Tag Archives: Kurds

“Drawn to a Cause, British Woman Dies Fighting Alongside Kurds in Syria”

“In Britain, Ms. Campbell, 26, was active in causes like animal rights and environmental protection, but until recently, she had no personal connection to the Kurds. Yet she was deeply moved, family and friends said, by the fight to defend an autonomous, mostly Kurdish region in northern Syria, known as Rojava, whose leaders advocate a secular, democratic and egalitarian politics, with equal rights for women.”

David Graeber: ” Why are world leaders backing this brutal attack against Kurdish Afrin?”

Afrin‘s “inhabitants had taken advantage of their peace and stability to develop the democratic principles embraced throughout the majority Kurdish regions of north Syria, known as Rojava. Local decisions were devolved to neighbourhood assemblies in which everyone could participate; other parts of Rojava insisted on strict gender parity, with every office having co-chairs, male and female, in Afrin, two-thirds of public offices are held by women. Today, this democratic experiment is the object of an entirely unprovoked attack”

“The world’s most progressive democracy is being born. Don’t let it get strangled.”

“So why should we care about this latest development in the Syrian war? Because Afrin, along with the cantons of Euphrates and Jazira, is experimenting with a form of bottom-up, direct democracy that is arguably more progressive than any other system in the West.”

“A call for solidarity: Defend Afrin — Defend humanity!”

The battle symbolizes the two options that the peoples and communities of the Middle East face today: between militarist, patriarchal, fascist dictatorships on the one hand, controlled by foreign imperialist interests and capital, or the solidarity between autonomous, self-determined, free and equal communities on the other.”

Yoav Haifawi: “Democratic Confederalism and the Palestinian Experience”

“While in most Arab countries the left is in a prolonged retreat, we see how the Kurdish left succeeded to establish itself as the dominant force between the Kurdish masses in most of Kurdistan, even as it is divided between different nation-states. This makes the study of the Kurdish experience and of the revolutionary theory that inspires it an essential effort for Palestinian and Arab activists looking for new agenda for liberation from Imperialism, Zionism and local tyrannies.”

Thomas Jeffrey Miley: “The perils and promise of self-determination”

Democratic confederalism is a radical democratic project based on citizens’ assemblies, defended by citizens’ militias. It is a program and model which constitutes a radical reconceptualization of self-determination, one defined in terms of direct democracy against the state. A reconceptualization of “self-determination” that renounces as divisive and utopian the equation of the struggle for national freedom with the goal of an independent nation-state, and that seeks to overcome the danger of majority tyranny by institutionalizing a “revolutionary-consociational” regime. A consociational regime whose “social contract” guarantees multi-ethnic, multi-linguistic, and multi-religious accommodation, by implementing quotas for political representation (concretely, in Rojava, for Arabs and for Assyrian Christians), by direct assemblies of different constituent groups, and by mobilizing these groups in their own militias of self-defense.’

‘“A colossal miscalculation”: Why the Kurds’ independence bid might lead to civil war in Iraq’

“The Iraqi central government in Baghdad and the semi-autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan are fighting over control of Kirkuk, a multiethnic region in northeastern Iraq that sits atop some of the country’s most lucrative oil fields. It’s an area that has been a flashpoint between the country’s Arab majority and the Kurdish minority on and off for decades.  The Kurds want Kirkuk to be part of a future independent state of Kurdistan, controlled from its capital, Erbil. The Iraqi central government, on the other hand, wants to keep Kirkuk — along with the rest of Iraqi Kurdistan — as part of a unified Iraq, controlled by Baghdad.”

Interview with an internationalist: “Neither Communist or Anarchist, it’s a Good Revolution.”

‘It’s not important whether you are communist, anarchist or socialist, the truth is that in Europe we only really “play revolution”, we have these “pub revolutions” and these small wars between anarchists and communists; all that is useless and it creates nothing. If we stay too closed minded about our own ideas, we will construct nothing. This revolution here [ in Rojava and Bakur] is neither communist nor anarchist, but it is a good revolution.’

Rosa Burc: “Confederal Kurdistan: The ‘commune of communes'”

‘The creation of a free “commune of communes” – something anarchists, especially Bakunin and Kropotkin, have fought for over the past two centuries – has always been envisioned as an ultimate manifestation of anarcho-communism, hence of a “new politics” based on libertarian municipalism. Today, more than two decades later and in a completely different geography, the Kurds in Rojava/Northern Syria and Bakûr/Southeastern Turkey have become the new avant-gardes of the “commune of communes”.’

Michael Löwy: “Libertarian Kurdistan: it matters for us, too!”

“What these revolutionaries in the northern provinces of Syria are trying to do is without precedent. By way of community self-organisation from below, they are trying to rally the Kurdish, Arab, Assyrian, and Yezidi populations in a secular confederation that breaks out of religious sectarianism and nationalist hatred. To put ecology and feminism at the heart of an anti-capitalist, anti-patriarchal, and anti-statist project. To drive forward equality between men and women through the co-president of all decision-making bodies, and the creation of an armed force composed of women. To invent a form of decentralised, democratic political power, based on communal assemblies and going beyond the state: democratic confederalism. This unprecedented experience is being built amidst dramatic circumstances, in a constant confrontation with powerful and implacable regressive forces. In a region of the world torn apart by religious intolerance, the exterminatory struggles among nationalisms, blind violence, wars between clans each one more reactionary than the last, the interventions by imperialist powers, and the hegemony of capitalism in its most brutal form, libertarian Kurdistan appears as a little flame of utopia, a light of hope, a haven of democracy.  Libertarian Kurdistan has no equivalent anywhere else in the world. The only comparable initiative is that of the Zapatista communities of Chiapas — they, too, founded on direct democracy, grassroots self-organisation, the rejection of state and capitalist logics, and the fight for equality between men and women.”