UK co-ops come together in show of solidarity for Northern Syria

‘Rojava is now under threat of a full-scale attack and invasion from Turkey’

A group of UK co-ops have joined forces to show their support for Rojava – a de facto autonomous region of Northeastern Syria which is developing a co-operative economy.

Calverts, Radical Routes, Birmingham Bike Foundry, The Woodcraft Folk and Cornerstone Housing Co-operative are among those joining “co-op bloc” as part of a demonstration in London in support of the Rojava Revolution and the Kurdish population of northern Syria.

The bloc was organised by the Solidarity Economy Association – a co-op working to support the growth of the solidarity economy movement. It also included members of Federici Housing Co-operative, Footprint Workers’ Co-operative, Persons Unknown Housing Co-operative, Shoal Collective, Grow Heathrow, Principle Six, Alternative Choices, Platform Six Co-op Development, Co-operative Business Consultants, and Rootstock.

The demonstration was held in response to a call for ‘Global Days of Action’ by the Internationalist Commune of Rojava in the light of threat of invasion of the region by Turkey after the withdrawal of US troops from Syria.

Related: A new co-op economy takes shape in Rojava and Bakur

Northeastern Syria’s (commonly known as Rojava) co-operative economy started growing as a result of the bottom-up democratic system developed as part of the progressive Rojava Revolution, declared in 2012. There are now hundreds of co-ops operating across Northeastern Syria, a growing number of which are women-only co-ops.

Jo Taylor, project coordinator for the Solidarity Economy Association, said: “Rojava is now under threat of a full-scale attack and invasion from Turkey, which would mean an all-out war. Turkey’s president Erdoğan has threatened to crush this progressive revolution, invade and occupy Northeastern Syria.

“There are calls coming from all related democratic structures in the region, and internationally from the diaspora and solidarity groups, for people all over the world to rise up in defence of Rojava and its values of direct democracy, gender liberation and ecology.”