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Feb 10, 18

Global Solidarity with Afrin from Mexico and Beyond


In Afrin, in northern Syria, more than 70 Turkish army aircraft are bombing villages and people.

Afrin is not a place most people are familiar with. But perhaps many have heard that a war is being fought in Syria. For seven years, in this corner of the world the global superpowers, such as the United States and Russia with their respective allies, are playing chess with the resources and lives of the inhabitants of these ancient territories. Hundreds of thousands of dead, many more displaced, and the consequences of all-out war: smoking debris, massive rapes, crying children, bodies torn apart, dust and ruins.

Nonetheless, since July 2012, a flower of rebellion has sprouted up in the midst of this desert of destruction caused by superpowers. In northern Syria, a region mostly populated by Kurds, an extensive revolution began: the lands were collectivized, political power passed from the racist Assad regime to a system of assemblies of residents of all ethnicities; the full political participation of women in public affairs was encouraged, polygamy was abolished, divorce was approved and the “Mala Jin” – Women’s Houses – were created; neighborhood meetings were set up to resolve conflicts and special popular courts to combat gender violence; different self-defense bodies have been armed and are under the control of local assemblies; and, finally, they are implementing small scale, self-sufficient and sustainable cooperatives and production projects.

This experiment of stateless socialism from below has a name, coined by the leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Abdullah Öcalan (held for the last 19 years in a Turkish prison), and it is called Democratic Confederalism, the federation of autonomous communities where, in the case of northern Syria, communities of different ethnicities and religions live together in constant dialogue: Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen, Chechens, Yazidis, Sunnis, Shiites, Christians, etc. Today, more than three million people live in this democratic system anchored in some 4,000 local assembles.

This revolution has suffered constant harassment and attacks by other armed actors in the Syrian conflict: the Assad regime on one side and the Free Syrian Army on the other, Salafist paramilitary groups, the Turkish army, and above all, the Islamic State. Against this last one the heroic People’s Protection Unit (YPG) and the Women’s Protection Unit (YPJ) won a historic battle for humanity: from the liberation of the city of Kobane in January 2015, until the liberation of the city of Raqqa in October 2017, they have inflicted a hard blow on the largest terrorist organization in the world that has spilled so much blood all over the planet. It was these revolutionary militias, and not these well-equipped armies of the Western powers, that brought the Islamic State to its knees.

Afrin is all this and more: it’s a precious place surrounded by centuries-old olives trees under whose shadow the different peoples work and live; languages and beliefs so diverse but already organized in this fraternal system of assemblies. A laboratory of peaceful and anti-capitalist coexistence too dangerous for the Middle East in the eyes of all the powers (and religious sects) that benefit from prolonged war and continual plunder. Thus, with the agreed-upon silence of Russia and the United States, the Islamic-fascist government of Turkey, headed by the detested Tayyip Erdogan, is at this moment bombing and invading this free and autonomous territory. Once again debris, bombs, smoke, mourning and wailing. We know that hope will not be extinguished, as once again the peoples together with the YPG/YPJ will defend house by house, meter by meter, the hard-won collective freedoms.

However, we are outraged by the complicit silence of the international community that allows a NATO member, which is Turkey, to take dozens of planes beyond its national borders and open fire on a civilian population that is actually fight against fascism and Islamic terrorism.

From the depths of Mexico and other rebel geographies, the signatory organizations repudiate this war of extermination by the Turkish state, backed by Russia and the United States, against the Kurdish people and their desire for freedom. We declare ourselves sisters and brothers of the fighting peoples of Syria, in solidarity with their committees, cooperatives, women’s organizations, autonomous schools and to all the efforts of the peoples of Afrin who at this moment are suffering the bombs of neoliberal fascism and the attacks of the paramilitary Salafi gangs.

The struggle of the peoples of northern Syria and Kurdistan is the struggle of all of us: one of a world where many worlds fit. That’s why we shout: Afrin is not far away! Afrin is by our side, below and to the left! Soldiers and paramilitaries out of our autonomous spaces!

#DefenderAfrin #SolidaridadGlobal #ResistenciaGlobal

For global complicity in the resistance:

United Knot (Nodo Solidale) – Italy and Mexico
Raúl Zibechi – Uruguay
Weaving Autonomy: Internationalist Platform for Resistance and Self-Management (PIRATA) – Europe
Indian Organizations for Human Rights in Oaxaca (OIDHO) – Mexico
Committee for the Defense of Indigenous Rights (CODEDI) – Mexico
Magonist Autonomous Collective (CAMA) – Mexico
National Network of Civil Resistance – Mexico
Elisa Martínez Women’s Support Street Brigade – Mexico
Articulation Process of the Sierra of Santa Marta – Veracruz, Mexico
Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory – Mexico
Radio Ñomndaa 100.10 FM The Word of Water – Suljaa’, Guerrero, Mexico
Guarani Yvyrupa Commission – Brazil
Blog – Italy

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