Why #DefendAfrin? Confronting authoritarian populism with radical democracy

ENTITLE blog - a collaborative writing project on Political Ecology

Amber Huff, Salima Tasdemir, and Patrick Huff*

Today is a National Day of Action to #DefendAfrin, a city in Northern Syria (Rojava) which has been the center of both a brutal war and a remarkable and radical democratic experiment. This international call for solidarity seeks to continue to bring attention to the high stakes in Afrin, and to how the dynamics of power and resource grabs by the US and Russia and their alliances in the region have shaped contemporary struggles for life and democracy.

On 20 January, Turkey launched a brutal air and ground invasion of Afrin canton in Northern Syria. Turkey claims that the Orwellian-named ‘Operation Olive Branch’ is a fight against terrorism and an effort to secure Turkey’s borders. However, Afrin, one of the three founding cantons of the autonomous rural region in Northern Syria commonly called by the Kurdish name of Rojava, has been one of the…

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