Support women in Rojava: Resist Fascism, Build Co-operation

On November 25, 2016

Co-operatives from the Radical Routes network are banding together to fundraise for a women’s bakery in Kobane, part of the autonomously operating, predominatly Kurdish region Rojava in Northern Syria. The project aims to help in rebuilding from the devestation of war and for the women working there to establish their own financial autonomy. We are proud to be a small part of this, and to be part of a co-operative network of solidarity. Here’s some more about the project, (though check out the full info about the campaign here) and some of the ways that you can help.


Why Rojava?

“Since 2011, when people rose up against Bashar al Assad’s regime in Syria as part of the Arab Spring, there has been a radical democratic experiment taking place in the predominantly Kurdish area in the north of the country (Rojava). This movement has co-operation, autonomy, ecology and feminism as its underlying principles. While ISIS and other reactionary groups have seized control of some regions, the democratic forces of Rojava, despite being outnumbered, have successfully fought against these much better equipped religious extremists.”

Why Co-operative Support? solidarity-with-rojava

“There is a long tradition of international support from co-operatives to aid the fight against fascism dating back to the ‘Milk for Spain’ campaigns and the formation of the International Brigades who fought alongside Spanish comrades against Franco’s fascist forces. If co-operation means anything it is to stay true to our principles and step in and provide vital mutual aid when it is not forthcoming.

Reconstruction is difficult because there is an economic blockade imposed by the Turkish state from the north and the war is still ongoing in surrounding regions in Syria. Reconstruction is being undertaken so that society can begin to flourish, already there have been inspiring improvements for women and ethnic minorities in the area. They have taken a direct role in the resistance and rebuilding process. The base economic units of the society are looking to the co-operative model as a way to operate democratically, and sustainably meet their needs.”

What is the project?

To build a women’s bakery and fund its first months of operation – costing £15,000

“With the help of Re-build we have been put in contact with Kongriya Star, the women’s confederation in Rojava who are working with a group of women who would like to start a worker co-operative bakery for women in the city of Kobane.”

“The money will cover fitting out the space with baking equipment and the first months of operation of the co-operative project. Bread is a vital staple food and the women involved in setting up the co-operative want to provide stable living situations where they are empowered to support themselves.

The costs will cover an estimated €6,000 for the dough machines, freezers and fridges and kitchen equipment. Rent and salary for the first three months are estimated at around €5,000 and we are adding some leeway as inflation can be unpredictable due to the economic blockade by Turkey and surrounding states. Any extra money raised will go towards other worker co-operative projects in the region – or to similar projects being started by Kurdish refugees in the diaspora.”


What can you do to support the campaign?

  • Donate to the crowdfunder via the campaign page:
  • Share the campaign with your firends and networks
  • We will have badges for sale in-store and leaflets so you can tell your friends in real life!
  • Organise an event to raise awareness and funds!


Leave a Reply