RiseUp4Rojava sends a strong message of international solidarity!
Over 40 actions from more than 16 countries!
On 6 & 7 of September, the International Days of Action of the Riseup4Rojava campaign took place under the motto “Block. Occupy. Disrupt”. In Italy, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Great Britain and Catalonia, various actions were made against arms companies, financial institutions and other war profit-makers, who support the fascist Turkish state with its occupation plans in Kurdistan by supplying weapons or investments. In addition there were demonstrations, rallies and solidarity messages worldwide with Rojava and against the fascist politics of Turkey.
Simultaneously, the Women Defend Rojava campaign joined and strengthened the call for the International Days of Action as the women’s solidarity with the Rojava revolution was very present throughout the weekend, and constituted another front against Turkish fascism, in confronting the international patriarchal system, its mentality and how it connects to war.
We can also mention the Make Rojava Green Again campaign that was active throughout the weekend, making connections between the capitalist system and both climate destruction and war.
Decisive actions against arms companies, financial institutions and war profit-makers
In Brescia, northern Italy, information was shared on various actors of the imperialist war machine. On Friday, the responsibility of UniCredit Bank and the arms company Leonardo was highlighted with an art event. With artificial blood, body bags and flyers it was made clear what role both companies have in the death and suffering of countless people. The arms company Leonardo is involved in the production of the Turkish attack helicopter ATAK. As Italy’s largest bank, UniCredit earns money not only through numerous investments in the Turkish economy, but is also directly involved in financing various weapons producers through loans, bonds and funds. The inglorious role played by UniCredit has also been highlighted in Sicily. Activists blocked the bank’s branch there on Saturday and then marched through the city with banners and slogans. In Brescia on Saturday the NATO base there was blocked for several hours. The protesters marched against the murderous, imperialist and terrorist policies of NATO & Turkey.
At the same time there were blockades in northern Germany and London that prevented warlords to do their bloody business. In Unterlüß, Germany, the #Rheinmetall disarmament camp blocked access to the Rheinmetall factory for almost 10 hours. More than 300 people, who had been protesting against Rheinmetall for days, gathered early in the morning at the entrances of the factory and thus managed to keep the employees from reaching their workplace. Rheinmetall had to interrupt the production of murderous weapons for one day. Among other things, the demonstrators drew attention to Rheinmetall’s important role in the production of the Leopard 2 tank, which was used by Turkey in Afrin to expel and murder the people living there. There were also protests against war profit-makers in Munich. With the slogan “For climate protection and peace”, protests were held against Daimler, whose car production not only plays a huge part in the climate crisis, but also supplies military transport vehicles to Turkey.
In London, numerous people blocked the site of the DSEI, the world’s largest weapons fair. The biennial fair is the largest of its kind. Thousands of companies from all over the world meet there to sell their deadly products to as many countries and companies as possible. The fair is sponsored not only by the largest companies in the industry, but also by governments. Besides Great Britain, Turkey is also one of the largest financiers of the fair. The blockers managed to block the access to the exhibition grounds for two days and delayed the construction of the exhibition considerably.
Activists from Catalonia also took part in the action days. In Prats de Lluçanès, a community in the Osona Comarca, activists expropriated a CaixaBank farm and dedicated their action to the Rojava revolution. In Barcelona, demonstrations were made against the Spanish company Indra, which produces information technology for weapon systems. Under the motto “war to war”, the demonstration marched through the inner city to the headquarters of the arms company.
Rheinmetall also attracted attention in Switzerland. Flyers, posters and fireworks provided information about the reality of the war supported by Rheinmetall. Demonstrations were held in Zurich against the weapons company RUAG and in Luzern against Andritz. Andritz earns money from the Ilısu dam, a dam project that would not only have devastating ecological consequences, but would also erase part of mankind’s memory. The resulting reservoir would flood important archaeological sites such as Hasankeyf and drastically exacerbate the water shortage in northern Syria and Iraq.
In Sweden, educational campaigns for the population and the employees of the SCANIA and SAAB companies were carried out in three cities in order to inform about their involvement in the Turkish offensive. In Stockholm, Malmö and Helsingborg, flyers were distributed and posters and banners drew attention on the responsibility of the companies. In cooperation with Turkish companies, SCANIA produces a transporter for tanks and engines for infantry vehicles. SAAB supports Turkey in the development of a new fighter aircraft and missile system.
Further actions took place worldwide. From Argentina to Rojava, from Finland to the Czech Republic, from Greece to Brazil to Australia, people all over the world showed their solidarity with the people of Rojava. There were further demonstrations and demonstrations in Bari, Athens, Basel, Madrid and Cologne, as well as actions in Indiana, Rojava, Krakow, Finland, Fortaleza-Ceará, Rio de Janeiro, Argentina, Perth, Ioannina, Volos, Bilbao, Durango, Gothenburg, Oslo, Geneva, Milan, Cremona, Rome and Florence. We have counted over 48 actions in 16 countries.
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.