Rojava

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Rojava: a new world in our hearts?

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War is hell. In September 2015, the heartbreaking image of Alan Kurdi went viral. The picture of the little Syrian-Kurdish boy lying face down on Ali Hoca beach in Turkey highlighted Fortress Europe’s racist response to those refugees fleeing conflict in the Middle East.  Abdullah Kurdi, Alan’s father, returned to Kobane to bury his wife and two sons. He wrote to the world: ‘I am grateful for your sympathy for my fate. This has given me the feeling that I am not alone. But an essential step in ending this tragedy and avoiding its recurrence is support for our self-organisation’. Kurdi was referring to the emergent experiment in popular democracy sweeping Rojava, the most hopeful thing to have happened in the Middle East for a very long time. A popular, anti-authoritarian rebellion is struggling against the death-world of capitalist modernity. And for now, it seems to be winning. 

After the coup - a visit to Istanbul & north Kurdistan - interview with activist researcher

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Farah recently visited Istanbul and Northern Kurdistan around Amed / Diyarbakir to interview feminist and Kurdish activists.  In this interview on her return to Ireland we talk about the massive repression against the left and Kurdish movement that has seen tens of thousands fired from their jobs and thousands including many of the HDP MPs jailed. 

Revolution in Rojava - audio of Dublin launch and discussion by author

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Revolution in Rojava” is an eye-witness account on the experience of creating a bottom up social order which actively challenges all forms of oppression and exploitation. The struggle in Rojava (a mostly Kurdish region north of Syria), despite the extent of counterrevolutionary and imperialist forces aligned against it, continues to nurture an autonomous, grassroots resistance across its multiply ethno-religious communities.

Author launching Revolution in Rojava across Ireland - Cork, Dublin, Cavan, Dungannon, Belfast

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Next week sees an exciting speaking tour around Ireland when author Ercan Ayboga who spoke at the Dublin anarchist bookfair will be launching  “Revolution in Rojava.”  Dublin WSM has been running a reading group* on this book over the last month and we highly recommend it as an account of the nuts & bolts of the Rojava revolution essential to anyone who wants to transform the world.

Cork: O’Rahilly Building (ORB 132), UCC, 12th December, 6pm

Dublin: Connolly Book (43 East Essex Street, Dublin 2), 13th December, 6pm
Cavan: Bridge Street Centre, Bridge Street, 14th December, 6,30pm
Dungannon: Éalú Centre, Shamble Lane, 15th December @ 6:30pm
Belfast: Just Books (22 Berry Street, Belfast, BT1 1FJ), 19th December @ 6:30pm

American IWW member falls in the struggle against ISIS in Rojava

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It has emerged that Mike Israel, the US YPG volunteer who fell fighting ISIS in Rojava on the 24th was  a member of the IWW. Initial reports of his killing alongside a German - Anton Leschek - volunteer indicated they may have been the victims of a Turkish airstrike but said they had been killed north of Raqqa where its unlikely Turkish jets would be attacking. The Manbij Military Council has released a statement confirming they were killed in a Turkish attack near Manbij where Turkish jets have carried out dozens of attacks on the SDF.

Revolution in Rojava reading group

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A very significant book on the Rojava revolution has just been published. It's called Revolution in 'Rojava: Democratic Autonomy and Women's Liberation in Syrian Kurdistan' and provides a detailed account of the structures of the revolution, social, economic, legal and military. We've found it so useful that we are not only encouraging others to read it but are going to hold a series of three reading groups so we can talk about what is happening and what relevancy it has as an example to those of us in Ireland.

The book is summarised as "A new kind of society is being built in Syria, but it's not one you would expect. Surrounded by deadly bands of ISIS and hostile Turkish forces, the people living in Syria's Rojava cantons are carving out one of the most radically progressive societies on the planet today. Western visitors have been astounded by the success of their project, a communally organised democracy which considers women's equality indispensable and rejects reactionary nationalist ideology whilst being fiercely anti-capitalist. The people of Rojava call their new system democratic confederalism. An implementation of the recent ideology of the imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan, it boasts gender quotas of 40 percent, bottom-up democratic structures, deep-reaching ecological policies and a militancy which is keeping ISIS from the gates. Revolution in Rojava is the first full-length study of this ongoing social and political transformation in Syrian Kurdistan. It is the first authentic insight into the complex dimensions of the revolution. Its authors use their own experiences of working and fighting in the region to construct a picture of hope for Middle-Eastern politics and society, and reveal an extraordinary story of a battle against the odds."

"We are fighting for socialism, against fascism, in the Rojava Revolution"

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The Bob Crow Brigade fighting ISIS and defending the Rojava revolution took time out recently to post images supporting Repeal the 8th and the Dublin bus strikers. The photos of masked people men & women with guns posing in the sand beside placards with slogan about our struggles in Ireland caused some confusion, some even assumed they had to be photoshopped. The above image is a variation on the one they tweeted.

Following up the Bob Crowe Brigade Repeal the 8th solidarity images

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Last week we were blown away by the amazing level of solidarity that was offered to those of us who are working tremendously hard to introduce free, safe, legal abortion in Ireland when a photo emerged on twitter of two members of the International Freedom Battalion in Rojava next to a sign that said “Ní saoirse go saoirse na mban” (Until the women are free none are free) and “Repeal the 8th”.

The image went viral and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive with many people tying in that no one struggle exists in isolation from the other, reinforcing the importance of international solidarity in trying to create a new world.

Solidarity from Rojava for Dublin bus strikers

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This morning (8th September) the Bob Crow Brigade fighting ISIS in Rojava have sent solidarity greetings to the Dublin bus workers who have begun the first of 6 strike days fighting for improved wages. The image shows two volunteers posing in front of a wall which has been painted with the Starry Plough, the flag of the armed workers militia set up to protect strikers in 1913 from police attack. 'Socialism will Win' has also been paintined along with Beir Bua, which can be translated as 'good luck' or 'be victorious'.

Support for Repeal the 8th from Rojava? The story behind the image

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This image is fresh from Rojava, posted by @bobcrowbrigade to their twitter stream with the caption "International Freedom Battalion in solidarity with our sisters in Ireland fighting to #repealthe8th"

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