A Rojavan September


In case you missed it, last September we were featured in Strike Magazine! Check out the issue here!

This September we spoke with CrimethInc about the Rojava Revolution in the fiftieth episode of their podcast. The discussion spanned several topics, from commemoration of the American anarchist Jordan MacTaggart, who joined the YPG and was killed during the liberation of Manbij, to the politics of martyrdom within the anarchist movement. It was a great discussion, be sure to check it out!

Also, on September tenth we held a demo at the Turkish consulate in NYC as an immediate and direct response to Turkey’s invasion of N. Syria. As usual and not unlike their savior Erdoğan, the consulate members attempted to bully and intimidate those that showed up to demonstrate against their totalitarian state and its incessant chauvinism. However, all comrades stood their ground and made their voices heard, with chants such as ‘Bijî Rojava!’ and banners that read ‘Turkey out of Syria’. Below is the press release and some pictures from the event.

Rojava Solidarity NYC rallies to defend Kurdish revolutionary democracy, demanding an end to Turkey’s ethnic cleansing and aggression in Syria

Saturday, September 10, at 3pm, outside the Turkish Consulate,

825 3rd Avenue (Entrance on 50th Street), New York, NY 10022

New York, New York – Dozens, perhaps hundreds, of people will rally Saturday at the Turkish consulate to demonstrate their outrage at the latest military aggression in Kurdistan, particularly the deadly Turkish attacks on the democratic revolution in Rojava, a region of Syria.

Last week Turkey began cross border operations in Syria—bombing, shelling, and assaulting the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and People’s Protection Units (YPG/YPJ). In the city of Kobane, two peaceful demonstrators were killed by Turkish forces firing across the border. While Turkey claims to be fighting terrorists in the form of ISIS, their real objective is to strangle the autonomous, pluralistic, and feminist revolution which has been taking place in the predominantly Kurdish area of northern Syria known as Rojava. This revolution stands in stark opposition to the Islamist, authoritarian, and misogynistic tendencies of both Turkey, and the factions in the Syrian War associated with it.


The international community must support Rojava in the face of this aggression, lest the best hope for freedom and democracy in the region will be destroyed. The United States government in particular has been complicit in this blatant betrayal of their allies in Rojava, who have been the only consistent leaders in the fight against ISIS (Daesh).

“We stand with Rojava against Turkish brutality, and demand the immediate withdrawal of Turkish forces and their proxies,” said Rojava Solidarity spokesperson Thomas Gerhardt. “Anyone who values secularism and liberation in the Middle East—particularly the liberation of women—must support the people of Rojava fighting for their lives against the Turkish dictator Erdogan and ISIS, who are working together. People who stand against fundamentalist terror must support the Peoples Protection Units, the YPJ and YPG, who are the freedom fighters of northern Syria. YPG are the greatest enemy of ISIS, not only because of their military commitment, but because their libertarian project is the antidote to the Islamists’ fascistic doctrine.”

On August 28, Turkey began unilaterally building a border wall through Kobane in Syria. Speaking to ARA News, director of the Kobane Health Commission, Hikmat Ahmed, said: “Turkey has been training and funding ISIS terrorists for years, and after its agenda has failed it started to invade our region with tanks and warplanes. At 05:00 AM this morning the Turkish forces bombed the Amarna village and injured innocent civilians who are now being treated in Amal hospital in Kobane. And now building this barrier wall shows the Turkish attempt to separate our people.” [1]


Local leaders across the region are watching the situation closely and see through the Turkish propaganda. “Turkey shamelessly and openly backs IS and al-Qaeda terrorists against Kurdish freedom fighters,” Sadi Pria, a top Iraqi Kurdish official in Irbil, told the BBC on August 23. [2]

When America needed the YPG, Western outlets like CNN wrote avidly about the militia, their bold women fighters, and the non-sectarian society they were helping to build. “Al-Qamishli [in Rojava] is one of the few places in Syria where different groups — Kurds, Arabs, Christians, Turkmen — seem to live together in relative harmony,” CNN reported last year. They, along with US officials, called the YPG “the most effective force on the ground fighting ISIS.” [3]

Today US officials talk out of both sides of their mouth. Last month John Kerry endorsed the Turkish invasion at an appearance with Erdogan, and told YPG to retreat. In the past few days, US leaders have finally denounced some of the Turkish actions—but this resembles the empty criticism they sometimes make of their other partners Saudi Arabia and Israel. If Turkey does not end its occupation of northern Syria immediately, it must be considered both a US and Turkish enterprise. [4]

ISIS won’t be stopped by a foreign ground invasion any more than the Taliban (who still haunt Afghanistan) have. Fundamentalist terror can only be stopped by an indigenous movement that offers an inspiring alternative. The authoritarianism of the Turkish state cannot inspire the people of Syria, but the participatory democracy of Rojava can.


– Rojava Solidarity NYC

[1] “Turkey building barrier wall on border with Kobane, Syrian Kurds protest” ARANews, August 28, 2016 – http://aranews.net/2016/08/turkey-building-barrier-wall-border-kobane-syrian-kurds-protest/

[2] “Turkey v. Syria’s Kurds v. Islamic State” BBC Monitoring, August 23, 2016 – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-33690060

[3] Ben Wedeman, “This is a story about Syria at war, but it’s not a war story”, CNN.com, January 11, 2016 – http://edition.cnn.com/2015/12/09/middleeast/syria-war-story-wedeman/index.html

[4] Richard Sisk, “US Will Continue to Back Kurdish Group Opposed by Turkey: Votel” Miltary.comhttp://www.military.com/daily-news/2016/08/31/us-will-continue-to-back-kurdish-group-opposed-by-turkey-votel.html