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A call for solidarity: defend Afrin — defend humanity!

category mashriq / arabia / iraq | imperialism / war | opinion / analysis author Montag Januar 29, 2018 06:41author by Dilar Dirik - ROAR Report this post to the editors

In the battle for Afrin, we see the universal dimensions of popular struggles against fascism, dictatorship and death — and for democracy, freedom and justice.
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As I write, the Turkish army is engaged in an illegal cross-border invasion of the Syrian-Kurdish region of Afrin. Claiming to fight “terrorists,” the Turkish state — an EU candidate, ally of the West and second-largest NATO army — launched an act of aggression against the same people who earned the world’s respect for defeating ISIS with their courageous sacrifices and historic resistance. The military campaign includes pro-Erdogan Free Syrian Army (FSA) troops and poses a threat to 800,000 civilians, half of whom are internally displaced people who sought refuge in Afrin from regions like Idlib and Aleppo.

The targeting of Afrin exposes every letter in the ABC of imperialism. The attack could not have been launched without the approval of Russia, which controls the airspace over Afrin, as well as the consent of Iran and Assad. According to officials in Afrin, Russia proposed to protect Afrin in return for handing over control to the Assad regime. But as the offer was rejected, Russia gave green light to Turkey’s invasion.

The United States, meanwhile, which conveniently used the Kurds as “reliable boots on the ground” in Syria for the last years in the international anti-ISIS coalition, stays quiet over their NATO ally’s ambitions to sacrifice the heroes of the ISIS war, merely warning Turkey to “avoid civilian casualties.” European governments, especially Germany, have their own stakes in the game, as mostly European weapons and tanks are used by the Turkish army; weapons in the hands of fascists, which drive millions of people to leave their homes and risk death to become refugees in Europe.

Seven years into the war, Syria is destroyed; ISIS came, killed and left; genocide and massacres have been committed; the region’s demography and ecology have changed; Assad seems to be here to stay. The legitimate demands of all Syrians who took to the streets and risked their lives to call for dignity, freedom and justice against the Assad regime have been betrayed bitterly. Meanwhile, the powerful state actors in the region and beyond seem to have come full circle, as more than half a million people died and around 6 million have been displaced. Activists speak of the Third World War taking place in this region.

It is within this context that Turkey launches its war on Afrin, far exceeding the historical hostility of the Turkish state towards the Kurdish people. The battle symbolizes the two options that the peoples and communities of the Middle East face today: between militarist, patriarchal, fascist dictatorships on the one hand, controlled by foreign imperialist interests and capital, or the solidarity between autonomous, self-determined, free and equal communities on the other. The defense of Afrin is an opportunity for the left to unite against fascism and mobilize against militarism, occupation and war.

WHAT IS AT STAKE

Within the context of the war on ISIS, the same states that are known to have fueled jihadist forces inside Syria — especially Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar — became part of a coalition led by the same powers which invaded the Middle East for imperial interests, committed war crimes in the name of “fighting terrorism,” and thus established the ground on which ISIS would eventually flourish. The forces that represent systems of capitalism, authoritarian statism, religious fundamentalism and in some cases pure fascism, were put in charge of establishing democracy and peace.

Meanwhile, as ISIS captured the attention of the international community, the initial issue of Assad’s dictatorial and bloodthirsty rule was side-lined, as were any notions of a lasting and just peace for Syria. With the entrance of Russia on the Syrian war scene and the role of Iran, the false binary of Sunni-Shiite animosity — a commonly used trope to disable just solutions in the Middle East — was reinforced. Regardless of all the conflicting interests of the involved powers, their common practice was the suppression of meaningful dissent, grassroots resistance and projects for genuine democratic alternatives. On the ground, this led to the mobilization of fascist and sectarian ideologies for which people were willing to die and kill.

By default, any attempts at popular self-determination and self-defense against colonialism and capitalist exploitation would need to be annihilated for this concept to work. That explains all the hostility campaigns towards the liberationist Rojava revolution, including the attempts of big powers such as the US to use Rojava militarily and try to empty its politics of its revolutionary principles. Taking advantage of the contradictions emerging within the imperialist power games, the Kurds, trying to stay true to revolutionary ideals while being literally surrounded by fire and in temporary tactical alliances with some actors, have constantly been accused of being puppets of imperialism in their attempt to establish radical democratic systems of self-governance, while defending millions of lives from certain death by ISIS fascists.

Sadly, the sectarian and dogmatic sections of the international left were unable to read these emancipatory politics and act accordingly, allowing imperialism to go ahead by refusing to extend vital solidarity to the Kurds when it was most needed. There is still time to correct this mistake.

RESISTANCE OR FASCISM

Only a few months after the largely Kurdish Women’s Defense Units (YPJ) announced the liberation of ISIS’s capital of Raqqa, where thousands of women had been held as sex slaves for years, outright religious fundamentalists under Erdogan’s command now chant fanatic slogans accompanied by bizarre neo-Ottoman folkloric war rituals upon crossing into Syria. The secular, nationalist sections of Turkish politics, which like to think of themselves as “modern,” also cheer-lead the operation with glorifications of fascistic militarism.

Although jihadist groups like ISIS and al Qaeda affiliates have been beheading, crucifying, gang-raping and burning alive innocent people for years at the Syrian-Turkish border, the Erdogan administration did not seem too concerned about “terrorism at its borders” then. Efforts to expose the military, logistic and political Turkish support for ISIS have met deaf ears, even when Erdogan could barely disguise his excitement over the possible fall of the Syrian-Kurdish town of Kobane to the hands of ISIS in 2014.

Once again it is clear that the women’s liberationist, multi-ethnic grassroots democratic experiment of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria, which started with the Rojava revolution in 2012, is a far greater threat to Turkish interests than any reactionary force of rapist murderers. In other words, the Turkish state under Erdogan is trying to finish what their accomplice ISIS did not manage: to annihilate the legitimate aspirations for self-determination of the Kurdish people, and with that the possibility of an alternative Middle East based on solidarity, justice and freedom.

Half a week into the operation, spectacularly named “Operation Olive Branch,” the Turkish state has already committed civilian massacres. In Turkish media, this violation of international law is called a war for “democracy, fraternity, and peace.” The doublespeak of the “war on terror,” started by the Bush administration in the US, is being employed to fool Turkish society and the world into thinking that this operation is necessary to protect Turkish citizens from terrorist attacks and to defend national sovereignty.

In reality, the invasion is led by the same state that has imprisoned children, community activists, legally elected MPs and mayors, journalists, lawyers, teachers, peace ambassadors, human rights activists, women’s rights defenders and academics for demanding peace, not war. Facts are being twisted, international law suspended. A truly historic crime is being committed in front of the eyes of the world.

SHOULDER TO SHOULDER WITH AFRIN

The Kurdish saying “we have no friends but the mountains” is often repeated when referring to the countless massacres, injustices and betrayals that the people of Kurdistan have experienced throughout their history. Stretching over four of the most important countries of the Middle East — Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria — and constantly threatened with genocidal attacks from all sides, this expression resonates with lived experience more than it should.

The saying reflects why the Kurds — or anyone for that matter — can never trust states to back their desires for freedom and justice. The recent tactical cooperation with Russia and the US in Syria have been exposed in today’s Turkish assaults on Afrin as nothing more than imperial power games, with both major powers known to be willing to sacrifice the lives of millions of civilians in order to safeguard their wider geopolitical interests. The Kurdish freedom movement acted in awareness of this, and that is precisely why, at the moment of betrayal, their autonomous structures based on self-organization do not dissolve but prevail. The ordinary population of Afrin, with the consciousness and experience of self-organization acquired over years, is today ready to defend itself against any attacks and occupations.

It is now clear that the peoples of the Middle East can only rely on their self-sustained efforts at mobilizing popular power and international solidarity and comradeship. All over the world, Kurdish activists have once again occupied the streets to protest the international war on their freedom struggle. The massive months-long uprising across Kurdistan and beyond played a decisive role for the eventual victory of Kobane in January 2015. The demands of the current solidarity protests do not only concern the end of military attacks, but also the ceasing of arms trade with Turkey and calls to start genuine peace processes in both Turkey and Syria.

In the spirit of Kobane, it is crucial to mobilize solidarity quickly and massively again today for Afrin. We can never rely on states to take the lead in bringing about justice. Ordinary people, the oppressed, the resisting, freedom-loving people and communities of the world must be each other’s comrades. Just like hundreds of thousands of people from Argentina to Afghanistan to South Africa joined our rallies, occupations and protests in 2014 for the defense of Kobane from ISIS fascism, the Kurdish freedom movement and all democratic, progressive forces in Syria in particular — and in the Middle East more generally — rely on the power of international solidarity in this historic hour.

In the battle for Afrin, it is possible to see the universal dimensions of popular struggles against fascism, dictatorship and death — and for democracy, for freedom, for justice. Afrin’s future symbolizes the fate of a region that has been denied a life in dignity for too long.

It is therefore not an exaggeration to say that Afrin embodies the defense of humanity today. This is what the war against fascism looks like in twenty-first century Mesopotamia.

We must stand shoulder to shoulder and defend Afrin against fascism!

No pasaran!

Verwandter Link: https://roarmag.org/essays/call-solidarity-defend-afrin...nity/
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Rojava: Mensaje urgente de un compañero anarquista en Afrin

Mashriq / Arabia / Iraq | Imperialism / War | en

Mo 28 Mai, 12:27

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turkeyinvadesafrin_jan2018_1.jpg imageSolidarity for Afrin and Rojava against the Turkey State 23:58 Di 30 Jan by KAF 1 comments

No to war, No to dictators and States, No to corporations, No to religions, No to nationalism!

Dear Anarchist Comrades wherever you are,
We, anarchists stress that we are against war, against military attacks and militias. We are strongly against killing civilians and launching attacks against villages, towns and cities killing innocent people discriminating and destroying their places.

df0c1da5b22e4a8fbe74d256ebb68e2a.jpg imageStates at War with Peoples will Lose 09:23 Mi 24 Jan by Devrimci Anarşist Faaliyet 0 comments

Afrin belongs to the peoples of Afrin. Peoples living in Afrin were born in these lands and died in these lands. Living there is not related to any plans or programs. They are not in Afrin as part of a strategy. Afrin, for them is water, bread, food, play, stories, friends, mates, lovers, streets, homes, neighborhoods. But for the state, it is only a strategy. A strategy that does not care about Afrin or the peoples of Afrin. [Türkçe] [Castellano] [Ελληνικά] [Français] [Italiano]

gal_14771.jpg imageThe Turkish army is attacking Yezîdî Kurds and Rojava villages 20:09 Di 25 Apr by KNK 1 comments

According to the latest information, 26 Turkish warplanes attacked Amûd and Geliyê Kersê of Şengal/Sinjar. The bombardment is still going on. It has been learned that prior to the aerial operation, communication networks had been completely cut in Dêrik and its surrounding areas.

150122_842113389166036_7294858716189015531_n.jpg imageVictory to the Rojava Revolution! 20:52 Sa 25 Okt by Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group 0 comments

Leaflet distributed today at a rally and march in Melbourne in solidarity to the Kurdish struggle.

rojava_1.png imageInternational Libertarian-Socialist Statement in Solidarity with the Kurdish Resistance 06:36 So 19 Okt by Johnny 2 comments

For some years now the Kurdish movement has been moving in the direction of libertarian ideas. While not an anarchist movement, this move is a sign that anarchist ideas of freedom and equality through solidarity, our ideas of horizontality and radical direct democracy and our radical critique against the State are not only valid and strong, but are also necessary for movements in order to break away from the authoritarian legacy within the left. It is our duty to express our solidarity with Rojava and the Kurdish movement, because they represent hope in this region and because they are the oppressed fighting the oppressors. Real struggles are never perfect but they carry diverse degrees of potential to being about a free society. Expressing our solidarity with the revolutionary movement in Rojava means we understand our role is to continue developing the core tenets of our ideas in order to inspire revolutions and revolutionaries all over the world. - Anarkismo.net Editorial Group [Italiano] [Ελληνικά] [Castellano] [Français]

daf_in_koban_10.jpg imageRevolution will win in Kobanê! 16:41 Do 09 Okt by DAF 0 comments

It’s the 24th day of ISIS attacks on Kobanê. While people’s defending forces in all border villages are on human shield sentry for Kobanê against attacks, everyone, everywhere in the region we live, rised up not to let Kobanê fall. [Français] [Italiano]

anarchist_womendafkobane.jpg imageLatest news from Kobanê 21:35 Sa 04 Okt by DAF 3 comments

The Turkish state that is preparing to interfere to avoid the ISIS danger, is at the same time neglecting the offensive made by ISIS supporters within its borders, showing its politics of hypocrisy. [Italiano]

daf_in_kobane_3.jpg imageTurkish anarchists in Syria to support Kurdish people 16:37 Sa 27 Sep by Workers Solidarity Movement 5 comments

Istanbul anarchists along other leftists, feminists, and 'Gezi park types' have managed to cross over into Syria and the northern town of Kobane which is currently threatened by ISIS. [italiano]

daf_in_kobane.jpg imageIn Shingal, Kobane and all Rojava, ISIS is Dehak and the people are Kawa 21:35 Fr 26 Sep by Devrimci Anarşist Faaliyet 0 comments

In Kurdistan, people are fighting against ISIS, “the procreated violence” given birth by capitalism and the states that start wars for their own benefits. ISIS, subcontractor of the states that pursue income strategies on the region, is attacking people while yelling “islamic state!” and “holy war, jihad!”. People are suffering from hunger and thirst, getting ill, getting injured; migrating ad dying. They are still fighting in that struggle for existence. People are fighting not for the schemes and strategies around meeting tables, not for income, but for their freedom.

textPalestine-Israel: The joint struggle confront the transfer efforts of the Israeli settler colonialis... 16:49 So 21 Sep by Ilan S. 0 comments

Though Israel failed in its last open assault on the Gaza Strip, it still succeed in its transfer efforts. The drowning of a refugee ship with 450 mainly Gaza people reflect the partial success of Israel transfer efforts that for the never ended efforts since 1948. The siege on Gaza join the pressure on both Palestinians within the 1948 borders and that of the 1967. The big masses were driven out during the 1948 and 1967 wars, but efforts continued with all means possible. Some expelled by force some were moved within the border as pressure to "voluntary transfer". Within the 1967 borders, the Israeli efforts are targeted on the villages and Bedouins living in area C where the joint struggle to resist it is mainly focused in the South of Hebron Hills. And the joint struggle in Arkib, Dahamsh (1948 borders), and Bil'in, Ma'asara, Nabi Saleh, Ni'ilin, Qaddum, Sheikh Jarah (East Jerusalem) continue "as usual". [Italiano]

more >>

imageAfrin and the Policies of the Democratic Union Party Apr 04 by Zaher Baher 0 comments

This article talks about Afrin and stress on the wrong polices of the Peoples’ Democratic Party , PYD. In falling Afrin the PYD should take some responsibility. It also remind us what lessons we can take and stresses on the reasons as to why we should not trust the political parties in building the Democratic Confederalism .

imageThe geopolitics of the Kurds and the case of Rojava Jan 29 by Ercan Ayboga 0 comments

How does the military cooperation of the Kurds in Rojava and Northern Syria with the US, Russia and other forces affect their standing in the larger Syrian context? [Note of Anarkismo -This article was written before the current Turkish invasion to Rojava]

imageIn retaking Mosul YPG/J and the Guerrillas must be aware of the hidden agenda Aug 04 by Zaher Baher 1 comments

This article is about retaking the city of Mosul that has been under control of Isis since 09/06/2014. At the moment the Iraqi government is in talk with KRG and US forces about making plan to liberate it. In my opinion this will be one of the bloodiest battle that could happen in Iraq since 2003 after the invasion. I believe there is a hidden agenda, when Isis is defeated, it will try to run away. The liberator forces may push them to withdraw towards Jazeea in Rojava. So it is necessary for YPG/J and the Guerrillas to change their tactic.

imageNATO against the Kurds: The battle for A’zaz Feb 24 by José Antonio Gutiérrez D. 5 comments

NATO, represented by the Turkish State, for the last two days has been bombing the Kurdish militias of the YPG that had advanced to the north of Aleppo towards the cities of A'zaz and Such Rifaat. The bombings, which have killed at least 23 civilians, are concentrated around the military airbase of Menagh, conquered in 2013 by a coalition of “rebels”, including Al - Qaeda (Al- Nusra Front) and others that later would end up as the Islamic State. That is a key point to supply the “rebellion,” which serves the petro-theocracy and the interests of the USA and the EU. Ahmet Davutoğlu said that he has informed the vice-president of the USA Joe Biden about the bombings. Although Biden has not publicly approved Turkey’s military intervention, he has neither condemned it nor taken any action to restrain the Turkish State, which would never act without the absolute certainty that the U.S. would end up supporting them. [Castellano] [Català] [Italiano]

imageKobane’s Second Phase: Resistance and Necessities Mär 04 by KAF 3 comments

After 134 days of fierce resisting and defending. The women, men and their combatants with the support and solidarity from millions of people around the world had finally defeated the vicious attack from ISIS and liberated their town Kobane. This was not just a defeat for ISIS and it’s dream to establish an Islamic Kelifat. But it had also destroyed the ISIS’s ally the current Turkish government’s dream to resurrect a Neu-othman empire.

The attack on Kobane was a proxy war launched by ISIS on behalf of the regional regimes and others against the bravery people in Kobane and the Democratic Self administration (DSA). [Italiano] [Français]

more >>

imageSolidarity for Afrin and Rojava against the Turkey State Jan 30 Kurdish-speaking anarchist forum 1 comments

No to war, No to dictators and States, No to corporations, No to religions, No to nationalism!

Dear Anarchist Comrades wherever you are,
We, anarchists stress that we are against war, against military attacks and militias. We are strongly against killing civilians and launching attacks against villages, towns and cities killing innocent people discriminating and destroying their places.

imageStates at War with Peoples will Lose Jan 24 DAF 0 comments

Afrin belongs to the peoples of Afrin. Peoples living in Afrin were born in these lands and died in these lands. Living there is not related to any plans or programs. They are not in Afrin as part of a strategy. Afrin, for them is water, bread, food, play, stories, friends, mates, lovers, streets, homes, neighborhoods. But for the state, it is only a strategy. A strategy that does not care about Afrin or the peoples of Afrin. [Türkçe] [Castellano] [Ελληνικά] [Français] [Italiano]

imageVictory to the Rojava Revolution! Okt 25 Anarkismo 0 comments

Leaflet distributed today at a rally and march in Melbourne in solidarity to the Kurdish struggle.

imageInternational Libertarian-Socialist Statement in Solidarity with the Kurdish Resistance Okt 19 2 comments

For some years now the Kurdish movement has been moving in the direction of libertarian ideas. While not an anarchist movement, this move is a sign that anarchist ideas of freedom and equality through solidarity, our ideas of horizontality and radical direct democracy and our radical critique against the State are not only valid and strong, but are also necessary for movements in order to break away from the authoritarian legacy within the left. It is our duty to express our solidarity with Rojava and the Kurdish movement, because they represent hope in this region and because they are the oppressed fighting the oppressors. Real struggles are never perfect but they carry diverse degrees of potential to being about a free society. Expressing our solidarity with the revolutionary movement in Rojava means we understand our role is to continue developing the core tenets of our ideas in order to inspire revolutions and revolutionaries all over the world. - Anarkismo.net Editorial Group [Italiano] [Ελληνικά] [Castellano] [Français]

imageIn Shingal, Kobane and all Rojava, ISIS is Dehak and the people are Kawa Sep 26 DAF - Revolutionary Anarchist Action 0 comments

In Kurdistan, people are fighting against ISIS, “the procreated violence” given birth by capitalism and the states that start wars for their own benefits. ISIS, subcontractor of the states that pursue income strategies on the region, is attacking people while yelling “islamic state!” and “holy war, jihad!”. People are suffering from hunger and thirst, getting ill, getting injured; migrating ad dying. They are still fighting in that struggle for existence. People are fighting not for the schemes and strategies around meeting tables, not for income, but for their freedom.

more >>
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