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John Dolva

What can we learn from the murders in Paris?

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What can we learn from the murders in Paris?
Paris.jpg
We now have two different killings in Paris to talk about. The killing of the Charlie Ebdo staff has the world's attention and establishment media everywhere is pushing a line which says that the people of France now have good reason to be intolerant and that Islam is not a religion of peace. We also remember this week the killing of Sakine Cansız, Fidan Doğan and Leyla Şaylemez---our three Kurdish women comrades---in 2013. We long for a situation in which the world media would take up their case and attack their killers with the same energy that they now use to attack Islam. We reject the attack on Islam and we want this moment to be about building bridges over tragedy. We also demand justice for our 3 comrades and we demand the victory of our cause in their names.
Both killings were carried out by terrorists. But what can we draw from these events right now and on the eve of what we hope will be mass demonstrations commemorating our 3 comrades?
First, we will mark that the Democratic Kurdish Community Council in France has issued a statement following the murderous attack on the Charlie Ebdo magazine, saying, “This murderous gang has now slaughtered people in Paris just as it is murdering Kurds in Kobanê, Sinjar and other parts of Kurdistan.” The statement recalls Turkish support for ISIS and called on European countries to review their policies towards Turkey.
The statement says, "We, the Kurdish community in France, condemn these brutal murders carried out by fanatical reactionary killers masquerading as Moslems. We wish to emphasize, as Kurds who have suffered most from such terrorist attacks, that there is no alternative to democracy and freedom.”
The statement draws attention to the role of ISIS in the massacre, saying, "The gang of murderers referred to as ISIS, which has grown due to support from some international imperialist states and certain regional powers, has turned the Middle East into a bloodbath, pitting communities, religious groups and tribes against each other. We consider that this massacre is the result of orientation by ISIS, and demonstrates once again that all peoples and nations need democracy and freedom.”
The statement also says that those who slaughtered the Charlie Ebdo staff in Paris were carrying out murders in the same way as ISIS is murdering Kurds in Kobanê, Sinjar and other parts of Kurdistan. “For these murderers Kurds, French, German, British, they are all the same,” it added. The statement notes that Turkey, a member of NATO, is nourishing and arming ISIS, adding, “President Erdoğan almost every day criticizes the policy of France and the US towards Kobanê, presenting a target for this murderous gang.” The statement calls on France and all European countries to review their policies towards Turkey and offers condolences to the families of the victims and the people of France.
Meanwhile, the KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) Executive Council Co-Presidency has also condemned in the strongest terms the armed attack on the French magazine and has called for the enhancement of a joint struggle against the fascist gangs who are enemy of humanity.
Offering condolences to the families of the victims, the French press and people, the KCK stressed that the aim of the Paris shooting was to intimidate the European community. The KCK statement remarked that the Paris shooting in the heart of Europe was committed by the fascist gangs that have long pestered the peoples of the Middle East, Kurds in particular, and shed the blood of many ethnic and faith groups, including the Yazidi, Assyrian and Syriac peoples.
Noting that this fascist gang mindset against peoples and cultures has been a trouble to humanity after being raised by international hegemonic powers, the KCK statement recalled that these powers have faced the bravest and most determined fight from the Kurds and the Kurdish freedom movement in the Middle East, especially in Kobanê and Sinjar. The KCK Executive Council Co-Presidency ended its statement by calling on the European peoples alongside Kurds and the Middle East peoples to step up the joint struggle against the fascist gangs enemy to humanity.
So we see from this that the liberation movement is compassionate and that the experiences gained by the movement in Rojava and Sinjar have some real applicability in the present moment. Not only that, but the liberation movement can provide a political analysis in a time of crisis and attempts to rally people around the truth of the anti-fascist struggle.
The barbarism of ISIS and terrorism of that kind are real. We do not privilege buildings and religion over human beings, but it should be pointed out that this week the liberation movement again tried to draw the attention of the west and of people of faith by talking about how the ISIS gangs in Sinjar have begun to destroy 3 old churches situated in an area they control. Local sources there say that one or two churches have been blown up while another is under threat. Even with this news, much of the world remains deaf to the barbarism of ISIS, and they do this as the historic monuments to faith are destroyed in an ethnic cleansing operation. We ask ourselves if the west has no shame and if the gangs who kill Kurdish women activists and the staff of a satirical magazine do not really have more in common with the western powers then they admit publicly.
The ISIS gangs’ hostility to culture and history in Kurdistan continues. Intercepted ISIS radio transmissions in Sinjar this week picked up news that one historic church there had been destroyed and that plans were underway to blow up others. These are not theologically driven acts of destruction at their root. They aim instead to destroy key historical and cultural values which make daily life as human beings livable.
On the other hand, a church in the Suka Seri neighborhood of Sinjar was liberated by the liberation movement's guerrillas and fighters and peshmerga forces last week as part of the Liberate Sinjar operation. The church had been badly damaged by an ISIS car bomb attack. The liberation movement got nothing more than the satisfaction of taking back something else from ISIS and winning space where people will once again breathe freely and begin anew to control their destinies. We must contrast this revolutionary humanism with the barbarism of the men waving their black flags.
Finally, we must underline that the Paris 10th arrondissement (municipality) has hung a banner bearing the pictures of the three Kurdish revolutionary women murdered on January 9, 2013 on the municipality building. A large banner with the pictures of Sakine Cansız, Fidan Doğan and Leyla Şaylemez has the caption "These three Kurdish militant women were assassinated in the 10th arrondissement of Paris on January 9, 2013.”
The 10th arrondissement, one of 20 in Paris, is run by the ruling Socialist Party. Whatever our serious conflicts with the social-democrats, we can point to this refusal to be frightened and give in to xenophobia and racism as healthy and remarkable. Perhaps this is where politics in 2015 must begin.

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