[By Fred Fuentes] October 31 — More trade unions have come out in opposition to Turkey’s invasion of the Kurdish-majority, northern region of Syria, commonly known as Rojava.
The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union Construction & General Division’s October national conference passed a motion “strongly condemn[ing]” the invasion and stated the union’s support for “the struggle of the Rojava People and their democratic system”.
The motion calls for “the immediate withdrawal of Turkish troops from Rojava”, adding “No peace can be achieved until all foreign forces withdraw from the region”.
It also calls on Australia to end all arms and training deals with the Turkish government and recall its ambassador to Turkey.
The Financial Sector Union NSW/ACT Local Enterprise Council for Westpac and St George passed a similar motion on October 30.
The motion noted Turkey’s “invasion has already resulted in hundreds of thousands of people being displaced from their homes and could plunge the whole region into war for many years to come.”
“Furthermore, the invasion is leading to the ethnic cleansing of the Kurdish people in the area.
“It will also destroy the great advances they’ve made around women’s equality, democracy, and equal rights for the various religious and ethnic communities of the region.
“Therefore, we call on the Turkish government to stop its war on Rojava, and to withdraw its army and militias.
“We also call on the Australian government to condemn Turkey’s invasion and call for diplomatic sanctions against Turkey and that its membership of NATO be immediately suspended.”
Geelong Trades Hall Council, the Victorian Allied Health Professionals Association, the Maritime Union of Australia (Victorian branch) and the Health Services Union (SA/NT branch) have also passed motions of solidarity.
Meanwhile, activists in Perth have set up Solidarity with Rojava (Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria) WA.
The group distributed a statement at the Perth Reclaim the Night march on October 25. In it, they noted Turkey’s “invasion threatens [Rojava’s] extraordinary democratic revolution — a revolution with feminism at its centre.
“Women in Rojava are currently represented in every aspect of society, from the military to the local communal assemblies that direct so much of life in the territories, where every meeting is co-chaired by a woman…
“The threat to hard-won women’s rights in Rojava is receiving little coverage in the context of Turkey’s military campaign, but Turkish occupation would wipe out these reforms and herald a return to the misogyny, sexual violence, religious fundamentalism and ethnic cleansing.”
Regular protests by members of the Australian-Kurdish community and supporters have been held in various cities.
[From Green Left Weekly; the photo shows a Rojava solidarity protest in Sydney on October 27.]