Victory in Kobane: What next for the Rojava Revolution?

“ ‘The victory of capitalism is in its ability to capture the mind.’ Whereas a hundred years ago, if you were poor you would rebel; now if you are poor, you dream of winning the lottery.”

Quoting PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan at the most recent Peace in Kurdistan Campaign/Roj Women event at SOAS University, Havin Guneser of the International Initiative – Freedom for Ocalan Campaign gave a rich exploration of how one of the world’s most vibrant contemporary anti-capitalist rebellions led not only to victory in Kobane following a devastating 6-month siege by ISIS, but the development of a genuine social revolution. As Guneser explained, it was that social revolution, now embedded in the personal lives and working institutions of the people living in Rojava, that ultimately ensured that Kobane had the strength to fight off ISIS attacks. Continue reading

REPORT ON URGENT AND ESSENTIAL NEEDS IN KOBANÊ

A new board has been established to oversee the reconstruction of Kobane, which has been left devastated after 6 months of siege. Currently 25,000 people are living or have just moved back into Kobane and many more are waiting their chance to return home, but an absence of basic food and water supplies and the physical destruction of the city’s infrastructure makes the situation extremely precarious. In addition, ISIS left land mines and explosive materials behind as they fled Kobane and the surrounding villages, even placing them inside kitchens and bedrooms of abandoned homes.

The Kobane Reconstruction Board has written a report, available for download, which provides an overview of the damage and lists the urgent needs facing the region.

You can download the report here: Report on the urgent and essential needs in Kobane, February 2015

Now Is the time: Abdullah Ocalan Freedom March

On Friday 13th  and Saturday 14th February thousands of people gathered in Strasbourg to call for freedom for Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan, who is entering his 17th year in prison on the island of Imrali. The events came after many days of walking as many hundreds of people trekked across Europe to Strasbourg in  a show of solidarity with the PKK leader.  The incredible results of the Free Ocalan Campaign, in which over 10 million people signed a petition calling for Ocalan’s release, were also handed in to officials at the Council of Europe.

Thank you to filmmakers System D for the video!

Continue reading

KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 14 – 20 February 2015

THIS SUNDAY!

22 February, 3-5pm at SOAS University

victory in kobane
Victory in Kobane: What next in the Rojava Revolution?

This event will go beyond the siege on Kobane to explore the depth of Rojava’s revolution and its potential impact on the region. We are very lucky to have well-known author and activist David Graeber, who recently visited Rojava, and Havin Guneser, member of the International Initiative – Freedom for Ocalan, providing us with a first-hand insight into the revolution, its history and its potential for the future. 

All welcome! 
VENUE: Djam Lecture Theatre (DLT), Main Building, SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG.

Organised by: Roj Women Assembly, Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) and Peace in Kurdistan Campaign

NEWS
1. Kurdish militants demand progress from Turkey or say peace talks may end
2. VIDEO: PKK Youth: Fighting for Kurdish Neighborhoods
3. HDP Proposes Creation Of Ministry Of Women
4. Chaos in Turkish parliament as brawl breaks out during security bill debate
5. RSF says Turkey’s security bill an ‘alarming threat to freedom of journalists’ Continue reading

CAMPACC initiates public outreach project on global self-determination struggles

There has been growing conflict between struggles for national self-determination (SD) versus the global ‘counter-terror” regime’ and its effects on diasporic communities.  ‘Anti-terror’ legislation has been used to advance the imperialist agendas of governments and a wider military-industrial-securitisation complex. Their agenda has attacked political organisations (as well as others such as lawyers, investigative journalists, publishers) that are perceived to be linked with SD struggles.

CAMPACC is initiating a research and public outreach project critically examining those issues, especially in relation to UK migrant communities.  An initial outcome will be briefing papers drawing upon discussions at workshops that we will organise.  These will involve active engagement from various diaspora community groups, researchers, lawyers and academics involved in these issues.  The first three workshops will focus on specific migrant communities (Kurds, Tamils and Somalis) with additional participation of representatives from other migrant communities.

A key aim will be to facilitate cross-community learning to develop strategies for self-determination in the current global context.

The first workshop will take place on 21st February,  focusing on learnings from the Kurdish liberation struggle.

You can find out more about the project on the CAMPACC website

KJA: CALL to WORLD MARCH of WOMEN

The Free Women’s Congress (KJA) has sent out this invitation for a fantastic three day programme of events for the 4th World March of Women:

2015 world womens dayKJB

The 4th World March of Women of 2015 starts on 6th of March in Nusaybin to act in solidarity with the resistance of Kobanê. It meets with the Diyarbakir Meeting on 8th of March. We look forward for all women to go to Kurdistan for raising the solidarity.

KJA

Kongreya Jinên Azad

Free Women’s Congress Continue reading

International legal conference condemns PKK ban

Establishing Kobane Reconstruction Board

A massive effort is now underway to rebuild the city of Kobane. The Democratic Self-Administration has established a board that will coordinate reconstruction and they have set up an official website so people can follow the rebuilding efforts, find out about what is needed and how they can help:

TO THE PRESS AND PUBLIC: ESTABLISHING KOBANE RECONSTRUCTION BOARD

Kobane Canton has been an under severe blockade for nearly two years, and ongoing, fierce brutal attacks by terrorist organization Daesh (ISIS) creating a real humanitarian catastrophe in the province and the countryside.

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The current attacks continue for more than four months aim to empty the province of its population under pressure, threats, execution and indiscriminately shelling civilians. Such atrocities aim at displacing native residents and changing the demographic so that the region will lose all its diversity.

The ongoing besiege and attacks disrupted in all aspects of life, leaving destruction and devastation almost complete infrastructure. Besides, looting and vandalism in the city center and villages carried out by Daesh have impacted the situation very negatively.

The Executive Council in Kobane Canton – Syria, formed a special committee which will be responsible of coordinating reconstruction efforts. “Kobane Reconstruction Committee” is composed of individuals who are professionals in this field. In addition to preparing studies and planning, this committee will also connect with organizations willing to support our efforts in any way they can and providing funds to our projects in the city and countryside.

In addition to the committee members in Kobane, we will also appoint representatives in Europe USA, Turkey, Iraqi Kurdistan, the Gulf States and other countries of the world.

Our rebuilding efforts, willingness to bring back the life into our city requires concentrated efforts and possibilities harnessed in the service of the successful reconstruction operations. Whether through effective participation or provide the Board with suggestions and opinions that will activate it. The most obliged people are the technical and academic who are expert in this field.

Therefore, we need urgent help and support from the international community, humanitarian organizations and all freedom and democracy lovers to rebuild out city.

We appeal to the United Nations to do its humanitarian and moral obligations towards these affected geography and people of Kobane, and actively take part in reconstruction of the province. First and foremost step will be opening a humanitarian corridor to facilitate all means of saving people from suffering, displacement, hunger and shelter for the returnees.

You can contact the Board via the following:

Official site: www.helpkobane.wordpress.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ava_kobane

Email: ava.kobane@gmail.com

Tel: +90-537-967-1739 or 90-545-301-8603

Bank account: To Be Announced Soon

The Executive Council of Kobane Canton – Syria

30/1/2015

KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 7 – 13 February 2015

NEWS
1. Kurdish women commander welcomed by French President
2. PYD Co-Chair Abdullah: National Forces Should Establish A Security Corridor In Rojava
3. VIDEO: YPG, PYD conference Paris
4. PHOTOS: Syrians begin returning home after Kurdish forces recapture Kobane
5. Sisters in arms: Kurdish women in front line against IS
6. Syria Kurdish forces eye new border town
7. Kurds praise cooperation with rebels
8. UN envoy says Assad is part of the solution
9. Gov’t-HDP talks intensify on eve of possible start of Kurdish negotiations
10. KCK Co-Chair Cemil Bayik: Those Who Do Not Know How To Develop Alliances Can Create Neither Democracy Nor Revolution! Continue reading

10.3 Million Signatures for Peace and Freedom for Öcalan

Free ocalan muralToday, thousands of people have gathered in Strasbourg for the culmination of a huge international campaign calling for the release of Abdullah Ocalan, leader of the PKK, on the 16th anniversary of his abduction. An incredible 10.3 million people from across the world signed a petition demanding freedom for Ocalan. Peace in Kurdistan Campaign has proudly supported the campaign from the beginning and sent a solidarity statement to the organisers of today’s press conference, as did Margaret Owen on behalf of all our patrons, who were among the first signatories to the campaign. 

The International Initiative, which organised the campaign, today released this statement:

Statement of the International Initiative, 13 February 2015

In March 1999, when the International Initiative “Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan—Peace in Kurdistan” was founded, it was unthinkable. Unthinkable, that Abdullah Öcalan would ever – get out alive. After his forceful abduction from Kenya with the help of Western intelligence services, a seemingly big victory of the Turkish state, the question seemed to be whether Abdullah Öcalan was executed without a trial or after a trial. To even think of “Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan” amounted to lunacy. Nevertheless, an impressive number of intellectuals, artists, politicians and activists read the signs of the times differently. Even back then, 16 years ago, they knew that for a sustainable solution of the so-called Kurdish question Öcalan had to be free and a peaceful solution had to be negotiated. This group founded the International Initiative. Continue reading

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