The report below on the women’s revolution in Manbij was written before their betrayal by the USA. The Trump/Erdogan ‘roadmap’ plans to ‘hand over’ to the FSA jihadist terrorist mercenaries sponsored by Turkey the cities of Manbij, Raqqa the ISIS capital and other areas where ISIS was heroically expelled despite heavy losses by the SDF, which includes the YPG/YPJ .
The agreement says that Turkey and the US will ”jointly guarantee security”. It looks like the city of Manbij, liberated from IS terror after a long and bloody fight, the first and shining example of the revolutionary ideals of Rojava applied to a multi ethnic area, will be attacked by Erdogan’s hired jihadi FSA, with US consent.
After liberation a new Manbij Council was set up, with women and all races and religions fairly represented, and it has prospered and gained popularity despite a near total blockade by Turkey. The Kurdish YPG/YPJ withdrew already in 2016 leaving security to the new Manbij Military Council, now they have also withdrawn their ‘advisors’ from that council, leaving Turkey no excuse for a direct attack.)
But Erdogan needs no excuse as seen in his genocidal invasion of Afrin and dozens of other war crimes. The USA, while claiming to stand for democracy, has sold out the only democratic revolution in the whole of the middle east in order to placate an evil mass murdering dictator and allow him to set up another repressive jihadi protectorate.
Russia is just as bad, having criminally granted Turkey ‘carte blanche’ for mass murder with the use of Syrian airspace to bomb Afrin into submission (using US jets and know-how and German tanks) in a cynical exchange for the Turkstream gas pipeline go-ahead signed the same day as well as arms contracts, etc.
Already on Feb 20, 2017 a Turkish attack killed 3 volunteers in Arima, just west of Manbij.
why locals oppose Turkish rule an earlier report
Hundreds in Manbij protest against Turkish threats to attack their city
By Rudaw 7/4/2018
“This was an organized rally attended by all parts of northern Syria to reject the tyrant Erdogan’s actions and threats,” Salma Saadun, another protester said. Manbij is located in northeast Aleppo, northern Syria. It is mostly populated by Arabs and considered a strategic place in Syria.
Grey clouds are gathering over the dusty arteries of Manbij, which have regained their animation since the liberation of the city in August 2016 by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). On one of the main boulevard of the city, only a discreet sign in Arabic, Kurdish, Turkmen and Circassian shows this is the local Women’s Assembly, whose entry is protected by blocks of concrete and guarded by armed guards of the security forces.
“The beginnings were difficult, it was necessary to take into account the traces left by the previous organizations,” explains Mahera in Arabic, a determined thirty-year-old, surrounded by a dozen other women of all ages and origins.
“When the city was liberated, the SDF gained a positive image in the eyes of people. The comrades then went around the city door to door, and offered the actors of each community to gather and take part in the management of the city.
Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen, Circassians, we are one and we have the same hope for democracy and freedom. The SDF convinced us that we needed to come together. We realized that the system was democratic, that there was no discrimination. Now we really believe in this system.”
Although the city has been less destroyed than Kobanê, it is not completely rebuilt.
After the liberation of Manbij, the SDF faced the challenge of bringing people together around the political project of the Northern Syrian Democratic Federation (FDNS) The inhabitants of this ethnic and linguistic mosaic, composed of about 70% Arabs, 20% Kurds, 5% Turkmen and a small number of Circassians, divided for decades by the tribal and conservative policies encouraged by the Syrian regime and exacerbated during the three years under the control of the Islamic State, of which Manbij was one of the strongholds.
“It’s very difficult to change things here. Working on it is exciting, it’s a real challenge.”, says Nergiz Ismayil, with sparkling eyes. She is the dynamic head of the Women’s Academy of Manbij since its opening, one year and three months earlier. In the areas controlled by the autonomous administration of the FDNS, represented here by the Civil Council of Manbij, the Academies are places of political training. Those dedicated to women have a more important role, as Nergiz explains:
“The first principle of self-defense for women is education. We organize different activities, courses, discussions on women, children, family but also history for example. Previously women were kept in the dark. They were educated to accept the patriarchal mentality.
It seems that the US has stood back, done a dirty deal and will let Erdogan, the supreme commander, massacre the SDF, an 80,000 strong secular democratic coalition of Kurdish, Arab, Turkmen, Women, Christian, International,Yazidi, etc. anti-ISIS militias
The violence women suffer, they reproduce it towards their children, towards the people in their homes. It is this mentality that must be changed. Women must rebuild their own identity, emancipation is not to be like men, for they themselves are not liberated. We must emancipate both women and men. ”
A discrete building on the outskirts of Manbij hosts the Academy for the time being. Not everyone agrees that women can have a place to meet. “There has been no official complaint, the men that it bothers do not dare to publicize it. A number of them pretend to accept the new system, even participating in the administration, but continue to beat their wives at home. There is a fundamental problem with mentalities. Women have been seen as objects, and the men who see them thus do not want to accept that they are their equal. If physical violence no longer appears in daylight like during Daesh’s (Arabic acronym for Islamic State) day, verbal and psychological violence is always present. But we understand these men, and that the problem comes from their education. We do not seek to belittle them, we also want to educate them and participate in their confidence-building. ”
After this preamble, Nergiz invites us in. The Women’s Academy is normally a women-only place. But she has an idea in the back of her head. She says, smiling “For some of these women, being in the same room with a man, stranger, is also a big change. To ask them questions, to show that we are interested in them is important, it values them. This is also a way to begin the revolution.
Bringing Arab, Turkmen, Circassian women into the Academy has been difficult, as here patriarchy and domestic violence are so much rooted in the culture. A man who does not beat his wife is considered weak. We talk a lot with the women in each group. And we are not trying to impose our views frontally. If a woman tells us that men are superior to the women, we do not contradict her, but we invite her to our activities, hoping that she will come to see things differently by herself – and this is often the case. ”
Inside, twenty women of all ages are sitting on the benches of a small classroom, lit by the diffused light of curtained windows. In front of them, standing behind a table near a board covered with Arabic sentences, a young woman from the youth movement is teaching a class.
On the wall, there are photos of female martyrs from Manbij who fell in the fight against IS, and posters with important figures of the women’s movement, from different origins. In the centre, the face of Abdullah Ocalan.
“There can be no freedom without women’s freedom,” said the PKK leader who made the liberation of women a pillar of his political theory of the Democratic Nation. Later, the women’s movement developed the concept of Jineoloji, literally “women’s science”, to detail the theory and principles.
We take a seat. Nergiz explains to the audience the reasons for my presence. A dialogue of over an hour begins. In turn, the women who wish to intervene get up and speak. If at first, they are few, as time passes, almost all of them will participate, spontaneously. Each time, Nergiz adds some elements about their life.
Thawra, whose name means “revolution” in Arabic, is between 20 and 30 years old, and is the first one to speak. The young woman studied theology and lived under the occupation of Islamic State.
“Before I knew nothing about women, I did not know myself. I was considered an object. I could not express myself in public. I had studied, but here I realized how ignorant I was, I did not know how to play a role in society. We did not realize that we were human beings, and not machines to make babies. Here, I began to realize that I was an asset to society. Here women from different horizons come together and talk with each other, learn from each other. I really enjoyed these courses, and now I would like them to take place in other places, including rural areas. “
Zemzem, 24, adds “I come from a village. I had been taught that villagers were ignorant and that only urban people were educated.” A woman in her fifties completes: ” Before I thought that educated women and illiterate women could not be together. But I saw that it was possible. Now I realize that women from different backgrounds can work together. ”
“What I want to emphasize,” says Suzanne, in her twenties, “is that I studied in the old state system, but it was very conservative. And it was not possible to question the teachers. ”
A woman in her 40s came with one of her daughters. “With what I learned here, I now want to educate my children better. “
Fatma, 17, is co-chair of the commune of her village and works on the issue of gender-based violence. A bit intimidated, she testifies. “Before I came, I did not know much about women. I heard about the academy and heval Nergiz and decided to meet her. When I came, and saw all these women from different backgrounds together, I was breath-taken. It is very difficult to participate in these classes. When you do, you are under social pressure. I had an advantage, my father knew the movement, so it was easier.
When the SDF liberated us in 2016, he began to study their ideology, he was admiring them. When I came here, I brought four other women with me. Since then, the village considers me a witch. When I became co-president of the commune, I thought of committing suicide because of social pressure. I even received death threats from the mercenaries who work with the Turkish army. But I want to show girls of my age that it’s possible to get there. ”
In the Manbij region, tribal influence is higher in rural areas than in urban centres.Training at the Academy takes 20 days, the last day being devoted to a quick military training. Once completed, most women plan to share what they have learned about themselves.
Like Shadia: “I am a teacher and I work in archives. Once completed the training, I intend to pass it on to the women who work with me. I learned three things here: ethics, morals; the spirit of comradeship; humility. “
These women are not ready to give up the freedoms they have struggled to obtain. “What I understood here is that women have real power. We have been oppressed by the system, but now we can change things.” says a woman in her thirties. But it’s a difficult and daily struggle.
Malek is co-chair of a commune: “I come from a very conservative village, it’s a revolution for me to be here. but it’s very hard. My husband beats me every day, he punches me in the face, because I work in a commune, and I participate in the revolution. I want you to know it. This revolution is difficult. ”
In cases of domestic violence, women can find support at the women’s house (Mala Jîn), an organizational space to fight domestic and marital violence and defend women’s rights.
Shilan, the manager, explains, “Our job here is to solve women’s problems. They are mainly family-oriented and marital. For example, before, men could have up to four women, which is a source of conflict. Another subject of conflict is child custody. For children under 15, it goes to the mother, and the older ones go to the father.
Finally, there is domestic violence. If a woman comes and says that she has been abused, we look for evidence, with a medical examination if necessary, and bring the case to justice. We intervene a maximum of three times in one case. If at the end of the third time nothing changes, we send the file to the court……..
continue reading report HERE http://theregion.org/article/13548-against-all-conservatism-women-039-s-struggle-flourishes-manbij
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