'Defending Afrin means defending the women's revolution'

Kongreya Star members call for women around the world to oppose Turkey's war on Afrin.

The statement below, “Message from the Women of Afrin to the Women of the World”, was released on February 3 by Kongreya Star Efrin, a confederation of women’s organisatons in Afrin (Efrin in Kurdish).

One of the cantons of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria, Afrin is part of the revolutionary process in the region based on multi-ethnic grassroots democracy and women’s liberation. There is a sign-on statement for Australians to oppose Turkey’s war that you can add your name to here.

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Since January 20, the Turkish army has been attacking and trying to invade the Kurdish region of Afrin in the Democratic Federation of North Syria. Night and day, our towns and villages, refugee camps, historic and sacred sites have been bombed by Turkish war-planes and artillery.

During the first 10 days of these attacks, 65 civilians were killed and 163 heavily injured. Among the casualties are women, men, children and many refugees from other regions of Syria.

The fascist regime in Turkey has openly announced the aim of its military aggression on Afrin as wiping out the democratic autonomous self-administration of Rojava [the Kurdish name for Northern Syria] and to occupy the territory of Northern Syria.

Hereby, the dictatorship of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan strives to spread its racist, religious-fundamentalist and sexist regime of oppression to the whole region of the Middle East.

As women from Afrin, we call upon women from all over the world to join our resistance to defend Afrin and the values of humanity! For six years women from Afrin and Rojava have been resisting against the attacks of the Islamic State.

At the same time, we have played a leading role in building up democratic structures of self-administration. Women of Rojava have built up autonomous structures based on communal organising, women’s councils, academies, and cooperatives, as well as women’s self-defence.

Through realising that women’s solidarity is one of our most effective weapons, we have developed our strength and consciousness.

The courage that our comrade Arin Mirkan in the fight for the defence of Kobane against IS fascism [a commander of the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ), Mirkan sacrificed her life in the battle to liberate Kobane in 2014], has spread among women from all parts of the society in Rojava. Her resistance has been taken up by our comrade Avesta Xabur, who sacrificed her life to stop the attempted invasion of the fascist Turkish army in the region of Afrin.

Ten of thousands of women have taken up arms to defend their land, their lives, and their future in Afrin. The resistance of the YPJ and the women’s civil defence forces, Parastina Jine, who have organised under the umbrella of the Women’s Movement of Rojava-Kongreya Star, are part of women’s global resistance against any form of oppression, femicide and fascism.

While the international institutions and state governments keep silent about the war crimes and the abuses of international law that we are confronted with, we believe that women’s international solidarity will be our strongest weapon in defeating fascism and patriarchy. In this sense, we call upon all women worldwide to join our struggle for the defence of Afrin — to defend a women‘s revolution.

We greet all our sisters who feel the same responsibility as we do and take action to stop the aggressions of the Turkish state against Afrin by any means necessary.

Let’s strengthen the networks and actions of women’s international solidarity to stop fascist wars, and spread the women’s revolution from Afrin and Northern Syria to all regions of the world.

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