As certain news items dominate mainstream headlines, other struggles continue with less attention. NATO’s second-largest army, for example, has managed to avoid widespread coverage of its ongoing attacks against one of the most effective groups in the fight against Daesh. And the UK corporate media isn’t exactly publicising the fact that a massive arms fair is just about to arrive in London.
Turkey’s ongoing war against the Kurdish people
NATO member Turkey has launched regular cross-border attacks on Kurdish communities in the last few weeks, continuing the hostility that resumed when its government torpedoed peace talks back in 2015. In particular, it has targeted forces in Rojava (NE Syria) that have been among the most effective in the fight against Daesh and other chauvinist extremists in the region. Some believe the US is turning a blind eye to this partially because the Turkish regime recently helped its ally in Afghanistan. It’s also the case that Ankara’s assassination campaign attracts less media attention, and thus less opposition from global powers, than a full-scale invasion.
Many people in Rojava, meanwhile, accuse Turkey of “weaponizing water” resources that flow across the border into Syria. Turkey, however, denies responsibility for the drying up of the Euphrates river.
Iraqi Kurdistan has also come under attack from Turkey. And locals there say Turkish strikes have only harmed “the livelihoods of innocent farmers”.
Turkey’s cross-border attacks against Kurdish communities are “in violation of ceasefires brokered by Washington and Moscow”. But global powers have a track record of not holding Turkey to account. For example, they did precious little following the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal 2018 ruling that the Turkish state had committed war crimes against the Kurdish people.
This is one reason why it has fallen to non-government groups to take action. Reporters Without Borders is currently supporting Kurdish journalists in Turkey, amid the government’s ongoing “authoritarian policies towards critical media”. While remaining a firm Western ally, the state has become notorious for its attacks on independent media in recent years.
STOP the Arms Fair
In other news, we’re very grateful to have received some financial support from Campaign Against Arms Trade in order to report on the actions against the DSEI arms fair. The live event brings together global powers and arms traders at the London ExCeL centre from 14 to 17 September. Stay tuned via our main site and social media channels for on-the-ground reporting.
Animal rights and the climate crisis
- Despite years of protests against the killing of Geronimo the alpaca, government officials have now killed him. This issue is deeply tied to the UK government’s policy on controlling Bovine TB, which involves the slaughter of thousands of cattle every year and the highly controversial culling of badgers.
- Animal Rebellion, meanwhile, launched a 20-hour blockade on an Arla milk distribution depot, which it calls the largest in the UK.
- Malaysia’s environmental NGO PEKA has pressured the local state government of Selangor to cancel its plans to initiate a land grab – via a company owned by the state royal – of the Kuala Langat tropical forest reserve for development, highlighting the fact that 129,034 locals signed a petition to stop this.
This is IMPORTANT. Ni PENTING! Please read and retweet! Regarding issue of Selangor Forest degazement. pic.twitter.com/PZC8MccEXI
— Pertubuhan Pelindung Khazanah Alam (PEKA) Malaysia (@PEKA_MY) August 30, 2021
- In Woking, a dozen activists under the banner “WTF WWF” occupied a WWF office “in solidarity with indigenous people in Africa”. This action aimed to pressure the NGO to begin “a dialogue with indigenous communities in Tanzania, Kenya and Cameroon who say they are being displaced by conservation efforts”.
- Police attacked Extinction Rebellion campaigners on a bus in London.
- Environmentalists and Indigenous rights campaigners continue to protest against Minnesota’s Line 3 pipeline.
- In Nevada, an Indigenous campaign against a planned lithium mine could become “the next Standing Rock”.
- UK campaigners have vowed to take direct if plans to open a coal mine in West Cumbria go ahead.
Other action on our radar
- People around the world have been showing support for a boycott of Puma due to its complicity with Israeli apartheid. Protests are also planned for Israel’s upcoming football match in Denmark.
- There was a National Day of Action in London and Manchester on 4 September to demand more pay and better conditions for key workers.
- Cycling instructors are planning industrial action against Enfield council to protest against cancellations and a wage freeze they’ve suffered for 12 years.
- A new piece in the New Internationalist by Phoenix Media Co-op’s Ed Sykes takes an in-depth look at the rise of green, communal democracy in Indigenous communities in the Mexican state of Michoacán.
TimeToRise is Phoenix Media Co-op’s regular newsletter about what’s new in the struggle for a better world, from the UK and beyond. Please get in contact with us if there are actions and/or events you’d like us to include in future TimeToRise newsletters.