armsforrojava

Ανοιχτή καμπάνια για την οικονομική και πολιτική στήριξη του αγώνα των ανταρτών και ανταρτισσών του YPG/YPJ


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The Reconstruction of Kobane — Thoughts of a Kurdish Anarchist

By Zaher Baher
Haringey Solidarity Group and Kurdistan Anarchists Forum
June 3, 2015

First of all, I should mention a couple of issues in Kurdistan of Turkey (Bakur) that are strongly connected to the subject. Between 08/05 and 22/05/15 I visited a number of big towns in Bakur, including: Amed (Diyarbakir), Van, Colemerge (Hakari) and Gavar. Later I returned to Suruc and was hoping to cross the border to Kobane.

My main purpose for visiting there were three important points: first: understanding the similarity and differences between the Democratic Self Administration (DSA) in Bakur and Rojava. Second: Reconstruction of Kobane, and third the type of economy that Rojava can have in the future. Although the friends in Peoples ‘ Democratic Party (HDP) , other organisation and the Working Committees of Rojava in Amed and Suruc tried hard to arrange my trip to Kobane but it did not happen.

There are two important issues to talk about. These are:

First: The 07th June general election in Turkey:

Turkey is facing an important election. It is historical, not just for the Kurds but the rest of Turkey. If president Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) win, they will be able implement their hidden Islamic Democratic agenda. The human rights will suffer, the police oppression will increase, the prisons will be full of activists, the rights of individuals, women, ethnic minorities, and other religious almost will be disappeared and also will be a big setback for the peace process. . On the other hand If Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) passes the 10 % election threshold then AKP could be stopped from implementing its inhuman agenda. The HDP manifesto is very radical; even if only 50% of it is implemented Turkey’s Constitution could be reformed unless the military Generals take over.

I met many people in Amed, Van, Colemerg and Gaver. Everybody was busy with election campaign for HDP. Everybody from candidates, the campaigners and the ordinary people who I asked believe that the election of this time is a major event and anxiously look forward to seeing the result of 07/06. Their reasons for that are the following which is very difficult not to agree with them:

• This is the first time that the Kurdish people enter the election having a political party, HDP. Previously individual Kurdish allowed taking a part in election as independent it is also the first time many non-Kurds are united with Kurds inside HDP and share its radical manifesto that reflecting and protecting the same interest of whole parties.

• It is quite clear that the AKP is not interested in a serious peace process with the Kurdish people. Erdogan has not taken a big practical step towards this goal. In fact AKP has been forced to agree to the peace process. Erdogan and his party are calculating that HDP does not get through the 10% threshold and does not become a major force in the Parliament to push the peace process seriously. So that wining this election will be a major achievement almost for everybody in Turkey.

• The HDP manifesto is strongly connected to the life of Kurdish and non-Kurdish people. It is a political, economical, educational, cultural as well as social manifesto. It aims at the equality between men and women, at reducing poverty, unemployment, homelessness and the power of the corporations. It deals with recognising Rojava’s Cantons, the Cyprus issue, tackling discrimination, recognising the right of the individuals, different cultures and different religions.

• To rebuild Kobane, humanitarian aid and materials have to enter through Syria or Turkey. So that reconstruction of Kobane whether thorough the big corporations or through the international solidarity, has to be through Turkey. At present Turkey only allows humanitarian aid and winning the election is extremely important for rebuilding Kobane. Because of the above reasons there is no doubt that the Turkey election of 07th of June has got its own speciality that very much different from any other election in many countries.

Second: the DSA in Bakur and their differences with Rojava:

There are many similarities of the DSA in Bakur and that of Rojava. What both experiments share are self-reliance and belief that things can be changed and done differently. Creating different radical local groups, committees, people assemblies and the House of People in the villages, on streets, neighborhoods and towns. In both experiments there are working voluntaries; making decisions collectively through the people assembly or the House of People. This resulted in bringing back decision making into the hands of communities. This also leads to decentralization and weakening the authority of the state.

In both experiments, the environment is a major issue and become an important part of people’s agenda. Making revolution from the bottom of the society is a core belief in both experiments. There is no promotion for religions or for nation state.

Naturally, there are many differences between the two experiments. This is due to a different socio-political climate; which gave the both experiments their separate characters. These differences might find themselves in:

• The DSAs in Rojava emerged through the current situation in Syria, withdrawing Assad’s forces and the will and the determination of people in Rojava to do what they wanted to do. The one in Bakur have been the outcome of the long historical struggles of people under the PKK’s influences.

• The DSAs in Rojava have been settled and are the main administration that people trust and use. These are independent establishments and have no opponents except in Aljazeera; where there is still some regime administration exist. So the DSAs in Rojava are free and have open hands. On the other hand the DSAs in Bakur and in many towns and villages have not settled completely yet. In the main towns, like, Amed, Van and Colemerg; people are in confrontation with the regime establishments. For example, in the town of Amed; there are no contacts between Municipalities and the governor, the head of police and the military forces. The same situation or even worse can be found in the town of Van. While I was there, I was told by people I had a meeting with that they turned into problems with the official authorities; when they wanted to change the names of their streets to Kurdish names.

• The DSAs in Rojava have been recognized to great extend in the world. They have received a good attention, solidarity and support from leftist, communists, trade unionists, socialists, anarchists and libertarians. In contrast the DSAs in Bakur have been recognized as a work of PKK and PKK, which for the US, Turkey and the Western countries is a terrorist organisation. Their poisoning propaganda has even affected the value and importance of the DSAs there.

• The continuation of ISIS war in Rojave is costing many lives, the stability of the region. This war also affects very badly the financial position of this area. The situation is paralyzing most of the economics, politics and social future planning. Furthermore, there is a continues threats from other terror forces, like Syrian free army and the Assad’s forces as well. Whereas, in Bakur and until now, there has not been any war.

• Rojava is an agricultural region and it is very rich in oil, gas and phosphates. Equally, Bakur is a very fertile land and ample source of water. The river Tigris is going through this region along with some other rivers. In addition the Van Lake is in the heart of Kurdistan. The area with it’s high and snow covered mountains can be a tourist attraction too. With all these resources the area can be self-sufficient, without a need from the central government.

• Capitalism has not been developed in Rojava yet. There are no big corporations, companies or factories. Therefore, the ugly face of capitalism cannot be seen here. In contrast in Bakur there is some form of undeveloped capitalism. This is as a result of a deliberate racist policy from the regime, to exclude Kurdistan from major developments.

• The trade unions in Bakur are very strong and play a big role in Municipalities, the radical groups, people assembly, House of People and also in the work places as well. They have good relations with the three main Turkey trade unions. Obviously emerging the unions there relate to the industrialization of Bakur although not as advance as in the rest of Turkey. On the other hand the number of the trade unionists and unions in Rojava are very small; therefore, they have a very little role to play.

In one of my meeting with people in Van they talked in details about the situation there. They talked about the heavy present of police and military forces in their area. These forces put a lot of pressure on people; harassing, humiliating and the threat of arrest. Despite of all these, the activists there continue to further their course to progress there DSA. They work in variety of groups; such as political, language, health services, women, environment and agriculture. It is estimated that DSAs can manage to 80% of Van. In 1056 villages there are people assemblies and in 40% of the area there has been some form of self managements. What is worth mentioning here is women’s 50% participations in these self management organizations.

In addition of the agricultural nature of Van; the region has a great potential to become a great tourist attraction. The House of people in Van has future plans to make it more attractive for tourists and have Eco-tourist projects to protect people and the environment. One of the other problems facing people is the poor production up to 50% less than expected. This is due to the distraction activities of the regime’s forces. There is also the culture of lack of confidence among people and unwillingness of sharing, lack of freedom and political problems.

However, I was told by people there; that they face a mammoth task. It is not easy to overturn 500 years influence of the Turkish authority. Throughout of these years people have been marginalised, isolated and treated with utter disrespect. To change all these require a lot of work on the ground and on the individual level as well. But what is promising is the zeal and determination of the activists in the area.

In my meeting with co-president of HDP, another party chief and co-leader of Colemerg Municipalities, it became apparent that DSAs in the region are facing major problems. The situation gets worse more you get closer to the boarder. In fact there are areas are restricted by the military and people are not allowed to enter. Despite all this; the Municipalities in Colemerg are determined to implement their main Ecology plan. They have agreed that Colemerg to be the Ecology Pilot. It has also been decided to work on this project as soon as the election is over.

Kobane and its Reconstruction:

After defeating Isis and Turkey’s regime in the war, Kobane could manage to pass the first test successfully. The USA and its allies took part in the war because they realised that either Kobane cannot be defeated or if it goes down it will take everything else with it. The first possibility would deprive the big corporations from rebuilding Kobane. The second would add another black spot to the history of so-called “international community”.

The war and the sanction indeed made life in Kobane and the rest of Rojave miserable for a long time but in my opinion both factors played a major role in surviving the whole of Rojava.

The war there introduced Rojava to the world and particularly the leftists, communists, socialists, trade unionist, anarchists and libertarians. . It brought love, support and solidarity to Rojava and its people. Hundreds of people from different countries travelled there to be in the front line against Isis and a few of them lost their lives. Hundreds more went there as journalist and aid and community workers to show their support and solidarity.

Using sanction against Rojava by Turkey, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the regional countries all also played a role in surviving Rojava. It prevented corruption, entering money, capital and hindered exploitation by businessmen and landowners. The simple life of the region managed to go on. People had to rely on themselves, work voluntarily and collectively. The true natural relation between the people continued.

Now Kobane and the whole of Rojava enter the economic test which is difficult indeed. Many countries can resist militarily occupation but cannot survive an economic one. Launching an economic war by the big corporations and the international financial institutions can be devastating.

This may start with the reconstruction of Kobane. Rebuilding it could bring death or the survival of Rojava as a whole by initiating its social revolution.

In my opinion rebuilding Kobane may take one of the following roots:

• Either through the work of big corporations and financial institution, like IMF, WB and ECB. This will no doubt benefit the big corporation in particular and the capitalist system in general as happened, by imposing so many dramatic conditions, in Africa and South America.

• Or through international support and solidarity of the leftists, communists, trade unionists, socialists, anarchists and libertarians. This of course is a slow process but it is the only way that Kabana can be rebuild solidly and avoiding the influence of the big corporations.

• It could also be done by contracting out some of the projects to some companies to supply materials and expertise but the actual work to be done collectively by the people. This is provided a close watch and scrutiny of the DSAs and the Tev-Dem. Could be imposed.

There is currently a big discussion among the politicians, academics and economists about the rebuilding Kobane and the future economy of Rojava. In fact a big conference was held in Amed in early May regarding rebuilding Kobane but so far no decision has been taken. While I was in Bakur I spoke to many people in important position. They all rejected the big corporations and explained that this is their own official and firm view.

Making no decision in rebuilding kobane through the big corporations and the international financial institutions is excellent decision against the interests of US and the Western countries and keeps their powers out. In the meantime it is our duty all to help and support whatever we can to participate in reconstruction of Kobane in order to protect this shiny experiment. We should not let the blood of thousands of people who scarified themselves to liberate Kobane and protecting the social revolution in Rojava to go in vain.

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Σχηματίστηκε διεθνιστικό τάγμα στη Ροζάβα

Σχηματίστηκε διεθνιστικό τάγμα στη Ροζάβα

Σχηματίστηκε το Τάγμα Διεθνιστικής Ελευθερίας στη Ροζάβα. Σχηματίστηκε το Τάγμα Διεθνιστικής Ελευθερίας που αποτελείται από τις δυνάμεις των λαών της Ροζάβας και της Μέσης Ανατολής. Σημειώνεται ότι το Τάγμα θα πολεμάει ενάντια στο ΙSIS και παρόμοιες εισβολείς συμμορίες.
Ανακοινώθηκε ο σχηματισμός του τάγματος, το οποίο στηρίζει την «Εκστρατεία  Διοικητή Ρουμπάρ Καμίσλο» που ξεκίνησε στις 6 Ιουνίου,  με επίσημη τελετή.
Στο τάγμα που ετοιμάζεται από το MLKP από το περασμένο Ιανουάριο παίρνουν μέρος η Οργάνωση Ανοικοδόμησης Ισπανίας, TİKKO, Ελεύθερες Ενωμένες Δυνάμεις (Birleşik Özgürlük Güçleri -BÖG-) και το Επαναστατικό Μέτωπο MLSPB. Επίσης παίρνουν μέρος επαναστάτες από την Ελλάδα.
Ακολουθεί η προκήρυξη του  Τάγματος Διεθνιστικής Ελευθερίας:
«Η Μέση Ανατολή έχει μετατραπεί σε μια θάλασσα αίματος από τα ιμπεριαλιστικά παράσιτα και αποικισμό. Μέσω των συμμοριών του ΙSIS που έχει οργανωθεί από τις ίδιες αυτές δυνάμεις, θέλουν να εισβάλουν στην περιοχή και να υποτάξουν τους λαούς. Στην πραγματικότητα οι σφαγές ενάντια στους λαούς των Χριστιανών, Γιαζιντί, Συριανών και Μουσουλμάνων, οι βιασμοί, το εμπόριο των γυναικών και παιδιών σε σκλαβοπάζαρα, οι εκτελέσεις με μαζικές τελετές και άλλες απάνθρωπες πολιτικές των συμμοριών του ΙSIS είναι η αντανάκλαση και οι αιώνιες πρακτικές των ιμπεριαλιστικών τους αφεντικών.
Νίκησε η γιγαντιαία αντίσταση των οργανωμένων  λαϊκών κινημάτων ενάντια σε όσους που ήθελαν να εξοντώσουν τους λαούς σε μια λίμνη αίματος και να τους διαγράψουν την γλώσσα, την πίστη, την ζωή, τον εαυτό τους  από  την μνήμη, στην Ροζάβα και στο Κομπάνε, Σένγκαλ, Τιλ-Χεμίς και Σερεκάνιε με την πρωτοπορία των YPG-YPJ.
Έτσι η επανάσταση της Ροζάβας κυριάρχησε την παγκόσμια επικαιρότητα, και η αντίσταση των YPG-YPJ μετατράπηκε σε έναν χώρο που οι φτωχοί λαοί θαυμάζουν, μεγαλώνουν τις δράσεις αλληλεγγύης τους και στέλνουν πολεμιστές/τριες. Αυτός ό χώρος είναι πλέον η σημερινή Μπεκάα, η σημερινή Παλαιστίνη. Η Επανάσταση της Ροζάβας είναι η Κομούνα του Παρισιού υπό γερμανική πολιορκία. Η Μαδρίτη του Ισπανικού Εμφυλίου, το Στάλινγκραντ στον Β Πόλεμο Μοιρασιάς.
Η Επανάσταση της Ροζάβας έχει πλέον γίνει ο πυρσός αντίστασης για τους καταπιεσμένους λαούς, η καρδία των όλο και πιο δυναμωμένων  παγκόσμιων επαναστάσεων,  ανατρέποντας  ισορροπίες δυνάμεων σε γειτονικές χώρες, αλλά πρώτα από όλα στην Τουρκία.
Η Επανάσταση της Ροζάβας ως μια επανάσταση των γυναικών έχει δημιουργήσει μια δυνατή γυναικεία βούληση ενάντιο στον οπισθοδρομισμό του πατριαρχικού κόσμου και έχει γίνει το σύμβολο αυτής της βούλησης.
Οι επαναστάτες από διάφορες χώρες του πλανήτη με στραμμένα τα πρόσωπα στη Μέση Ανατολή έχοντας τη ιστορική συνείδηση και ευθύνη του καθήκοντος της άμυνας, εξάπλωσης της Επανάστασης της Ροζάβας  δεν δίστασαν ούτε ένα δευτερόλεπτο να πολεμήσουν στα μέτωπα, να χύσουν το αίμα τους και να πεθάνουν για τη νίκη.
Κάποιες επαναστατικές δυνάμεις από την Τουρκία και άλλες χώρες έχουν έρθει στην Ροζάβα,  , προσπάθησαν να συμβάλουν στην επανάσταση και τον πόλεμο, και πήραν τη θέση  τους για να αναπτύξουν και να  προχωρήσουν την επανάσταση, να μεγαλώσουν τον πόλεμο και να τον μεταφέρουν στις χώρες τους.
Εμείς που πολεμάμε σε κάθε τετράγωνο της Ροζάβας, δίνουμε μάρτυρες και σηκώνουμε τη σημαία της αντίστασης…
Εμείς που μαχόμαστε στην πρώτη γραμμή ενάντια στον ιμπεριαλισμό και τους αντιδραστικούς της περιοχής…
Εμείς που αντιμετωπίζουμε τις συμμορίες του ISIS που θέλει να πνίξει την επανάσταση με όλη την υποστήριξη…
Εμείς που ζούμε την επανάσταση και τη νιώθουμε μέσα μας…
Εμείς οι λαοί του Κουρδιστάν που πραγματοποίησαν την επανάσταση της Ροζάβας, όλοι οι εργάτες, καταπιεσμένοι, γυναίκες, διεθνιστές επαναστάτες που πολεμάμε κάτω από τις σημαίες των YPG-YPJ…
Έχουμε ορκιστεί,  έχουμε υποσχεθεί σε όλους αυτούς που πέσανε πριν από μας, σε όλες τις αξίες που δημιουργήθηκαν πριν από μας…
Εμείς οι Ισπανοί, οι Γερμανοί, οι Έλληνες, οι Τούρκοι, οι Άραβες, οι Αρμένιοι, οι Λάζοι, οι Κιρκέζοι, οι Αλβανοί…
Ως διεθνιστές, επαναστατικές δυνάμεις, οργανώσεις, ομάδες από διάφορες χώρες έχουμε ενωθεί στο ΤΑΓΜΑ ΔΙΕΘΝΙΣΤΙΚΗΣ ΕΛΕΥΘΕΡΙΑΣ για να προστατεύουμε την επανάσταση της Ροζάβας.
Καλούμε όλους τους καταπιεσμένους λαούς, τους εργάτες/τριες, τους εργαζόμενους/ες, τις γυναίκες, τις κοινωνικές ομάδες από διάφορες θρησκείες και ταυτότητες, τους οικολόγους, τους αντιιμπεριαλιστές/τριες, τους αντιφασίστες/τριες, τους αντικαπιταλιστές/τριες, τους δημοκράτες και τους επαναστάτες/τριες να ενωθούν κάτω από την σημαία του ΤΑΓΜΑΤΟΣ ΔΙΕΘΝΙΣΤΙΚΗΣ ΕΛΕΥΘΕΡΙΑΣ για να προστατεύουμε την επανάσταση της Ροζάβας, να μεγαλώνουμε τα κεκτημένα μας, να επεκτείνουμε την επανάσταση της περιοχής, της Μέσης Ανατολής και την αδελφότητα των λαών…»

Από: ANF
http://www.firatnews.com/kurdistan/rojava-da-enternasyonalist-tabur-kuruldu


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Από την Chiapas στη Rojava:οι θάλασσες μας χωρίζουν, η αυτονομία μας δένει.

Από την Chiapas στη Rojava: οι θάλασσες μας χωρίζουν, η αυτονομία μας δένει.
του Petar Stanchev 17 Φεβρουαρίου, 2015.

Παρότι λαμβάνουν χώρα σε μακρινές μεταξύ τους ηπείρους, οι αγώνες των Κούρδων και των Ζαπατίστας μοιράζονται έναν παρόμοιο σκοπό: την αντίσταση στον καπιταλισμό, την
απελευθέρωση των γυναικών και το χτίσιμο της αυτονομίας.

Εικόνα: Γη και Ελευθερία του Matt Verges.

Η χειραφέτηση του λαού θα γίνει πραγματικότητα μόνο όταν η εξουσία που βρίσκεται στα χέρια των κοινωνικών ελίτ περάσει στο λαό.
– Murray Bookchin, Post-Scarcity Anarchism

Μόλις έξι μήνες πριν πάρα πολύ λίγοι άνθρωποι είχαν ακούσει ποτέ για το Kobani. Όμως όταν το ISIS εξαπέλυσε την ατελέσφορη επίθεσή του στην πόλη, το Σεπτέμβριο του 2014,
η μικρή κουρδικη αντεπίθεση γρήγορα έγινε κομβικό σημείο αναφοράς στον αγώνα εναντίοον των θρησκευτικών εξτρεμιστών. Τους μήνες που ακολούθησαν,
το Kobani μεταμορφώθηκε σε διεθνές σύμβολο αντίστασης, συγκρινόμενο τόσο με την Βαρκελώνη όσο και με το Στάλινγκραντ για το ρόλο του ως ανάχωμα ενάντια στο φασιμό.

Η γενναία αντίσταση των Μονάδων Λαϊκής Αυτοάμυνας και των Μονάδων Αυτοάμυνας Γυναικών (YPG and YPJ αντίστοιχα) επαινέθηκε από ένα ευρύ φάσμα ομάδων και ατόμων- από
αναρχικούς, αριστερούς και ελευθεριακούς μέχρι δεξιούς συντηρητικούς- που εξέφρασαν τη συμπάθεια και το θαυμασμό τους για τους άντρες και τις γυναίκες του Kobani
στην ιστορική μάχη τους ενάντια στις δυνάμεις του ISIS.

Ως εκ τούτου, τα κυρίαρχα μμε ήταν σύντομα αναγκασμένα να σπάσουν τη σιωπή σχετικά με την κατάσταση των Κούρδων στη Βόρεια Συρία, οι οποίοι κύρηξαν την αυτονομία
τους το καλοκαίρι τυ 2012. Πολυάριθμα άρθρα και ειδήσεις απεικόνιζαν τη δυναμικότητα και αποφασιστικότητα των Κούρδων ανταρτών, συχνά με μια δόση από ρομαντισμό.
Παρόλα αυτά η προσοχή των μμε συχνά ήταν επιλεκτική και μεροληπτική. Η βαθιά ουσία του πολιτικού εγχειρήματος της Rojava (Δυτικό Κουρδιστάν) αποσιωπήθηκε και οι
δημοσιογράφοι της Δύσης προτιμούσαν γενικά να παρουσιάζουν την αντίσταση στο Kobani σαν μια ακατανόητη εξαίρεση στην υποτιθέμενη βαρβαρότητα της Μέσης
Ανατολής.

Όπως ήταν αναμενόμενο, η νικηφόρα σημαία των YPG/YPJ που φέρει εμφανώς το κόκκινο αστέρι δεν ήταν ιδιαίτερα ευχάριστη εικόνα στα μάτια των Δυτικών δυνάμεων.
Τα αυτόνομα καντόνια (που σημαίνει επαρχίες ή υποοδιαιρέσεις του κράτους που δημιουργήθηκαν για πολιτικούς ή διοικητικούς σκοπούς) της Rojava αντιπροσωπεύουν
μια σταθεροποιητική λύση στις συγκρούσεις της Μέσης Ανατολής, εστιασμένη στην ισότητα των φύλων, τη βιωσιμότητα του περιβάλλοντος και στις οριζόντιες δημοκρατικές
διαδικασίες με τη συμμετοχή όλων των διαφορετικών εθνικοτήτων και κοινωνικών ομάδων, ενώ ταυτόχρονα αντιστέκονται στην τρομοκρατία του ISIS και απορρίπτουν τόσο
τη φιλελεύθερη δημοκρατία όσο και την καπιταλιστική νεωτερικότητα.

Αν και στη Δύση πολλοί προτίμησαν τη σιωπή όσον αφορά σε αυτό το θέμα, Οι Κούρδοι ακτιβιστές και ο ακαδημαϊκός Dilar Dirik έχουν σωστά ισχυριστεί ότι τα ιδεολογικά
θεμέλια του κουρδικού κινήματος για τη δημοκρατική αυτονομία είναι το κλειδί για γίνει κατανοητό το πνεύμα που ενέπνευσε την αντίσταση στο Kobani.

ΦΤΑΝΕΙ ΠΙΑ!
Ενόσω κλιμακωνόταν η μάχη για τη διεκδίκηση κάθε γωνιάς και δρόμου, το Kobani κατάφερε να ενθουσιάσει την παγκόσμια αριστερά- και ιδιαίτερα τις αριστερές-ελευθεριακές
ομαδοποιήσεις ως σύμβολο αντίστασης. Δεν ήταν τυχαίο που η τούρκικο μαρξιστική-λενινιστική ομάδα MLKP, που  ενώθηκε με τις YPG/YPJ στο πεδίο της μάχης, ύψωσε τη σημαία
της Ισπανικής Δημοκρατίας πάνω από τα ερείπια της πόλης(Kobani) την ημέρα της απελευθέρωσής της, ζητώντας ταυτόχρονα το σχηματισμό των Διεθνών Ταξιαρχιών, ακολουθώντας
το παράδειγμα της Ισπανικής Επανάστασης.

Δεν ήταν απαραίτητα η μάχη για το Kobani αυτή καθεαυτή, αλλά το ελευθεριακό πρόταγμα των καντονιών της Rojava, η εφαρμογή της άμεσης δημοκρατίας σε επίπεδο βάσης και η
συμμετοχή των γυναικών στην αυτόνομη κυβέρνηση, που έδωσαν λόγο σε αυτές τις ιστορικές συγκρίσεις. Όμως, η Rojava δεν συγκρίθηκε μόνο με τη επαναστατημένη Catalonia.
Μία άλλη εντυπωσιακή σύγκριση- με τον αγώνα των Ζαπατίστας για αυτονομία στο νότιο Μεξικό- μπορεί στην πραγματικότητα να είναι το κλειδί για την κατανόηση του
παραδείγματος της επανάστασης στο Κουρδιστάν και τι σηματοδοτεί για αυτούς που πιστεύουν πως ένας άλλος κόσμος είναι εφικτός.

Από την πρώτη στιγμή που εμφανίστηκε στο προσκήνιο στις αρχές της δεκετίας του ’90, το ζαπατιστικό κίνημα αποτελεί ίσως ένα από τα πιο συμβολικά και με επιρροή στοιχεία
του επαναστατικού φαντασιακού παγκοσμίως. Το πρωί της 1ης Γενάρη, 1994, μια άγνωστη δύναμη ανταρτών αποτελούμενη από αυτόχθονους Μάγιας πήρε τον έλεγχο των βασικών
πόλεων της Τσιάπας, του φτωχότερου κράτους του Μεξικού. Η στρατιωτική επιχείρηση διεξήχθη με εξαιρετική στρατηγική και σε συνδυασμό με την καινοτόμο χρήση του
Διαδικτύου αντήχε σε όλο τον κόσμο, εμπνέοντας διεθνή αλληλεγγύη και την ανάδυση του Παγκόσμιου Κινήματος Δικαιοσύνης.

Οι Ζαπατίστας εξεγέρθηκαν ενάντια στον νεοφιλελευθερισμό και την κοινωνική και πολιτισμική γενοκτονία του αυτόχθονου πληθυσμού του Μεξικού. Ya Basta!,ή ‘Enough
is Enough!(Δηλ. Φτάνει πια!), ήταν η πολεμική ιαχή της εξέγερσης που ήταν το “προϊόν 500 χρόνων καταπίεσης”, όπως δήλωνε η Πρώτη Δακήρυξη της Ζούγκλας Λακαντόνα.
Οι Ζαπατίστας προχώρησαν σε ένοπλη εξέγερση δικαίως, ενώ το παγκόσμιο κεφάλαιο γιόρταζε το υποτιθέμενο τέλος της ιστορίας, και η ιδέα της κοινωνικής επανάστασης
φαινόταν να είναι ένας ρομαντικός αναχρονισμός που ανήκε στο παρελθόν. Ο Ζαπατιστικός εθνικοαπελευθερωτικός στρατός (EZLN) σύντομα εκδιώχθηκε από τις πόλεις μετά
από σφοδρές μάχες με τον ομοσπονδιακό στρατό που κράτησαν 12 μέρες. Ωσόσο, αποδείχθηκε ότι η βαθιά οριζόντια οργάνωση των αυτόχθονων κοινοτήτων δεν μπορούσε να
εξαλειφθεί με καμιά κρατική τρομοκρατία ή στρατιωτικές εκστρατείες.

Ο μασκοφόρος εκπρόσωπος του στρατού των ανταρτών, Υποδιοικητής Μάρκος, αμφισβήτησε την έννοια της ιστορικής πρωτοπορίας και αντέτεινε σε αυτήν, την ιδέα της
«επανάστασης από τα κάτω», μια μορφή κοινωνικού αγώνα που δεν αποσκοπεί να καταλάβει την κρατική εξουσία, αλλά μάλλον επιδιώκει να την καταργήσει. Αυτή η σύλληψη της
αυτονομίας και της άμεσης δημοκρατίας, στη συνέχεια έγινε το κέντρο πολλών μαζικών αντικαπιταλιστικών κινημάτων που έχουμε δει από τότε- από τις διαδηλώσεις στο Σιάτλ
και τη Γένοβας στις καταλήψεις του Συντάγματος, της Puerta del Sol και του Zuccotti Park.

ΜΙΑ ΚΟΙΝΗ ΙΣΤΟΡΙΚΗ ΠΟΡΕΙΑ
Οι ρίζες του αγώνα για τη δημοκρατική αυτονομία στη Rojava μπορούν να εντοπιστούν στην ιστορία του Εργατικού Κόμματος Κουρδιστάν (PKK), τον οργανισμό που υπήρξε το
επίκεντρο του κουρδικού κινήματος απολευθέρωσης από την ίδρυσή του το 1978. Το PKK ιδρύθηκε ως μαρξιστική-λενινιστική αντάρτικη οργάνωση στο Βόρειο Κουρδιστάν
(Νοτιοανατολική Τουρκία)  συνδυάζοντας ένα είδος κουρδικού εθνικισμού με τον αγώνα για κοινωνική χειραφέτηση. Υπό την ηγεσία του Abdullah Öcalan έγινε μία
σημαντικότατη δύναμη ανταρτών που κατάφερε να αντέξει τις επιθέσεις του δεύτερου μεγαλύτερου στρατού του ΝΑΤΟ σε μια σύγκρουση που στοίχισε τη ζωή σε περισσότερους
από 40.000 ανθρώπουςκατά τη διάρκεια τριάντα χρόνων.

Το τουρικό κράτος εκτόπισε εκατοντάδες χιλιάδες και σύμφωνα με πληροφορίες χρησιμοποιούσε βασανιστήρια, δολοφονίες και βιασμούς εναντίον του άμαχου πληθυσμού. Κι όμως,
δεν κατάφερε να σπάσει την κουρδική αντίσταση. Από την ίδρυσή του, το PKK έχει επεκτείνει την επιρροή του τόσο στην Τουρκία όσο και σε άλλα τμήματα του Κουρδιστάν. Η
κορυφαία πολιτική δύναμη στην επανάσταση της Rojava – το Κόμμα Δημοκρατικής Ένωσης (PYD) – ιδρύθηκε ως αδελφή οργάνωση του PKK στη Συρία, αφού το πρώτο ανακυρήχθηκε
παράνομο στα τέλη της δεκαετίας του ’90. Επί του παρόντος, οι δύο οργανώσεις συνδέονται μέσω της Ένωσης Κοινοτήτων του Κουρδιστάν (KCK), την οργάνωση-ομπρέλα που
περιλαμβάνει διάφορες επαναστατικές και πολιτικές ομάδες που μοιράζονται τις ιδέες του PKK.

Η ιδεολογία που ενώνει τις διάφορες πολιτικές και επαναστατικές ομάδες μέσα στο KCK ονομάζεται δημοκρατικός συνομοσπονδισμός και βασίζεται στις ιδέες του αμερικανού
αναρχικού Murray Bookchin, ο οποίος τάχθηκε υπέρ μιας μη ιεραρχικής κοινωνίας βασισμένης στην κοινωνική οικολογία, τον ελευθεριακό κοινοτισμό και την άμεση δημοκρατία.
Αφού ο Öcalan συνελήφθη από το τουρκικό κράτος το 1999 και καταδικάστηκε σε ισόβια κάθειρξη, ο ίδιος απέρριψε το μαρξιστικό-λενινιστικό παρελθόν του ΡΚΚ. Αντ ‘αυτού,
στράφηκε προς τον Bookchin, οδηγώντας σε μια πεποίθηση ότι η τοπική και περιφερειακή αυτονομία των κουρδικών κοινοτήτων είναι στην πραγματικότητα η πιο βιώσιμη λύση.

Παρά το γεγονός ότι οι Ζαπατίστας είναι γνωστοί για την αυτόνομη αυτοδιοίκηση τους και την απόρριψή της έννοιας της ιστορικής πρωτοπορίας, οι ρίζες του EZLN είχαν
παρόμοιο μαρξιστικό-λενινιστικό χαρακτήρα. Ακριβώς όπως το ΡΚΚ, οι ιδέες των Ζαπατίστας της αυτοδιοίκησης και της επανάστασης από τα κάτω ήταν προϊόν μιας μακράς
ιστορικής εξέλιξης.

Ο EZLN ιδρύθηκε το 1983 από μια ομάδα ανταρτών πόλης που αποφάσισε να δημιουργήσει ένα επαναστατικό κύτταρο μεταξύ του αυτόχθονου πληθυσμού στην Τσιάπας, να οργανώσει
μια στρατιωτική δύναμη και τελικά να καταλάβει την κρατική εξουσία μέσα από αντάρτικο. Σύντομα συνειδητοποίησαν ότι το πρωτοποριακό ιδεολογικό τους δόγμα δεν ήταν
εφαρμόσιμο στις πολιτισμικές πραγματικότητες των τοπικών κοινοτήτων, και άρχισαν να μαθαίνουν από τις παραδόσεις των αυτοχθόνων λαών της κοινοτικής διακυβέρνησης.
Έτσι, ο Ζαπατισμός γεννήθηκε ως μια συγχώνευση μεταξύ του Δυτικού μαρξισμού και της εμπειρίας και τη γνώσης του γηγενούς αμερικανικού πληθυσμού που αντιστεκόταν
στο αποικιακό ισπανικό κράτος και την ομοσπονδιακή μεξικανική πολιτεία για πέντε αιώνες.

Αυτή η κοινή ιδεολογική πορεία των δύο αντάρτικων οργανώσεων δείχνει μια ιστορική στροφή σε σύγχρονες αντιλήψεις της επαναστατικής διαδικασίας. Η εξέγερση των
Ζαπατίστας και το χτίσιμο της αυτονομίας στη Chiapas σηματοδότησε τη ρήξη με την παραδοσιακή στρατηγική του foquismo, εμπνευσμένη κυρίως από την Κουβανική Επανάσταση.
Η απόρριψη της πρωτοπορίας έγινε πολύ σαφής σε επιστολή που έγραψε ο υποδιοικητής Μάρκος στο απελευθερωτικό κίνημα των Βάσκων ΕΤΑ, όπου αναφέρει σαφώς: ” Χέζω όλες τις
επαναστατικές πρωτοπορίες σε αυτόν τον πλανήτη”.

Στην Τσιάπας, δεν είναι η πρωτοπορία που οδηγεί τους ανθρώπους- εναπόκειται στους ίδιους τους ανθρώπους να χτίσουν την επανάσταση από τα κάτω και να τη διατηρήσουν ως
τέτοια. Τώρα αυτή είναι η λογική που έχει στραφεί το PKK, την τελευταία δεκαετία υπό την επιρροή του Murray Bookchin, αποδεικνύοντας τη μετατροπή του από ένα
κίνημα για τους ανθρώπους σε ένα κίνημα του λαού.

ΚΑΝΤΟΝΙΑ και CARACOLES
Ίσως η πιο σημαντική ομοιότητα μεταξύ των επαναστάσεων στην Rojava και Chiapas είναι η κοινωνική και πολιτική ανα-διοργάνωση που λαμβάνει χώρα στις περιοχές, στη βάση
της ελευθεριακής σοσιαλιστικής κοσμοθεωρίας του PKK και του EZLN.

Ο αγώνας των Ζαπατίστας για την αυτονομία προέρχεται από την αποτυχία των ειρηνευτικών διαπραγματεύσεων με την κυβέρνηση του Μεξικού μετά την εξέγερση το 1994. Κατά τη
διάρκεια των ειρηνευτικών διαπραγματεύσεων οι αντάρτες απαίτησαν από την κυβέρνηση να τηρήσει τις συμφωνίες του Σαν Αντρές, που έδιναν στους ιθαγενείς το δικαίωμα σε
μεγαλύτερη αυτοδιάθεση πάνω στην οργάνωση της εκπαίδευση, της δικαιοσύνης και της πολιτικής οργάνωσης με βάση τις παραδόσεις τους, καθώς και κοινοτικό έλεγχο της γης
και των τοπικών πόρων.

Αυτές οι συμφωνίες ποτέ δεν τέθηκαν σε εφαρμογή από την κυβέρνηση και το 2001 ο Πρόεδρος Fox υποστήριξε ένα δημοσιευμένο κείμενο που ψηφίστηκε από το Κογκρέσο, αλλά
αυτό δεν πληρούσε τις απαιτήσεις των Ζαπατίστας και των άλλων ομάδων της γηγενούς αντίστασης. Δύο χρόνια αργότερα, ο EZLN δημιούργησε πέντε ζώνες των ανταρτών,
ή Caracoles (“σαλιγκάρια” στα αγγλικά), που τώρα λειτουργούν ως διοικητικά κέντρα. Το όνομα Caracoles αντιπροσώπευε το συγκεκριμένη επαναστατική χρονικότητα
των Ζαπατίστας: “Το κάνουμε μόνοι μας, μαθαίνουμε στην πορεία και προχωρούμε. Σιγά-σιγά, αλλά προχωρούμε».

Τα Caracoles περιλαμβάνουν τρία επίπεδα της αυτόνομης κυβέρνησης: την κοινότητα, το δήμο και το Συμβούλιο Καλής Διακυβέρνησης. Οι δύο πρώτες βασίζονται σε
συνελεύσεις βάσης (άνω τελεία) τα Συμβούλια Καλής Διακυβέρνησης εκλέγονται, αλλά με την πρόθεση όσο το δυνατόν περισσότερουι άνθρώποι να συμμετέχουν στα συμβούλια
κατά τη διάρκεια των χρόνων μέσα από της αρχή της εναλλαγής. Τα Caracoles έχουν τα δικά τους συστήματα εκπαίδευσης, υγειονομικής περίθαλψης και τη δικαιοσύνης,
καθώς και συνεταιρισμούς που παράγουν καφέ, δημιουργούν χειροτεχνίες και κτηνοτροφία, μεταξύ άλλων.

Κατά κάποιο τρόπο, τα καντόνια της Rojava μοιάζουν με τα Caracoles. Είχαν προ-διακηρυχθεί από το Κίνημα για μια Δημοκρατική Κοινωνία (TEV-DEM) το 2014 και
λειτουργούν μέσω των νεοσυσταθέντων λαϊκών συνελεύσεων και των Λαϊκών Συμβουλίων. Οι γυναίκες συμμετέχουν ισότιμα στις διαδικασίες λήψης αποφάσεων και εκπροσωπούνται
σε όλες τις αιρετές θέσεις, οι οποίες πάντα μοιράζονται από έναν άνδρα και μια γυναίκα.

Όλες οι εθνικές ομάδες εκπροσωπούνται στα διάφορα συμβούλια και τους θεσμούς τους. Επίσης, η υγειονομική περίθαλψη και η εκπαίδευση είναι εγγυημένα από το σύστημα
της δημοκρατικής συνομοσπονδίας. Πρόσφατα το πρώτο Rojavan πανεπιστήμιο, η Ακαδημία Κοινωνικών Επιστημών της Μεσοποταμίας, άνοιξε τις πόρτες του στα σχέδια για
να αμφισβητήσει την ιεραρχική δομή της εκπαίδευσης και να προσφέρει μια διαφορετική προσέγγιση στη μάθηση.

Ακριβώς όπως συμβαίνει με τους Ζαπατίστας, η επανάσταση στην Rojava οραματίζεται τον εαυτό της ως μια πιθανή λύση στα προβλήματα ολόκληρης της χώρας και της περιοχής
στο σύνολό της. Δεν είναι απλώς μια έκφραση αποσχιστικών τάσεων. Αντιπροσωπεία ακαδημαϊκών από την Ευρώπη και τη Βόρεια Αμερική,
που επισκέφθηκε τη Rojava ισχυρίστηκε πρόσφατα, ότι αυτό το πραγματικά δημοκρατικό σύστημα  υπόσχεται ένα διαφορετικό μέλλον για τη Μέση Ανατολή – ένα μέλλον βασισμένο
στη λαϊκή συμμετοχή, την απελευθέρωση των γυη ναικών και δίκαιη ειρήνη μεταξύ των διαφόρων εθνοτικών ομάδων.

ΜΙΑ ΕΠΑΝΑΣΤΑΣΗ ΤΩΝ ΓΥΝΑΙΚΩΝ
Το φύλο ήταν πάντα στο επίκεντρο της επανάστασης των Ζαπατίστας. Πριν από τη διάδοση των αυτόνομων μορφών οργάνωσης και την υιοθέτηση της απελευθέρωσης των γυναικών ως
επίκεντρο της πάλης, η θέση των γυναικών ήταν σημαδεμένη από εκμετάλλευση, περιθωριοποίηση, καταναγκαστικό γάμο, σωματική βία και διακρίσεις.

Αυτός είναι ο λόγος που ο Υποδιοικητής Μάρκος ισχυρίζεται ότι η εξέγερση δεν ξεκίνησε το 1994, αλλά ήδη ένα χρόνο πριν, με την υιοθέτηση του Επαναστατικού Νόμου των
Γυναικών το 1993. Ο νόμος αυτός καθορίζει το πλαίσιο για την ισότητα των φύλων και τη δικαιοσύνη, ενώ ταυτόχρονα αποτελεί εγγύηση των δικαιωμάτων στην προσωπική αυτονομία,
τη χειραφέτηση και αξιοπρέπεια των γυναικών στην επαναστατημένη περιοχή. Σήμερα οι γυναίκες συμμετέχουν σε όλα τα επίπεδα της κυβέρνησης και λειτουργούν τους δικούς τους
συνεταιρισμούς και οικονομικές δομές για να εξασφαλίσουν την οικονομική ανεξαρτησία τους.

Οι γυναίκες εξακολουθούν να αποτελούν ένα μεγάλο μέρος στις γραμμές του αντάρτικου στρατού των Ζαπατίστας και λαμβάνουν υψηλές θέσεις στη στρατιωτική του διοίκηση. Η
κατάληψη του San Cristobal de las Casas, της πιο σημαντικής πόλης που κατέλαβε ο EZLN κατά την εξέγερση του 1994, είχε ως επικεφαλή την Comandante Ramona, η οποία ήταν
και η πρώτη Ζαπατίστας που στάλθηκε στην Πόλη του Μεξικού για να εκπροσωπήσει το κίνημα στις διαπραγματεύσεις με την κυβέρνηση.

Η μαζική εμπλοκή των αυτόχθονων γυναικών στο πολιτικό έργο των Ζαπατίστας είναι εύκολα συγκρίσιμη με τη συμμετοχή των γυναικών στην άμυνα του Kobani και στις Μονάδες
Αυτοάμυνας Γυναικών (YPJ) γενικότερα. Η γενναιότητα και αποφασιστικότητα των Κούρδων γυναικών στον πόλεμο εναντίον του ISIS είναι προϊόν μιας μακράς παράδοσης γυναικείας
συμμετοχής στον ένοπλο αγώνα για την κοινωνική απελευθέρωση στο Κουρδιστάν. Οι γυναίκες διαδραματίζουν σημαντικό ρόλο στο ΡΚΚ και η απελευθέρωση των φύλων έχει εδώ και
καιρό λάβει κεντρική θέση στον κουρδικο αγώνα.

Η επανάσταση Rojava υπογράμμισε ιδιαίτερα την απελευθέρωση των γυναικών ως απαραίτητη προϋπόθεση για την απελευθέρωση της κοινωνίας στο σύνολό της. Το θεωρητικό πλαίσιο
που βάζει τη διάλυση της πατριαρχίας στο κέντρο του αγώνα αναφέρεται ως “jineology” (Jin σημαίνει γυναίκα στην κουρδική γλώσσα). Η εφαρμογή αυτής της έννοιας έχει οδηγήσει
σε μια άνευ προηγουμένου ενδυνάμωση των γυναικών – ένα αξιοσημείωτο επίτευγμα, όχι μόνο στο πλαίσιο της Μέσης Ανατολής, αλλά και σε σύγκριση με το Δυτικό φιλελεύθερο
φεμινισμό.

Οι συνελεύσεις των γυναικών, οι συνεταιριστικές δομές και οι γυναικείες παραστρατιωτικές ομάδες είναι η παλλόμενη καρδιά της επανάστασης στη Rojava, η οποία θεωρείται
ατελής όσο δεν καταστρέφει τις πατριαρχικές δομές στη βάση της καπιταλιστικής κοινωνίας. Όπως έγραψε η Τζάνετ Μπιλ  μετά την πρόσφατη επίσκεψή της στη Rojava,
στην επανάσταση της Rojava οι γυναίκες εκπληρώνουν το ρόλο που το (ανδρικό) προλεταριάτο πληρούσε στις επαναστάσεις του 20ου αιώνα.

Ο ΔΡΟΜΟΣ ΠΡΟΣ ΤΗΝ ΑΥΤΟΝΟΜΙΑ
Η “Oικολογία της Eλευθερίας” είναι ίσως το πιο σημαντικό ανάμεσα στα έργα του Bookchin, και η έννοια της κοινωνικής οικολογίας που αναπτύσσεται σε αυτό το βιβλίο έχει
ενεργά ενστερνιστεί από τους επαναστάτες στη Rojava. Ο Μπούκτσιν ήταν πεπεισμένος ότι «η ίδια η έννοια της κυριαρχίας της φύσης από τον άνθρωπο προέρχεται από την
πολύ πραγματική κυριαρχία του ανθρώπου από άνθρωπο.” Συνδέοντας τον καπιταλισμό, την πατριαρχία και την καταστροφή του περιβάλλοντος, προσδιορίζει τη συνδυασμένη
κατάργησή τους,ως το μόνο δρόμο προς τα εμπρός για μια δίκαιη κοινωνία.

Μια παρόμοια ολιστική προσέγγιση έχει επίσης υποστηριχθεί και υλοποιηθεί από τους Ζαπατίστας. Η βιωσιμότητα είναι ένα σημαντικό σημείο αναφοράς στην Τσιάπας, ιδίως
μετά τη δημιουργία των Caracoles το 2003. Η αυτόνομη κυβέρνηση προσπαθεί να ανακτήσει την προγονική γνώση σχετικά με την αειφόρο χρήση της γης και να τη συνδυάσει
με νεότερες πρακτικές αγρο-οικολογίας. Αυτή η λογική δεν είναι μόνο θέμα της βελτίωσης των συνθηκών διαβίωσης στις κοινότητες και αποφυγή της χρήσης των αγροχημικών,
αλλά συνιστά επίσης μια απόρριψη της ιδέας ότι η μεγάλης κλίμακας εξαγώγιμη βιομηχανική γεωργία είναι ανώτερη από τον “πρωτόγονο” τρόπο με τον οποίο οι ιθαγενείς
δουλεύουν τη γη.

Οι ομοιότητες μεταξύ του συστήματος της δημοκρατικής συνομοσπονδίας που αναπτύσσεται στο Δυτικό Κουρδιστάν και η αυτονομία που κατασκευάζεται στην Chiapas πηγαίνει πολύ
πέρα από τα λίγα σημεία που έχω τονίσει σε αυτό το άρθρο. Από συνθήματα όπως το Ya Basta!(Μέχρι εδώ!) – να προσαρμόζεται στην κουρδική γλώσσα ως BES EDI e! – μέχρι την
ανάπτυξη της δημοκρατίας από τα κάτω, τις κοινοτικές οικονομικές δομές και τη συμμετοχή των γυναικών, οι παρόμοιες πορείες του κουρδικού και ζαπατιστικού κινήματος
επιδεικνύουν εξίσου και οι δύο την αποφασιστική ρήξη με την έννοια της πρωτοπορίας του μαρξισμού-λενινισμού και μια νέα προσέγγιση της επανάστασης – αναδυόμενη από τα
κάτω και με στόχο την ολοκληρωτική απελευθέρωση της κοινωνίας και της αναδιοργάνωσής της σε μια μη-ιεραρχική κατεύθυνση.

Aν και τα δύο κινήματα έχουν λάβει δριμεία κριτική από τα πιο θρησκευτικά στοιχεία της αριστερής πτέρυγας, το ίδιο το γεγονός ότι τα μόνα μεγάλα και επιτυχή πειράματα
για την επαναστατική κοινωνική αλλαγή προέρχονται από μη Δυτικές, περιθωριοποιημένες και -που τις έχουν αποικήσει- ομάδες (Τι εννοεί τώρα ότι η Τουρκία έχει αποικίσει
το κρατος των Κούρδων?), θα πρέπει να θεωρείται ένα χαστούκι στο πρόσωπο των λευκών και προνομιούχων δογματικών “επαναστατών” του παγκόσμιου Βορρά, που έχουν ελάχιστα
πετύχει στην αντιμετώπιση της καταπίεσης στη χώρα τους, αλλά που εξακολουθούν να πιστεύουν ότι είναι στην κρίση τους να αποφασίσουν πώς η επανάσταση μοιάζει.

Στην πραγματικότητα, οι αγώνες στη Rojava και στη Chiapas αποτελούν ισχυρά παραδείγματα για τον κόσμο, αποδεικνύοντας τις τεράστιες δυνατότητες της αυτο-οργάνωσης από τα
κάτω και τη σημασία των κοινοτικών δεσμούς για την αντιμετώπιση της ιδιώτευσης που προκαλείται από τον καπιταλισμό. Επιπλέον, αναγκάζουν πολλούς στη Δυτική
αριστερά – συμπεριλαμβανομένων μερικών αναρχικών – να επανεξετάσουν την αποικιακή νοοτροπία τους (τι εννοεί ότι οι αριστεροί, αναρχικοί έχουν απικοιακές τάσεις???) και τους
ιδεολογικούς δογματισμούς.

Ένας κόσμος χωρίς καπιταλισμό, ιεραρχία, κυριαρχία και καταστροφή του περιβάλλοντος – ή όπως οι Ζαπατίστας θα έλεγαν, ένας κόσμος μέσα στον οποίο είναι εφικτοί πολλοί
κόσμοι- συχνά απεικονίζεται ως “ουτοπικός” και “μη ρεαλιστικός”. Κι όμως, αυτός ο κόσμος δεν είναι κάποιος μελλοντικός αντικατοπτρισμός που έρχεται σε μας από τα
βιβλία: έχει ήδη αρχίσει να κατασκευάζεται από τους Ζαπατίστας και τους Κούρδους, επιτρέποντάς μας να ξανα-φανταστούμε πώς μοιάζει η ριζοσπαστική κοινωνική αλλαγή
και παρέχοντάς μας ένα πιθανό μοντέλο για τους δικούς μας αγώνες πίσω στο σπίτι. Τα κόκκινα αστέρια που λάμπουν πάνω από την Chiapas και τη Rojava ρίχνουν φως στο
δρόμο για την απελευθέρωση. Αν πρέπει να συνοψίσουμε σε μια λέξη τι είναι αυτό που φέρνει αυτά τους δύο αγώνες κοντά, αυτή θα ήταν σίγουρα η αυτονομία.

Ο Petar Stanchev τελειώνει το πτυχίο στις Λατινικές Αμερικανικές Σπουδές και στα Ανθρωπίνα Δικαιωμάτα στο Πανεπιστήμιο του Essex. Στο παρελθόν έχει ζήσει και σπουδάσει
στο Μεξικό και έχει συμμετάσχει στο ζαπατιστικό κίνημα αλληλεγγύης για τέσσερα χρόνια. Αυτό το άρθρο δημοσιεύθηκε αρχικά στο Kurdish Question και έχει επιμεληθεί και αναδημοσιευθεί με την άδεια του συγγραφέα στο http://roarmag.org/2015/02/chiapas-rojava-zapatista-kurds/

https://athens.indymedia.org/post/1545302/

 


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BRIDGES BETWEEN ANARCHISM AND DEMOCRATIC CONFEDERALISM 1-2-3

PART 1

Introduction: discussing the party model and mission – 1

Since the beginning of the Kobane siege by Daesh (ISIS) the Kurdish left, and specifically the Rojava model of social organisation has been studied and followed by several organisations, activists, networks and committed scholars. I decided to collaborate with KurdishQuestion.com to produce a series of short articles to expose (and prove) the similarities between the western (and not western too) anarchist tradition and democratic confederalism. While one of my concentrated areas of study is political theory (and radical political theory), I decided to help in drawing the parallels between both paths and familiarising them to one another. I hope this will help and all criticisms are welcome.

 

Kurdish female fighters and mujeres libres do have many coincidences in their forms of organization and strategic goals to be achieved.
Kurdish female fighters and mujeres libres do have many coincidences in their forms of organization and strategic goals to be achieved.

Presentation

The anarchist party model presented in this series is not an innovation in itself for political theory and radical political theory and not even for the leftist tradition. If the studies on this theme are quite unknown (or seem to be new or nonexistent), if this format of political organisation has not become an object of study (or recognised as the party model for self-management and direct democracy), this is due to the correlation of forces both inside the academic mainstream, the defeats suffered by the classist anarchists since 1939 and also because of the absence of debates within the left wing community, the academic spectrum and the mainstream media. This model approaches the militants within a political organisation specifically adherent to an ideological-doctrinaire corpus (also known as the cadre party). Because it is not a mass proposal, it has the format of having the membership composed by political cadres, without open affiliation and whose commitment degree increases as they enter further into the concentric circles (see Bakunin). Such modality acquired definitions in history such as: organicism, platformism, specifism; all of these are synonymous with the definition of the anarchist party (specific federation).

Party role introduction

The model of the left libertarian matrix and perspective presented in this series represents a possible application from a field of intentions, normative motivations, and strategic interests in Latin America in general and in Brazil in particular. But, we presume, that as long as we know each other better, the possibilities of political development will be reinforced from the real experience in Western Kurdistan and the inner debate among the thoughts under the PKK umbrella. It is very interesting to understand that this party mission is not to be part of a Nation-State institutional power but to help in building a society based on legitimate rights (both individual and collective), self-management, direct and radical democracy and as far away as possible from industrialism and a market-centred economy. The hypothesis formulated within the perspective of a real social democracy is the action of the political minority as a drive of force accumulation and long-term democratic radicalisation. If we compare this simple assumption and definition, we can observe many similarities between this perspective and the one written by comrade Abdullah Ocallan in 2011:

“Meanwhile, nation-states have become serious obstacles for any social development. Democratic confederalism is the contrasting paradigm of the oppressed people. Democratic confederalism is a non-state social paradigm. It is not controlled by a state.” (from PKK English website)

It is obvious that nobody should criticise this party model for not competing for institutional positions within a nation-state model when its mission is far away from that. I assume certain preconditions are always present. Every “party model” includes in its modelling the conditions and rules by which this party/political organisation is constrained and the path this (legal or illegal) institution is willing to take according to its medium- and long-term goals. In order to be theoretically consistent, it is necessary to present models that can be tested but, above all, these models should be applicable in accordance with the hypotheses suggested.
I am discussing the militant political organisation specifically adherent to an ideological and doctrinal corpus. On the other hand, because it is not a mass organisation it is structured within cadres, without open membership and whose level of commitment occurs within concentric circles, increasing the level of commitment according to the power to vote and be voted for key and assigned roles in the internal structure. This conception cannot be misunderstood into a misconception. Or, nobody should understand this as a kind of “good intentions only party”, but a strategic conception guaranteeing that party cadres and structures will be put in service and duty to help building new political institutions based on a horizontal and egalitarian society. The failure of the USSR party model or other variations based on authoritarian leadership, state-centred and industrialism prove that the whole leftist thought must make a big self-criticism and recognise that material conditions must grow ripe together with moral, ecological and fraternal conditions. Only a party-structure devoted to this cause can maintain a long term struggle, feeding social projects, like it did in the Latin American mass-union struggles in the early 20th century and like it is nowadays with the Union of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK) or specifically TEV-DEM in Rojava.

Denominations of this tradition among anarchism

I will finish this first short article remembering the definition of the anarchist party model. Although not exclusive, this type of organisation is usually considered to be typical of the anarchist ideology; a federal and non-mass model. As long as it is not a vanguard party model like classical Leninist parties, the party cadres must be the ones who reinforce the mass struggle which must be taken up by the whole communities, allowing people to lead their own destiny by and through the people’s assemblies. This party membership occurs by means of concentric circles and with the preparation of militants who hold multiple roles. This type of model has acquired definitions throughout its history, and all of them can also be identified as the definition of the anarchist party model. This model has acquired specific definitions throughout its history such as organicism, platformism, specifism.
I have been very glad to discover that these two seemingly distant traditions are actually so close to each other. This closeness can be easily detected in a simple reading of documents from both the PKK and anarchist traditions. The tradition and experiences in Kurdistan led by the PKK can feed anarchist traditions around the world and vice-versa. This exciting prospect is the main motivation behind the reason for this series of short articles.

PART 2

 

 

11 March 2015

Introduction to this particular issue

In this part I will expose some basic historical information about the anarchist political organisation model and in the end, make a comparison between these experiences and the nowadays mission of the political organisation that intends to be the catalyst of a Democratic Confederalist social change.

The ancestry of the anarchist organisational model: three important experiences

International Alliance of Social Democracy: As I mentioned in the first part of the essay, the federalist organisational model is not new.  In 1868, within the International Workers’ Association (IWA, also known in Latin languages as AIT) the so-called federalist wing included an organised political force called the International Alliance of Social Democracy (known as a Bakuninian type of Alliance), whose best known public reference was the Russian activist Mikhail Bakunin (1814/1876). The Alliance worked according to an organisation of cadres, of a “Carbonarian” type and with most of its militants acting in secrecy. Some public references were made to well-known leaders within the IWA and this association did not act only in a specific country or territory. It was usual to send delegates and operators (agents with militant commitment) to distant countries or regional divisions to promote social organisation, to form a cell of the Alliance or to support occasional episodes of rebellion. We can observe the role of experienced militants inside the Alliance, acting as social activists, political organisers and ideological propagandists. Also, sometimes, those who would be in the first line for a higher level of social struggle — like that which occurred during the Paris uprising and the Commune — Alliance militants were part of the political forces organising the first worker’s self-government in modern times (from March to May, 1871)

Socialist Revolutionary Anarchist Party:Another mentionable experience for this party model was founded in 1891, the Socialist Revolutionary Anarchist Party (SRAP, PRSA in Latin languages, known as Malatestian Party) and its most famous reference was the Neapolitan anarchist Errico Malatesta (1853/1932). Although the SRAP had a clandestine wing, it had a party structure most similar to the usual type of organisation. Its militants were references for the mass level (social) and intermediary level (political and social), as well as distributors and producers of political propaganda. The members were more of the multiple role type (multifunctional cadres), including types of direct action carried out in Italy at the time (from the foundation of the party until the fascist coup of 1922).

Ukrainian Insurgent Peasant’s Army: From the Russian Revolution, specifically in Ukraine, came the acquisition of experience in terms of mass political organisation during the civil war (1918-1921). The Ukrainian Insurgent Peasant’s Army (Black Army, also known as Makhnovichnian or Makhnovist), whose militant reference was Nestor Ivanovich Makhnó (1888/1934), had the political, military and administrative hegemony of large regions of Ukraine and developed a modus operandi based on collectivised production and its military section was an army based on mobile cavalry and whose command posts were all elected. Then there was the political/militia merger of the organisation, which promoted at the same time a higher level of conflict against the White Army (right-wing and tsarist) and also against the Red Army (the Bolshevik Party armed force).  The military wing was the self-defence institution to guarantee a political federalist form of self-government and socioeconomic self-management.  With the defeat to the Red Army in 1921, some survivors of the General Staff of the Black Army got together in Paris, France, and wrote a political manifesto, known as a piece of anarchist political theory called the Organisational Platform of the Libertarian Communists. This document, which was widespread in the 1920s and 1930s, contained four basic theoretical guidelines for the model that is still valid today:  Tactical Unity, Theoretical Unity, Collective Responsibility and Federalism.

Common aspects between the three experiences and similarities to the PKK’s actual mission

The exhibition of historical experiences and the accumulation among and from these organisations could result in an entire thesis solely discussing the concepts of the anarchist party. However, I want to emphasise in this series the common aspects between these organisational models: the selection of membership (party of cadres); non-participation in state elections (anti-electioneering); active minority action-type (against the conception of class vanguard); internal federative structure considered as a form of social organisation (political federalism); systematic use of force in collective and mass conflicts (direct action as a priority means of generating political events); projection of social structures organised as a priority (building a strong people), eliminating the professional intermediation  (popular direct democracy); and existence of possible criticism and internal promotion, increasing the political responsibilities according to the militant’s degree of commitment (internal democracy and renewal).

The similarities between the anarchist organisation model and the role of the Kurdistan freedom movement’s political instrument is so impressive and clear that it is easily proved through a simple reading of this paragraph written by comrade Mustafa Karasu and published in the PKK’s English website:

“The PKK has restructured itself as a result of extensive self-criticism and a thorough criticism of classical socialism and its practiced forms. It sees classical socialist theory as insufficient. The PKK believes that classical socialism is not anti-capitalist enough and is too involved with the state; whereas the state is a tool of suppression. To topple a state in order to create a new one is not revolutionary practice, rather, to surpass, topple or minimize the hegemonic system and replace it with a socialist system by implicating socialism in the moment is the PKK’s adopted method. To topple a state is not the same as toppling the system. To liken these two things together is a sign of deviation from socialism.”

When we study socialist history and workers movements in several societies, Western or not, we can observe that this kind of criticism against state and state oriented so-called socialist parties were exactly the same criticism made by thousands of totally committed anarchist militants since, at least, 1864!  After reading a sentence that starts by saying “PKK has structured itself through self-criticism” we can easily observe almost the exact same method of the anarchist political organisation, a constant inner struggle to avoid internally reproducing the political sphere and ideological thoughts that belong to authoritarians and capitalist (liberal or not) traditions. As I said in the first part of this essay, the PKK’s actual praxis can feed anarchists worldwide and vice-versa. The first step is a common recognition and approach between both traditions. To contribute to this common effort is the reason for this series.

 

 

 

PART 3

1 May 2015

In this essay, I start to debate and contest the political theory produced to classify all parties, and in extension, all political organizations, inside an umbrella that models political participation inside indirect democracy in a liberal approach. Before going deeper into criticism, I will highlight some aspects. This article is not intended to enter the specific debate about the theories of political parties, but to contest the essential part of the hegemonic approach for political organizations definitions. We argued against the Marxist and Marxist-Leninist tradition in the two first essays. In this one and the next, we will argue against the theory produced to reinforce the powers that are political models in Western societies. Besides struggling against hegemonic definitions, I must recognize that political science has discussed this subject extensively, and that the object of analysis – the political party – is a unit of essential structural analysis for the area, and that there is a large (and boring) literature about it.

feb7e9c589993a5a644987614f09b605_l.jpg

I recognize the validity of all these study approaches (the hegemonic ones), but I conduct a study that, from the ideological point of view, approaches the party in terms of the functioning of its structure; hence, there is a certain emphasis based on the terms and concepts used by classical theory. This approach of the organic functions intends to observe the types of role that this unit of analysis plays in the exercise of the process of Democratic Radicalization (and, obviously, in the Democratic Confederalism process), understanding the political front inside a liberal democracy as a permanent strategy including the popular action, forcing the State to be responsive, and being consistent with the expansion of rights and individual and collective freedom, given the multiplicity of subjects, demands, identities, and general issues.

I start with the premise that the substantial increase in social participation and organized protest creates the conditions for increasing social tension, passing through this route the form of projection and attempt of hegemony consolidation of the anarchist political organization or the anarchist party – based on the incidence and integration of the organized structures of lower classes.

Within this context, my fundamental analytical axis is the functioning of the political organization and the necessary training for its projection considering the strategic concept of radicalization of demands through the participative and protesting route. The aspect that changes with respect to the traditional method of political science production – is the explicit (not implied like a hidden premise) ideological point of view – and the location of the voluntary and integrative social organization (political party with cadres having internal democracy) being strategic for the accumulation of power from a labor and left libertarian point of view.

Before returning to the theme of modelling of this organization, it is interesting to analyze some of the current literature. I discuss in particular what concerns the characterization of the party, the type of participation, the macro-political environment (which democracy?), and the format of the long-term process where this organization operates. For the characterization of political parties, a definition is presented by Bobbio in his famous political dictionary. There, Norberto Bobbio and his associates describe the party as:

[…] the party encompasses very different social structures, from groups bound together by personal and particular ties to complex organizations of bureaucratic and impersonal style, whose characteristic is moving within the sphere of political power. […] the associations that we can consider to be actual parties were created when the political system reached a certain degree of structural autonomy, internal complexity and work division allowing, on the one hand, a process of political decision-making involving diverse parts of the system and, on the other hand, that among these parties include, in principle or in fact, representatives of those whom the policy decisions refer to […]

Bobbio and his associates characterize the parties as a kind of mass organization or mass electoral and this is seen as a phenomenon equivalent to an organizational setting and as a set of functions developed. I characterize these functions, among many, such as political representation, political mediation, political questioning, influence on key decisions of a society, cadre school for the elite, specific power niche, and promoter of various diffuse and specific interests. All of the definitions above are well fixed within the traditional and hegemonic way of doing politics. Not for our project.

As long as the strategic goal is different from oligarchic parties, a political organization devoted to social change is a recipient that stimulates and accumulates social power and experiences of social protest. The role of the strategic discussion centre is the nature of a social organization like a political party.

The similarities between the anarchist and democratic confederalism traditions and theory are evident again. If we compare my premises above to the following text it is easy to observe similarities. Reading the interview of Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) Executive Council Co-President Bese Hozat (in PKK English website) there is an almost identical definition of what must be the party’s mission and crucial points. I thought it would be better to enumerate some of these crucial points:

“…it remains inadequate to define the PKK as an insurrection movement because of the fact that the party has presented the democratic nation paradigm, improved the democratic confederal system of peoples, built an alternative project of democratic peoples’ system against the five thousand year old statist government system and is leading the building of this project now. With the democratic, free and equal form of life and the democratic ecological system what the PKK has built is the only system that will liberate the peoples. The Kurdish people are today giving a struggle to build this system on the basis of their own will. In the current state of affairs, the PKK has gone beyond a movement and become a social living system.”

A political organization can be a social institution for educating a new ruling class elite as recognized inside liberal and hegemonic theory. On the other hand, it can be a place for developing a revolutionary mindset feeding real socialist projects into day by day life, without losing perspective on the strategic assets. A political organization that is not a self-proclaimed vanguard will never become a new elite, like the Nomenklatura in a soviet model, but will organize itself to operate as a motor for social change.

Bruno Lima Rocha has a PhD and MSc in Political Science and is a Professor of International Studies and Geopolitics teaching at 3 local universities in Southern Brazil.

website: http://www.estrategiaeanalise.com.br

e-mail: strategicanalysis@riseup.net

Facebook: blimarocha@gmail.com


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Interview with Redur Xelil, The Spokesman of People’s Protection Units (YPG)

By Zanyar Omrani

23 May, 2015

In a room which did not smell of war, I talked to Redur Xelil about the four-year resistance of his forces in Syria; A small guerilla that in less than four years, managed to form a 35000-people  army and has made the officials of some countries officially acclaim their efforts.

Redur told me about the current status of the YPG forces, while showing me the digital map of the region on his tablet. The yellow circles showed the latest status of YPG forces, while red circles were the symbol of ISIS and pink circles showed the Baath regime forces. And the blue ones were the Turkish. Then it was the time for talking about many topics, including the internal issues and coalition forces.

The YPG Establishment

–          Mr. Redur Xelil, please tell us about the initiation and foundation of YPG.

On the first days of the revolution in Syria, everything seemed peaceful in Rojava. Most of the protests were done in the form of civil movements, but after some months, everything changed. In Rojava, which was the most secure part of the Syria, the different tribes and groups, formed several military groups. They fought with one another on some unworthy tribal, religious and ethnic issues. It was a dangerous time.

That was the time when the need for a united army in Rojava was fully felt, an army which could protect the people. The first circles were established in Dayrik city under the commandment of Xebat Dêrîk which was primarily called YXG (The People’s Youth Units).

Gradually and based on a rational plan, the military branches were expanded in all the cities of Rojava.

–          What was the reaction of the Syrian regime?

They were shocked by the series of events happening in the Syrian cities and they were getting weaker and weaker. Considering the public wrath caused by the many years of oppressing and rejecting the Kurdish people, they knew that they must withdraw. There were some conflicts in some points between our forces and the regime forces, but finally we gained the control of the Kurdish regions with the least cost.

Opening another front in which the deprived and suffering Kurds were present, was not in the interests of the regime.

We took the opportunity and began to organize and train the forces in different cities and villages.

The Kurdish political activists were also very active and collaborated with us to form a consolidate army in order to defend the people of the autonomous cantons (Jazira, Kobani and Afrin); an army which proved its power in Kobani and other parts.

– For many people, the differences between YPG and YPJ is not really clear, the real question is why there is two separate military groups in Rojava?

YPJ is an independent women organization which acts parallel to the YPG which has been created by our friends.

Actually, they are the essential part of YPG who fight against ISIS, hand in hand with these forces.

–          Is the headquarter structure of YPG of co-leadership type?

No, we are a military force and here the issues are slightly different. The co-leadership type is for civil and political organizations, but in YPG there is a coordination room composed of several men and women.

–          Is there a clear number of the YPG and YPJ?

YPG currently has more than 35000 members. I can claim that more than 35 percent of them are the members of the YPJ which increases day by day.

–          What about the killed ones?

Since the beginning of the YPG, we have had 2000 martyrs, 750 of which has been martyred in the Kobani liberation war.

–          Are the Asayish organization and the “Self-Defense” forces parts of the YPG?

No, they are two separate organizations that mostly act in urban issues and the internal security cases.

–          What about the Self-Defense Committee in communes?

They are also related to the communes and Asayish, not to us.

The Current Status of the War Fronts and the Military arrangements of YPG Forces

–          Mr. Redur Xelil, could you give us a general schema of the current situation of the YPG and YPJ in the three cantons?

In Afrin canton, currently there is no conflict and everything seems peaceful.

Kobani canton has long been the battle field with ISIS. At the moment, we have ruled them out of the controlled area (out of the area before the attack of these Islamists to the canton).

At the present time, the war is under the way in ISIS controlled area in the self-proclaimed governorate of Ar-Raqqah.

In the Kobani canton and the suburban areas of Tel Tamer and Serikani cities, there is an intense war going on against us.

–          Which groups are your neighbors in each cantons?

In Afrin canton, we have Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Nusra Front), Ahrar ash-Sham and the Free Syrian Army, and also the Baath regime. In Kobani and Jazira , the only neighbor is ISIS.

–          But I also have seen the regime forces in Qamishli and Hasakah too…

Yes, they are also present at the Kobani canton.

–          How far are the YPG and YPJ in their last controlling point in Kobani from these forces in Kobani? How many kilometers?

Less than 70 kilometers.

–          And you want to connect the cantons to one another, is that right?

This is a complicated and unknown issue. We are prone to such an incident but there are also some historical realities involved.

Most of the residents of these regions, are the Arabs who have been sent to these Kurdish areas in 60s to 80s, in order to change the population demography of the Kurdish areas.

–          Do these people fight in the form of YPG besides you or under another terms? Because as you know there is another force called “Sutoro” composed of Syriac youth, in the Assyrian area, which acts under the  of the YPG.  Is there also a group for Arabs?

 

The things are different for Arabs. For example in Kobani, there are several Arabic militias which fight beside YPG. Also, in addition to the Free Army andJabhat al-Akrad, the Jabhat Thowar Suriyya (Syria Revolutionaries Front)and Kata’eb Shams ash-Shamal (The Northern Sun Battalion)are active in the battles that are both Arab

–          You live in an area which is not homogeneous from the demographic aspect, how do the Arabs interact with you?

For us, The Kurdish Rojava is a definite geographical area that nothing can conceal the truth about it, even the fifty-year old Arabization policy of the former regime; however, these kinds of policies have had many negative influences.

Nevertheless, at the moment what we have in hand is the presence of many ethnics in the area including Kurdish, Assyrian, Syriac, Arab and Circassian. Ethnic or racial war bears no fruit for us or for the Arabs. We should regard this plurality and difference as an opportunity not as a threat. This solidarity makes it possible to go for mutual trust in the near future.

We want to approach the issue with wisdom and rationality and we try to enliven the inactive space between the Rojava ethnics, which takes time.

We do not have any problems with our Arab brothers, as some Arab youth are now fighting against ISIS besides our warriors and they are martyred in such battles.

–          How do the Arabs in the area think about you?

Unfortunately, the Arabs in the area lack a solid structure so one cannot get into dialogues with them. Most of them are influenced by the commands of the tribe chiefs and act accordingly.  They usually accompany the main power of the area in different times.

–          Even when that power is ISIS?

Unfortunately, yes! At first, most of them were along with the Jabhat al-Nusra; and before that they were with the regime, and now they are cooperating with ISIS.

We have applied a completely different policy, which is the effort for eliminating the ethnic sensitivities. We can live with one another peacefully as brothers and have managed to gain their confidence using legal strategies.

After the arrival of YPG forces at the Tal Hamis and Tal Brak cities that were mostly Arabic Residents, the peace has returned to the city and we do not see the dangers from ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusraand the regime for Arabs anymore. Currently, the local forces have the gained the control of their city. And many people have been martyred for liberating these areas.

Many local people would tell us at the time of the former regime: “We will kick you out of the Arabic lands. We will slaughter you, you do not belong here!” They were just obeying the regime policies and there were no efforts to reviewing their opinions. However, at last, the ones who liberated the Arabs from the inhumane culture yoke of ISIS, were the very Kurds whom the Arabs wanted to slaughter. They lived several years under the strict and inhumane rules of Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS. Today, many things have changed; the ethnic sensitivities have reduced in the Arab cantons and they are eagerly joining the YPG day by day. We are optimistic about living in a brotherly atmosphere equal to Arab, Assyrian and Chechenian brothers.

–          Is their cooperation and participation limited to military forces only?

No, they are more active in political level; from the local offices to the common leadership of cantons and other legal domains.

Now that ISIS is getting weaker and weaker and the regime has shown its true nature potential, it is to the interest of Arabs to live in a friendly atmosphere with the other ethnics of the region including Kurds, Assyrian, Armenians and Chechenians.

–          What about the Assyrians? I talked to some of them and they told me of “the fancy days they had under the privilege of the regime.”

It is completely true. The regime cared for them in a special manner. On those days that we did not have ID cards, the Assyrians had private schools and they held key positions in the cities. But we should not forget that the regime stopped its support. Now it is the YPG that is protecting the Assyrians from the fundamentalist ISIS attacks in Tal Tamir and other areas.

They are fully aware that if there was no YPG, they could not resist against ISIS even for a single day.

–          If one day, for any reason, they do not want the YPG forces be present in Assyrian or Arabic areas, what will be your possible reaction?

There is an important issue here that is in those areas, addition to Assyrians and Arabs we have also Kurdish people unlike Hasakah City which is composed of just Assyrians and Arabs. In our opinion, there is a truth called Kurdistan Rojava and we protect the Kurdish and non-Kurdish people based on this truth.

–          Where are the territories of this region? Do you have any maps that define you will continue fighting against ISIS until the liberation of some so-called area, and at that particular point the Kurdistan Rojava ends?

There is not any clear and definite geographical map. Drawing and preparing such map is the task of the canton political forces.

–          How far you will proceed as the YPG?

We as YPG have definite strategy; we will continue up to that point that ISIS danger has been overcome.

–          What is the distance between your forces with Tell Abyad city in the east of Kobani canton?

We are now 20 kilometers from the city.

–          Why is this city important?

This strategic city is important from different aspects both for us and for ISIS.

That is why ISIS is present at the city with full equipment and forces.

Firstly, Tel Abyad (Kurdish: Girê Sipî) is the city next to Turkey, and the second reason is that it is the main passageway and essential aid route for providing the logistics of ISIS and the fresh forces.

If ISIS loses the control of the city, in addition to losing the main passageway for transferring the forces and logistics, it will also be surrounded by our forces.

I should also note that in Tel Abyad city and in the distance between Kobani and Jazira, there are also some Kurds. For examples, there were many Kurds in Tel Abyad who had to leave their houses and fields after the arrival of Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS.

Currently, there are no Kurds remaining in the city, and their houses and fields have been confiscated by Jabhat al-Nusra and then ISIS.

Those groups have continued the very policy of Arabization even with more speed.

Criticisms to YPG

–          Mr. Redur Xelil there are some criticisms expressed about YPG. For example, it is said that YPG recruits kids under 18. Also this Compulsory Military Service Act which has been recently approved has brought about some censures.

 

You are right, unfortunately in the hasty atmosphere after the beginning of the Syrian revolution, some of such mistakes happened among our forces. This critique is correct. But with the legal frameworks approved later, now there is the least possibility of violating our commitments to the Geneva Convention. We are bound to those conventions and they have sent their inspection teams to Rojava many times. If there is any problem, we will take it into consideration. According to our laws, accepting forces under 18 is forbidden but considering our crucial situation and the dangers threatening us, the ones between 16 and 18 are accepted for military training only, and they will be sent to war front after reaching the age of 18.

We have prepared the general law of force admittance in which the membership conditions, training methods, course and all the other necessary items are explained.

We should not forget that it is just 4 years since we have begun to organize our forces.  Forming and organizing the defense forces was a necessity and a reaction to the dangerous situation of the region.

We should protect ourselves, as we are the target of ruthless attacks. They are killing our children.

–          Kurdish opposition parties in Rojava say that they have also some forces called Peshmerga, about 5000 people, but you do not let them participate in the war.

–           

This is not true; this is just a tricky political game which has been started in Iraqi Kurdistan. We have held many conferences with the Kurdish opposition forces.

We have accepted many of their requests related to YPG since the first days, from the flag colors to other things.

We are just as frank to say this aloud that we will not let any other military force, be active in Rojava, since we have the experiences of Palestine and Civil War in Kurdistan before our eyes.

The military policies are our red lines. If they are really eager to protect their homeland, they can come and join us in the war under the YPG.

They say that we should change the name of YPG, but we do not know why we should change its name!?

Also, there is no such force called Rojava Peshmerga whatsoever; it is just possible that the Rojava youth living in Iraqi Kurdistan, act according to Peshmerga ministry laws. Just like an employee that earns a monthly living. Just like that.

This issue is mostly a leverage that the Iraqi Kurdistan parties have held against us just to increase the political pressures.

Iraqi Kurdistan Government

–          During the sudden attack of ISIS to Shingal (Sinjar), your forces arrived quickly at the Shingal Mountains and by opening the rescue corridors, managed to prevent the expansion of the disaster, and the Peshmerga forces arrived at the city, in the midst of severe conflicts in Kobani. Currently, how do you evaluate your military relations level with Kurdistan Peshmerga Ministry, taking this into consideration that the level of problems between the Syrian Unity Democratic Party and the Kurdistan Democratic Party is higher than normal, and they as your brother Kurds, do not recognize the Rojava autonomous system?

In any case, these issues are parts of our internal problems and we are optimistic to see these problems resolved. In case of the presence of YPG in Shingal, we had declared from the beginning that the reason of our participation in the conflicts was just this feeling that we had a national and humanitarian task on our shoulders; we saw ourselves responsible for saving the Shingal people and protecting the people was the only purpose we sought in Shingal.

–          You mean you would quit Shingal?

We have been participated along with the PKK and Peshmerga forces so far, right now that we are talking together, there is a complicated war going on between the Kurds and ISIS.

–          For how long you will stay there?

We will stay in Shingal until the danger of ISIS is eradicated. Then, there is nothing left for us to stay.

–          What about the Peshmerga forces in Kobani?

The participation of Peshmerga forces in Kobani, aside from the all military topics such as their numbers or the weapons they brought to the city, bears a precious historical result:

This issue led to the commendable unity of the Kurds and it proved that a common front of Kurds is fighting against ISIS.

The spiritual value of such historical act is abundant. Then, it doesn’t matter they were 50 Peshmergas or 1000 ones

–          There are some controversies in the attitudes and party values between you and the Peshmerga. Do not these contradictions cast shadows on the future of your strategic cooperation with the Peshmerga?

Unfortunately, they are sometimes influential, but generally we need to be together more. Today, it is just our brother Kurds in Kurdistan and our forces in Rojava that are fighting against ISIS from Khanaqin to Afrin.

The ISIS attacks involves all the Kurds in the area, we expect to form a Kurdish common army or at least a common front against ISIS.

The Baath Regime and the Syrian Opposition

–          The regime forces are still present at Hasakah and Qamishli cities, how do you interact with them in general?

Yes, they are in the center of Hasakah and Qamishli markets, in limited numbers. They are really passive and do not participate in the war against us. The real army which is fighting with us is ISIS.

The regime is just in Jazira canton. In Afrin and Kobani cantons, there is not any trace of them. Nowadays, there is a global collaboration against ISIS, and our priority is to fight against ISIS.

The priority of the global powers has changed. Their problem is now ISIS, not the regime.

–          Has it changed for you, as well?

There is no doubt that ISIS is now more dangerous than any other forces, even more than the regime.

The regime is absolutely ineffective and powerless in Kobani, and it tries to ignite disputes and fights between the canton ethnics, but fortunately the Kurds, Assyrians and Arabs are fully aware of their tricks.

All the ethnics have approved the peaceful situation of canton, which shows the unique power of the YPG, and it is not easy for Assad regime to provoke ethnic sensitiveness anymore.

We have declared from the first days that our problem with the regime is a political issue and it must be resolved through diplomacy.

–          You mean you see the potential and the capacity of selecting a political solution in the regime? Especially while remembering the previous acts and behaviors of the regime against the Kurds.

Unfortunately the regime is very biased and regards the issues with a chauvinistic attitude which barely leaves any open route toward finding a political solution. Of course, the Syrian opposition has similar fascistic ideas toward Kurds. None of them speaks of the Kurdish issue so that the grounds for vast political and military collaborations be open. However, we are interacting with the Syrian Oppositions in order to find a way out of the current crisis.

–          What about the regime?

They also issue statements sometimes.

–          Some while ago, Bashar Assad in an interview, accused Erdogan of supporting ISIS in Kobani and said that the Kurds were the ones who liberated the city. Are some cases like this, signs of relationship between you and them or the signs of their intention to get closer to you?

There have been some attempts, but the regime itself lacks integrity in its decisions. The regional interferences impedes from the formation of a political space in which the Syrian internal problems can be discussed and resolved.

Iran plays an important role in defining the regime policies. There is also Hezbollah. Unfortunately, the regime does not govern Syria alone.

The Islamic Republic, Kurds and the non-Kurds in Iran

–          You spoke of Hezbollah and Iran. Let’s consider this issue in Kobani canton borders. Are there any Iranian forces in the areas controlled by the regime in Hasakah and Qamishli? Do you have any evidence of their presence?

No, there is not any considerable issue, the regime itself is really got into an impasse in these two cities and has no other choice but to act under severe security conditions.

We don’t know if there are any Iranian or Hezbollah forces among the regime in these two cities. However, we have received many reports of their presence at the area.

The Iranian government often interferes in the area through the Syrian forces. Also, the Guardians of the Revolution (Haras Al-Thowrah) forces who are close to Iran, are present in the region.  However, there is no confirmed and reliable information about their number, effectiveness and also the content of their plans.

–           Have you captured anyone from the Iranian or Hezbollah forces?

No, we have not had such cases.

–           What is the general attitude of the Iranian government about the YPG? Do you have any communications in military aids level or political relations?

No, unfortunately there have not been such things.

In political levels, just once Mr. Salih Muslim was invited to Tehran.

–           What about military relations with YPG?

We had no relationships.

–           Some Persian media sources in the midst of Kobani Liberation claimed that the Kurdish forces had received Iranian weapons.

It was just rumor, and I have not heard such thing.

Look, it is an undeniable fact that Iran is a powerful country in the region. Our problem currently in Syria and Rojava, is the Baath regime not the political system in Iran.

We are eager to have the same relations that the Iranian government has with the Iraqi Kurdistan; that is, a formal and clear relationship.

Our doors are open to the powers in the region. Iran is one of the countries. We do not see improper or obscene to have some communications and relationships in different levels, provided that they recognize the democratic autonomy of our cantons.

In other words, they should believe that there is a Kurdish issue and they should accept the various political and legal aspects of such issue.

Nevertheless, the present reality is that Iran regards the Kurdish issue as a secondary and a trivial matter and we certainly do not acknowledge such attitude.

–           What about the Iranian Kurdish parties or the people of the Iranian Kurdistan (Rojhelat) or the other non-Kurd Iranians?

The Iranian people, especially the Rojhelat Kurds have supported the Rojava both spiritually and both in case of soldiering. Their number has been really considerable.

–           Do you have any number of the Iranian members?

Not regretfully, but I can tell from my own witnesses that I have seen more than hundreds from the Rojhelat Kurds. The Iranian Kurds have been very active in Kobani. We had many martyrs there that belongs to Rojhelat. Also, the number of the non-Kurd guerillas is high. Martyr “Rozhvan” who was a Persian Iranian, was one of them.

ISIS is a terrorist and anti-human organization, so the doors of Rojava are open to any people who want to fight against this terrorist group, and it does not matter if they are Kurd or not.

The role of the Turkish Government

–           You have claimed that ISIS forces use the Turkish land for logistical and soldier feeding, and you have repeatedly accused Turkey of opening its doors to ISIS and you say that Turkey uses every opportunity for striking the YPG. Could you please elaborate on this?

We do not have any doubt on this issue that ISIS particularly counts on its borders with Turkey.

–           Do you have any proof?

There is no such explainable document or proof in hand, as this is done with intense security care and in their borders. But the frequent traffic of ISIS members to and from Turkey, especially those that come from Europe to join this group, has made us more certain.

They come to Syria from Turkey, everybody knows this. The passports that we have taken from them, confirms our claims.

–           Have you talked to Turkish officials? Have you communicated your concerns?

They always formally deny all the issues, but actually their support of ISIS forces continues in the battle fields.

We have many reports and information that they deliver light and heavy weapons to ISIS every day.

We have a common border from Dayrik to Afrin, which is more than 850 kilometers. Since the beginning of the revolution in Syria, we have not made any of these borders insecure, but they disturbed the security of the borders many times. We have proved in the last four years that we do not intend to make the borders unsafe.

Our concern is to resolve the Kurds’ problem in the limits of the Syrian borders, but they have killed many Kurdish citizens. The government of Mr. Erdogan has formally declared that they would not allow the event in the north of Iraq, happen again in northern Syria. They have Kurdish phobia.

They fear that the revolution in Rojava have some influences on the expectation level of the Kurdish people in Turkish Kurdistan (Bakurê Kurdistanê).

–           It seems that in that case, their concern is logical, is not that right?

It must be influential, as anything happening in any part of Kurdistan, affects the other part. That is a fact.

The Kurdish issue in the Middle East is the issue of all Kurds and other nations in the region. And everybody must know that this issue should be solved politically.

–           One of the accusations that the Turkish State expresses about you, is that YPG is a branch of the PKK (The Kurdish Workers Party), and you are following the policies of the PKK in Syria. How do you evaluate such claim as YPG?

The Turkish State just wants to evade the issue. They have not been able to solve the Kurds’ problem and have not shown any clear intention for facing this reality, so they just make excuse.

We have repeatedly said that there are not any organizational and training relations between us and the PKK.

The PKK and Turkish State should resolve their problems in a reconciliatory process from diplomatic methods.

We have some demands in the limits of the Syrian lands and we will fight for realization of such demands to the last breath. We have no fear to say that aloud.

We are eager to have friendly relations with the Turkish State; they are our neighbors. The future of the Middle East belongs to the nations of this area, not to ISIS. It’s better for Turkey to make rational decisions and have friendly relations with the nations of the region.

–           In 2007, Turkey wanted to attack the Iraqi Kurdistan, and even went on to the lands of the Kurdistan up to 50 meters. If in any case, Turkey intends to intrude the Rojava lands in Syria, what will be your reaction?

–           We, as the symbol of the will of the people, will not allow the Turkish forces to invade the Rojava even up to one meter in any case.

Coalition Forces

–           Mr. Redur Xelil, in your opinion, for how long does this war continue?

There are many factors involved here. It mostly depends on the trans-regional decisions, especially on the decision of the coalition forces. That is, it depends on the extent to which the coalition forces are eager to help us in the war against ISIS. Currently, we are somehow coordinated with the coalition forces, but it is not satisfactory.

The Middle East is fused with the presence of difference global powers. The Middle East have always been a vast ground for the opportunities of these forces, from U.S.A to Saudi Arabia, Iran and Turkey. They have all profits in the Middle East and if they manage to resolve their problems, the crises in Syria and Iraq will end.

If the profits that have kept this terrorist group alive are not revisited, certainly the issues will continue.

–           I understand from your words that you regard those very powers as the causes of the problems in Iraq and Syria, from the formation of ISIS and also the continuation of the current crisis.

Indeed, one cannot excuse them. You know that in less than one year, before their own eyes, ISIS began its conquest, equipped its forces, and founded the Islamic State

–           Since when are you talking to coalition forces?

Since the arrival of ISIS at Kobani, these interactions began.

–           Are their air raids really effective?

Definitely! We cannot ignore their influence. But by and large, the coalition forces and all the other forces are aware of this fact that the main role is played by YPG in the battle fields.

If there is no field force which can control the geographical area, then we cannot eliminate ISIS with the air raiders.

Unfortunately, the internal problems of the coalition forces, has reduced their contribution in Serikani and other places. At the moment, they have focused on Iraq.

This point is one of our concerns, and we hope that they add to their numbers in Tal Tamar and Serikani. They have formed this coalition to eliminate ISIS, while the only force who have managed to control their severe attacks in Syria was YPG.

–           In your opinion, are the coalition forces more inclined to keep the force balance in Syrian and Iraq or to eliminate ISIS?

I cannot really say, but the evidences show that there is not the enough motivation for fighting ISIS among the coalition forces.

–           What about Turkey? Is it a part of the coalition?

No, Turkey has not joined yet. They have talked about the necessity of forming a coalition but nothing has been done indeed. They say we are against ISIS but they have neither accepted the coalition nor joined it.

–           After the liberation of Kobani and considering the global dimension of the resistance in the city, have there not been any weaponry supports to YPG?

So far, even one bullet has not been given to us in the war against ISIS.Their support has been just in words not in sending military aids. They have talked about the YPG and our resistance several times, but we have seen nothing in practice.

ISIS is dangerous for all of us, from the U.S.A to this Middle East. At the moment, the only forces that are combating against ISIS on the real hard ground and have managed to control them are the Kurd forces. Therefore, if there is any intention to eliminate this terrorist group among the regional and global powers, supporting the YPG would be beneficiary for all.

–           You say that you are completely in blockade from every corner, so how do you get all these light and heavy weapons of yours?

There is a bitter truth in the Middle East, which is the existence of the black market of selling weapon. Therefore, no military force will have problems in finding the needed weapons; you just need to pay the price. The weapon trade isall going on in the region. I think that some countries make profits out of this market.

–           If outside the Rojava borders, you mark an intention in the coalition and Syrian opposition forces to eliminate ISIS, Would you cooperate with them? For example, in Ar-Raqqah, Aleppo or other places.

Yes, for sure. As we believe that the security establishment in Syria and in the Middle East is to our profit and we have been and will be the main force in fighting ISIS.

–           Have you felt this intention in them?

Unfortunately not.

 

The Foreign Volunteer Soldiers of the YPG

 –          As more than 25 thousand people from different countries have joined ISIS forces, I have also seen some foreign soldiers, fighting along the YPG in several fronts of the Jazira Canton. How do you communicate and coordinate with them? How many of them are there in the fronts?

 

One cannot compare the foreign soldiers who have joined ISIS and also the foreigners who are fighting for the YPG , both intellectually and in case of numbers.

About 300 foreign forces have joined us, but ISIS main forces are foreigners. At first, we had some problems in organizing them. The vast language diversities, tactical differences, and their unfamiliarity with our movement and the real conditions of the battle field, were the barrels of the easy communications with them.Most of them are the veterans from different countries who have been trained in the integrated armies of the world but we have also our own imitations. In general, they are capable fighters.

We as the YPG have no problems in case of the number of the people, but our problem is the lack of heavy, advanced and super advanced weapons

 

–           What weapons do you need most?

Heavy weapons like autocannon, DShK, fuse, etc. our military needs are a lot.

–           When the regime abandoned the Rojava, did not you get their former stations military facilities?

No, very little and trivial if any

–           What about the things you gained from the fights with ISIS?

Those things were also few and generally most of the equipment and facilities we get from them, are old and dysfunctional , for example we have gained some tanks that have no use.

We cannot rely on the things we get from the enemies as those things do not fulfill our needs in the war against those evil forces.

–          Before the interview, you told me about the ISIS captives. Are there any commanders among them?

When they are caught, they do not say that they are commanders or not. We have established special investigation committees to probe into these issues. The obvious fact is that most of them are Syrians. Some of them repent of their actions, and some other still regard us as infidels.

Zanyar Omrani is a filmmaker and Kurdish human rights activist.

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