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Few political projects in recent years have been a source of greater hope and inspiration than Rojava – the Kurdish region of north-eastern Syria. Inspired by the political philosophy of Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned co-founder of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Rojava embodies a radical ecology, direct democracy and a deep commitment to gender equality.

Although always threatened by a hostile regional geopolitics, the Kurdish people’s revolutionary social and political experiment finds itself now under renewed bombardment. On 6th October Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of US troops from the region, effectively giving the green light to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to invade, under the auspices of creating a buffer zone in which up to a million Syrian refugees who had fled to Turkey might live. Just a few weeks on and hundreds of Kurds have been killed, and hundreds of thousands forced to leave their homes.

On 2nd November we spoke to two activists from the Kurdish women’s movement, Dilar Dirik and Elif Sarican, to discuss the situation in Rojava, and what meaningful action is needed in order to safeguard its future.

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Women Defend Rojava campaign: