WOMEN’S ALLIANCE FOR KURDISTAN, IRAQ AND SYRIA NEWROZ March 2018

NEWS BRIEFING
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/activities/womens-alliance-for-kurdistan-iraq-and-syria/

Incredibly in the middle of death and destruction, Rojava has the potential to lead the world in the direction that all of us here would like to see.  And for that very reason, it has also the potential to be crushed by forces which are hostile to a vision of a society built on equality and peace.

It is our political responsibility to ensure that the Rojava experiment does not end, so that it does not lend itself to yet another defeatist narrative that inequality and capitalist greed are part of human nature. No. Rojava shows us the beauty of life when it is lived co-operatively, when we grow the food we need and live in harmony with our surroundings, when we respect all ethnicities and give them equal say in a truly democratic society, when we put women in equal charge of our destinies.

Another world is not only possible, it is here. But this world is struggling to take breath. We have to keep it alive for all of our sakes. Even if it is simply to refresh and reconfigure our own struggles. This is our revolution too.  Rahila Gupta March 2018


1. Call for a Women’s Alliance for Peace in Afrin.

2. VIDEO: Parliamentary Launch of Women’s Alliance for Peace in Afrin.
3. The Women’s Revolution in Northern Syria is our Revolution Too.
4. To the Women of the World
5. The Young Feminist Who Died for My People
6. British woman Anna Campbell who joined all-female fighting unit killed in Syria
7.  Syria: Women of Afrin call for global support
8.
Women Are Free, and Armed, in Kurdish-Controlled Northern Syria
9.
Kurdish troops fight for freedom — and women’s equality — on battlegrounds across Middle East

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1. Call for a Women’s Alliance for Peace in Afrin.
21 March/Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
 The olive tree is a symbol of peace, freedom, and fertility in the Middle East. It symbolizes the natural beauty of a region, which historians refer to as “the cradle of civilization” – Mesopotamia. The olive tree is also a vital part of the life in Afrin, a Kurdish region in the northwest of Syria. In Afrin today, it is Kurds, Arabs, Syriacs of the Muslim, Christian, Alevi, and Yazidi faiths, that jointly organise their lives in the shade of thousands of olive trees. In the spirit of the olive tree, Afrin is considered the last stable area in the country and has been largely spared by the war.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/call-for-a-womens-alliance-for-peace-in-afrin/

2. VIDEO: Parliamentary Launch of Women’s Alliance for Peace in Afrin.
8 March/Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
Video of speeches from the Launch.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2018/03/08/parliamentary-launch-of-the-womens-initiative-for-peace-in-afrin/#more-9067

3. The Women’s Revolution in Northern Syria is our Revolution Too.
22 March/Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
Speech in Parliament 20 March 2018. Rahila Gupta. Friends, we are in a make or break moment for the future of Rojava. Erdogan’s troops have entered Afrin city. To put a positive gloss on it, I hope that the Kurds will be able to pull victory out of the jaws of defeat – like they did at Kobane. But in Afrin they appear to be more friendless than in Kobane. The British government has allied itself with the dictators of the world. Here we are, seated at the heart of government, and yet our voices are too faint to reach the powers that be.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/the-womens-revolution-in-northern-syria-is-our-revolution-too/

4. To the Women of the World
21 March/Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
Let us turn the 21st century into the era of women’s freedom!
From the mountains of Kurdistan, in the lands where society developed with the leadership of women, we salute you with our great freedom, passion, ambition, and unbreakable struggle. From Rojava’s neighborhoods to South America’s forests, from Europe’s streets to Africa’s plains, from the Middle East’s valleys to North America’s plazas, from Asia’s mountains to Australia’s plateaus; with our love which knows no borders and with our most revolutionary feelings, we embrace all women who intensify the struggle for freedom and equality.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2018/03/21/to-the-women-of-the-world/

5. The Young Feminist Who Died for My People
21 March/The New York Times
RAQQA, Syria — A few days before Anna Campbell was killed in Syria by a Turkish missile on March 15, she called my office in Raqqa. Anna, a 26-year-old British feminist who had come to my country in May 2017 to fight alongside Syrian Democratic Forces in northern Syria, was begging to go to Afrin, a Kurdish-controlled city that Turkish forces were on the verge of seizing after a brutal two-month offensive.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/21/opinion/anna-campbell-kurds-syria.html

6. British woman Anna Campbell who joined all-female fighting unit killed in Syria
19 March/The telegraph
Anna Campbell, 26, from Lewes <https://http://www.telegraph.co.uk/lewes/&gt; , East Sussex, died on March 15 in Afrin while with the Kurdish Women’s Protection Units, the YPJ.
It is feared she was killed by Turkish airstrikes. Ms Campbell – who had dyed her fair hair black so she would not stand out – is the first British woman to have been killed in Syria with the Kurds and the first Briton to be killed in the battle for Afrin.
Seven other Britons have died in the country while fighting alongside the groups.
Ms Campbell’s father, Dirk, told the BBC <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43453292>  she “wanted to create a better world and she would do everything in her power to do that”.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/19/briton-anna-campbell-killed-fighting-kurdisharmed-unit-syria/

7.  Syria: Women of Afrin call for global support
9 March/Green Left Weekly
Northern Syria (also known by its Kurdish name of “Rojava”) has been the scene of a social revolution with women’s liberation at its centre in recent years. However, it has come under constant attack.
https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/syria-women-afrin-call-global-support

8. Women Are Free, and Armed, in Kurdish-Controlled Northern Syria
24 February/The New York Times
Radwan, a 30-year-old Arab man, came with four male witnesses and a grievance with an ex-wife to a place called the Women’s House here in Manbij, in northern Syria.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/24/world/middleeast/syria-kurds-womens-rights-gender-equality.html

9. Kurdish troops fight for freedom — and women’s equality — on battlegrounds across Middle East
19 March/The Conversation
For years, Kurdish fighters have been partners to the U.S. in the Middle East. From 2003 to 2017, they helped overthrow the regime of Saddam Hussein, battled al-Qaida and pushed the Islamic State out of northern Iraq and Syria.In recent weeks, some of these same fierce fighters have been violently clashing with Turkish troops in the Syrian Kurdish enclave of Afrin. In January, Turkish president Recep Erdoğan launched an aggressive bombing campaign called “Operation Olive Branch,” intended to clear Kurds from the city.
http://theconversation.com/kurdish-troops-fight-for-freedom-and-womens-equality-on-battlegrounds-across-middle-east-91364

Peace in Kurdistan
Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question
Email: estella24@tiscali.co.uk
http://www.peaceinkurdistancampaign.com
Contacts Estella Schmid 020 7586 5892 & Melanie Gingell – Tel: 020 7272 7890
Fax: 020 7263 0596

Patrons: John Austin, Christine Blower, NUT International Secretary, Prof Bill Bowring, Julie Christie, Noam Chomsky, Jeremy Corbyn MP,  Prof Mary Davis, Lord Dholakia, Simon Dubbins, UNITE International Director,  Jill Evans MEP, Lindsey German, Convenor STWC, Melanie Gingell, Rahila Gupta, Nick Hildyard, Dafydd Iwan, Former President Plaid Cymru, James Kelman, Bruce Kent, Jean Lambert MEP, Elfyn Llwyd, Aonghas MacNeacail, Scottish Gaelic poet, Mike Mansfield QC, Doug Nicholls, General Secretary, GFTU, Dr. Jessica Ayesha Northey, International Coordinator, Green Party of England and Wales;; Sinn Fein MLA Conor Murphy, Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley, Kate Osamor MP, Margaret Owen OBE, Gareth Peirce, Maxine Peake, Lord Rea, Joe Ryan, Stephen Smellie, Dr Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, Dr Tom Wakeford, Dr Derek Wall, Julie Ward MEP, Hywel Williams MP.

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