Statement Of YPJ International For The Day Against Violence Against Women And Opressed Genders, 25 November 2018
Today on the 25th of November, once again Women and opressed genders all over the world are flooding the streets signifing with their different colors and bodies the end of an alredy too long patriarchal history. The time is now, we are not just demanding the immediate end of the world wide war against women, but we are ready to attack at the core of the system by creating a new free life.
For thousands of years we have been taught to be quiet, we have been taught that the only legitimate violence is that of the patriarchal state in all it’s different faces: police forces, army, borders and prison, family, church, medical and mental health institutions, labour system, school and so on. But we understand that a power that uses violence to oppress and repress the people can never be legitimate. We also recognize that we are socialized in a system of patriarchal oppression which is still alive inside of us and our communities, we cannot be free until we reach a complete eradication of this mindset.
We believe the time has arrived to destroy this monopoly once and for all and to re-take what has always been ours: The use of self-defense. All the opressed genders have in themselves an innate strength ready to spring into action in the defense of our values, our lands and our freedom. As Internationalists, in the memory of all the women who have been struggling, our partisan grandmothers, our fighting sisters and for the women who will be in the struggle in the future we decide now to join the women’s democratic forces of YPJ. We decide to join in order to support and defend a Revolution lead by an womens autonomous organization which is inspiration and the hope for all the women of the world. We decided to join YPJ, recognizing the importance of taking the responsability of our own defense from our opressors. We have to defend ourselves because no one else can do it for us.
Self-defence means a struggle in idea and action against the power and its violence in protection of what is meaningful and essential, our unity. It belongs to all living beings; humans, animals, and even plants, like a rose that grows thorns not to attack, but to defend itself, or trees that rise up from the earth one close to another, protecting each other, creating a forest. With fears, security paranoias and systematic violence, through history our oppressors tried to bring us to delegate our defence to them. Presenting us just as victims or weak beings, they smashed our ability to fight and support ourselves and each other. But how can our enemy defend us? When we want to rebel we are called witches, lunatics or hysteric. In the modern society they opened up the possibility to be part of their national army for us, presenting this as a success of gender equality. But we will never be soldiers, we want to be free women in a free world, and this is a big, big difference.
In YPJ self-defence means more than just the military practise. YPJ involves women as a whole, with her body, mind and spirit, in a constant collective process of developing.Through ideological education we deeply understand what we are defending and more importantly to live and grow together. We learn that the relationships and communities we build are more useful and stronger than a weapons. The modern society tries to divide us and bring us to fight each other, but in YPJ we are creating self-defence based on mutual support and solidarity between women.
Autonomous women organisations, as YPJ, are the space where we can find ourselves out of the capitalist system and its mentality, finding the strength to take a step towards a new world, the one we carry in our hearts.
We continue our fight with our Şehîds Avesta Xabur, Anna Campbell, Alina Sánchez, Ivana Hoffman and all the other women who bravely gave their lives for our free future together.
Jin, Jiyan, Azadî!
YPJ International Academy – Şehîd Ivana Hoffman, Rojava