The Rojava Revolution taking place in Northern Syria is transitioning the region into a gender equal, and democratic society, based on communes, co-operatives and citizen committees. The movement is rebuilding society based on three fundamental pillars – direct democracy, ecology, and women’s liberation – and co-operation plays a crucial role.
The Solidarity Economy Association (SEA) are urging UK co-ops to support this movement, and are offering free workshops, as part of their Co-operation in Mesopotamia project, to help those interested to find out more. The free workshops will take place during Co-operatives Fortnight – the annual event promoting the difference that co-ops make to people’s lives all around the world.
For the Leeds event, SEA are partnering with the Leeds Bread Co-operative and Wharf Chambers Co-operative Club. Leeds Bread Co-op is an artisan bakery, workers co-op and social enterprise that is supportive of Rojava’s growing co-operative economy, having been an early signatory of our Solidarity Statement in support of the first co-operative conference in Rojava. Wharf Chambers is a bar and multi-use venue in the centre of Leeds run by a workers’ co-op in partnership with a members’ club. They aim to provide an inclusive and affordable space for music, art, film, politics and discussion that brings together people from communities across Leeds. Wharf Chambers is a members’ club and you need to be a member, or guest of a member, in order to attend. To join, please visit wharfchambers.org/membership. Membership costs £1 and requires a minimum of 48 hours to take effect.
The event will include a presentation of the historical background to the region and participatory workshop and discussions to help co-operators get a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities our fellow co-operators in Northern Syria are facing. The workshops will be delivered by project co-ordinator Jo Taylor, who has just returned from her second visit to the region, and will include a number of ways for UK co-ops to support the movement, for example by becoming a ‘sister co-operative’.
The workshops are free to attend but places will be very limited, so please make sure you reserve a space.
As part of the events, we’ll also be sharing the first version of the project’s new website, relaunched to make it easier to search the 250+ articles we’ve collated and translated on the co-operative economy in Rojava and Bakur (eastern Turkey).