Dear Dispatches:

The invasion of Rojava has begun. F16s are leaving to strike Rojava from the same airbase they previously left to strike ISIS.

I’m now hearing from Dilar Dirik, who co-edited our Rojava book. Can you add this as a dispatch/letter? Thanks.

“If you remember the invasion of Afrin last year, you will know that the Turkish state will not shy away from indiscriminate targeting of civilians, demographic change and the destruction of historical sites to erase the region’s people and meaning for its aggressive agenda. But beyond an attack on the Kurdish people’s right to live, any attack on Rojava should also be understood as an attack on democracy, peoples’ solidarity and women’s liberation. Rojava became a hope for women around the world. Now it is time for women to defend Rojava.

“Most of you have probably been following the news closely, so apologies for cross-posting. I am emailing also to refer you to some resources you can use for the actions and calls you may be organizing/making. Please find attached our statement (Kurdish Women’s Movement in Europe), as well as a global call for action on the 12th of October. If you can encourage people to join the global action day, that would be brilliant.

“This website, run by women inside Rojava, is for feminist solidarity: Women Defend Rojava. It includes a call made by the women’s movement in Rojava, as well as other good resources. If people organize or join actions, they can send photos, drawings, declarations of solidarity and actions to womendefendrojava@protonmail.com so that we can spread them, or share on Twitter. There is also a mobilization video here: https://youtu.be/UgsIs6OaJwM It’s a month old, because the threats were already happening then. A lot of help is needed in terms of translation work. If you can offer your time and skills, please let me know.

“In general, our strategy as the Kurdish women’s movement and beyond is to mobilize all forces of democracy, freedom and justice to demonstrate that an attack on Rojava is not only going to be yet another humanitarian disaster caused by authoritarian war-mongering states (displacing hundreds of thousands of people again like last year’s invasion of Afrin) but also an attack on our willpower, self-defence and autonomy as women. All of our comrades around the world should understand this as an attack on our struggles for alternatives against capitalism, sexism and colonialism. In this sense, we encourage people to issue statements and mobilize their contacts, alongside joining rallies against the occupation.

“If you can circulate information on the developments to your contacts, especially in the press and public, that would be immensely helpful. Apart from rallies, we need to get information across, in media, politics, etc. People need to know the role of Turkey and that the attack will be nothing less than a massacre, motivated by ethnic cleansing campaign against Kurds. Of course, the threats are also ideologically motivated. Western governments have no interest to stand with a revolutionary struggle. We don’t expect the same powers that oppress our region to defend women’s history. Nonetheless,  exposing Turkey’s agenda will help prevent a genocidal campaign from happening, which will destroy hope for the future.

“Together, we can protect what women in Rojava have built up with their sacrifices. It’s time to defend women’s history. An attack on Rojava is an attack on women’s autonomy and freedom.”

Statement of the Kurdish Women’s Movement in Europe

Urgent Call for Action on October 12