Thank you to everyone who took part in the Global Rally for Kobane on 1st November – now World Kobane Day. It is the second year in a row that thousands of people in dozens of countries have raised their voices for Kobane, which still suffers the consequences of a brutal 6 month ISIS siege which caught the conscience of many across the world. This time, over 400 separate actions took place in over 25 countries as far apart as India and Brazil, Denmark and Australia, Venezuela and Afghanistan, all calling for people and governments to support the reconstruction of Kobane and the lifting of the blockade. Demonstrations also took place in Rojava. Once again, it was a remarkable demonstration of solidarity and the spirit of internationalism. We send our thanks and solidarity to all those who took part and hope that collective efforts will lead to freedom and a new future for Kobane – and Rojava.
Here is why the Kobane Reconstruction Board made the call for the Rally. Months after the worst of the siege, humanitarian aid is still being blocked from entering the city and people are in urgent need of basic medical supplies, food, and clothing.
In Kobane and throughout Rojava, a new society is being developed by the people from the ground up. In a sense, this is radical peace building in which statism, capitalism, nationalism, misogyny and racism, as well as the social fractures they cause, are being built out of the fabric of society. To do that, a new physical and material space must be constructed too – from ecologically-constructed schools and cooperative factories to villages for women survivors of domestic violence. In addition, much of the dangerous work of rubble-clearing, mine-clearing and refugee support is being done by citizens of Kobane with no outside help. We demand the opening of a humanitarian corridor so all the urgently needed materials can get through.
WHAT DID WE DO?
Signed the call: Hundreds of academics, MPs, journalists, lawyers, activists and unionists signed the urgent call for action below, such as Prof. Noam Chomsky, Palestinian singer Reem Kelani and Dr. Binayak Sen. You can download the appeal with the full list of signatories here (pdf).
Actions on 1st November: In London, hundreds of people came out to march through Haringey to the Kurdish Community Centre , where activists gave messages in solidarity with the YPJ and YPG and the people of Kobane and Rojava who are fighting for a new democratic society in the most difficult of circumstances. Long time supporters like unionist and professor Mary Davis, Father Joe Ryan of the Westminster Diocese Justice Commission, Trevor Rayne of the Revolutionary Communist Group, and Zaher Baher of Rojava Solidarity were among the speakers.
Hundreds of artworks and posters were created: To publicise the rally and in response to a call from the Kobane Reconstruction Board, hundreds of posters and graphics flooded social media. Here is just a selection: