Commemorating July 19: sailing in the rivers of the history of revolutionary movements

Today, July 19, it’s been five years since the autonomy of Rojava was declared. The revolutionary process that has been developed and expended since then brings worthy learnings for the whole world, and we want to commemorate this date from the Internationalist Commune of Rojava.

Submitted by Guerre de Classe on August 4, 2017

When we study the reality surrounding us, it is important to understand how the facts that came before us affect our lives and our societies. It is important to commemorate those feats in which the people get organised and achieves to write history in its own making, and July 19 is a significant day in various revolutionary processes that have taken place in various areas in the world.

On July 19 1936, in the territory administered by the Spanish State in the south of Europe, a popular uprising surged to contest the coup d’état forged by the military forces of the Spanish State. The army willed to impose totalitarianism against the popular organisations that had became established throughout the country, and that were starting socialist revolutionary processes. The civil war that took place during the three years following that event was a relevant chapter in the history of revolutions and internationalism. Socialist militants of different European countries arrived to Spain as international brigades in order to lend their support to the revolutionary process that was taking place and confront the fascism that grew in the continent. The model of cooperative economy that was developed in that period, with the collectivisation of lands and factories fostered by the anarchist unions was of great relevance in order to support the resistance to the Popular Front.

Unfortunately, internal divisions weakened the revolutionary movement, and the fascist states led by Mussolini and Hitler lend much superior military support than that the internationalist revolutionary forces could provide. The military alliance forged between the fascist states of Spain, Italy and Germany reached the decisive military victory against the Popular Army, and the fascist axis started the second world war which devastated Europe.

On July 19 1979, in territory administered by the Nicaraguan State in Central America, the Final Offensive sent by the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN by its initials in Spanish) achieved to defeat the dictatorship of the Somoza family, reaching a decisive military victory in Managua, capital city of Nicaragua. The agricultural reform and the deep education and alphabetisation labour developed by the democratic government, after the victory of the revolutionary movement, implied a great improvement of the quality of life of the Nicaraguan popular classes. Together with the marxist-leninist organisations that led the revolution, the movement of theology of liberation had great importance, achieving that the religious population connect with the socialist ideas and the revolutionary culture. The support received by revolutionary organisations from throughout the world can be resumed by the slogan they popularised: “La solidaridad es la ternura de lo pueblos” (solidarity is people’s tenderness).

Unfortunately, the imperialism of the USA, led by Ronald Reagan, took it to organise and fund the counter-revolution, led by former somozist leaders. The economic embargo imposed by the USA, together with the continued military aggressions, brought the exhaustion and the suffocation of the sandinista movement and the revolutionary processes. After years of resistance, the counter-revolutionary movement achieved a decisive electoral victory in 1990 that brought to an end the government of FSLN.

On July 19 2012, in territory administered by the Syrian State in the Middle East, the self-administration of Rojava announced the autonomy that brought together the disconnection with the regime ruled by the Assad family in that area of Kurdish majority. The civil war that region experienced since 2011 had polarised the society between the advocates of the assadist regime and its detractors. However, the Kurdish population and other ethnic minorities opted by a third way. The declaration of autonomy started with a social revolution process inspired by the paradigm of democratic confederalism developed by Abdullah Ocalan. The embargo and continuous aggressions of the Turkish Stated hindered the revolution, but the model of communal economy and the system of cooperatives allowed the economic development that was necessary for survival. The movement of Kurdish women brought a decisive turn in the revolutionary perspective, bringing the battle against patriarchy and against the gerontocracy as indispensable priorities to build a socialist society.

Unfortunately, the emergence of daesh in Syrian territory in 2014 posed a great threat to the revolution in Rojava when theocratic fascism besieged the city of Kobane. However, the revolutionary experience of PKK, which had already achieved an important military victory against daesh in Sinjar, equipped the movement with the ideology and the military training required to free the city. The siege of Kobane implied the internationalisation of the conflict, bringing not only the support of the international coalition established to combat daesh but also a great amount of internationalists from the whole world who joined to defend the revolution in Rojava. The military victory of the YPG/YPJ against the islamic state in January 2015 started a process of expansion of the revolution, creating the Federation of Northern Syria. The offensive against Raqqa, the most important city controlled by daesh after the fall of Mosul, will bring a decisive military victory.

As revolutionaries and as internationalists, it is important for us to remember the historic heritage that precedes us, to analyse it, and to know how to extract lessons to guide us to victory in the future. These dates are important days in the river of the history of revolutionary movements, and it is important for them not to be lost in oblivion. We need to remember the history that has taken us up to the present day, we need to learn from the rights and wrongs that those historical moments meant and stand up for the revolutionary processes that will come in the future.

From the Internationalist Commune in Rojava, we call upon the revolutionary people from the whole world to be a part of this revolution. The hegemony of the capitalist modernity throws us to submission and individual passivity, attempting to make us believe that “there is no alternative”. We have to be aware of our collective potential and confront the capitalist modernity that rule the world. The revolution that followed the popular uprising of Spain in 1936 was defeated by fascism. The revolution that followed the victory of the sandinista army in 1979 Nicaragua was suffocated by imperialism. But the Revolution in Rojava is today stronger than ever, and it is our duty as internationalists and as revolutionaries to fight to defend it.