Defend Afrin demonstration: Plan C solidarity bloc call-out

This is a call-out to join the solidarity bloc organised by Plan C London for the Defend Afrin demonstration this Sunday 18th February in Central London. Reposted from Plan C website.

For over two weeks, the citizen militias of Afrin Canton in Northern Syria have been bravely fighting against the Turkish army’s invasion. We have heard and seen first hand accounts of the levels of violence, torture and mutilation that the newly recruited militias and mercenaries have carried out against those who dare to resist these violations and defend their autonomous self-determination within the region.

Whilst Turkish warplanes bomb towns and villages with inevitable casualties, the bodies of children, elderly and other non-combattants mount up. For those of us unafraid of expressing empathy, we say this must stop now.

The Syrian conflict has been raging since 2011, with every major world power active either via proxy or directly. In Syria, they say this is not a regional conflict but a world war, played out on the lives of citizens – but with every conflict there are sides, compromises and shifting alliances which articulate the complexities of the situation.

Plan C have supported the emerging movements in Rojava, and stand in solidarity with the self-organised Syrian movements and the popular resistance against the Assad regime. We have seen the same desires and aspirations for a life without fear, which were at the heart of many Syrians in the initial days of the uprisings, being pounded into rubble by the barrels bombs of the Assad’s Syrian Armed Forces, the constant aerial bombardment of Russian jets and the attacks by ISIS and their allies. Caught between a rock and a hard place we note that the SDF and Kurdish forces face a life or death situation, and are and will continue to be played as leverage by the interests of the US and Russia. Only a rising global movement which sees Rojava everywhere and fights for solidarity for progressive alliances could constrain and push back the war machine.

Regardless of our distance from the battlefields in Syria, our direction should be to confront in the first instance the interconnected social realities that produce and reproduce the Syrian conflict and to expose the transnational chains of exploitation which underpin the global energy markets, the arms industries that like the Nazi armies in Spain in 1936 used these conflicts to test and sell weapons, to the lucrative infrastructural rebuilding programmes that much of Europe’s economy is maintained by and the flows of highly skilled migrant labour that has settled across Europe’s main metropolises due to this conflict. When we recognise this interconnectedness of our situations here, and those unimaginable situations there, we open up new possibilities of alliances and strategies to show solidarity with the people in Afrin amongst our own struggles in our workplaces, community spaces, homes and daily interactions.

In under a month an international women’s strike will take place on March 8th, one that recognises the women led resistance in Rojava and the fundamental freedoms that women are fighting against across the world. We stand in solidarity with women’s self-defence and social revolutionary aspirations in Rojava and beyond.

The fight in Afrin is reflective of a global system of domination. Our task therefore is to develop and deepen movements that confront the underlying political conditions of these conflicts, to fight on many fronts whilst taking to the streets in solidarity and providing material support to those face this murderous onslaught.

We call our comrades and friends to express their solidarity with the Kurdish diasporas in London and the citizen militias defending Afrin, to join us on our solidarity bloc as part of the national Defend Afrin demonstration on Sunday February 18th in central London.

Plan C LDN

For endorsements and help in mobilising for this bloc – please contact us at london(at)weareplanc.org

Please keep up to date via our facebook event.