20 April 2020|Thomas Jeffrey Miley
The Rojava revolution faces great challenges going forward. But the revolutionary forces have already made history. Their democratic confederal project – with its emphasis on direct democracy against the state, multicultural accommodation, gender emancipation, and social ecology – has inspired people across the globe. In a time when the very future of humanity, and of life on the planet, are under unprecedented threat, the revolutionary experiment in Rojava stands out as a valiant attempt, in the midst of a still-unfolding catastrophe, to construct a radical democratic alternative to spiralling violence and tyranny.
Thomas Jeffrey Miley is a Lecturer of Political Sociology at the University of Cambridge, and a member of the executive committee of the European Union Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC). He is co-editor, with Federico Venturini, of Your Freedom and Mine: Abdullah Ocalan and the Kurdish Question in Erdogan’s Turkey (Montreal: Black Rose Books, 2018).
The umbrella organisation of women called upon the UN to perform the role that they refused to play since the beginning of the crisis in Syria and to not sacrifice the destiny of the peoples for commercial deals.
Kongra Star Coordination wrote an open letter to the non-governmental organisations accredited to the United Nations on the Turkish genocidal campaign that seeks to invade North and East Syria and focuses on displacing the local population through an ethnic cleansing and changing the demography of the region.
The umbrella organisation of women living in North-Eastern Syria and Rojava criticised the United Nations and called for immediate action to stop the Turkish offensive.
The open letter reads as follows: Continue reading “Kongra Star urges UN to play its role against Turkish invasion”
(VIDEO) A New Song Celebrating the Rojava Revolution
31 October 2019|Peace in Kurdistan
Political satirist and musician Dave Lippman composed this song in solidarity with the revolution in Rojava (North East Syria).
Turkey’s armed forces are massed along the border with north-east Syria awaiting the order to invade. President Erdogan intends to use military force to establish a so-called ‘safe-zone’ 30km deep and 480km long (19 miles by 300 miles) inside Syria, on land that is home to over three-quarters of a million mainly Kurdish people. These people are to be killed or evicted from their towns and villages and replaced with over one million of the 3.5 million Syrian refugees living in Turkey. Such a plan, if carried out, will result in enormous violence and will drive the Middle East deeper into chaos and destruction. President Erdogan and his AKP-MHP government are a danger to us all.
Following a telephone conversation between US President Trump and Erdogan on 6 October the White House issued this statement: ‘Turkey will soon be moving forward with it long- planned operation in Northern Syria. The United States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operations, and United States’ forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial “Caliphate”, will no longer be in the immediate area.’ President Erdogan understood that this was the signal from the US that he had asked for and long been preparing for, saying on 7 October: ‘We made a decision. We said, “One night we could come suddenly”. We continue with our determination…It is absolutely out of the question for us to further tolerate the threats from these terrorist groups.’
President Erdogan brands any manifestation of Kurdish political representation or aspiration to democratic rights as terrorism, be it in Turkey, Syria or elsewhere. The Kurdish people in Syria, their political representation in the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and their military defence in the form of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), have made no threat or challenge to the territorial integrity of either Turkey or Syria. They have complied with US-led mechanisms to ensure that Turkey’s border is secure and in doing so have dismantled defences near to Turkey’s border. No military actions against Turkey have come from Rojava/north-east Syria. However, the Kurdish people, along with the different ethnic communities that live in the area that is now threatened, have insisted they have the right to defend themselves if they are attacked. An SDF spokesperson said, ‘We will not hesitate to turn any unprovoked attack by Turkey into an all-out war on the entire border to defend ourselves and our people.’ The PYD calls for ‘a democratic dialogue and negotiation process inclusive of all parties towards ending the civil war in [Syria]’ and points out that a Turkish military incursion with enforced demographic change are crimes against humanity according to international law.
In July 2012, the Kurdish people and others in Rojava rose up and established a democratic, gender equal, secular, ecological and non-sectarian administration with inter-ethnic cooperation. It became and remains a beacon of hope for the Middle East – a beacon that Turkey and others want to extinguish. In January 2018 the Turkish state and it auxiliaries attacked Afrin, the western-most canton of Rojava, and occupied it. Since then Afrin has been subject to terror and ethnic cleansing. Erdogan has spoken of his ambition to reclaim territories lost to the Ottoman Empire after the First World War. The attack on Afrin and an invasion of Rojava would be part of realising that ambition.
Under President Trump’s agreement with Erdogan, Turkey will take responsibility for all ISIS fighters in the area captured over the past few years. This is diabolical; it is well documented that the Turkish state has collaborated with and armed ISIS, and sought to use the jihadis against both Syrians and the Kurds. Some 11,000 SDF young men and women have been killed fighting ISIS. The Kurds and their allies are guarding thousands of ISIS captives, including about 2,500 from Europe and elsewhere and 10,000 and more from Iraq and Syria. Al Hol camp in north-east Syria holds approximately 70,000 people. There remain ISIS sleeper cells across the region. If Turkey invades, the ISIS captives will not be secure or detained. Senior former US and British national security professionals have recently warned of the threat of a resurgent ISIS. That threat, the threat to the peoples of the entire Middle East, and the threat of repetitions of atrocities like September 11, 2001 in the US, of the Madrid commuter rail system, of the Bataclan theatre in Paris, and the Manchester Arena, will become all the more real and apparent as a consequence of permitting a Turkish invasion.
The British, European and US governments must tell President Erdogan and Turkey clearly and with one voice, ‘No, you must not invade,’ and they must back this demand with real and immediate sanctions if Turkey continues its threats.
8 October 2019
Peace in Kurdistan
Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question
Email: [email protected]
Contacts Estella Schmid 020 7586 5892 & Melanie Gingell – Tel: 020 7272 7890
Patrons: John Austin, Christine Blower, NEU International Secretary, Prof Bill Bowring, Julie Christie, Noam Chomsky, Dr Cynthia Cockburn, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Prof Mary Davis, Lord Dholakia, Simon Dubbins, UNITE International Director, Jill Evans MEP, Lindsey German, Convenor STWC, Melanie Gingell, Christopher Gingell, Rahila Gupta, Nick Hildyard, Dafydd Iwan, Former President Plaid Cymru, James Kelman, Bruce Kent, Jean Lambert, Elfyn Llwyd, Aonghas MacNeacail, Scottish Gaelic poet, Mike Mansfield QC, Doug Nicholls, General Secretary, GFTU, Dr. Jessica Ayesha Northey, Sinn Fein MLA Conor Murphy, Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley, Kate Osamor MP, Margaret Owen OBE, Ali Gul Ozbek, Former Councillor and Mayor of Haringey; Gareth Peirce, Dr Felix Padel, Maxine Peake, actor, Trevor Rayne, writer, Lord Rea, Joe Ryan, Tony Simpson, Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, Stephen Smellie, Jonathan Steele, Steve Sweeney, Gianni Tognoni, General Secretary Permanent People’s Tribunal, Dr Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, Dr Tom Wakeford, Dr Derek Wall, Julie Ward MEP, Hywel Williams MP.
Friday, 28 June 2019, 6.30-9pm at Room BG01, Brunei Gallery, SOAS University, Russell Square, London WC1H OXG https://www.soas.ac.uk/soas-life/location/maps/#Addresses
The event is hosted by SOAS Kurdish Society and Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC) and supported by Kurdistan Solidarity Network (KSK), London Kurdish Solidarity (LKS), Democratic Kurdish Peoples Assembly UK; Kurdish Youth Movement; The Network for Police Monitoring (NETPOL); Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers. Continue reading “DON’T CRIMINALISE SOLIDARITY: Oppose new powers to prosecute returnees from designated overseas areas”
Knowing that there were and still are alternatives to patriarchal and capitalist domination opens up new options for political action …
by Andrea Benario, June 2018
“Countless pottery shards litter the ground. With stones carefully worked into tools and building elements, ancient clay walls testify to different eras of life. I step tentatively, because I do not want to injure the goddesses who rest here, or destroy their works … Every time I look at the gir hills or visit historic sites in Rojava, I am overwhelmed by these ambiguous feelings: an awed shudder at the great deeds that have been performed here, but also melancholy and sadness at the ignorance and plunder that these witnesses to human history saw.”
From Afrin to Dêrik, from Serê Kaniyê and Kobanê to Manbij, Raqqa and Abu Kemal, foosteps of two women’s revolutions trace the landscapes of Rojava and northern Syria. Through studies and research in various locations in northern Syria, the Jineolojî Academy is working to assemble and visualize facts and knowledge about the first women’s revolution. For these stories and histories of women, who report about exploitation-free and communal forms of society, were and continue to be denied by mainstream history writers, either ignored or dismissed as “unscientific.” But we consider knowledge and the awareness of the existence of nonstate-nonpatriarchal cultures to widen the horizon of our imagination. To bring about the women’s revolution in the 21st century, we must first challenge the patriarchal, colonialist truths and smash religious and positivist dogmas. Only in this way can we regain stolen knowledge and expropriated values, and defend and build new ones. Continue reading “Traces of the Goddesses”
President of International Rescue Committee
122 East 42nd Street
New York, New York 10168-1289
29 November 2017
Dear David Miliband
We are writing to urge you as head of the IRC to use your influence to persuade the UNHCR, the Red Cross, and other internationally recognised humanitarian organisations including your own, to deliver aid and humanitarian assistance to Rojava in Northern Syria.
Rojava as you know is an area of relative peace and stability in the North of Syria. It is an autonomous self- governing region under the rule of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria. Its political model is based on direct democracy with gender equality at its heart. All political positions in the administration are held jointly by a man and a woman. It is also inclusive in terms of ethnicity and religion with Kurds, Arabs and all other groups being represented in the administration and the military protection units. These democratic, inclusive principles make this area unique in a region that is better known for gender inequality and sectarianism. Continue reading “Open Letter to David Miliband: Help us get Humanitarian aid to Rojava!”