“We are the mountains of the Kurds”

Here are some voices from the “mountains” for those who have set in motion a movement of mountains that awakens hope for all the undeceived of this world.

The Turkish war of aggression against North-East Syria and Rojava has reached beyond the massacres, war, occupation, and suffering. There has been protests against this invasion worldwide. It was followed by mass solidarity actions with the people in Rojava. Among these, something crystallized surfacing another form of solidarity. Now there is a movement of “mountains”.

For decades, the mountains have protected the Kurds from attacks and continue to do so today. But now, besides the mountains of Kurdistan, there are “mountains” all over the world. Artists, authors, intellectuals, academics and countless activists tell the Kurds "we are your mountains".

Here are some voices from the “mountains” for those who have set in motion a movement of mountains that awakens hope for all the undeceived of this world. Che Guevara was right to say "Solidarity is the tenderness of the peoples".

Boris Buden, Austrian philosopher and writer, Berlin, Germany

Up to the deepest mountains

The notion of “mountain” in the Kurdish proverb “No Friends but the Mountains” refers to an autonomous restoration of social depth in the state of solitude and abandonment. Left alone in the heights, the social imagination cannot but reach deep below the ground of reality. This is why today, in welcoming Russians who have joined the mess created by the West we shall remember their great classic Dostoevsky. In “Notes from Underground” he spoke of the clash of the worldviews that was tearing apart the 19th century Russia: above, on the surface of the new reality, the enlightened ideas of progress, evolution, rational political order and the visions of a just society, all represented by the West and its then Russian followers; deep bellow, in the underground of social and psychic life, the irrationality of humanity, its unfathomable nature and the self-destructive mess of the non-western other haunted by its reactionary resentments and dystopic nightmares. Today it is precisely the other way around: above, the wastelands of the predatory capitalism and the chaos of an irrational, self-destructive identity politics, the West in an advanced stage of its post-historical and post-social decadence, with no vision of any better future; below, banned to the underground by the joint forces of the global capitalist order, the social hope, its revolutionary legacy and the necessity of better future – alone with the Kurds in the Mountains.

Srećko Horvat, Croatian philosopher and author

According to Srećko Horvat, the motive behind the solidarity action with Rojava was not just to enact transnational solidarity with the current struggle of the Kurdish people, of which more than 180,000 have already been displaced. The point of the solidarity action, which could simply be called NO FRIENDS BUT THE MOUNTAINS, was also a sort of temporal solidarity, connecting two resistance struggles, which have more in common that it seems. Both struggles - the Kurdish struggle, and the Yugoslav Partisan struggle - were first a guerilla war, in the mountains, which as it was evolving at the same time established new forms of democracy and federalism. Today, the only way to imagine a future of Syria, which wouldn't be the victim of geopolitical interests with disastrous effects, is to imagine it as a democratic and federal Syria. And Rojava an Northeast Syria have shown the way. This is why anyone who wants to call themselves a democrat has to support this struggle - and many of us are supporting it. While Erdogan and Trump met, and Europe put a blind eye afraid of the "refugee blackmail", there have been many solidarity actions across the world - the Kurdish people are not alone. "

Prof. Nataša Mirković, singer and actress, from Bosnia-Herzegovina and living in Austria

I can’t believe that in 2019, the 21st century, we still need to talk about human rights and peace! And that the Kurdish people are in danger of their lives again and again on a daily basis! I’ve seen this scenario and the stupid war in Sarajevo 1992 (so I feel with you, my friends)

What is the point and the goal of all this, besides being evil and stupid? Haven’t we all suffered enough through the past because of each other (being stupid, jealous and possessive)? Nobody who won any idiotic war could take his worthless nickel into his own grave. And this is to people of Rojava: Dear friends! You are the most beautiful and powerful message to the whole world in all your colors and backgrounds. You are the unique flower that is making our planet a better place in our universe! You are an example of love and growth! I’m so proud that we all have Rojava! We should all be Rojava!

I’m standing in my heart with each of you together right now! Please stay strong in your hearts!

My deepest love and admiration to all of you!

Prof. Sandro Mezzadra, University of Bologna and Euronomade network, Italy

The Turkish military operation against Rojava – backed by Islamic militias – is going on for weeks now, causing the displacement of people, death, and havoc. While resistance on the ground never stopped, involving both the SDF, villages, and communities, tens of thousands of people took to the streets across the world in solidarity with democratic Confederalism in Rojava and against the Turkish operation. The breadth of such demonstrations shows that there is a widespread awareness of the general, universal scope of the stakes in the current crisis. Far from being a “local” clash, the struggle surrounding Rojava calls everybody in the world to answer the question: which side are you on?

Rojava instantiates a moment of hope in a region torn by war, it demonstrates the possibility to live together beyond any “difference”, it builds an extraordinary experiment in democracy, it challenges patriarchy and combines the struggle for social and environmental justice. It is to defend this experience and experiment that tens of thousands of people marched across the world identifying themselves with the struggle of Rojava.

On the other side you have Turkish nationalism, militarism, and authoritarianism, bordering on fascism. While democratic Confederalism frames Kurdish claims beyond the language and politics of nationalism, we are confronted here with nationalism in its purest and nastiest form, which is structurally associated with war. Erdogan’s regime is a curse not only for Kurdish people but also for Turkish citizens.

So, which side are you on? People looking beyond the narrow and parochial horizon of Turkish nationalism have no doubt to answer this question. In this exceptional moment of emergency, we stand united behind Rojava, behind YPG/YPJ and SDF, for the defense and further entrenchment of democratic Confederalism and self-government, for a future of peace and justice. We denounce the silence and complicity of Western governments, which are covering the business of arms trade with Erdogan’s regime.

Rojava must be defended, the Turkish army must retreat!

Justin Podur, writer, Toronto, Canada

In Solidarity with Rojava:

The Empire's goals in the Middle East (or West Asia) have been the same for a century or more: the destruction of sovereign states, the extraction of resources without regard for the people, and the sowing of enough chaos and destruction to keep this up, even if this risks the future for everyone.

The people of the region have made repeated attempts to assert their rights and create alternatives. The Kurdish people have faced some of the most severe challenges over these decades and have created, in Rojava, one of the most promising projects. They have fought the Islamic State's genocidal tyranny and are now having to fight the full weight of the Turkish military as it invades and occupies Syria, another sovereign country that has been dismembered by US design.

Turkey is a major regional power, but it could not invade and occupy Syria without a green light from the West. There are many things that could be done from the West to stop Turkey: Turkish officers and officials should face war crimes trials, and Erdogan's government should face diplomatic sanction, at the very least. These are tasks for the anti-war movement in the West, that must be revived for the sake of future generations in the region and the world.

Prof. Dr. Antonia Davidovic-Walther, Archaeologist, Frankfurt, Germany

„Before all our eyes a military attack, that violates international law, of a NATO member is taking place in NE Syria [Rojava]. The murderess ethnic cleansing of the multiethnic communities aims directly at the direct-democratic autonomous self-governance structures.

Whereas these structures provide a perspective, how the multiethnic and multireligious people and communities of the region can constitute and organize a peaceful society of religious freedom and gender equality in the region.

The Turkish government must be forced to stop the occupation immediately and has to make sure, that the residents of the area can return safely. Even when the German government, the EU and Donald Trump in their borderless and spinelessness bend before Erdogan- we will not leave the people of NE Syria [Rojava] alone. In contrast to Trump, we will never forget their fight against ISIS.”