The South Lanarkshire Branch of UNISON recently passed a motion in support of the Rojava initiative and in solidarity with the defence of Kobane. The motion is below in full.


This meeting expresses its concern at the events in Syria in recent times with the bloodshed and violence resulting in thousands of deaths and displacement of people throughout the country. We note that in Rojava attempts have been made to establish an inclusive, non-sectarian and democratic self-rule since the Assad’s army was forced to withdraw over two years ago. We wish to express our support for the people of Rojava in their effort to build a peaceful community where all people, Kurds, Arabs, Alevis, Shia, Sunni, Christians and others can live and work together and contribute to peaceful change across Syria.

We affirm that Rojava’s autonomous administration with its pluralistic and decentralised system, should be supported by governments and non-governmental organisations.

We equally affirm the right of the Kurdish and all other peoples in Syria to exercise the right to determine their own future, free of foreign occupation or diktats.

The recent and ongoing assaults of ISIS pose a grave threat to the Rojava initiative. The jihadi group’s attempt to impose autocratic rule irrespective of the wishes of the people, must be strenuously opposed.

We call on the United Kingdom Government to do everything it can to help ensure that

1) the borders between Rojava, Turkey and Iraq remain open and secure in order for the free and safe passage of medical equipment, food and other essential aid, as well as of refugees and internally displaced people;

2) International aid organisations be granted safe route into Rojava to provide humanitarian aid to the thousands of refugees from other parts of Syria who have fled to Rojava seeing it as a safe haven from the chaos.

3) In the immediate period to pressurise the Turkish government to assist in the defence of Kobane by allowing arms to be received by the defenders of the town who are resisting the assault of ISIS forces.

As agreed at UNISON South Lanarkshire Branch Executive 30 September 2014