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Make Rojava Green Again as a bridge for internationalist solidarity

By staff - Internationalist Commune of Rojava, February 2018

We, the Internationalist Commune of Rojava, want to contribute to the ecological revolution in Northern Syria. To this end, we have started the campaign Make Rojava Green Again, campaign in cooperation with the Ecology Committee of the Cizire Canton. The campaign has three aspects:

  1. Building up the Internationalist Academy with an ecological ethos, to serve as a working example for comparable projects and concepts for the entire society. The academy will facilitate education for internationalists and for the general population of Rojava, to strengthen awareness and environmental consciousness, pushing to build up an ecological society.
  1. Joining the work of ecological projects for reforestation, and building up a cooperative tree nursery as part of the Internationalist Academy.
  1. Material support for existing and future ecological projects of the Democratic Self-administration, including sharing of knowledge between activists, scientists and experts with committees and structures in Rojava, developing a long-term perspective for an ecological Northern Syria Federation.

The first two concrete projects of the Make Rojava Green Again campaign are:

  • Realization of the concepts of an ecological life and work in the Internationalist Academy, partly with the building up a nursery as a part of the Academy. In the spring of 2018, we will plant 2,000 trees in the area of the academy, and 50,000 shoots in the nursery.

  • Practical and financial support for the Committee for Natural Conservation in the reforestation of the Hayaka natural reserve, near the city of Derik, in Cizire Canton. Over the next five years, we plan to plant more then 50,000 trees along the shores of Sefan Lake.

The Struggle for Kobane: an Example of Selective Solidarity

By Leila Al Shami - LeilaShrooms, October 20, 2014

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

The heroic resistance of the people of Kobane in fighting the onslaught of the Daesh (ISIS) fascists since mid-September, has led to a surge of international solidarity. A multitude of articles and statements have been written and protests have been held in cities across the world. Kurds have flooded across the Turkish border to help their compatriots in the fight despite being brutally pushed back by Turkish forces, and others including Turkish comrades from DAF (Revolutionary Anarchist Action) have gone to the border to support in keeping it open to help the flood of refugees escaping to Turkey. There have been calls to arm Kurdish forces and calls to support DAF and send aid for refugees.  Yet this solidarity with Syria’s Kurds has not been extended to non-Kurdish groups in the country that have been fighting, and dying, to rid themselves of fascism and violent repression and for freedom and self-determination. It’s often said incorrectly, that sectarianism lies at the heart of the Syrian conflict. It’s necessary to understand to what extent sectarianism plays a role in our response too.

The protest movement that erupted against Bashar Al Assad in 2011 united people across Syria’s diverse ethnic and religious spectrum in a common struggle for freedom.  Kobane was no exception. The Kurds who are the majority in the town had long suffered under the Arabization policies of the Baathist regime, and were amongst the first to rise up when the Syrian revolution began. In this protest from mid-2012 Kurds and Arabs in Kobane jointly call for the downfall of the regime and chant in support of the Free Syrian Army, raising the Kurdish flag at a time when this was a dangerous act of defiance. But from its earliest days the Syrian protest movement in Kobane and elsewhere failed to gain international support. Had it done so the country would not have been destroyed to such a degree that ISIS could have taken control of large areas.

Over the past three years, relations between Syria’s Arabs and Kurds have been fragile and changeable, subject to both the Assad regime’s manipulation of ethnic divisions, and to the misguided political machinations of opposition politicians from both groups who have put their own interests and agendas above the people’s vision of freedom. Yet, in spite of this activists on the ground have continued to stress the importance of Kurdish-Arab popular unity and to resist ethnic and sectarian divisions. Few international solidarity statements have mirrored these calls.