From Richmond to Rojava.


Richmond VA. takes to the street in support of Rojava, October 12, 2019.

By now, much of the world is well-aware of what’s happening in Rojava right now.  That tiny sliver of northern Syria – home to one of the most radical experiments in direct-democracy on the planet – has fought to defend its revolution for the last five years from the genocidal fascists in Daesh (aka ISIS).  Just when the battle looked to be over and the brave fighters in the YPG, YPJ, and various international brigades could claim victory, Turkey’s autocratic despots hatched a back-room deal with Trump, wherein he would withdraw U.S. military support for the defenders of the Rojava revolution, allowing Turkey & its fascist paramilitary allies to invade the territory and begin the systematic displacement and genocide of the Kurdish people living there, along with their non-Kurdish neighbours.

It’s hard to know what do to in the face of the most powerful military forces around.  A call for an international day of solidarity with Rojava went out for October 12th; demonstrations in support of Rojava were held around the world, including in Richmond, VA.

The Richmond event started off very well, with a lively crowd taking over the hip Carytown neighborhood for an hour.  But then Richmond police decided their free speech rights were no longer valid and without warning, attacked the crowd, violently arrested two protestors.  Now, for showing solidarity with people facing extermination by fascist military regimes, they’ve been charged with various “unlawful actions,” like “wearing a mask” and “assaulting a police officer” (which we are VERY CERTAIN DID NOT HAPPEN!).

Richmond IWW has set up a crowdfunder to pay for the lawyers these two people now need to get these bullshit charges thrown and they asked us to help pay for those lawyers.  A lively discussion ensued among the 750+ members of the Defence Fund’s Decisions Crew.  Some felt that this action was too far removed from anti-fascist work; others disagreed.  In the end, we were unable to reach consensus and had to resort to a vote, which clearly showed that the majority of Decisions Crew members supported helping our friends in Richmond.  We did that this morning.

The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund remains the only standing fund out there dedicated to provide emergency support to anti-fascists when they need it the most.  If you want to show some real solidarity with the people putting themselves on the line to confront and resist hatred and bigotry the world over, you should make a contribution to the Defence Fund today!