For the last several years, anarchists, anti-capitalists, and many people on the Left have been supporting the ongoing struggle and evolving movement in Rojava, as an autonomous region in Kurdistan began to take shape, making up parts of Turkey, Syria, and Iraq.
There, both a sea change has taken place in the form of growing support for “Democratic Confederalism,” which embraces many aspect of anarchism, ecology, and feminism, as well as in the fierce resistance by the YPG and the YPJ against ISIS. In the battle against the Islamic State, many anarchists and anti-capitalists have also joined in the struggle and given their lives.
However, after the fall of ISIS in Raqqa, the Turkish state quickly moved to attack the Kurdish forces, and began a campaign of bombing and attacking various cities starting with Afrin.
Does this mean the death of the Rojava Revolution, and with it, a hope of an anti-capitalist and anti-Statist way of life? Will our comrades in the YPG and YPJ, as well as our anarchist sisters and brothers be slaughtered?
How can we act in solidarity with those on the ground? These are hard questions of which we do not have answers, but already people .. are rallying in support of the Kurdish struggle for autonomy and freedom.
Hands off Afrin Solidarity Demonstrations
Comrades, we need your help more than everything. Its a life or death situation. This invasion isnt only about Afrin nor Rojava/Assyria/N. Syria but Erdogan wants to invade also the whole border territory, including Iraq’s Ezidistan (Zoroaster Kurdish lands /Sinjar), Ninewah (Iraqi Assyria), Turkmeneli (Iraqi Shia Turkomans) and Iraqi Kurdistan’s Qandil mountains area (PKK’s HQ and dissidents and oppressed people’s refugee villages and camps). Its clearly IMPERIALISM and he wants to destroy everything and massacre every people he just hate.
Another important thing is Turkish and Bakur (Turkish Kurdistan) Kurdish comrades situation. Before the invasion, Erdogan first invaded Turkish Kurdistan and Eastern Turkey to eliminate PKK and her Turkish Marxists allies. Not only guerrillas but also autonomous municipalities were invaded. Erdogan and his fake opposition (Kemalists and Nationalists) are all fascists, they even arrested members of parliament from HDP (pro-Kurdish and Turkish Marxist alliance, 3rd biggest party in parliament). Our comrades in Turkey and Turkish Kurdistan are in HELL.
In Western Turkey (İstanbul, Ankara, Smyrna regions) anarchists are suffering. We even lost contact with lots of groups. For example there has not been any statement from DAF (Revolutionary Anarchist Movement) nor Kara-Kızıl (Black-Red). Comrades from Kara Bayrak Otonomu (Autonomous Black Flag) are missing (possibly arrested without legal process). All HDP coalition and anarchists of Turkey paying the “heaviest price” after Afrin.
We need your help. This war is chaotic already and our military power is decreasing day by day, we need to protect our comrades (and their families!) from Erdogan’s revenge and torture dungeons. Without international support, he will kill us one by one. Please make something. We are dying. Please hear us. RojavaSolidarityNYC @RojavaNyc
Statement from Revolutionary Anarchist Action (DAF) about the Turkish State Attacks Against Afrin, Rojava
The attack on Afrin, It is a strategy of the Energy War that resulted in breakdown of Syria and that will break down many states in the region. States create the illusion that they are doing these wars “for their citizens”. They make nationalist conservative propaganda to convince their citizens of this misconception. This is an inescapable need both inside and outside. While it is required for the elections inside, it is valid on the tables outside. Rulers who go through a completely commercial process such as the extraction, transport, and sale of energy resources use all their materials to increase their gains. In these discussions where the numbers of rifles, tanks, airplanes are important, the number of soldiers is the most important number. A soldier is no different than a material. This is why the nationalist conservative fallacy is created.
Who would join a war so that some gain more? Who would fight for gasoline which is always sold by states or companies everywhere, a drop of it costs more than bread? We, the ones who live with the fact that all prices go up when the price of a liter of gasoline goes up, we who always loose, why should we always fight for the ones who always win? Actually nobody would fight for them. They know this fact and this is why they need nationalism, conservatism.
Now they are are shouting from newspapers and televisions, the slogans of fallacy “national, national, national!”, “National will, national unity”. They can never say clearly; “We are pinching pennies,” “Fight or fight, we will sell the gasoline and everything to you. We will make you produce it, we will make you consume it, and we will exploit you. ” This is the plan, program, strategy, war of the states. We peoples – those who are compulsory citizens of the states – can change everything. Today, the people of Afrin live freely because they changed it. As in Kobanê, Cizére, Chipas. And this is the critical difference between the war of the people and the war of the states. In its war, state attacks and attacks without rules so that it’s system gains more. Bombs with tanks and airplanes. Wounds, kills, murders and wants all life captivated. As for the war of the peoples, there is freedom.
For the last two days, each bomb dropped on Afrin, each bullet is a bullet to freedom. Turkish state which wants to increase its share on the table, has started the Afrin attack. It is a strategy created by nationalism and conservatism which is based on this fallacy. It’s all election strategy. It is completely a commercial strategy. The war of the state is a strategy. But the war of the peoples is freedom. And no state can defeat peoples fighting for freedom.
The United States, meanwhile, which conveniently used the Kurds as “reliable boots on the ground” in Syria for the last years in the international anti-ISIS coalition, stays quiet over their NATO ally’s ambitions to sacrifice the heroes of the ISIS war, merely warning Turkey to “avoid civilian casualties.” European governments, especially Germany, have their own stakes in the game, as mostly European weapons and tanks are used by the Turkish army; weapons in the hands of fascists, which drive millions of people to leave their homes and risk death to become refugees in Europe.
Seven years into the war, Syria is destroyed; ISIS came, killed and left; genocide and massacres have been committed; the region’s demography and ecology have changed; Assad seems to be here to stay. The legitimate demands of all Syrians who took to the streets and risked their lives to call for dignity, freedom and justice against the Assad regime have been betrayed bitterly. Meanwhile, the powerful state actors in the region and beyond seem to have come full circle, as more than half a million people died and around 6 million have been displaced. Activists speak of the Third World War taking place in this region.It is within this context that Turkey launches its war on Afrin, far exceeding the historical hostility of the Turkish state towards the Kurdish people. The battle symbolizes the two options that the peoples and communities of the Middle East face today: between militarist, patriarchal, fascist dictatorships on the one hand, controlled by foreign imperialist interests and capital, or the solidarity between autonomous, self-determined, free and equal communities on the other. The defense of Afrin is an opportunity for the left to unite against fascism and mobilize against militarism, occupation and war.
With such a call, obviously not everyone can be expected to drop everything and rush off to Kurdistan. But in truth people can help wherever they are from, in a most concrete and practical way. Thus, we call for immediate demonstrations at Turkish embassies and practical and continued actions against symbols of the Turkish state, large Turkish business interests and multinationals, as soon as practically possible- from all those feeling the urge to respond, for all those who want to make revolutionary international solidarity a practical reality. This will help to make more concrete the international links of solidarity that already exist with the Kurdish freedom struggle, and bring them into the field at a critical moment.
Finally we would like to make a special call to the famous activists of Anonymous, as this vibrant network of resistance has been maturing and growing rapidly by leaps and bounds, recently intervening with well-targeted actions on the side of struggles in Catalonia and Greece (to say nothing of prior actions during the Arab Spring). Our proposal is this: let’s make Afrin the most real and profound test-case for the increasing coordination and coherence of this volunteer global cyber-militia, digital freedom fighters who act as an invaluable ‘worldwide artillery’ support for regions fighting for their independence! Turkish telecoms and internet service providers, banks, governmental websites, the petroleum industry, power grids, airlines, etc.&c (you all know best)- all are targets for economic disruption, to act behind enemy lines and offer material support to Afrin, encircled, bombarded and fighting for its very life. These actions, with perseverance and concentrated, sustained effort, will work to bankrupt the (already malfunctioning and unstable) Erdogan war machine, and rouse the embers of resistance amongst the Turkish population itself.
As was said in the workers’ movement: an injury to one is an injury to all–and so too, a victory for Afrin is a victory for all of us, a blow struck for freedom against military despotism and tyranny!
The people of Afrin are facing the violence of a Turkish state bent on the ethnic cleansing of the Afrin Canton. Turkey, the second largest army in NATO, has started a ground invasion supported by airstrikes on civilian targets. The people of Afrin, 400,000 in total, are being abandoned by their international partners. We support Rojava and the revolution against Turkey’s fascist, racist, neo-imperial politics against the Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians, Ezidis and other ethnic and religious minorities who are building peace and a radically democratic society from the ground up.
Statement of the KCK on Afrin (google translation)
TO OUR PEOPLES AND PUBLIC OPINION
The fascist government of the AKP-MHP in Turkey has begun the invasion by land and air against the Kurdish city of Afrin. Invasion that happens after months of threats and a campaign to place them as the next target.
Turkey wants to end the democratic system that has been established based on the principle of fraternity among the Kurdish, Arab and Turkmen peoples. There are two fundamental reasons for this attack. First, the anti-Kurdish and fascist government of the AKP-MHP wants to eliminate the achievements of the Kurdish people in Afrin. And second, the AKP-MHP, after seeing its power in danger, wants to reinforce its fascist government through this invasion.
From the beginning of the civil war in Syria until now, the people of Afrin have defended their territory against the jihadist misanthrops bandits; repelling all the attacks of the misanthropic thugs, particularly the ISIS and the Nusra Front. Afrin has been a safe and free territory within Syria, preventing any jihadist from setting foot in it. Hundreds of thousands of people fleeing the conflict from other parts of Syria, particularly from Aleppo, have found refuge in Afrin. During all these years, the people of the Afrin territory have been managing their cities and towns. Women have played a leading role in this form of government based on self-sufficiency. This has not only made Afrin a model of democratization for Syria, but also a model of democratization for the peoples of Turkey.
The AKP-MHP fascist government wants to put an end to this democratic model, because they know that the democratization of Syria will have implications for the solution of the Kurdish question in Turkey. Recep Tayyip Erdogan got the ISIS to attack Kobane to strangle the desire of the Kurdish people for a free and democratic life.
When ISIS failed in its objective, Erdogan decided to intervene himself. The AKP-MHP fascism catalogs all democratic forces within Turkey as terrorists to stigmatize them. With the intention of suppressing all the democratic forces that resist their fascist policies. The motivation behind the persecution of journalists, academics and politicians is the same that hides behind the invasion of Afrin.
The enmity of the fascist government of the AKP-MHP towards the Kurds is intrinsically intertwined with its undemocratic nature. Therefore, they attack the democratic sectors that they believe may pose a risk to their dictatorial government. They want to portray freedom fighters as enemies of Turkey and stir up chauvinist sentiments in an attempt to increase support for their government, while attacking the democratic sectors within Turkey. Therefore, the attack against Afrin is an attempt to prop up his own fascist government and at the same time it is a campaign to suppress the democratic sectors that oppose him.
Russia and Syria had closed the airspace to Turkey, but this time they have given the permission that Turkey so desperately needed to carry out its aerial bombardments. The people of Afrin have been waging a tough battle against bandit groups such as ISIS or the Nusra Front. Considering that Afrin freedom fighters and the Syrian regions have been fighting the same enemy for years, allowing Turkey to use Syrian airspace to launch its attacks against Afrin is clear proof of a dirty deal against the Kurds.
This agreement will not benefit Russia or the Syrian regime either. They have made a historical mistake that has placed the Kurds against them. Russia and the Syrian regime have no way of justifying the opening of airspace for Turkish fighters. This policy will be questioned and they will be seen as accomplices to the invasion and the ongoing aggression.
The only objective of the Afrin people is a democratic life and freedom in their own land. His struggle for self-defense has had a central axis: resist jihadist aggression. And at this moment they are defending the Turkish army’s offensive of democratic life and freedom.
While Russia and the Syrian regime allow the Turkish state to use its airspace, the US has encouraged the invasion by stating that Afrin is outside the territories involved in the common struggle against ISIS. Therefore, the US has once again become complicit in the enmity of the Turkish state against the Kurds, while helping to reinforce the fascist government of Erdogan and Bahceli. Encouraging, approving and conniving with the invasion of Afrin implies supporting the fascist government of Erdogan and Bahceli against the democratic sectors. At a time when the fascism of Erdogan and Bahceli is about to collapse, not to oppose the invasion of Afrin is to consolidate the power of Erdogan.
The opposition to the invasion of both the US and the EU countries in turn implies that they support oppression against the peoples of Turkey. For this reason, Russia, the USA and the EU have become participants in the crimes committed by the fascism of Erdogan and Bahceli. During the 20th century the Kurds have been subjected to a genocidal policy. International forces have supported and collaborated with this policy.
The result has been that one of the oldest peoples in history has been brought to the brink of extinction. Whenever the Kurdish people have resisted such genocidal policies of Turkey, the US and the EU have shown their support for Turkey, a member country of NATO. The main objective of Turkey to join NATO was precisely to seek support for its genocidal policy against the Kurds. Even today, securing this support is Turkey’s main condition for EU accession negotiations.
The silence of these countries, to protect their economic interests, makes them accomplices in the genocide against the Kurds. If the US and the EU do not oppose this genocidal invasion, they will be seen as participating in this genocide. The Afrin invasion is also an act of aggression against the sectors in favor of freedom and democracy in Turkey and throughout the Middle East. The fascist government of the AKP-MHP has put in the spotlight the democratizing dynamics of the Middle East. Its objective is to create fertile ground for despotic and reactionary forces, particularly ISIS and the Nusra Front. Therefore, not only the Kurdish people must rise against the invasion of Afrin by the Turkish state, but all the peoples of Syria, Turkey and the Middle East who wish to democratize must do the same.
The resistance in Afrin is not only the resistance of the Kurds, but also the resistance of all the democratic forces of the Middle East and the world. The Turkish offensive against Afrin will not benefit the US or Russia, Syria, the EU or the peoples of the Middle East. Therefore, Russia, the US and the Syrian regime that allow and encourage the Turkish invasion should review their policies and adopt a clear position against it.
These irresponsible attitudes can not serve as a basis for peace, democracy or stability in the Middle East at the cost of such a high price. The Kurdish people of all the territories that make up Kurdistan, particularly northern Kurdistan, and the diaspora should show your support for the resistance in Afrin. All Syrian peoples, particularly Arabs, Kurds, Assyrians and Turkmen living in the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria should understand that this attack is also against them and participate in the Afrin resistance. The Afrin people represent one of the dynamics fundamental democratization in the Middle East. All of them, particularly young people and women, should resist side by side against the invading forces. They should defend their villages, districts, towns and cities against the aggressors and turn Afrin into the tomb of the fascism of the AKP-MHP.
All the peoples of the world, who defeated ISIS by rising up in solidarity with the freedom fighters of Kobane November 1, 2014, World Day of Kobane, should support the forces of the resistance in Afrin and defeat the AKP-MHP dictatorship, which has become a protector and refuge of the reactionary and despotic forces of the Middle East. Once the fascist dictatorship of the AKP-MHP is defeated, the dark days of the Middle East will come to an end and the sun will light up a new horizon of freedom and democracy.
As the Kurdistan Liberation Movement we will be with the people of Afrin with all our strength. Neither the Turkish state nor any other force will be able to stop the march of the people for their freedom and democracy. We have no doubt that Turkey will be democratized and the peoples of the Middle East will attain freedom and obtain their democratic rights.Co-Presidency of the Executive Council of the KCK January 21, 2018
Co-Presidencia del Consejo Ejecutivo del KCK 21 de enero de 2018