Rojava revolution - A look at Co-operatives & assemblies

As they have driven ISIS back in northern Syria / Rojava the Kurdish YPG and their allies in the SDF have won increasing visibility in western media. While such reports often mention the key role in this fight played by women in the YPJ, there is otherwise little examination of the revolution happening behind the front lines in Rojava. That revolution is why they stood and fought ISIS rather than fleeing. This can be true of a lot of alternative media coverage. In part this is due to the limited amount of information on what this revolution involves. but it’s also in part because photographs of women with guns are judged to be more striking than women workers in a co-operative bakery or a community assembly.

We’ve tried to address this imbalance somewhat, both in our coverage and through bringing a number of Kurdish and other speakers over to talk at the Dublin Anarchist Bookfair. They spoke about what is happening behind the front lines. What is it that is being constructed that so many have judged is worth going to the front lines to defend against ISIS? Our speakers this year included Erjan Ayboga author of ‘Revolution in Rojava’ and US academic Janet Biehl who has visited the region twice since the revolution to investigate what is happening on the ground.

The attached video are the segments from the bookfair panel that most directly addressed the economic and decision making structures of revolutionary Rojava. The text that follows summarises what is said in the video but also outlines the broader context, both in terms of the situation on the ground and similar historical anarchist experiences. If you’ve little knowledge of anarchism you should get a lot from the facts contained below, and perhaps the analysis that compares what we know with anarchist experiences of revolutionary transformation will whet your appetite.

Read the rest and watch the video at Anarchist Writers


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