October 12, 2019 - e-flux - Global call to action against Turkey's military aggression
October 12, 2019


People’s Parliament of Rojava, Dêrik, Cêzire Canton.

Global call to action against Turkey's military aggression
Upcoming demonstrations in Europe, North America, Australia, and more


To all foreign brothers and sisters, activists, writers, journalists, and politicians:

You have always supported the approach of the Democratic Self-Administration and its free thought. You have always supported, with your writing, the Syrian Democratic Forces, who defeated the Islamic State.

Now, it is time again to support these forces in the face of the Turkish aggression against the people of Northern Syria. It is not enough to condemn the Turkish attacks on our regions. Demand in your loudest voice that the European Union and all countries rupture diplomatic, political, and economic relations with the Turkish state.

As for the resistance—legitimate defense—we are its people.

–Talal Awaid, Rojava, October 10, 2019


Rise Up for Rojava
Global call to action against Turkey's military aggression on October 12

On the second day of the Turkish state's military invasion into Rojava, a Kurdish fighter writes, “We will stand up to the end.” The people who stood against the Islamic State, who put their bodies on the line to save Yezidis from being massacred on Sinjar Mountain, who worked their way house by house in Raqqa dying from booby traps left behind, who fought to liberate the city of Kobanê one street at the time—these exact same people, who lost 11,000 courageous souls in the process, are now asked to stand alone against the second largest NATO army.

The cynicism of the West could not be greater. The Islamic State emerged in the vacuum created by the US invasion of Iraq. Subsequently, the US provided air support to the Kurdish, Arab, and Assyrian fighters, united in the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), to defeat the caliphate that the American government itself helped to bring into being. Despite the SDF fighters’ sacrifice, Trump betrayed Rojava and pulled the limited number of US troops out of the region. Despite rhetoric claiming otherwise, Trump did this not to bring them home, but to stand aside, letting Erdoğan push ahead with his planned massacre called “Operation Peace Spring.” The regime’s previous “Operation Olive Branch,” carried out in 2018 in the Afrin Canton of Rojava, led to the murder, torture, and rape of its population. There is no reason to presume that this time will be any different. Three days ago, the bombing began. Not only by the Turkish state, but also through renewed attacks by the Islamic State, who seizes a solid chance for resurgence and liberation of their prisoners in Rojavan custody, who both the US and EU have refused to repatriate.

Those who smirk and say, “Well, you should have never trusted the imperialist Americans in the first place,” are misguided: no Rojavan ever did. Kurds remember the last time the US said it would have their back. After that promise, Saddam Hussein massacred thousands during the Halabja chemical attack of 1988. There is no Rojavan today that is “surprised.” They are betrayed by the US and European Union’s appeasement of the Erdoğan regime. Just yesterday, the dictator-in-chief threatened to release 3.6 million Syrian refugees into the European Union if any member state dared to critique his planned massacre of Rojavans. These refugees are currently being held in Turkish territory in dire circumstances; the EU that has subsidized their detention in Turkey for years.

The Rojavans made it clear from the start that the very model of the nation-state itself is a betrayal of emancipatory politics. That is why, when the Rojava autonomous government was declared as a multi-ethnic coalition in 2012, they created their own model of stateless democracy in which power was delegated to local communes and gender equality enforced through co-presidencies of women and men for every layer of governance and quotas for women’s political participation. Fundamental mistrust of the state system is why communal models of economy were initiated, and new artistic platforms such as the Rojava Film Commune were organized. The cultural revolution in Rojava has challenged the statist mentality with a profound democratic experiment that has become a horizon for those dedicated to emancipatory politics the world over.

Now we must call upon and pressure our governments by any means necessary to (1) impose economic sanctions on Turkey and stop any military trade with the regime immediately; (2) declare a no-fly zone for Rojava, so that the SDF stands a chance to protect its populations, and (3) demand the release of Syrian refugees from the Turkish dictatorship and reject the regime’s shameful weaponization of human lives. These demands are the absolute minimum for countries that are already in the deepest possible debt to the sacrifices the Rojavans made to clean up the mess of their own endless War on Terror—a war that has done nothing but create new forms of terror in the process.

In the spirit of Rojava’s stateless democracy, we cannot rely only on states to do the work. We, the people, are the ones that need to appear in the streets collectively tomorrow on Saturday, October 12, the global day of action against the Turkish state's military invasion. We need to show that our solidarity, friendship, and comradeship with Rojava stands undefeated in the face of the betrayal, cynicism, and violence of the governments that claim to act in our name. They don’t. But we can live up to the values of stateless democracy ourselves and rise up for Rojava.

—Friends of Rojava


Emergency demonstrations in support of Rojava:


Continuously updated list: https://riseup4rojava.org/call-international-call-riseup-defend-rojava/

Berlin—Hermann Platz, 3pm
Hamburg—Vom S-Bahn Sternschanze Hamburg, 3pm
Hanover—Hbf Hannover, 4pm
Bremen—Hbf Bremen, 2pm
Stuttgart—Lautenschlager Str, 2:30pm
Munich—Karl-Stützel-Platz Munich, 1pm
Frankfurt—Hbf in front of Frankfurt / Main, 2:30pm
Saarbrücken—Saarbrücken in front of the European Galerie, 2pm

Den Haag, Malieveld, 2pm

Zürich, Helvetiaplatz, 2:30pm

Oslo, Trafikanten Oslo, 3pm

Göteborg, Götaplatsen, 1pm
Stockholm, Norra Bantorget Stockholm, 1pm

Kopenhagen, Vesterbro Torv, 1pm

Athens, Politekniko, 6pm

Paris, Place de la republique, 2pm
Strasbourg, Place Kleber, 2pm
Marseille, Canabiere, 2pm
Nantes, Place du commerce, 4pm
Bordeaux, Place de la bourse, 2pm
Lyon, Place Bellecour, 3:30pm
Grenoble, Place Victor Hugo, 4pm
Tours, Place Jean Jaures, 3pm

North America:

October 12:
Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, E Dove Building, 425 Northern Avenue, 8am to 1pm—details
Albany, NY, Townsend Park, 11am
Knoxville, TN, 11:30am—details
Montréal, Canada, 12pm—details
New London, CT, New London Parade Plaza—details
Norfolk, VA, 12pm—details
Washington, DC, 1pm—details
New York, NY, Union Square, 2pm—details
San Fransisco, CA—International Arrivals Terminal at SFO Airport, 3pm—details
Bloomington, IN, Indiana’s People’s Park, North Dunn Street and Kirkwood Avenue, 5pm—details
Rochester, NY, 6pm—details
Richmond, Virginia, meet at Carytown Kroger parking lot, 8pm—details

October 13:
San Francisco, CA, 12pm—More info here
Los Angeles, CA, 12pm—More info here
South Bend, IN, 2pm—More info here
Seattle, WA, 3pm—More info here
Toronto, ON, 3pm—More info here

Sydney, Town Hall Square, 2pm
Melbourne, City Center, 4:30pm
Perth, Murray St. Mall, 1pm

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