Thousands gather in London to ‘Rise up for Rojava’

Twenty thousand trade unionists, anti-fascists, feminists and socialists came together in central London on Sunday 13 October to show their collective anger at Turkish President Erdogan’s criminal invasion of Northern Syria and to show their solidarity with the Kurds and their allies. The London event mirrored similar demonstrations which took place around the world under the banner ‘Rise up for Rojava’.

Rise up for Rojava

Turkeys invasion of Northern Syria has led to hundreds of civilian casualties, numerous war crimes including the killing of human rights activist and politician Hevrin Khalaf and a resurgence of ISIS and other Jihadist factions which are now effectively the front-line of NATO’s second-biggest army fighting a war of aggression against the Kurds and their allies.

Erdogan’s ISIS rescue mission

Speaking on behalf of the trade union movement, Unite’s International Director and Freedom for Ocalan campaign chair was damning of the actions of Erdogan’s regime branding the military intervention an ‘ISIS rescue mission’

“Make no mistake, Erdogan is on an ISIS rescue mission. When Rojava is liberated and Afrin is as well, we are coming after you Erdogan – you belong in jail.”

Simon Dubbins – Unite International Director

Who is the terrorist?

In a passionate plea to the international community, Osman Baydemir politician, lawyer, human rights activist and former Mayor of Dyabkir, warned the international community that if action is not taken, the Armenian genocide of 1915 risks being repeated.

“The Turkish state is at this time destroying Kurdish cities and towns. Now I would like to ask who is the terrorist? Who is the dictator?” The response from the crowd was immediate and emphatic “Erdogan! Erdogan!”

We need to act now!

Lloyd Russell -Moyle, MP for Kemptown & Peacehaven and chair of the all-party parliamentary group on Rojava outlined four immediate steps the international community must take to prevent possible genocide in northern Syria.

Global demonstrations

Actions took place around the globe over the weekend, all under the banner ‘Rise up for Rojava’. International solidarity is now more vital than ever and actions are now taking place on a daily basis.

A message from Rojava

It is hard to describe quite how powerful it is for us on the ground here to see the photos and videos of your actions and demonstrations across the country, across the rest of Europe and the rest of the World. These actions give us a strength that we cannot gain ourselves by eating, sleeping or training. They are an act of care, care that we sorely need in this dark moment in history.

There are hundreds of internationalists across North-East Syria. This spirit of internationalism is at the very core of this revolution because this revolution is a truly global movement. By being out here on the streets today you are all comrades in the same struggle, fighting the same fight as if you were standing alongside us on the barricades here in Rojava.

We came here to help in the building of a peaceful, democratic and feminist society. But each and every one of us knows that if you desire peace, you must prepare for war. And we are prepared, heval. We will fight to preserve this precious peace that the Kurds, Arabs, Syriacs and a multitude of other peoples have created out of the ashes of ISIS’s religious fascism.

While we prepare now with our tools, our computers and our cameras, in the coming days we will fight with our rifles and our machine guns. We will fight alongside Muslims and Christians from myriad sects and denominations, we will fight alongside men and women, we will fight alongside the young and the old, and we will fight with a spirit and a passion that you have all imbued us with by showing your solidarity here today.

But do not let today be the pinnacle; let it be just the first step in your global resistance to tyranny and fascism. Take the battle online, on the airwaves, hit them economically, and make this war as painful for the Turkish state as it was for the innocent Kurds that Turkey’s proxy militia dragged from their cars last night and brutally executed by the side of the road near Girê Spî. Because if we don’t take this fight to them, the ethnic cleansing, the mass murder, and cultural genocide that Erdogan openly promised in front of the UN General Assembly will become a reality.

Let us make this historic resistance together, comrades because resistance is life.

Berxwedan jiyan e

Anonymous Britsh volunteer in Rojava

How you can help

Time is now short with events moving very quickly at the time of writing, so it’s critical that maximum pressure is applied to our elected representatives either in writing or on the streets. We call on all trade unionists, socialists, feminists and anti-fascists to take a stand in solidarity and rise up for Rojava. You can use this resource to write to your elected official, sign this petition or join upcoming demonstrations such as this one on Sunday 13 October in London or follow this link to find a demonstration in your area.


It’s vital that the international community does not fall into silence on Trump’s betrayal of the Kurds, tweet to your elected representatives using #RiseUp4Rojava and follow the hashtag for updates.