Crowd-funding campaign initiated for reconstruction of Kobane

We would like to draw your attention to an urgent appeal for funds from a project which was developed by the official Kobanê Reconstruction Board.

Obviously, this is deserving cause. But it urgently needs your support to continue and expand its vital work to help the people of Kobane to rebuild their community. Every little helps. Please respond to the appeal, which states:

“Our infrastructure is secure and tested. We are capable of crowdfunding Kobanê. But we are still in beta, and we have much to do before we can offer this tool for movements around the world. Under normal circumstances, we would have waited on the final version.” Continue reading

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HDP calls for mass participation in march for Suruc victims

21 July 2015

CALL TO INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY FOR ISTANBUL RALLY ON 26 JULY 2015

Islamic State brutally attacked the internationalist youth group who met in Suruç on July 20. They had gone there to support the struggle for great humanity being waged in Kobani, and help rebuild the city.

As a result of this attack, 32 people were killed and over 100 people were injured. Although Islamic State has been held responsible for this attack, Turkey’s AKP Government, by resisting the taking of effective measures to prevent Islamic State and other reactionary forces, bears the real responsibility for these massacres of civilians. Continue reading

Chatham House releases new report on Syrian conflict’s impact on Kurdish politics

Chatham House, the prominent and influential think-tank, has released a report written by Robert Lowe and Cengiz Gunes about the impact of the Syrian war on Kurdish politics across the region.

The report is available to view online and download from the Chatham House website.

The Impact of the Syrian War on Kurdish Politics Across the Middle East 

Summary

  • The demise of state authority in Syria is creating an unprecedented opportunity for Syrian Kurds, who have acted with speed to organize themselves politically and militarily. Across the region, Kurds seem to sense that their moment has arrived.
  • In 2014–15, the battle for Kobane created a new Kurdish nationalist myth of heroism and liberation. Kobane will endure as a famous victory – regardless of the devastation caused – of huge symbolic value for Kurdish sentiment across the region.
  • However, Syrian Kurds do not on their own have the political or military power to determine the outcome of the conflict or their own future trajectory. Both will hinge on their relations with other sections of the Syrian opposition, as well as on the actions of regional powers. Continue reading

Clean up the city- First International Campaign for Reconstructing Kobanê

Find our more about reconstruction efforts at the Kobane Reconstruction platform website: Help Kobane

Kobanê needs to rebuild! The reconstruction cannot happen without removing the remnants of the war.

Removing the rubble can help build a new foundation for a new Kobanê and restart its recovery. Access to construction machinery and equipment can not only help Kobanê to remove the debris but can also be an important tool for follow-up projects after the cleanup.

No machinery means no clean up. No clean up means no reconstruction, no rehabilitation, no recovery, no healing for the community! The longer the city remains uncleared the higher the risks of injury and of communicable disease and illnesses.

The lengthier the reconstruction processes the less likely, or the longer it will take the refugees to return to Kobanê and the villages. This issue places significant strains on Kobanê and its capacity to have essential and skilled members of society return and participate in the reconstruction process. Continue reading

Rojava, Kurdish autonomy and peace-building efforts in Syria: Report from a roundtable discussion

Peace in Kurdistan Campaign and the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) organised a wide ranging discussion of Rojava, Kurdish autonomy and the attempts to build peace in Syria on 30 June 2015. Held in the Houses of Parliament, the event was hosted by the independent cross-bench peer Lord Hylton. Lord Hylton has recently returned from Rojava and is the first member of the UK parliament to visit the self-declared autonomous Kurdish region of northern Syria. The meeting was well attended and included people from the region and surrounding countries, along with British people and others with varying levels of familiarity with the Kurds and some who had little background knowledge but had been inspired by the resistance of Kobane.   Continue reading

PYD condemns deadly ISIS massacre in Kobane

The Executive Committee of the PYD has released this statement on the massacre in Kobane last week, the worst single atrocity committed by ISIS in Syria since the conflict began.

Statement of the Executive Committee of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) to the Syrian and International Public Opinion: Kobane massacre, a moral test for all humanitarian organisations.

The despicable and cowardly massacre in Kobane against unarmed civilians committed by ISIS, is a blatant crime against humanity and challenges the conscience of the world and all relevant human rights organizations. The world needs to stand on the side of the people’s protection units, YPG, and the women’s protection units, YPG, together with fighters from Burkan al Firat, who have bravely fought the barbaric ISIS gangs and their masters in Ankara.

Continue reading

STUC conference passes motion supporting Rojava

The motion below was recently passed at the STUC conference in Ayr. Kurdish activists and Peace in Kurdistan Campaign’s Trade Union Liaison Officer Stephen Smellie (UNISON) were at the event for three days, where they met with union activists including Dave Parentis, general secretary of UNISON.

Kurdish activists with Stephen Smellie and UNISON general secretary Dave Parentis

Kurdish activists with Stephen Smellie and UNISON general secretary Dave Parentis

STUC April 2015

104. SUPPORT ROJAVA, DEFEND KOBANE, DEFEAT ISIS

“That this Congress expresses its concern at the events in Syria, resulting in thousands of deaths resulting in thousands of deaths and that conflict and the rise of ISIS has created a humanitarian crisis in the region and that millions of refugees have been displaced and some are now surviving with the assistance of local authorities, trade unions and volunteers, often without international aid.

Congress note:

  • the efforts in Rojava to establish an inclusive, non-sectarian and democratic self-rule, which has attracted considerable attention because of their experiment in democratic self-government, which is unique within the region;
  • the role that women are playing in the administration, and defence, of Rojava;
  • the role of the defence forces of Rojava, the YPG and the women’s YPJ, the Peshmerga of the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq and the PKK, in defending Kobane and the battle against ISIS in Iraq; and
  • That assemblies and popular militias have been formed, regime property turned over to worker co-operatives and all despite continual attacks by ISS forces.

Continue reading

Damages to Kobane and plans for its reconstruction

The Kobane Authorities have released two documents that detail the damages suffered by the city and the plans for its reconstruction. The first, by the Kobane Administration, provides a detailed list of infrastructure damage and the what is needed in terms of water, healthcare, energy services, agricultural production, transport and more. The second, by the Kobane Reconstruction Board, summarises ecological and social principles that will underlie the rebuilding of the city, and makes suggestions of the kind of architecture and spatial design that could be implemented in the city’s reconstruction.

Download the documents below.

Kobane Canton Damage Report- April 2015 –  Democratic Self-Management, Kobane Canton – Syria (pdf)

Report for the Ecological and Democratic Reconstruction of Kobanê– Kobane Reconstruction Platform (pdf)

Vasiliki Scurfield addresses Newroz reception in Parliament

The Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) held an event in parliament on 17 March, to celebrate Newroz, the Kurdish New Year. The event was hosted by MP Mike Gapes. The speakers were Vasiliki Scurfield, the mother of Konstandinos Erik Scurfield, Michelle Allison, KNK UK women’s representative, Dr Alan Semo, PYD UK representative, and Dr Mohamed Kanyany, former KRG MP.

by Sofia Beatty

newroz parliament_vsAddressing a packed meeting in the House of Commons, Aysegul Erdogan, chairing, welcomed the speakers, with a special thanks to Vasiliki Scurfield, the mother of Konstandinos Scurfield, the ex-Royal Marine who died fighting with the YPG for the liberation of the Kurdish people. This year, said Aysegul, Newroz “takes on added significance, as this is the first Newroz since the victory of the Kurdish forces, the YPG and YPJ in Kobani, Rojava. This year, the fire of Newroz burns brighter than before. Newroz, for us Kurdish people, has a different meaning. To us, it means light over darkness, freedom over oppression, peace over war.” She praised the Kurdish spirit of resistance in the face genocidal acts against the Kurdish people, such as at Halabja. Continue reading

PYD: We have a common responsibility to prevent another genocide

We received this appeal from the Democratic Union party (PYD) representation in Europe, which calls on the international community to support YPG, YPJ and other defence forces as they resist the latest ISIS onslaught in the Til Hemis and Til Birak regions of Syria. 

An appeal to the international community

We have a common responsibility to prevent another genocide

It started with Kobane and Sinjar, and now we are witnessing the same developments in Til Temir, Serê Kanî and Al Hasaka. Since February 22th, these areas have come under a brutal and barbaric assault by the Islamic State. Triggered by their setbacks in Kobane, Til Hemis and Til Birak, the terrorists have launched a major terrorist campaign. No one has been spared, including women, children and so-called ”apostates”. Once again we have witnessed the horrendous enslavement of women by the hands of the terrorists, beheadings of innocent civilians and the destruction of churches and mosques. The tragic fate of our 300 kidnapped Christian’s brothers and sisters is sadly still unknown. Continue reading