News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
In a new article by Aras Ararat and appearing on ANF, Ararat interviewed Margaret Owen, the renowned British Human Rights lawyer and activist, after her return from a 8-day solidarity trip to Rojava. Owen shared her experiences and insights with the reporter, while also affirming that the system of democratic, autonomous governance now under development in Rojava could be a possible model for the entire region. She also calls for the PKK to be removed from state terrorist watch-lists and for serious engagement on the part of Western governments with Kurdish groups in the region. Owen is one of the organizers of the ‘Peace for Kurdistan’ campaign and her activist work has been particularly informed by struggles around women’s issues.
‘I was very affected by the struggle of Kurdish women’
Concerning her visit to Yetitiya Star, an organization focused on the rights and struggle of women in Rojava, Owen said, “I was very affected by the struggle of Kurdish women defending their land and their people. Women have organized to a substantial degree, and there are women’s houses and academies in every village. At these houses women are able to find services for all kinds of needs. At the same time that they are trying to treat the wounds of women, those who have suffered the most in the cruel war that is continuing in Syria, they are also fighting on the front. I visited the headquarters of the women’s units connected to the YPG. The young women fighters who are struggling here to protect their lands from al-Qaeda and other jihadi-organizations are on a level that is truly affecting.
Owen went on to say that seeing the philosophy of Abdullah Öcalan take root in Rojava, and in particular on the subject of gender equality, also affected her greatly. Owen expressed herself thus: “Öcalan’s ideology has found a way into all areas of local life. Men and women are represented equally. Arabs, Christians, Alevis and all the different religious groups in Rojava are living together as equals. There is also equality at the level of representation and decisions are taken together. Right now there are more than 200,000 people that have had to migrate to Rojava. These are people that fled from other cities in Syria. Most are Arab and Christian. That these peoples are now living with Kurds in peace is a very significant and exemplary development.”
‘The PKK should be taken from the terror lists’
“It is time for Britain, the USA, the EU, and the UN to remove the PKK, which is the Kurdish Freedom Movement, from the terror lists. Kurds who have been deprived of their freedom for centuries need to be supported and the environment of freedom that has been achieved in Rojava needs to be aided. Kurds have founded a democratic system so that they can live together in Syria and this model is at level to be a system for the whole of Syria. Because this is the only emancipatory and egalitarian model that is capable of creating a solution for Syria. Most importantly international powers need to stop arming jihadist groups.”