On Monday 15th of June, the KSN Education Working Group continued the online seminar series Lessons from Rojava: How our Social Movements can Learn from the Rojava Revolution.
In this final session we asked the question “What next for social movements in the UK?”, in which we looked at how we can bring together some of the ideas and practices explored in previous seminars to our organising today in order to meet the challenges we are faced with. How can we wage a resistance that is powerful, collaborative and effective, and how do we bring hope that we can win?
Organiser Jo began by describing the places she finds hope using the metaphor of a tree, in which its branches represent movement tendencies and methodologies, the leaves are the physical manifestations of these things – unions, collectives, groups, campaigns and projects – and its trunk representing ideas and principles. The tree is rooted in the rivers of history and nourished by the rich soil provided by lessons from revolutionaries that have gone before us.
Nik, a social historian and international in the Kurdish Freedom Movement, looked at what it means to understand our history in terms of the so-called UK – a country of migrant and diaspora communities – and how we build that into our political vision.
We also heard from Heledd, an organiser with Kurdish Solidarity Cymru, about their experiences learning from the Kurdish women’s movement as well as different campaigns among anarchist, welsh language and prison abolition movements, and from Viyan Qereçox, internationalist with the Kurdish Freedom Movement who spent time at the Andrea Wolf Institute. You can download a recording of Heledd’s talk here.
For further reading around these topics we suggest, amongst others:
- Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States – James C Scott
- Sharpen the Sickle: The History of the Farm Workers’ Union – Reg Groves
- Black and British, A Forgotten History – David Olusoga
- Who Owns England? How We Lost Our Land, And How To Take It Back – Guy Shrubsole
- Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? – Mark Fisher
- Caliban and the Witch – Silvia Federici
- Rebel Footprints: A Guide to Uncovering London’s Radical History – David Rosenberg
- The Welsh Extremeist – Ned Thomas
- The Isles: A History – Norman Davies
- The North Wales Quarrymen: 1874-1922 – Merfyn Jones
- The Fed: A History of the South Wales Miners in the Twentieth Century – Hywel Francis
- Insurgent Empire: Anticolonial Resistance and British Dissent – Priyamvada Gopal
- The Black Jacobins – CLR James
- Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack – Paul Gilroy
- Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life – Barbara J. Fields and Karen Elise Fields
- The Good Immigrant – Nikesh Shukla
- Potential History: Unlearning Imperialism – Ariella Aisha Azoulay
- Working Class History Blog – https://workingclasshistory.com/
For further reading about the Kurdish Freedom Movement from a more academic perspective, we recommend Plan C’s self-education module, which also includes more video and audio recordings from some of our internationalist speakers and reading material which we reference throughout the Lessons from Rojava Series.