Between January 14th and 20th, Demand Utopia made a call to action in partnership with the Internationalist Commune of Rojava titled Operation Watered Sprout. What follows is a report back on that wave of activity.
Our aim was to raise awareness about the inter-linkages between the social and ecological crisis and raise consciousness about the utopian project of Rojava and the alternatives offered by democratic confederalism and social ecology. As the threats of a Turkish invasion of Rojava grew late last year Operation Watered Sprout set strong roots to support the second wave of solidarity actions with Rojava across the world on the 27th and 28th of this month.
— MACC NYC (@macc_nyc) January 29, 2019
As a result of these mobilizations, Demand Utopia has advanced efforts to build meaningful international ties with revolutionary organizations rooted in social ecology, communalism and democratic confederalism. We have built strong regional networks dedicated to solidarity work, created an abundance of educational media and developed several new Demand Utopia organizing groups across the United States. In the coming months, we hope to build off our successes and continue to grow as an organization dedicated to international solidarity and social ecology. Below is a timeline of the various actions and efforts we have conducted over the last month for Operation Watered Sprout and the International Days of Action.
Ahead of Operation Watered Sprout we released Make Rojava Green again hats for sale on our website. All proceeds from the hats go to supporting the ecological restoration efforts the Make Rojava Green Again campaign supported by the Internationalist Commune.
Demand Utopia comrades from the Ikarus Social Space (a social ecology organization in Borneo) took an early solidarity action for Operation Watered Sprout
Members of Demand Utopia presented at the annual Pacific Northwest Social Ecology Retreat. For the event we had members of the Internationalist Commune call in and share about their works in the area. After this, we made a solidarity video featuring members of various organizations in the PNW stating their solidarity with the struggle in Rojava.
Members of Demand Utopia in Ashville North Carolina hosted a well-attended reading group of Make Rojava Green Again. The event was held at the wonderful Firestorm Books space.
Members of Demand Utopia – Santa Cruz organized a reading of Make Rojava Green Again. It was a formative meeting that also led to them gaining new members interested in future organizing around Rojava Solidarity.
JAN 18TH-20TH: YPG SPEAKING TOUR
Between the 18th and the 20th members of Demand Utopia in the Pacific Northwest organized a speaking tour titled “Rojava Revolutionaries Speak”. The events featured former members of the YPG International who had fought on the ground in Rojava. They volunteers shared about their experiences and gave a lot of inspiring insights into the revolution.
Portland had a well-attended event on the 18th. The event featured two international volunteers followed by a video stream presentation from members of the Women Rise for Afrin Campaign who are currently on the ground in Northern Syria.
Olympia had a packed house. Folks watched a short documentary followed by a presentation from a YPG International volunteer.
In Seattle there was also a great turnout. YPG International volunteer Kemal gave a wonderful presentation. You can watch a recording of the whole event below.
JAN. 19 & 20TH
Demand Utopias UK affiliate organization Symbiotic Horizon took action on the 19th holding banners in public areas. The next day they hosted another reading group of Make Rojava Green Again
Demand Utopia mobilized our online networks to signal boost the Women Rise For Afrin’s Twitter storm campaign.
DAYS OF ACTION 27TH AND 28TH
The International Call for days of action in solidarity with Rojava and against the prospect of a Turkish invasion saw solidarity actions across the world. Check out the Internationalist Commune of Rojava’s page for a full look at the world wide scope of these actions. Below we will detail the various actions Demand Utopia had a part in shaping.
In Boston members of Demand Utopia helped organize and initiate a small rally for the day of action.
Symbiotic Horizon participated in and helped organize a RiseUp4Rojava Solidarity Bloc within the large demonstrations happening in the UK in solidarity with the Kurdish struggle.
”In response London Kurdistan Solidarity (part of the Kurdistan Solidarity Network) and Plan C London are calling on all democratic, revolutionary, feminist, ecological and anti-fascist forces to stand in practical solidarity with the Kurdish Freedom Movement – the women’s revolution must be defended! Join the solidarity bloc at this demonstration called by the UK Resistance Committee, on a day of action called by the Internationalist Commune of Rojava, to show that Kurds are not alone – we stand shoulder to shoulder as part of a global resistance, berxwedan jîyan e ✌️“
Demand Utopia Santa Cruz went all out for the day of action. They organized an educational event featuring a video stream from members of the Women Rise for Afrin campaign. The next day they put together a rally to raise awareness about Rojava where members read aloud a written piece by Ocalan. See the visually engaging video below.
In Seattle the newly formed Demand Utopia Seattle cypher sent their revolutionary greetings for the day of action.
Demand Utopia Portland held well attended and visually stunning rally. Participants held signs with the images of martyrs from Rojava and passed out educational literature while engaging in substantive conversations with passerby’s. Later they released a video burning the flag of the fascist Turkish state.
WEST COAST NETWORK
Demand Utopia is happy to support and be an active participant in an emerging informal network of relationships between Rojava Solidarity groups on the west coast. Some of the actions taken by these groups are noted below.
In L.A. members of the Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement – Inland Empire and Anarchist Black Cross held a rally at the Turkish Consulate. The event featured a former American YPG Volunteer.
— RAM – Inland Empire (@RevAbolitionIE) January 28, 2019
In San francisco The California Kurdish Community center, Bay Area Mesopotamin Solidarity, Bay Area Light Brigade and the Emergency Committee for Rojava organized a demonstration condemning the Turkish threats against Rojava and making solidarity statements with Kurdish MP Leyla Guven who is currently on Hunger Strike until the ending of the total isolation policy the Turkish State has against Adullah Ocalan.
— Rojava Solidarity (@Bay_Meso) January 28, 2019
THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES!
All around we had an impressive show of solidarity over the past month. Here in Demand Utopia we will continue pushing for social and ecological revolution wherever we may be. We know that if a revolution is to succeed anywhere it must be international in character. As we continue to grow we hope you will join us in this effort.
For more information about Demand Utopia and our work check out our latest interview with the Coffee and Comrades Podcast where a DU member discusses the origins and philosophy of DU and where solidarity work fits into our larger vision. You can find a link to the podcast here.