International meeting by Make Rojava Green Again in Switzerland

The "Make Rojava Green Again" campaign held its fifth international gathering in Zurich, discussing the need to move forward with long term projects, despite the continued war.

Last weekend around 20 people working on the Make Rojava Green Again (MRGA) campaign in over 10 cities and villages in Poland, Switzerland, Italy, France, Germany and England came together in Zurich to discuss and evaluate the campaign and how to move forward, especially in relation with the new situation in Rojava. Greetings and an update were also sent from the collective working on the project in Catalonia, who were unable to attend this meeting.

The meeting, held from Friday 29th November until Sunday 1st December, 2019, also marked one year since the first MRGA international coordination meeting. This is an important milestone for the campaign and importance was put on the need to assess the work so far.

An update on the war situation was given by an activist named Anna Schwarz, who has recently returned from Rojava. She spoke passionately and sincerely about her experiences and the struggle for a free life, which continues despite continued Turkish military aggression, occupation and massacres.

“The ecological effects of the war are enormous. War destroys life and the natural world, while infrastructure is bombed, and especially vital infrastructure for essential needs such as water, medical care and food is being systematically targeted. People are organising themselves to find water,” she said. “Specialised people are needed. This is no longer the time to plant trees. Chemical weapons destroy nature for hundreds of years.”

She also emphasised that “Every single demonstration or action in Europe is shown on televisions all around Rojava. Everywhere you go, you can see it. Every time you go out on the street with your flag, you are a factor in this war.”

The participants gave feedback about their work in their various cities and countries, which included joining with other grass-roots ecological social movements, holding workshops, presentations, conferences, film screenings, exhibitions and talks about Rojava and the ecological pillar of the revolution, doing media work, joining demonstrations and other political actions, discussing the Make Rojava Green Again campaign and selling books. A group in Switzerland and another in England are also setting up reading groups to discuss the texts in the Make Rojava Green Again book.

People who have been working on the MRGA campaign in Rojava also sent a video message to the meeting with greetings from Rojava and an update about results of two strategy meetings they have held. They stressed the importance of spreading the ideas and ideology underpinning the revolution around Europe, as well as the need to create strong networks and links with other movements.

Now the campaign is planning its next steps, participants are forming working groups and discussing concrete proposals to take the work forward. They will continue the struggle for a free, ecological life in Rojava and everywhere.