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Dec 30, 20

Surgery Funds Needed for Returning Rojava Internationalist

The Chicago Committee for Solidarity with Kurdistan and Rojava (CCSKR) is helping Autumn raise $10,000 for surgery for injuries received in Rojava, as well as a tooth extraction she now needs.

Please donate to Autumn through this fundraiser page https://chuffed.org/project/autumn-surgery-fundraiser

You may also donate directly through:

Please use the note “To Autumn From [name].” This name can be “Anonymous,” a real name, or a pseudonym. You can donate to Venmo without knowing the recipient phone number.

Here is Autumn’s Story:

I’m a trans woman who was active in Zapatista activism in Mexico for many years before going to Syria to support the women’s revolution and to join the YPJ.

The YPJ, or the Women’s Defense Units, is an all-female militia under the umbrella of the Syrian Democratic Forces, which defends the Rojava Revolution, and the Kurdish Women’s Liberation Movement.

I was injured after 6 months. The injury requires a complex surgery to correct. It causes me chronic nerve pain.

To return home I was sent back to Iraq. We were caught by the peshmerga when crossing the border, and I spent one month in the prison for ISIS in Erbil, Iraq.

I was involuntarily repatriated to the United States as part of my release from prison. This process costed almost $4,000, eliminating my savings. I haven’t lived in the United States for nearly a decade and need to return home.

I still need surgery to correct the injury that I sustained in Syria. It leaves me in constant pain. This fundraiser is for the money that is needed for the surgery.”

In the Rojava revolution women take up arms and take on roles previously reserved for men. Often, people reserve the status of “real” pain or trauma for “sufficiently manly” injuries: battle wounds, bullet holes, shrapnel. In the West, this rhetoric is a popular refrain of anti-feminists for belittling the needs of survivors of things like rape and intimate partner violence. We do not accept this hierarchy of suffering in our anti-patriarchal struggle.

Every international who puts their life on hold and risks their safety to support the revolution has already made great sacrifices by the time they set foot in north-east Syria. Anyone who suffers any injury while they are serving, whether it happens in combat, during training, in a car accident, at the hands of another individual, during transit, or in a medical setting, suffered in the service of the revolution. We should not minimize the suffering and sacrifices of others nor put barriers to the healing and treatment that everyone needs.

We will not require a trans comrade to re-live all her traumas or publish her medical history for all the world to see to prove herself worthy of the means to live a healthy life. Trans and queer people are valued parts of our movements and we treat them with the dignity that everyone deserves. We do not accept disrespectful or dangerous comments speculating on the details of our trans comrades’ bodies or private lives, especially when they have already disclosed intimate details and proof to others.

The CCSKR plans to do an online event with Autumn about Queer Perspectives in the Rojava Revolution.

If you would like to assist Autumn in other ways or have questions, you can reach out to CCSKR via [email protected] or message the CCSKR Facebook.

It is better to assume Autumn doesn’t have the support you want to lend, so offering resources is very helpful for an indeterminate amount of time.

We request for no one to disclose any details concerning any internationalist activities to us because that constitutes a security breach for many people involved.

The Chicago Committee for Solidarity with Kurdistan and Rojava
Chicago, IL, USA
[email protected]

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