The following is a report back from Portland, Oregon about a demonstration held in solidarity with resistance to the Turkish State, which is attempting to destroy the autonomous cantons of Rojava. To learn more about the situation on the ground in Rojava, check out our podcast interview on the subject here.
On February 12th, members of Demand Utopia in Portland Oregon gathered during rush hour traffic to spread a message of solidarity with the Kurdish struggle in Rojava and to raise awareness of the necessity to #DefendAfrin.
For the past 7 years, the people of Northern Syria have been developing a revolutionary society based on a confederation of neighborhood assemblies that embrace feminism, secularism, and radical environmentalism. Heavily influenced by the ideas of Adulah Occalan who in turn was inspired by the praxis of American anarchist and communalist Murray Bookchin and their philosophy of social ecology. The movement in Rojava is currently locked into a life or death struggle against the fascistic Turkish regime. A regime bent on continuing their ethnic cleansing of the Kurdish and the destruction of the revolutionary movement in northern Syria.
The Turkish invasion of Afrin should be a lightning rod of solidarity for anti-authoritarian leftists across the world. Not since Franco’s invasion of Spain in 1936 has there been a more historically important moment for the anti-authoritarian left to take action in defense of our eras most hopeful manifestation of revolutionary potentiality.
We see our liberation infallibly connected to the success of the Rojava revolution. In Portland, we flew the Portland flag. It was created in 1970’s during a time of the “neighborhood revolution” and is intended to reflect the same ethics of social ecology. In this era, Portlander’s rose up against discriminatory and ecologically destructive urban renewal development projects to create a vibrant movement based on ecological resiliency, neighborhood community control, and direct democracy.
Since then, in Portland and cities across the western world, the scourge of gentrification, displacement, police violence and increasing corporate control have again created a wave of disaffection and dis-empowerment. Cities have become alienating urban sprawls, built with the logic of control/counter-insurgency and amusement parks for the rich. We see our only potential for salvation to come from a strategic praxis of democratic confederalism and libertarian municipalism. To offset the increasing power of global capitalism, hierarchy and ecological devastation, as in Rojava, we must build a commune of communes, develop neighborhood assemblies, take power from despotic city bureaucrats, developers, take control of our cities and raise the banner of rebellion against mega-state and capitalist interests in localities across the world!
We have a choice,
To build an ecological society or face global catastrophe!
We must take back the land!
Fight for community controlled everything!
Solidarity with Rojava and the global movement for liberation!