Inter­na­tion­al­ist Com­mune of Roja­va: Pre­sen­ta­tion of the cam­paign in coop­er­a­tion with the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Self-gov­er­nance of North­ern Syria.

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Make Rojava Green Again

Make Rojava Green Again
Support the ecological revolution in Northern Syria


Five years have passed since the begin­ning of the Roja­va Rev­o­lu­tion. Begin­ning with the hero­ic resis­tance of Kobani, the YPG/YPJ have pushed the reac­tionary gangs of ISIS back again and again. At the same time, the peo­ple of Roja­va have suc­cess­ful­ly resist­ed all hege­mon­i­cal attempts to cor­rupt the rev­o­lu­tion. Inspired and shaped by the ideas of Abdul­lah Öcalan and the strug­gle of the Kur­dish free­dom move­ment, Roja­va is a rev­o­lu­tion­ary project with the aim of chal­leng­ing cap­i­tal­ist moder­ni­ty through wom­en’s lib­er­a­tion, ecol­o­gy, and rad­i­cal democ­ra­cy. Despite the ongo­ing suc­cess of the Roja­va Rev­o­lu­tion, the peo­ple remain under pres­sure; the war against ISIS, the dai­ly ter­ror attacks by the Turk­ish state and the eco­nom­ic embar­go, are obsta­cles for build­ing up a new soci­ety. In this sit­u­a­tion, Roja­va needs world­wide sup­port more than ever.

Internationalist Commune – learn, support, organize

For many years, we, inter­na­tion­al­ists from all over the world, have been work­ing on many facets of the Roja­va Rev­o­lu­tion. Inspired by the rev­o­lu­tion­ary per­spec­tive of the Kur­dish free­dom move­ment, we are here to learn, and to sup­port and help devel­op exist­ing projects. It is our aim to orga­nize a new gen­er­a­tion of inter­na­tion­al­ists to chal­lenge cap­i­tal­ist moder­ni­ty. Sup­port­ed by the youth move­ment in Roja­va (YCR/YJC), we estab­lished the Inter­na­tion­al­ist Com­mune of Roja­va in ear­ly 2017. To date, our projects have include orga­niz­ing edu­ca­tion­al activ­i­ties, del­e­ga­tions, lan­guage cours­es, and the con­struc­tion of the first civil­ian acad­e­my for inter­na­tion­al­ists in Rojava.

A pillar of the revolution: ecology

Peo­ple who are alien­at­ed from nature are alien­at­ed from them­selves, and are self-destruc­tive. No sys­tem has shown this rela­tion­ship more clear­ly than cap­i­tal­ist moder­ni­ty; envi­ron­men­tal destruc­tion and eco­log­i­cal crises go hand in hand with oppres­sion and exploita­tion of peo­ple. The feck­less men­tal­i­ty of max­i­mum prof­it has brought our plan­et close to the edge of the abyss, and left human­i­ty in a whirl­wind of war, hunger, and social cri­sis. Because of this, devel­op­ing an eco­log­i­cal soci­ety is a pil­lar of the Roja­va Rev­o­lu­tion, along­side wom­en’s lib­er­a­tion and a total democ­ra­ti­za­tion of all parts of life. This is about more than just pro­tect­ing nature by lim­it­ing dam­age to it; it is about recre­at­ing the bal­ance between peo­ple and nature. It is about a “renewed, con­scious and enlight­ed uni­fi­ca­tion towards a nat­ur­al, organ­ic soci­ety” (Abdul­lah Öcalan).

Monoculture, water shortage and air pollution: colonialism against humanity and nature

The results of the cap­i­tal­ist men­tal­i­ty and state vio­lence against soci­ety and the envi­ron­ment are clear­ly vis­i­ble in Roja­va; the Baath regime was and remains unin­ter­est­ed in an eco­log­i­cal soci­ety through­out all of Syr­ia. The regime always focused on max­i­mum resource exploita­tion and high agri­cul­tur­al pro­duc­tion rate at the expense of envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, espe­cial­ly in col­o­nized West Kur­dis­tan. Sys­tem­at­ic defor­esta­tion made mono­cul­ture pos­si­ble: wheat in Cizire Can­ton, olives in Afrin, and a mix­ture of both in Kobani have altered the land­scape of Roja­va. For sev­er­al decades it was for­bid­den to plant trees and veg­eta­bles, and the pop­u­la­tion was encour­aged by repres­sive pol­i­tics and delib­er­ate under­de­vel­opp­ment of the region to migrate as cheap labour to near­by cities like Alep­po, Raqqa and Homs. Ener­gy pro­duc­tion and use (fos­sil fuels), sense­less waste man­age­ment poli­cies, and care­less over-reliance on chem­i­cals in agri­cul­ture, dam­aged the ground, air and water. But the Roja­va Rev­o­lu­tion and the Roja­van peo­ple strug­gle not only with the ecopo­lit­i­cal her­itage of the Baath regime, but also with the ever-present and grave threat of the hos­tile poli­cies of Turk­ish State. Beside mil­i­tary attacks, the con­stant threat of an inva­sion, and an eco­nom­ic embar­go, we also face the prob­lems caused results by Turk­ish gov­er­ment dam con­struc­tion in occu­pied North Kur­dis­tan, and the con­se­quent uncon­trolled use of ground­wa­ter by Turkey for its agri­cul­ture. This aggres­sive siphon­ing reduces the flow into Roja­van rivers and low­ers the whole region’s ground­wa­ter lev­el. We are wit­ness­ing how Turk­ish State is systematically
clos­ing Rojava’s water tap.

Between war and embargo – ecological works in Rojava

The attempts of the Turk­ish and Syr­i­an regimes to stran­gle the rev­o­lu­tion in Roja­va by mil­i­tary, polit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic attacks, the war against ISIS, and the embar­go, sup­port­ed by the South Kur­dish KDP, are cre­at­ing dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances for eco­log­i­cal projects in Roja­va. Although there are many cur­rent projects, includ­ing refor­esta­tion, cre­ation of nat­ur­al reserves and envi­ron­men­tal­ly-friend­ly waste dis­pos­al facil­i­ties, the infra­struc­ture of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Self-Admin­is­tra­tion is still in a dif­fi­cult mate­r­i­al sit­u­a­tion, mak­ing these goals hard­er to achieve. The projects of most region­al com­mit­tees are either just begin­ning or in the plan­ning stage. The eco­log­i­cal rev­o­lu­tion, with­in the larg­er rev­o­lu­tion, is still in its infan­cy. It lacks envi­ron­men­tal con­scious­ness among the pop­u­la­tion, expert knowl­edge, nec­es­sary tech­nol­o­gy, and a con­nec­tion to sol­i­dar­i­ty from abroad.

Our contribution to the ecological revolution: Make Rojava Green Again

We, the Inter­na­tion­al­ist Com­mune of Roja­va, want to con­tribute to the eco­log­i­cal rev­o­lu­tion in North­ern Syr­ia. To this end, we have start­ed the cam­paign “Make Roja­va Green Again”, cam­paign in coop­er­a­tion with the Ecol­o­gy Com­mit­tee of the Cizire Can­ton. The cam­paign has three aspects:

1. Build­ing up the Inter­na­tion­al­ist Acad­e­my with an eco­log­i­cal ethos, to serve as a work­ing exam­ple for com­pa­ra­ble projects and con­cepts for the entire soci­ety. The acad­e­my will facil­i­tate edu­ca­tion for inter­na­tion­al­ists and for the gen­er­al pop­u­la­tion of Roja­va, to strength­en aware­ness and envi­ron­men­tal con­scious­ness, push­ing to build up an eco­log­i­cal society.
2. Join­ing the work of eco­log­i­cal projects for refor­esta­tion, and build­ing up a coop­er­a­tive tree nurs­ery as part of the Inter­na­tion­al­ist Academy.
3. Mate­r­i­al sup­port for exist­ing and future eco­log­i­cal projects of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Self-admin­is­tra­tion, includ­ing shar­ing of knowl­edge between activists, sci­en­tists and experts with com­mit­tees and struc­tures in Roja­va, devel­op­ing a long-term per­spec­tive for an eco­log­i­cal North­ern Syr­ia Federation.

The first two con­crete projects of the “Make Roja­va Green Again” cam­paign are:

  • Real­iza­tion of the con­cepts of an eco­log­i­cal life and work in the Inter­na­tion­al­ist Acad­e­my, part­ly with the build­ing up a nurs­ery as a part of the Acad­e­my. In the spring of 2018, we will plant 2,000 trees in the area of the acad­e­my, and 50,000 shoots in the nursery.
  • Prac­ti­cal and finan­cial sup­port for the Com­mit­tee for Nat­ur­al Con­ser­va­tion in the refor­esta­tion of the Haya­ka nat­ur­al reserve, near the city of Derik, in Cizire Can­ton. Over the next five years, we plan to plant more then 50,000 trees along the shores of Sefan Lake.

The col­lec­tive work in the nurs­ery will also be a part of the edu­ca­tion in the inter­na­tion­al­ist acad­e­my, as well as a con­crete expres­sion of sol­i­dar­i­ty with the com­munes, insti­tu­tions, and struc­tures of the population.

Make Rojava Green Again’ as a bridge for internationalist solidarity

These are some of the ways peo­ple can sup­port the the cam­paign ‘Make Roja­va Green
Again’, the eco­log­i­cal work in Roja­va, and rev­o­lu­tion in North­ern Syria.

  • Share this cam­paign with activists, sci­en­tists, and experts from fields such as eco­log­i­cal agri­cul­ture, forestry, water sup­ply, and sus­tain­able ener­gy production.
  • Con­tact and liaise with activists, jour­nal­ists, politi­cians and oth­ers who would be inter­est­ed in this campaign.
  • Write, pub­lish and share arti­cles and inter­views about the campaign.
  • Share infor­ma­tion with friends and fam­i­ly. Spread the word about the grow­ing eco­log­i­cal rev­o­lu­tion in Rojava.
  • Estab­lish con­tacts between persons/groups/organizations and the Inter­na­tion­al­ist Com­mune of Rojava.
  • Work in Roja­va itself.
  • Sup­port the work financially.
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Rote Hil­fe (Sec­ours Rouge)
IBAN: CH82 0900 0000 8555 9939 2
Post Finance
Ref­er­ence: “Make Roja­va Green Again”

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