Feminists rally for Kurds

July 3, 2020
Coral Wynter speaks at a solidarity rally on June 28 with Rojava feminists who have been murdered by the Turkish state. Photo: Peter Boyle

Australian feminist and socialist activists, Rachel Evans and Coral Wynter, were among the speakers at a protest in Sydney on June 28 to condemn Turkey’s murder of women activists in Kobane, in north-east Syria/Rojava.

Evans called on the Australian government to immediately recall its ambassador from Turkey as a formal act of protest against the Erdogan dictatorship’s aggression and to call upon its US and NATO allies to end all military aid and supplies to Turkey.

Wynter’s speech is reproduced below.


I am a feminist and a socialist and I am speaking in support of three other feminist socialists on the other side of the world, in Kobane, Rojava, Kurdistan. Their names are Zehra Berkel, Mizgin Xelil and Amina Weysi.

These three women were deliberately targeted and murdered by the Turkish government. The responsibility for their deaths lies with the butcher Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

On the night of June 23 in the village of Helence, on the outskirts of Kobane, Ergodan ordered a drone attack on the Women’s House called Mala Jin.

Think what you were doing on Tuesday night of June 23? Here we were having dinner, or watching TV, or getting ready for bed.

But in Kobane, Rojava, Kurdistan, these three women were not safe. They were organising the community, organising child care, organising education and training for women who have been denied these things all their lives. They were murdered for daring to fight oppression.

The blame lies not only with the Turkish government, but also with the US and Russian governments, who obviously allow these attacks by the fascist Ergodan to take place.

What is so dangerous to Turkey, the US and Russia in women organising? Because, just like those the Black Lives Matter movement has highlighted, women are also oppressed. When women begin to organise and fight back and rise up, they also threaten the status quo. These three women represent the threat of a good example. Not just a good example but a great example of how to organise democratically and inclusively, including all the ethnic groups and all religions — Iraqi, Arabic, Syriac, Armenian, Iranian and Kurdish. Women organising are a threat to matricidal and patricidal capitalism, which at present rules our world.

Here in Australia, we feminists must understand and learn from women organising in Rojava. We have been campaigning here on our own issues, such as domestic violence, where one woman is killed every week by her partner, or for equal wages, and free childcare.

We need to get the message out and get support from Australian women for the struggle in Kurdistan. To start, I urge everyone to watch Girls of the Sun, now streaming on SBS. This is a film about Bahar, the woman commander of an all-female Kurdish Battalion. I saw the film last year at a film festival and it was a brilliant exposition of the Kurdish struggle. The women of Kurdistan are an inspiration for women all over the world,

We call on the Australian government to condemn the Turkish regime’s attack on the women and people of Kurdistan.

We demand an end to the air strikes, the killer drones, the bombing and the shelling.

We call for the withdrawal of all Turkish forces from Kurdish territory.

Long live the women of Kurdistan

Long live Kurdistan.

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