Who are you?
We are members of Plan C, a UK based anti-capitalist organisation, working in its Rojava Solidarity Cluster – we (re)launched this recently and currently organise discussion events and spread information about Rojava, we also try and help mobilise for demonstrations and actions where and when we can. We are now launching our first fundraising campaign.
For those of you that might not know: Rojava is the Kurdish name for the northern part of Syria which has been in a phase of intense social and military struggle since the Syrian civil war kicked off. Rojava is committed to a large scale, pluralist experiment in democratic self-management, feminism, and ecology. It is fighting for its survival against ISIS and other Islamist groups, as well as coming under attack from the Turkish state. This short interview with David Graeber is worth reading, and this is a recent statement our cluster wrote on the topic. As our statement explains there is lots to support in Rojava although we are wary of slipping into an uncritical relationship with what is happening over there.
What’s your fundraising idea?
We plan to raise £3000 in the next month, to support the struggle in Rojava. £2000 of this will go directly to Rojava, £1400 to the Kobane reconstruction fund, Kobane is a city that was virtually destroyed whilst being defended from ISIS, and £600 for medical supplies for a project over there. We are also giving £1000 to Kurdish projects based here in the UK.
The international left is divided when it comes to Rojava and how far we can say the situation is a progressive one. We’ve made our position pretty clear on the topic and wanted to take a step from a theoretical or symbolic engagement to a material one. We’ve seen lots of support for Rojava on social media and we hope our campaign can encourage people to turn that support into something a little more tangible.
Why is some of the money being given to Kurdish projects in the UK when Rojava needs all the money it can get?
Good question. Rojava is is under economic embargo from Turkey and the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq and is unable to sell its major resources (oil and wheat) on the global market. Its main source of international funding comes from the Kurdish diaspora. By helping Kurdish projects in the UK, which are close enough to us for us to be able to build long term links with, we think we will be amplifying the overall amount of support getting to Rojava. Things like Kurdish social centres can be a base for further organising and agitation.
£3000 doesn’t sound like a lot of money. Is this it?
We hope not! Our plan is to start with something we think should be achievable but we hope to do larger fundraising campaigns next year. Hopefully these will involve other groups across Europe including our international friends within Beyond Europe.
If you are sympathetic to what is happening in Rojava and think they need support then we would ask you to donate to our campaign.
IndieGoGo Page: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/solidarity-with-rojava-3k-in-31-days/
Edit: As of publishing we've raised 79% of our target, any money raised above £3000 will go to exactly the same kind of projects so, if you can, please keep donating. Your money will directly help the struggle taking place in Rojava and will pave the way for larger fundraising campaigns in the future.
We’ve also produced a statement discussing the decision for the UK to pursue military action in Syria: Beyond #DontBombSyria: Some Thoughts and Suggestions.