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The following statement and video from the Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement (RAM) is in solidarity with the ongoing struggle to defend Afrin and the revolutionary cantons of Rojava from the Turkish State. For more information, check out our podcast interview here.
In Rojava, now called The Democratic Federation of Northern Syria, people are facing the fight of their lives. The fascist Turkish state began a full onslaught into Afrin Canton on January 20, with the intention of occupying Northern Syria, destroying the Kurdish resistance, re-populating it with sympathizers, and, importantly, wiping out the autonomous self-governance and the revolutionary developments of the region. Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement – NYC, Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement Chicago and North American Kurdish Alliance – NAKA held coordinated solidarity actions this week. In Chicago there was a demonstration and RAM-NYC made this video to send support to those fighting.
The forces of Rojava have been built on the principles of Democratic Confederalism: putting into practice localized self-governance and practical feminism. The people of Afrin itself are notably from multiple backgrounds, and have been building a society of people from many different backgrounds living comfortably side-by-side. In full recognition of the horrors of the capitalist nation-state, and the fascist tendencies it perpetuates, this society stands in direct opposition to Erdogan and the nationalist / imperialist fervor he has stoked. His supporters are epitomized by a Islamic nationalists and fundamentalists, fascist and racist groups such as the Grey Wolves, as well as the far right militias he has supported: from Al Qaeda to ISIS. Hence, this is a battle of liberatory forces against fascism. In their fight against fascism and imperialism, women have been particular targets of these violently patriarchal groups, as female fighters have been slain, raped, their bodies mutilated, denuded and exhibited.
Turkey and its allies have been attacking Afrin Canton from many sides while aerial bombing its civilian population. The YPG and YPJ have launched a fierce defense, and their bravery and fortitude have manifested in successes against a superior military. Turkey has barely made a dent in the Canton, and their tanks are being destroyed one by one.
However, it must be remembered that YPG and YPJ are fighting against the second largest army in the NATO. This is why these successes are dependent on international support. Powerful nation-states look at Rojava as a field to be exploited for their own dirty games. Their support for Rojava is dependent on their own imperialistic benefit, and certainly would undermine the revolutionary practices in the region. It is therefore crucial to make their resistance visible and to create a public force to push these states to stop the attack or to stop aiding it. The people of Rojava are not relying on the support of nation-states – they are relying on the support of their fellow revolutionaries all around the world.
Revolutionary groups must support Rojava in acts of true solidarity and comradeship. As such a group we position ourselves as comrades in struggle. International connections born from participation in Rojava has laid the groundwork for the borderless struggle of our day, and potentially an international movement. In particular, we are responding to the call from the women of Afrin, who have called their sisters in struggle to rise up against fascist state violence and femicide, to show feminist solidarity, and to defend the Women’s Revolution.
As fighters on the ground have repeatedly expressed, they will fight the Turkish state until their last drop of blood. We stand side by side with them in this fight of their lives, against fascism, and for the revolutionary beginnings that Rojava has inspired.
Afrin is where fascism will be defeated and our international revolution will bloom!
Women! Life! Freedom!