Asya Abdullah, the former co-chair of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) and the current representative of the women’s organisation Star Congress, spoke at the ‘Fête de l’Humanité’, a festival organised in Paris, France, by the traditionally communist daily l’Humanité, since 1930.
The festival, which took place between 10-12 September in the Paris suburb of Dugny, was attended by tens of thousands of people. In her speech, Abdullah emphasized that the festival was actually a platform to celebrate humanity’s freedom and consciousness.
“Today, the people gathered here represent the values created and built by humanity through great labour and resistance, especially through the struggles of women, in the course of thousands of years,” she said.
“These values of humanity, these libertarian accomplishments, built with the pioneering efforts of women, were faced with an assault by the gangs of the Islamic State and later by their remnants and allies.
“In Rojava, in North and East Syria, what occurred has been a victory of the resistance led by the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) on behalf of all communities; a victory of the will and values of women against the Islamic State, its proxies, and all extremist groups who intended to commit a genocide. They were defeated. The women, their will, power and values prevailed.”
Abdullah indicated that the women’s struggle and victory in Rojava had implications beyond just a local level.
“The resistance of the women, the struggle of both the YPJ and the People’s Protection Units (YPG) did not only succeed in saving Rojava, but has been a victory for all humanity, for all women,” she said to the crowd.
“We struggled for the liberty of humanity, while thousands were martryed and wounded for this cause. The success of the struggle in Rojava eventually created a bridge between us and the people in solidarity with us; people who are determined to fight and resist the assaults of those reactionary forces. Thanks to that bridge, we will keep on fighting together against such assaults, empowered by the will of the women and progressive ideas.”