News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
(ANF/DERİK) Thousands of residents of the Cızîre Canton of Rojava have once again gathered on the border with the KRG to protest the construction of a border trench dividing South and Rojava Kurdistan.
Protesters did not carry flags or other signs expressing support for any particular political party, but came bearing shovels with which they threw dirt into back into trench in symbolic gesture of defiances. 10 tents have also been pitched in an attempt to establish a protest encampment and begin a permanent vigil along the border.
Despite heavy rain thousands came to district of Derîk from Haseke, Serêkaniye, Dirbêspiyê, Amude, Qamişlo, Tribespiyê, Girkê Legê and other towns around the Cizîre canton. Protesters are angry about the construction of the ditch and border regimes more generally, as well as the violence which has been inflicted on Rojava residents by both the KDP and AKP. Earlier this week a Rojava man was killed when KDP peşmerge opened fire as he attempted to cross the border. Yesterday Turkish soldiers severely beat and robbed 10 men from Rojava who were attempting to cross the border into Northern Kurdistan near Cizre.
Protests from the area walked to the border, while those from farther away came in large convoys of vehicles. Marchers in the center of Derik carried placards reading “Xwîn yek e, can yek xiyanet neke” (One blood, one soul, do not betray) and “Kurdistan yek e, perçe neke” (Kurdistan is one do not divide it).
Most of the protesters gathered in the village of Girê Sor, directly across the border from the village of Sihêla in South Kurdistan. The trench has been dug between the two villages.
The protests were organized by the Rojava People’s Initiative and the decision to discourage flags was made as a point to show that the border issue was not simply a question of a political dispute between the PYD and the KDP, but had the support of all the people of Rojava.
At around 13:30 local time the Government of the Cizîre Canton made an official statement on the protests in which the Defense Minister Abdulkerim Saruhan, Deputy Defense Minister Süryani Heblehed Gewriye, Legislative Assembly President Muhammed Abbas and Legislative Assembly Council Member Abdulkerim Feko all took part. The statement went in part: “During this sensitive process, while our brothers need to help us they are implementing adversarial policies…the government in Hewler should not be a part of the embargo directed against Rojava. We at the Defense Ministry of the Cizîre Canton will do everything in our power to lift this embargo.”
As the crowds began to return to their homes it was announced that 100 people would say to maintain a constant vigil at the border on a rotating basis. The first to volunteer were from the Revolutionary Youth.