If to us, those who in a small dot of the map complied with the duty that we announced, and put to the struggle’s service this little that we are allowed to give: our lives, our sacrifice, it will be our turn one of these days, to take a last breath on any given land, already ours, watered with our blood, know that we have measured the lenght of our actions” (Che Chevara)
With this words the revolutionary Che Guevara described the duty of the internationalists in the struggle for the freedom of humanity. The 9th of October 1976, Che Guevara was captured and murdered by CIA agents during a battle in Bolivia. Although 51 years have gone past since his murder, his words and his actions, his ilimited search for freedom and self-determination, are alive and current.
One of those who took over this tradition, and continued this revolutionary line with her own life and understanding of the struggle, is our comrade Ronahî (Andrea Wolf). She was also murdered in October after being captured as a war prisioner in a battle against the Turkish army. During the six days of the fight in the Kurdish region of Çatak, Hevala Ronahî and another 23 friends lost their life in the fight for freedom.
What is it that makes someone to voluntarily renounce to their own life and the prosperity of Europe and expose herself to such dangers and efforts? But, what does “life” and “prosperity” mean? What is the criteria to measure such categories? Others, on the other hand, asks themselves: Why did she go to such an insecure place when she could have continued her struggle in Europe? These, and other similar ones, were the questions, partly surprised, partly reflective, of some people when they found out that Andrea had gone to the mountains of Kurdistan to get to know the struggle and the organisation of the Kurdish liberation movement there, and to participate in it as internationalist. 20 years later, today, hundreds of internationalists of the five continents are in their way to Kurdistan to help build and defend social alternatives to patriarchy and capitalism.
To participate in the liberation struggle of other people projecting your own history and present, with the perspective of another reality and constructing collectively a liberated society, means to liberate yourself from the system’s chains. To not march on the way that the Estate and society has drawn for us, or to not stay inside the lack of perspectives of the left movement in Germany, but to look for new paths for a perspective towards a global liberation. These were the characteristics of our comrade Ronahi, those which took her to the decision of going to Kurdistan.
The comrades who walked together with Heval Ronahî know that for her, her way to the mountains of Kurdistan was not a loss or a goodbye. On the contrary, for her it was something enriching. She was always trying to learn new things and sharing experiences and capabilities. Thinking about the achievements of the Kurdish struggle for freedom and on the methods developed by the leadership of the party, she tried to stablish a conexion between her own history and the reality of the European metropolis: “ How can we use the methods of the party for Europe? Where are the similarities? How do we have to evaluate the existing historical, geographical and cultural differences?” These questions were at the centre of the vivid debates that she had with her female comrades.
She was working with perseverance in a summary of the different experiences and preparing to go back to Europe. For her there were no doubts for the struggle in Europe. She always developed her plan and her thoughts for a perspective of liberation in accordance to conditions there. For her, it was not of vital importance to return to Europe, it was the accomplishment of her objective. In her diary she wrote:
“If we think of objectives of an organisation that we would have to build in Germany, we also reach the issue of leadership. Who can do this? Surely a colective and not just one person, but who? In these moments I see our deficiencies very clearly. Militant practices without deep political thought. ‘Big politics’, without practice. Or practices in which there is an imbalance, which don’t have mechanisms for internal processes, specially those related to the issue of woman/man. Lack of flexibility on one side, and on the other spontaneous actions of short term vision, motivated only by feelings. I know that I too have these errors. But an actitud of “not like this” is not enough. I have to learn to have pacience. Not having it is an expression of not having trust in the correct path and in the solution. So, I test my patience.”
Amoungst the racket and the superficial daily life in Europe, Hevala Ronahî finds access to the nature, culture and history of Mesopotamia. Life, collectivity and love- terms that were stolen of meaning in Europe- were percieved clearly by Ronahî in the Guerrilla life. She also wrote about those moments:
“Fresh air caresses me and in front of us there are the mountains. Now it is midday, it is very hot. The crickets sing. We are drinking tea and eating dry bread. But it is incredibly beautiful, everything is alive, and you always have the feeling, that here in Kurdistan, the history of humanity has been made, like this it was. (…) An idea that truly means life- also to be connected to nature-makes it clearer. With this depth, life in Europe becomes estrange, it is truly alienating.
Though Hevala Ronahî describes the contrast between the two different life conditions, she never wanted to accept an“absolute” thruth. She evaluated the advantages and disadvantages and tried to look at the benefits and losses. She tried to be conscious of the impact which the imperialist system had on her own personality, and instead of thinking in black or white, she tried to look in different colours, shadows and sides of life which she couldn’t see before.
She didn’t see the differences as separations, but as elements that can complement eachother. She asked herself: “Why does a culture have to replace or bury another?” “Why does the fight between the maternal line (feminine) and the paternal line (masculine) ends in defeat and not in a conexión?”
She followed specially the discussion that took place in the years 1997-1998 in YAJK about the women organisation and liberation; and the extensive perspectives in the leadership of the party. Not seeing the ideological line of PKK, the reality of the men and women- of east and west-as opposites, but integrating the different habilities and positive values in an universal project por a free life. Aspects of the Kurdish liberation struggle by which Ronahî and other internationalists could strongly identify themselves with.
Ronahî and other freedom fighters proved that the desire for freedom, of mental unity and a common struggle are stronger than the intentions of division of the patriarchal system. Comrades like Heval Beritan (Gülnaz Karatas), Turkish comrades like Çiğdem y Canda, the circasian comrade Helîn (Nermin Akkuş), shared their lives and struggles with the Kurdish comrades like heval Zeynep (Gurbetelli Ersöz), Sarya Baran, Meryem Çolak, Rewşen and Bermal, Rotinda and Kurdê, Zinarin, Rojîn Gevda, Çiçek Botan, Rêvana Rojava, Arîn Mirkan and many others fighters for freedom which fell in October. They are a living symbol of the internationalist struggle for the liberation of women.
They liberated themselves from the tightness of the system. Like this, they created a fundament for freedom and hope with which we nowadays – as free women and men- loving, with different ages, nationalities and cultures- continue our struggle for the creation of a just world, free of explotation. The best answer we can give to the massacre carried out by Turskish soldiers 20 years ago in the region of Çatak, is to construct and spread the perspective of a democratic-ecological and gender liberated society in all parts of the world. This includes a common fight for the liberation of Abdullah Öcalan, the liberation of Afrin and the defence of the Rojava revolution and other places.
The struggle continues !
Video in conmemoration of Şehîd Ronahî (Andrea Wolf) and other Şehîd comrades of October