One year ago, on 12 June 2017 the Internationalist Commune of Rojava shared a public statement presenting its project to the world.
Also 12 June is the birthday of Anna Campbell, şehid Helin Qereçox, who gave name to the first Internationalist Academy of Rojava. Campbell was a British YPJ fighter who lost her life in the defense of Afrin.
A year on, the Commune looks back to see and share the big steps its has achieved in these 12 months.
“After the public presentation of the commune under the slogan ‘learn, support, organize’, – said the statement – we started to develop our work and our projects, putting in practice the ideas and dreams we had, and searching for a place to build the first internationalist academy of the Democratic federation of Northern Syria”.
At the end of the summer in 2017 the internationalists started to build the academy. Since then, they have been working mostly focused on 3 main lines: internationalism, women liberation and ecology.
“Our main task has been the construction of the Internationalist Academy, – said the statement – the place to debate, study, research and also to host new internationals who also want to learn, support and organize the Rojava Revolution. At the same time, we have also been working on the up building of the Internationalist Commune itself, as the organizational frame for us and other internationals who want to join, developing a system and a network to integrate and strengthen the international dimension of this revolution”.
The Commune launched the ‘Make Rojava Green Again’ campaign in coordination with other institutions working on topics related to ecology.
“We wrote a book that we will start to publish soon in different languages, – said the statement – presenting our project and what motivates us to carry it out. Our main goal is to spread an ecological perspective of the revolutionary life, building our academy with a sustainable approach and starting a tree cooperative to help to reforest the arid lands of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria”.
The women of the commune are organized as an autonomous group, connecting directly with the different institutions and structures of the women’s movement within the Rojava Revolution.
“We have supported different projects and campaigns of the women movement, – said the statement – taking part in the work developed by Jinwar, the women’s ecological village. We also studied and organized education programs about jineolojî and the women liberation movements”.
In the middle of the first year of life as a Commune, the Afrin war erupted.
The Commune felt the need to slow down the normal projects to take part in the Afrin Resistance, mostly doing translations, international solidarity work and other kind of media work.
“The Afrin invasion was hard and brutal. – wrote the internationalists – It’s very sad to see the Turkish army and other islamist armed forces destroying the most beautiful region of Rojava. The war in Afrin affected us in ways we were not able to imagine before. The invasion, the struggle, the resistance”.
In the month of May, after several months building the academy, the work has finally finished.
“We have decided to name it the ‘Internationalist Academy sehid Hêlîn Qereçox’ in memory of Anna Campbell, the British YPJ fighter who became sehid in Afrin”.
The internationalist commune succeeded in organizing a one-month education course for the new internationalists, together with the ones who have been in Rojava since the beginning of the commune.
The education included Kurdish language lessons, ideological debates, knowledge about the society, the history of Midle East and the Kurdish people and debates about internationalism and the history of the Commune.
“Today, we are proud to say that the Internationalist Commune of Rojava is stronger than ever, – wrote the Commune – and that this is just one step more towards the democratic and revolutionary movement that is growing and being connected all around the world”.
The Commune “invite all the internationalists, revolutionaries and democratic forces once again, all those who want to walk with us, to learn, support and organize this revolution. Because we know that Rojava can be the spark that ignites a new way of understanding life, of developing a society outside capitalism, patriarchy and Nation-States. And because we know that this is just the beginning”.