On September 20 and 21, hundreds of young people from the Cizirê region gathered for the first defense conference under the slogan “LI DIJÎ DAGIRKERÎ Û ÎXANETÊ, WERIN CENGA AZADIYÊ” (Against occupation and betrayal, join the struggle for freedom). The two-day conference was called to find answers to the ongoing attacks on capitalist modernity in the form of the fascist Turkish state.
This is the report published by the Internationalist Commune of Rojava on the conference.
“On the first day of the conference, hundreds of young people from TCŞ (Tevgera Ciwanen Şoreşger – Revolutionary Youth Movement), PYD (Partiya Yekîtiya Demokrat – Democratic Union Party), student organizations, as well as sports groups and cultural figures gathered in the town of Rimelan for a diverse cultural programme. Theatrical and sketch performances, goven (traditional dance) and kick-boxing set the tone for the rest of the programme. Harun Baran, the former leader of the Revolutionary Youth Movement, opened the program with a speech and welcomed the conference as a good step according to the current phase, marked by large-scale attacks by Turkish fascism and underlined the importance of the aspect of self-defense in the strategy of people’s revolutionary war.
On the second day, the theme of defense was approached philosophically, politically and ideologically. Part of the program was the screening of a documentary film commune Rojava (Komîna Film a Rojava), in which it was shown that every living being, every form of life has defense mechanisms and also a society represents a such form of life. Therefore, a society that cannot defend itself is threatened in its existence because it is defenseless against attack. It is not always physical attacks in the form of war and expulsion, but it can also be assimilation and attacks on their culture, customs, values and traditions. In this sense, defense is also necessary against the multitude of methods of special warfare, the promotion of the capitalist way of life in digital media, superficiality, consumerism, the introduction of narcotics, etc. Especially for young people, since they are particularly often the target of these measures. Those who want to incorporate society into the capitalist system are aware that the youth have the greatest potential to develop revolutionary feelings. The dynamics of young people, their rhythm, their attitude and their desire for renewal and change must be broken by these measures.
If we look more closely at the situation of many European or North American societies, we see what threatens a society that has lost consciousness of its defence: the diverse cultures, the regional particularities, the languages and dialects, as well as the reference to history have almost completely disappeared, become homogenized and degenerated into an individualistic consumer society without true sociality in the proper sense, that is to say the common shaping of life.
In a video message from the Free Mountains of Kurdistan, the current political and military situation was analysed. Focus: The guerrilla resistance which since April 14 has more clearly challenged a massive military operation, a war of aggression, of the fascist Turkish state. This war is a battle of survival for the guerrillas but also for the AKP-MHP regime. To leave the revolution, the struggle against the enemy, solely to the guerrillas, is a mistake and it is not in line with the strategy that promises the greatest success in the struggle against capitalist modernity, the state.
According to the Revolutionary People’s War strategy proposed by Rebertî2 in 2010, another pillar, besides guerrilla warfare, should be the legitimate self-defense of the people and the youth. The guerrilla commander further stressed that the society in the four regions of Kurdistan must rise up and stand alongside the guerrillas for the dignity and honor of the Kurdish people, who are threatened with genocide.
Often, young people also refer to the protests in Rojhilat and Iran, where young people played a vanguard role in organizing and defending society.
Based on the impressions of the first part of the program and the reading of the report on the work of the Revolutionary Youth of Rojava, the central themes of the conference were discussed: What is the attitude of the youth towards the freedom of Rebertî³ ? What role can he play vis-à-vis Rebertî’s (physical) freedom? What does self-defense mean for young people? What is the place of youth in the People’s Revolutionary War?
Discussions were characterized by critical and self-critical insight into weaknesses and gaps in organization and self-education, a reflection of one’s own identities and personalities. It has become clear that in Rojava too, the influence of the special war in the form of propaganda through social media, drug trafficking and agent activities is having a devastating effect on the youth. Time and time again, young people have raised the issue of liberal attitudes towards wrongful, counter-revolutionary and immoral behaviors and approaches.
Some of the things we heard made us feel even closer to the youth of Rojava. The attacks that we face are very similar in some ways and the steps that we, like the youth of Rojava, need to take to live today, the change that will be at the heart of a free way of life, are the same : First, we must learn to know and understand ourselves, our reality and the reality of the enemy, in order to develop a radical position on this basis.
Faced with the conspiracy, the kidnapping of Abdullah Öcalan and his imprisonment in solitary confinement on the prison island of Imrali, it is the duty of the youth to show attitude and devote every hour of the day in the struggle for physical freedom. of Reberti². The freedoms enjoyed by young people today, the possibility of living their culture, learning and studying in their mother tongue, the existence of a Kurdish identity are only possible thanks to resistance, ideas and the philosophy of Abdullah Öcalan and the resistance of the guerrillas in the free mountains of Kurdistan. The physical freedom of Rebertî is equivalent to the liberation of the Kurdish people, because a free Kurdistan, a free Kurdish people would force the release of Abdullah Öcalan.
Based on the discussions of the two-day conference, certain organizational changes were decided upon to focus the work of the revolutionary youth on its defense against any form of attack and to lay the foundations for a broader organization of the youth of the Rojava. The conference was characterized by enthusiasm and morale; slogans were repeatedly chanted and the packed house was swept away. There was no break without dancing.
We are grateful to be able to share the experiences of the revolutionary youth in Rojava and we also see ourselves in the responsibility to deepen our education and become a response to colonialism, fascism and war with the awareness of the attacks against us as young people. The values created here in Rojava in 10 years must be defended and we, as young people around the world, must take this struggle here as our own in terms of 21st century internationalism.”