Rojava: A Democratic System in Progress – A Short Film by System D Media

System D media has released a short video on Rojava and the Kurdish struggle for Democratic Confederalism in the region. Featuring interviews with Kurdish activists Memed Aksoy and Zeynep Kurban, the International Initiative’s Havin Guneser, academics Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley and Dr David Graeber and more, the film offers a useful introduction into the revolution in Rojava and its origins, as well as the role of the PKK, and the theoretical influence of Ocalan.

Many of the interview were filmed during CAMPACCs recent workshop on National Self-Determination and the Global ‘Counter-Terror’ Regime, which took place in February.

Many thanks to Solene Cravic for her work!

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Victory in Kobane: What next for the Rojava Revolution?

“ ‘The victory of capitalism is in its ability to capture the mind.’ Whereas a hundred years ago, if you were poor you would rebel; now if you are poor, you dream of winning the lottery.”

Quoting PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan at the most recent Peace in Kurdistan Campaign/Roj Women event at SOAS University, Havin Guneser of the International Initiative – Freedom for Ocalan Campaign gave a rich exploration of how one of the world’s most vibrant contemporary anti-capitalist rebellions led not only to victory in Kobane following a devastating 6-month siege by ISIS, but the development of a genuine social revolution. As Guneser explained, it was that social revolution, now embedded in the personal lives and working institutions of the people living in Rojava, that ultimately ensured that Kobane had the strength to fight off ISIS attacks. Continue reading

Establishing Kobane Reconstruction Board

A massive effort is now underway to rebuild the city of Kobane. The Democratic Self-Administration has established a board that will coordinate reconstruction and they have set up an official website so people can follow the rebuilding efforts, find out about what is needed and how they can help:

TO THE PRESS AND PUBLIC: ESTABLISHING KOBANE RECONSTRUCTION BOARD

Kobane Canton has been an under severe blockade for nearly two years, and ongoing, fierce brutal attacks by terrorist organization Daesh (ISIS) creating a real humanitarian catastrophe in the province and the countryside.

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The current attacks continue for more than four months aim to empty the province of its population under pressure, threats, execution and indiscriminately shelling civilians. Such atrocities aim at displacing native residents and changing the demographic so that the region will lose all its diversity.

The ongoing besiege and attacks disrupted in all aspects of life, leaving destruction and devastation almost complete infrastructure. Besides, looting and vandalism in the city center and villages carried out by Daesh have impacted the situation very negatively.

The Executive Council in Kobane Canton – Syria, formed a special committee which will be responsible of coordinating reconstruction efforts. “Kobane Reconstruction Committee” is composed of individuals who are professionals in this field. In addition to preparing studies and planning, this committee will also connect with organizations willing to support our efforts in any way they can and providing funds to our projects in the city and countryside.

In addition to the committee members in Kobane, we will also appoint representatives in Europe USA, Turkey, Iraqi Kurdistan, the Gulf States and other countries of the world.

Our rebuilding efforts, willingness to bring back the life into our city requires concentrated efforts and possibilities harnessed in the service of the successful reconstruction operations. Whether through effective participation or provide the Board with suggestions and opinions that will activate it. The most obliged people are the technical and academic who are expert in this field.

Therefore, we need urgent help and support from the international community, humanitarian organizations and all freedom and democracy lovers to rebuild out city.

We appeal to the United Nations to do its humanitarian and moral obligations towards these affected geography and people of Kobane, and actively take part in reconstruction of the province. First and foremost step will be opening a humanitarian corridor to facilitate all means of saving people from suffering, displacement, hunger and shelter for the returnees.

You can contact the Board via the following:

Official site: www.helpkobane.wordpress.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ava_kobane

Email: ava.kobane@gmail.com

Tel: +90-537-967-1739 or 90-545-301-8603

Bank account: To Be Announced Soon

The Executive Council of Kobane Canton – Syria

30/1/2015

Victory in Kobane: What next in the Rojava Revolution?

victory in kobane

DATE/TIME:
Sunday 22 February, 3-5pm

VENUE:
Djam Lecture Theatre (DLT), Main Building, SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG

Speakers:
Havin Guneser, spokesperson of the International Initiative – Freedom for Ocalan
David Graeber. anthropologist, author and political activist

Chair:
Margaret Owen, barrister and patron of Peace in Kurdistan Campaign Continue reading

Rojava – the formation of an economic alternative: Private property in the service of all

 

by Michael Knapp, Historian; Translated from German original by Richard Braude

 

The revolution in Rojava (West Kurdistan/ North Syria), which started in Kobanî (Ain al-Arab) and spread like wildfire through Afrîn, Dêrik (Al-Malikiya), Qamişlo (Al-Qamishli), Amûdê and Serê Kaniyê (Ras al-Ayn) – the regions lying on the Turkish-Syrian border – has launched an alternative development in all aspects of society.

Inspired by the model of democratic confederalism and democratic autonomy, democratic assemblies, women’s council and other democratic organisations have been established. Every ethnic and religious group must be represented in these councils, and the leadership of each evenly divided between the sexes. This is not a project striving towards a nation state, but for democratic autonomy in the region and a democratic Syria. Continue reading

Joint statement of the international academic delegation to Rojava

 

 

This delegation was organised by Civaka Azad

The battle over Kobanê, which began in the summer of 2014, has brought to the world’s attention the Kurdish resistance to the brutal forces that call themselves Islamic State (IS or ISIS). Contrary to the expectations of many, the defense forces have succeeded in fending off the attacks not only of ISIS, but also the al-Nusra Front and the Assad regime over the last two and a half years. Less well known, however, is the fact that residents of the predominantly Kurdish areas of northern and northeastern Syria have established themselves as a new political entity that they call Rojava, comprising three autonomous cantons, one of which is Kobanê. There they have undertaken, to all appearances, a social and political revolution, characterized by remarkable efforts towards gender liberation and direct democratic self-government. Continue reading

Gunter: ‘Post-state entities reshaping Middle East map’

The urgency of the present situation facing the people of Kobane and the longer term implications of the transformation of the Middle East were issues addressed at the public meeting in the House of Lords on 12 January which was jointly organised by Peace in Kurdistan Campaign and Kurdistan National Congress (KNK).

Titled The Collapsed State Systems in Syria & Iraq and the Rise of ISIS & the Kurds, the meeting discussed the Kurdish role in the fight against ISIS and the alternative model offered by the establishment of the self-administration in Rojava.

As host, Lord Hylton stated the Kurds still need all the friends that they can get and this was especially the case in respect of the unrecognised entity of Rojava where urgently needed supplies were only getting through with great difficulty. Continue reading

“A revolution in daily life”

A delegation to Rojava formed of academics and activists recently returned from the region and the delegates have begun to put their thoughts about the new democratic autonomous administration to paper. Last week, Roarmag published Janet Biehl’s impressions of Rojava, and here, Becky discusses how power is being dispersed among the people in Cizire Canton:

Starting from the moment of coercion: Cizire Canton, Rojava

A revolution in daily life

Across the domains of government in the canton of Cizire, people are working, mostly on a voluntary basis, to make ambitious transformations to society. Doctors want to build a modern free healthcare system but also, they told us, to collect and disseminate suppressed local knowledge about healing and to change the conditions of life in general. They aim, they said, to build a way of life free of the separations – between people and between people and nature – that drive physical and mental illness. Academics want to orient education to ongoing social problems. Continue reading

Heyva Sor: Emergency Appeal for Kobane


Heyva Sor a Kurdistanê (Kurdish Red Moon) has issued a new appeal for donations and humanitarian aid for the people of Kobane and refugees across the region. International humanitarian relief in this region has been virtually non-existent and the Turkish government has made inadequate provision for refugees fleeing violence in Sinjar and Kobane to Suruc and the surrounding areas inside the Turkish border. Thousands of people are being hosted in self-made camps and are being fed, clothed and cared for by volunteers.

A recent report by the Union of Southeastern Anatolia Region Municipalities (GABB) gives a useful breakdown of the needs of the refugees in the region, including the numbers of families forced to flee from different regions of Rojava and Sinjar, as well as lists of needed supplies. You can download the report here (pdf). Further information about people’s medical needs and other urgently needed supplies also give you can idea of where the donations are going. 

Now that winter is fast approaching and temperatures potentially reaching below freezing, adequate shelter, heating, clothing and food are desperately needed. There is no time to wait – please donate what you can today. Continue reading

Kobane canton appeals for medical assistance and secure supplies of food and power

Today, the administration of Kobane issued this appeal to the international community calling for humanitarian aid, medical assistance and help securing power, food and water supplies for the city.

Appeal from the cantonal government of Kobanê to the United Nations and the international community

2 December 2014

The attacks of the Islamic State on Kobanê, a Kurdish town in northern Syria, have been ongoing since the 15th of September 2014. As a result of the war, large parts of the city and the surrounding villages have been destroyed and devastated. The humanitarian emergency is exacerbated due to the de facto existing embargo. Since all routes to Kobanê are blocked, it is not possible for humanitarian supplies to reach the city. Due to the plight of refugees from Kobanê located in Turkey, more and more people are returning to Kobanê. The municipality of Kobanê is run by volunteers.   Continue reading