#DefendAfrin is over, but not yet

by Elisa Stowe

What is there left to say on a dark day like today?
How can we even respond with words to what has happened in Afrin?
The truth is, we can’t
It’s just not possible to describe what has occurred.
We can only express our heartfelt human warmth and solidarity with those who have lost their beloved, those who are suffering from injuries, those who have been brutally forced to leave their homes, those who have been abandoned – in the truest sense of the word.
Amidst the silence and complicity of the West, hundreds have been killed, and thousands have fled their cities. But they were the very people who successfully defeated ISIS. In between defeating the greatest enemy the world has seen in decades, they have also reconstructed their lives around principles of radical democracy and women’s liberation.
Despite this, they have been abandoned, again.
They say they are fighting ́terrorists ́ (YPG). But by the time word got out that the Turkish army, together with its Jihadist allies, had bombed the key water source of the city, as well as the only hospital with a trauma unit, no one could seriously have any doubt about the actual targets of this attack anymore.
It was those who have resisted their deep dehumanization and built alternatives around values that are diametrically opposed to those of the attackers. It was Erdogan’s and the Jihadist’s hetero-patriarchal, nationalist and fascist ideology that had really been under attack.
The war on Afrin has been going on for 58 days and would not have been possible if Russia hadn’t left its airspace open, nor would it have been possible if the US had not let their allies down and they hadn’t kept silent so shamelessly.
We wholeheartedly condemn this foreign policy of shady arm deals and shameful silence.
Today they sing. They sing racist and anti-kurdish songs. They sing and they loot. But what about tomorrow?
Tomorrow they will continue raiding Northern Syria, and their next stop is Manbij.
They will continue building on their ethnocentric hatred, and they will continue attempting to destroy their greatest threats: democracy, women’s liberation and revolution.
We will continue, too. We will resist and fight for democracy, emancipation, we will continue to attack and call out the silence and complicity of our governments.
We will not keep silent and we will use our greatest weapon: solidarity.

The last week has given us proof – beacons of light are being blown out everywhere.
It’s time to act. Now.

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