Solidarity statement from the women’s movement in Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England to the women’s movement of Bakur, northern Kurdistan.
We will not bow before their fascist mentality, we will strengthen our struggle and assure the release of our activists – Kongra Star
Once again the world’s media stood silent after yet another attack by the fascist Turkish state and its ruling AKP party on the free women of this world. In the early hours of yesterday morning, the 15th July 2020, armed police raided a number of houses in Amed in the Kurdistan region of Turkey (Bakur) arresting several women journalists and activists. Amongst those arrested was Ayse Gokhan,a friend of Kurdistan Solidarity Network Wales, Ireland, Scoland and England. Many of you may remember hearing Ayse’s voice in the second seminar of our ‘Lessons from the Rojava Revolution’ education series. Just this weekend, she participated as part of a panel in the ‘Women Weaving Future’ webinar series presented by the Kurdish Women’s movement.
During both appearances Ayse spoke of the importance of women’s organising, as well as the brutality of the Turkish state and its patriarchal attacks on anywhere where women are striving for their freedom. Just last month, the Turkish state carried out a targetted attack on the women’s movement of Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan).
In this attack, three activists from Kongra Star – the confederation of the women’s movement of Northeastern Syria – were killed: Zehra Berkel, Hebûn Mele Xelîl and Amina Waysî. On the same day, the 23rd June, the Women’s House in Deir Ez Zor was also the target of an explosion that Daesh (Islamic State) later claimed responsibility for. It is no coincidence that these two assaults on women’s liberation occurred on the same day. We know that throughout the struggle against Daesh the Turkish state collaborated with, armed and provided medical assistance to their fighters. We know from the war waged against North East Syria by the Turkish state that the AKP government of Turkey will continue its legacy and attempt to repress all women who organise themselves to obtain their freedom from patriarchy.
These arrests come at a time when the AKP is attempting to silence all democratic opposition to its authoritarian regime, jailing hundreds of members of the HDP party as well as journalists and all those brave enough to speak freely against the Turkish state. At the same time, the Turkish regime continues to expand its project of Ottomanisation across the Middle East: in Syria, Libya and Iraqi Kurdistan. We, as women and allies must stand together to do what nation states are failing to do and stand up to Turkish fascism. An injury to one is an injury to all, and we as internationalist women will not watch as our comrades and sisters are abducted and murdered by the capitalist system. The bonds between women across the world are stronger than than the system could ever imagine, with one voice we will rise up and shout:
Show your solidarity with the women of Kurdistan this weekend, as part of the Global Call to Action, 18 – 19 July. Join us at one of the virtual or face to face demonstrations listed below to celebrate anniversary of the women’s revolution and defend our struggle for freedom across Kurdistan and the world!
- 7pm, Thursday 16 July: Freedom for Ocalan online rally organised by TUC and Peace in Kurdistan
- 7pm, Thursday 16 July: Kurd-Akad Online workshop – Hasankeyf: Turkey’s ecological destruction in Kurdistan
- 11am, Saturday 18 July, Online workshop, Ecology and the Women’s Revolution in Rojava, Edinburgh Anarchist Feminist Bookfair
- 1pm, Saturday 18 July, Online workshop, Critic and Self-Critic: a process for collectively developing ourselves and each other as revolutionaries. What can we learn from these practices? Edinburgh Anarchist Feminist Bookfair
- 7.30pm, Saturday 18 July, Online panel, Women’s struggles around the world: building power and community, Edinburgh Anarchist Feminist Bookfair
- 1pm, Saturday 18 July, Queen St, Caerdydd (Cardiff), Protest organised by Solidarity With Rojava & Kurdish Solidarity Cymru outside Tui
- 2pm, Sunday 19 July, Trafalgar Square, London: Protest organised by Kurdistan Solidarity Network, Kurdish Women’s Initiative, London Kurdistan Solidarity & Plan C London
- Weekend of action organised by Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan
- Weekend of action organised by Co-operation in Mesopotamia and the Solidarity Economy Association
- Weekend of action organised by Boycott Turkey – Comms Blockade of Tui to highlight the direct relationship between tourism in Turkey, the Erdoğan regime and the arms trade