey was not able to advance as much as it wanted in Başur regions, and is facing strong rejection of the local people in Idlib region. So let’s not let our guards down, and continue strengthening international solidarity.
WOMEN DEFEND ROJAVA
In August, a new international campaign was launched, called Women Defend Rojava.
“Kongra Star and the women of North and East Syria call out to you to stand with us and take action in defense of our land and worldwide revolutionary values. We announce the campaign Women Defend Rojava. The Rojava revolution and the system of democratic self-administration in North and East Syria has become a source of hope for people seeking freedom and justice. Because of this, forces of the nation state and capitalist modernity are threatened and responding with violence.”
You can find the full announcement in “Call out: Women Defend Rojava”
What you can do:
- Use our logo and #WomenDefendRojava
- Show our campaign video online and at events
- Send statements and share your solidarity messages and photos with us
- Write to representatives or institutions to take action against Turkey’s war on Rojava and for the recognition of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria.
- Spread our call and our resources
- Organise and educate about the revolution- check out our homepage for material and links
- Take direct action against the fascist threats!
The campaign was launched through a successful “Twitter storm”, and was actively present throughout the International Days of Action. Articles, interview and exclusive content is already to be found on their website and social media.
MAKE ROJAVA GREEN AGAIN
The fundraising campaign From Ashes We Rose – support Rojava’s farmers! is now over with more than 5000 euros collected out of the expected 10 000 euros. This money will go directly to the farmers through the local agricultural department of the self-administration of Rojava.
In August, MRGA continued its participation in the Fridays For Future demonstrations, and participated in the campaign against the flooding of Hasankeyf town. We also shared on the website the statement of the Mesopotamia Ecology Movement, to stop enforced administrators in Kurdish municipalities.
MRGA was very active in the International Days of Action, with presence at the Disarm Rheinmetall camp in Germany, in the demonstration to Save Hasankeyf by stopping the construction of the Ilisu dam by the Andritz company from Switzerland, and shedding light upon Mercedes’ arms business with Turkey, in an effort to bring together the anti-war and climate movements.
Coming up is the General Strike on 20th and 27th of September, in the frame of the Global Week for Future, we hope to see you there !
We still need your support!
Our goal as an Internationalist Commune and as Make Rojava Green Again is to finance our work here ourselves, and not to use the important financial means of the society in Rojava. For this we need support!
And we would like to thank all those who contribute with their donations, knowledge and translations to the success of the Internationalist Work in Rojava.
Internationalist Commune of Rojava, Women Defend Rojava and Make Rojava Green Again
September 11th, 2019