Kobane

Kurdish solidarity activists rallied in Sydney on November 4, World Kobane Day.

Green Left Weekly hosted a screening of the film Kurdistan: Women at War on March 9 to celebrate International Women’s Day. The film, directed by Mylene Sauloy, follows the historical development of the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) and other similar groups defending and transforming their communities across Northern Syria.

"Northern Syria’s Feminist Revolution" is the title of a one-day seminar to be held at Victoria University on November 4.

It is being jointly organised by the Kurdish Democratic Community Centre of Victoria, the Kurdish Women’s League of Victoria and the Australians for Kurdistan solidarity group. It is also sponsored by Victoria University’s Community, Identity and Displacement Research Network.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) says 4475 people were killed in the nation's horrific civil war during July. Of these, 1289 were civilians, including 263 children.

Almost three quarters of these civilian casualties were killed in airstrikes by the government or its ally, Russia, and other attacks by the pro-government side, SOHR said.

Since the Syrian Civil War began in 2011, more than 400,000 people have been killed, between 4-to-5 million people have left Syria as refugees and about 8 million have been internally displaced.

An August 11 meeting at the Melbourne Trades Hall heard an inspiring report on the rebuilding of Kobane and the progress and problems of the Rojava revolution.

Hawzhin Azeez, a former University of Newcastle academic and now a central figure on the Kobane Reconstruction Board, spoke for almost an hour outlining the significance of Kobane to the Kurdish freedom struggle and the importance of the rebuilding effort.

Kurdish women struggle for a new society in Rojava

The struggles of Kurdish women in Rojava Kurdistan became known to many people in the world during the brutal attacks of ISIS against the city of Kobane in northern Syria on September 15, 2014. While Kurdish men and women defended the city from ISIS militia men with limited ammunition and inadequate weapons, Kurds worldwide took to the streets to be voice for Kurds in Rojava and Kobane.

In July 2012, the residents Kobanê rose up against the regime of Bashar al-Assad, making it the centre of the liberated cantons of Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan).

In the rest of Syria, various forces — including the regime, the so-called "Islamic State" and the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front have turned the country into a battleground, fuelled ethnic and religious divisions and competed with each other in cruelty to civilians. By contrast, in Rojava's liberated cantons a new society based on participatory democracy, ethnic equality, religious tolerance and feminism is emerging.

Tens of thousands of people have rallied worldwide to demand greater international support for Kurds battling the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in the largely Kurdish territory of Rojava in northern Syria.

Kobane is a Rojavan town that was the scene of prolonged and devastating conflict between the Rojavan revolutionary forces and ISIS, before finally being liberated in January. The battle for Kobane became symbolic of the Rojavan struggle against ISIS and its allies, such as the Turkish state.

Students of the Australian National University have launched a campaign to raise awareness about the current situation in Rojava, in northern Syria. The campaign, “Stand With Kobane” aims to raise money to help rebuild the Kurdish city of Kobane.

Kobane made headlines this year when it was the first Kurdish city to successfully break Islamic State's siege. A successful counter-attack resulted in the expulsion of all the IS fighters from the Kobane canton.

On July 20, 32 people were killed in a suicide bombing attack on a cultural centre in Suruç, a town in Turkish Kurdistan. More than 100 were injured.

Suruç is located across the border from the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobanê, which was besieged by forces of the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), between September and January.

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