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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL - Kurdistan files: Yes, people can change things (experience Rojava)(fr) [machine translation]

Date Tue, 04 Nov 2014 14:18:19 +0200

Demonstration in the Cizîrê in support of Kobanê (October 2014) ---- Firat News ---- Funds for the revolution! ---- Join the campaign for financial support ---- Other articles in the section: ---- Rojava: New Chiapas? ---- What really changed PKK ---- Infographic: Kurdish galaxy ---- DAF: "Ankara feared a revolutionary contagion" ---- "Barcelona, Warsaw, Stalingrad, Kobanê" (support libertarians in France) ---- Funds for the revolution! ---- Join the campaign for financial support ---- A report by Zaher Baher, the Kurdish Anarchists Forum and Haringey Solidarity Group (London), July 2014. ---- Translated by Alain KMS with Alternative libertarian. ---- The text below is one of the few accounts of the experience of popular organization-Syrian Kurdistan. This is why it was necessary to make it accessible to Francophones, despite its shortcomings and some confusion. The author could not answer our questions, we intersected some information with other sources (thank you to the journalist Maxime Azadi of Actukurde.fr).

We have chosen to use the version of the Kurdish place names, while indicating in some cases, their names in Arabic and French.

The full text is reproduced, with the exception of a passage geopolitical too long and irrelevant to our senses. The analyzes belong to their authors and do not necessarily Alternative libertarian.

The notes are of the translation team.

In May 2014, I traveled for a few weeks the Syrian Kurdistan - "the Rojava" [ 1 ] - to the northeast of the country with a friend. During this trip, we had every opportunity that we wanted to meet women, men, youth, political parties. In this region, there are more than 20 parties, they are labeled "Kurds", "Christian" or otherwise. Some part in the "democratic self-government" ( Democratic Self Administration DSA) or "democratic self-management" (Democratic Self Management) of the region Cizîrê [ 2 ].

The Cizîrê is one of three districts of Rojava. We also met with Kurdish political parties and Christians who do not participate in self-government. In addition, we met with officials of self-administration, members of various committees, groups and communities, as well as businessmen, traders, workers and onlookers on the market and on the street.

Kurdistan is an area populated by about 40 million inhabitants and residents shared at the end of the First World War between Iraq, Syria, Iran and Turkey. During the history, the Kurds suffered massacres and even genocide on the part of regimes that have succeeded mainly in Iraq and Turkey. Since then he has been continuously oppressed by the central government. In Iraq, under the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, the Kurds have suffered massacres chemical weapons during the Anfal operation [ 3 ].

In Turkey, there is not so long ago, the Kurds were not allowed to speak their own language, and they were only recognized as "mountain Turks" - referring to the mountainous terrain of Kurdistan of Turkey. In Syria, the Kurdish situation was somewhat better than in Turkey. Iran, he recognizes them as a distinct people of Persia and granted rights but not political autonomy.

After the 1st Gulf War (1991) was formed in an Iraq Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). After the second Gulf War (2003), the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the KRG has taken advantage of the situation to strengthen and develop an administration, a budget and an army - peshmerga - independent. In Baghdad, the central government could only confirm that empowerment and, to some extent, even supported. This has encouraged other parts of Kurdistan, especially in Turkey and Syria.

During this same year, 2003, Syrian Kurds founded the Democratic Union Party (PYD for Partiya Yekîtiya Demokrat ), which was added to the existing Kurdish parties and organizations in the region. Most dating back to the 1960s but had proved inefficient in comparison to the rapid development of PYD.

The Arab Spring

The Arab Spring has shaken Syria in early 2011 and, after some time, has spread to parts of the Cizîrê of Kobanê and Efrîn. Popular protest there was deep and abiding. It contributed to the withdrawal of the army of the Kurdish districts, with the exception of certain areas of the Cizîrê which we will discuss later.

During this time, was - with the support of the PKK [ 4 ] and PYD - the Movement for Democratic Society (Tev-Dem for Tevgera Civaka Demokratik ), which quickly gained a strong popular base [ 5 ]. After the departure of the army and the Syrian administration, the situation became chaotic - we will see why - and Tev-Dem has been obliged to implement its program before things get worse .

The program of Tev-Dem was very unifying and cover all social issues. Many of the people, from different backgrounds - Kurdish, Arab, Muslim, Christian, Yezidi and Assyrian - got involved. His first job was to set foot on a range of groups, committees and common [ 6 ], in the streets, neighborhoods, villages, townships, small and large cities.

Their role was to take care of all social issues: women's issues, economics, environment, education, health, self-help centers for bereaved families, trade and business , relations with foreign countries. Some groups have even been asked to arbitrate disputes, to avoid the complainants who wished to have to initiate legal proceedings.

Nowruz (Kurdish New Year) in March 2014.
Firat News
Generally, these groups meet weekly to review progress on the social situation. They have their own representative in the village council or the city, called "people's house."

The Tev-Dem, I think, is a movement more effective, and assume all the tasks he has set. I think the reasons for its success are:

The will, the determination and energy of people believe they can change things;
The deliberate release of a majority of the population participation at all levels, to ensure the success of this experiment;
The establishment of a defensive forces based on three components: the People's Protection Units (YPG for Yekîneyên Parastina Gel ) Protection Units women (YPJ for Yekîneyên Parastina Jin ) and Asayesh (a mixed force present in cities and checkpoints). In addition to these three components, there is not a mixed feminine special unit to deal with issues of sexual and domestic violence.
From what I've seen, Syrian Kurdistan followed - rightly, in my opinion - a different path from that of other countries affected by the "Arab Spring". The differences are obvious.

1. The countries of the "Arab Spring" have been disrupted by major events, and many have driven their dictators. But the "Arab Spring" in the case of Egypt, has led an Islamist government and a new military dictatorship. Other countries have done little better. This shows the power of people who may at some point be the hero of the story, but may not be able to register their long-term success. This is one of the main differences between the "Arab Spring" and the "Kurdish Spring" of Rojava, which could last - and that lasts, in any case, so far.

2. Syrian Kurdistan, people were ready and knew what they wanted. That the revolution had to be done from the bottom up, not the reverse. That it must be a cultural and educational social revolution, as well as political. It was to be against the state power and authority. The last word in decision making should return to grassroots communities. These are the four principles of Tev-Dem. One can only salute those who launched these great ideas and put them into practice, whether Abdullah Ocalan, peers or anyone else. Consequently, the Kurds in Syria have created their own institutions to lead the revolution. In other countries of the "Arab Spring", people were not prepared. They certainly wanted to overthrow the government, but not the system. The majority thought that the only revolution was at the top. The creation of core groups was not undertaken except by a minority of anarchists and libertarians.

The democratic self-government

After lengthy discussions and hard work, the Tev-Dem led to the conclusion that it was necessary to establish self-government (DSA) in each canton Rojava (Cizîrê, and Kobanê Efrîn).

In mid-January 2014, the People's Assembly elected its own Cizîrê DSA [ 7 ], to implement the decisions of the houses of the people of Tev-Dem, and take over part of the local administrative tasks - education , health, trade, defense, justice, etc. DSA is composed of 22 men and women each with two assistants (one male and one female). In total, nearly half are women. People from all backgrounds, nationalities and faiths can participate. This allows an atmosphere of trust, relaxed and fraternal.

One of the first meetings of democratic self-administration (DSA) of Canton Cizîrê, January 25.
© Firat News
In no time, this self-administration has provided a lot of work, and wrote a Constitution - called social contract - a transportation bill, a law on political parties, and a program for the Tev-Dem [ 8 ].

The first page of the Social Contract states that "self-governing territories of democracy do not accept the concepts of nation-state, army national or state religion, and centralized management of the central government, but are open to compatible with pluralistic democratic traditions forms, open to all social and cultural identities all groups, the Athenian democracy and the expression of nationalities across their organizations. "

The Social Contract has many items some of which are extremely important for society, for example:

The separation of state and religion;
The prohibition of marriage below the age of 18;
Protection of the rights of women and children;
The prohibition of circumcision;
The prohibition of polygamy;
The revolution must be the basis of society and be sustainable;
Freedom, equality, fairness and non-discrimination;
Equality between men and women;
Recognition of all the major languages: Arabic, Kurdish and Syriac are official languages in Cizîrê;
The guarantee of a decent life for inmates, to make prison a place of rehabilitation;
Recognition of the right of asylum: no refugee should be forced to leave.
The economic situation of the Cizîrê

The Cizîrê has more than one million inhabitants, 80% Kurdish, but also Arab Christians, Chechens, Yezidis, Turkmen, Assyrians and Armenians. There are many Arab and Yezidi villages, and 43 Christian villages.

In the 1960s, the Syrian regime was applied in the Kurdish areas a so-called "green belt" [Political 9 ] that the Baath party continued when he came to power. It was a marginalization of Kurds on the political, economic, social and educational plans. The objective of the "green belt" was to implement an Arab population in the Kurdish areas, handing him land confiscated from the Kurds. In short, under Assad, Kurds were citizens of third after Arabs and Christians.

Another policy was to confine the Cizîrê production of wheat and oil: no factories, businesses or industry. The Cizîrê produces 70% of Syrian wheat is rich in oil, gas and phosphates. The majority of the population is employed in agriculture and small business, and we need to add employees in the education, health, utilities, military and small entrepreneurs.

After 2008, the situation worsened when the Assad regime has issued a special decree banning the construction of tall buildings, because of the situation of undeclared war in the peripheral and border region.

Currently, the situation is bad, because of sanctions imposed by Turkey and the Kurdistan Regional Government (we'll see why later). Daily in Cizîrê is frugal, the standard of living is low, but it is not poverty. People in general are happy with what they have accomplished.

Rojava found in the commodities essential to any society need, which is important, at least for the moment, to avoid starvation, stand and resist sanctions from Turkey and the KRG. There is a sufficient quantity of wheat to produce bread and pastries. Bread, suddenly, is almost free.

The oil is also very cheap - it was "the price of water," as they say there. Oil is used for everything at home, in vehicles, some industrial equipment. The Tev-Dem reopened some oil wells and deposits refining. Currently, the region produces more oil than it needs: it can therefore export but also store surplus.

Electricity is a problem, because it is largely produced in the neighboring region, controlled by the Islamic State (Daech). Therefore, people have access to electricity six hours a day - but at least it's free. The Tev-Dem has improved the situation by selling cheap diesel generators owners, provided they sell electricity to the neighborhood a capped price.

In terms of mobile, capture devices, depending on the area or the network KRG, namely Turkey. Land lines are under the control of Tev-Dem and DSA, and seem to work well. Again, it's free.

In town, shops and markets are open early in the morning up to 23 hours. There are many contraband goods imported from neighboring countries. Other products come from the rest of Syria, but they are expensive, because of the levied by Syrian forces or by the various armed groups that control supply circuits taxes.

The political situation in the Cizîrê

As mentioned, the majority of troops Assad withdrew from the region, retaining their positions in certain localities. They take half of the main city, Hesîçe [ 10 ] deal with YPG-YPJ. In the second city of the region, Qamislo [ 11 ] 6000-7000 regular soldiers still occupy the airport and a portion of downtown around the Post - avoided the blow by most people.

The two sides stare and avoid rubbing one to another. I would describe this situation of "neither peace nor war." There has certainly already been clashes in Hesîçe like Qamislo, with dead on each side, but so far, the head of the Arab tribes worked to maintain coexistence.

City Qamislo in February 2012.
© Firat News
The withdrawal of the Syrian army actually benefits to both parties.

On the one hand, Assad saving an inevitable confrontation with the Kurds, and exempts from having to defend the region against other insurgent forces [ 12 ], since the YPG is in charge. His troops were able to carry on other fronts, priority for the regime. The YPG-YPJ protect anyway better Rojava - including vis-à-vis Turkey - that the Syrian army.

On the other hand, the Kurds have drawn from this substantial benefits:

They stopped fighting the Assad regime, which has guaranteed peace and freedom for the people, the security of their land and their property, and has saved many lives.
The government continues to pay the salaries of civil servants, although almost all are now working under the control of the DSA. This obviously improves the economic situation.
The population has achieved greater independence in his life and his choices in the Tev-Dem and DSA. The longer this situation continues, the more it is likely to take root.
The YPG-YPJ had the opportunity themselves, engaging in combat with terrorist groups, particularly Daech when they have deemed necessary.
In Cizîrê, there are more than 20 parties in the Kurdish and Christian populations. The majority opposed the PYD, the Tev-Dem and DSA for their own reasons - I will return. However, they have the freedom to conduct their activities without any restriction [ 13 ]. The only thing that is forbidden to them is to have their own armed militia.

Women and their role

Women are widely accepted and play an important role at all levels of the Tev-Dem, the PYD and the DSA. Under the system known as "co-leaders" and "co-hosts" (joint leaders and organizers attached), each office management, administration or fighting unit must include women. In addition, women have their own armed forces. Within institutions, the gender is complete.

Women are a major force, and are very involved in all committees of the houses of the people, in committees, groups and municipalities. The women of Rojava not only make up half of society are the most effective and most important half because if they stop working on these committees or by withdrawing the Kurdish society could collapse. Many women active in politics or defense have long fought with the PKK in the mountains. They are seasoned, determined, dynamic, responsible and courageous.

In Rojava, women are sacred, and Abdullah Öcalan and other leaders of the PKK-PYD took very seriously their role in the reconstruction of society in all its aspects. In the Öcalan philosophy, we will not see the best of human nature that if society becomes matriarchal, a modern course [ 14 ].

Two militia of YPG.
© Firat News
Despite this, and although all women are free, love and sex are rare for fighting. Activists and activists we interviewed believe that it all - love, sex, relationships - is not time for their investment in the revolution comes first. When I asked what advenait when two politicians combattant.es or two fell in love, I was told that no one could prevent it, but it was better that they are mutated more appropriate positions.

This ébahira many Europeans. How can you live without love or sex or dating? For me, it is quite understandable. I think it's their choice and if people are free to choose, then it must be respected.

However, if the combat units, the Tev-Dem and the other parties are left out, I made a curious observation: I have not seen a single woman working in a store, a service station, a market, a cafe or restaurant. Yet women and women's issues are far more advanced here than in Iraqi Kurdistan, which has yet disposed of twenty-two years to establish its own laws, with a much greater margin of maneuver. That said, we can not say there is a specific movement or independent women in Syrian Kurdistan.

The Commons

The municipalities are the most active houses of people cells. It's everywhere, who meet once a week to discuss current affairs. Each municipality is based in a neighborhood, town or city, and has its own representative in the house of the people.

Below, the definition of the town, taken from the Tev-Dem manifesto, translated from Arabic:

Commes the cells are smaller and more active. In practice, they are a company taking into account the freedom of women, ecology, and where direct democracy is established.

Municipalities working to develop and promote commissions. Without expecting anything from the state, they themselves seek solutions to social, political, educational, safety and self-defense. Municipalities establish their own power by building organizations such as agricultural communes in the villages, but also common, cooperatives and associations in the neighborhoods.

Must form common in the streets, towns and cities, with the participation of all and all the inhabitants. Public meet weekly, and make their decisions openly, with their members over 16 years.

We went to a meeting of a joint based in the district of Cornish, in Qamislo. There were 16-17 people, mostly young women. We were able to discuss in depth their activities and their tasks. They told us that there were 10 towns in the district, each consisting of 16 people. "We are acting a bit like social workers, they tell us, with all that entails: meet people, attend weekly meetings unravel the problems, to ensure security and public tranquility, collect garbage, protect the environment and attend the big meeting to debrief what happened during the week. "

They confirmed to me that nobody, not even the political parties not to interfere in the decisions taken collectively, and cited some examples: "We wanted to use a large plot in a residential area, to create a small park . We have requested financial assistance for mayor. She was only 100 dollars to give us. We took the money, and collected an additional $ 100 with the locals. " They took us to the park by explaining: "Many people have volunteered to complete the job without spending more money. "

They gave us another example: "The mayor wanted to start a project in the area. We told him that nothing would be done without having in advance, obtaining the consent of the people. We held a meeting, which rejected the project. Everyone who could not come to the meeting, we went house to house to collect opinions. The rejection of the project was confirmed unanimously. "

When, in turn, they wanted to know if there are similar structures in London, I told them that there was certainly more groups, but unfortunately none resembling them - united, progressive and committed. In short, I had to confess that they were far more advanced than us. Surprise, disappointment and even frustration from them how their area could she be at a more advanced a country that has experienced the industrial revolution there centuries stadium!

The Kurdish opposition and Christian

As I said, there are more than 20 Kurdish political parties in the Rojava. Some have embraced self-administration, but 16 others did not. While some withdrew from the scene, 12 others were united in a coalition called the Patriotic Assembly Kurdistan in Syria, more or less pro-Barzani, that is to say, in the orbit of the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq.

In the 1990s, the blood flowed between the PKK and the KDP. Violent clashes between the two parties in Iraqi Kurdistan, leaving thousands dead. The wound is still raw. It must be borne in mind that the Turkish government supported the KDP in its fight against the PKK, on the border of Iraq and Turkey.

Barzani clan is especially grievance Abdullah Öcalan arise as the national leader of all Kurds.

The democratic self-government (DSA) set up in Syrian Kurdistan under the PYD and PKK could therefore only offend Turkey and the KRG, its ally.

All this to explain why the KRG opposes Tev-Dem and DSA in Syrian Kurdistan. The PDK is very concerned about what is happening in the Rojava and, whatever happens, trying to pull the chestnuts out of the fire. It therefore provides financial assistance and weapons to some local parties in the idea of destabilizing the region.

Our meeting with the opposition parties lasted more than two hours, and the majority of them were there. We asked them what their relationship with the PYD and the DSA Tev-Dem. Are they free? They have been persecuted or arrested by militants YPG-YPJ? Do they have the freedom to organize, protest? And other matters of the sort. Each time, the answer was: no arrest, no restriction on the freedom to demonstrate. But no way for them to participate in the DSA.

They have three disputes with the PYD and the DSA.

According to them the PYD and the Tev-Dem betrayed the Kurdish people because they left half Hesîçe (Hassaké) and part of Qamislo (Kameshli) at the hands of the regime in Damascus, even though its forces are limited . For them, this amounts to a compromise with Bashar al-Assad.

We suggested that this policy "neither peace nor war" aimed at stabilizing a situation that benefited everyone in the region, including the opposition parties. We also told them, and they should know better than us, that the PYD could easily drive the Assad soldiers in these two cities, the price of a few deaths, but the question is: what happens after?

Assad does not want to give up Hesîçe and, therefore, the war would begin with its attendant crimes of persecution, bombings of cities and villages destroyed. This would also facilitate an attack or Daech Al Nosra. This may cause a general confrontation between troops Assad, ASL and terrorist organizations in the Rojava, destroying everything that has been achieved so far. They have not responded to this argument.

The opposition does not want to participate in the DSA, or the next election, which will take place in a few months if all goes well. First, they continue to accuse the PYD to work with the Assad regime, without providing any evidence. Second, they believe that elections will not be free because the PYD is not a democratic party, but bureaucratic. Yet we know that there are almost as many activists PYD other parties in the DSA. We told them that if they believe in the electoral process, they should be involved, for a more democratic and less bureaucratic DSA. They accused the PYD of retiring from the Kurdish National Conference, promoted by the KRG in August 2013 in Erbil.

When asked later, militants PYD and Tev-Dem protested that they had written proof that they were engaged in this pact, unlike the opposition.

The opposition wants to set foot on its own militia, but is not authorized by the PYD. Interviewed, the PYD and the Tev-Dem confirmed: the opposition can have its own combatants, the conditon they are under the command of YPG-YPJ. For them, the situation is very tense and sensitive. They fear armed clashes between factions, and not want to let it happen. The PYD said he does not want to repeat the mistakes committed in Iraqi Kurdistan where, throughout the second half of the twentieth century, rival Kurdish organizations have been engaged in bloody battles.

In the end, they asked us to go back to the opposition parties for their offer on behalf of PYD and Tev-Dem, whatever they wanted except the freedom to create their own militias.

A few days later, Qamislo we met for nearly three hours, the leaders of three Kurdish parties: the Syrian branch of the KDP (Demokrat Partiya has Kurdistanê Sûriyê li), the Party of Kurdistan for democracy and equality Syria (Partiya Wekhevî is a Demokrat Kurdi Sûriyê li) and the Party of the Kurdish Patriotic democracy in Syria. They more or less repeated their grievances against the DSA and Tev-Dem. We have long tried to convince them that if they wanted to solve the Kurdish issue, it had to be independent of GRK and KDP, and work solely in the interest of the people of Rojava. Most of the time, they remained silent, answer our arguments.

A few days after, we also met with representatives of two Christian parties and the organization of Christian Youth Qamislo, which is not participating in the DSA or the Tev-Dem, but acknowledged that they had nothing against them and approved policy. They also recognized the merit of the YPG-YPJ who protected the area against the Syrian army and terrorist groups.

Still, the young activists were not happy Qamislo DSA and Tev-Dem. They complained about the lack of electricity and the possibility for youth to get involved. They seek an alternative to the DSA and Tev-Dem because if the situation continues, they say, there will be no other choice but to emigrate to Europe.

An official of a party present at the meeting told them: "What do you say, son? We are in a war. Do not you see how many men, women, the elderly and children are killed every day? !! This is a serious issue. In this situation, can not be of great importance; we can use other means. What is important at this point is: being at home without fear of being killed, to let our children play in the street without being kidnapped or killed. We are free to our business as usual, no one stops us, we are not attacked or insulted. We have peace, freedom and social justice ... " The members of the other parties agreed.

Before leaving the area, we spoke with traders, businessmen and people on the market. Everyone had a rather positive opinion on the DSA and Tev-Dem. They were to be catered for peace, security and freedom and could manage to operate without being interference of a party or group.

The trench of shame

In 2013, with the assistance of the Iraqi government, the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) has dug a trench two feet deep and two meters wide, about 35 kilometers long, along the Syrian border with Kurdistan . The first 12 kilometers were made by the KRG last 18 Baghdad. The remaining portion, the Tigris River is a natural barrier.

The KRG and the Iraqi government claimed that the trench was a necessary safeguard peace and security in Iraq, including Kurdistan. Here, people have many questions about this "protection". Against whom? Against what? Daech? Daech but can not enter this part of Syria, guarded by the YPG-YPJ.

The majority of Kurds actually see two reasons for this cut. On the one hand, to prevent Syrian refugees, but also the PKK and the PYD to enter Iraqi Kurdistan; secondly, increasing the effectiveness of economic sanctions against the Syrian Kurdistan to force him to accept the terms of GRK. However, I think the Syrian Kurds prefer to suffer starvation rather than go under the yoke of GRK. That is why, throughout Kurdistan, the trench dubbed the "Trench of shame."

Economic sanctions have severely disrupted life in Cizîrê, where we lack everything: drugs, money, doctors, nurses, teachers, technicians and engineers from industry, particularly in the oil sector. The Cizîrê, which has thousands of tons of wheat for export, is forced to sell his grain 200-250 dollars per ton to the Iraqi government, while the latter pays $ 600 to $ 700 per tonne when he buys elsewhere.

In Rojava this attitude KRG Barzani - who calls himself the great Kurdish leader - causes misunderstanding. May 9, 2014, a large peaceful demonstration against the "Trench of shame" brought together several thousand people to Qamislo, the call of Tev-Dem. We could hear several strong speech from different organizations, houses of the people, groups and committees. None of these speeches has created tensions. People gathered mainly around the idea that it was necessary to restore the brotherhood, cooperation, and agreement on each side of the border, all parties should reconcile and speak words of peace and freedom. The event ended in street festival with dances, songs and hymns.

Expectations and fears

Where is the popular movement Rojava? It's hard to say, but this should not prevent us to analyze and think about his future. Victory or complete defeat of an experience as the region has not known long depends on internal and external factors.

Whatever happens, we'll deal with them; what matters is to resist, to volunteer and ambitious, not to surrender, not to be discouraged and believe in change. Reject the current system, every opportunity, this is more important, I think, a temporary victory. This is the key to reach the final goal.


The weakening of the Tev-Dem

As we have seen, the Tev-Dem is the soul of the popular movement, with its groups, committees, houses of the people. Without Tev-Dem, no democratic self-administration (DSA). In general, the existence of Tev-Dem's future depends Rojava, and it can represent model for the entire region.

Adults take courses in Kurdish language (banned before the revolution).
© Firat News
It is difficult to assess the balance of power between the Tev-Dem and DSA. I had the feeling that when the power of the DSA grew, that of Tev-Dem decreased. The reverse can also be true.

I raised this issue with the comrades of the Tev-Dem. They did not agree. They estimate that over the DSA, the stronger the Tev-Dem will be. Indeed, they see the DSA as a mere executive body implementing the decisions taken by the Tev-Dem and its organs. I find it hard to fix my opinion on this, the future will decide.

The PYD and party structures

These are the PYD and PKK are behind the Tev-Dem, and both parties have all the characteristics of the major parties in this region of the world leaders-led hierarchy, all levels from the top to the base. Activists are not consulted on the guidelines but are very disciplined, orders have rules to apply, and confidential relationships with different parties in power or not in different parts of the world.

Yet the Tev-Dem is quite the opposite. Many of its members are not members of the PKK or the PYD. They believe in the revolution from below, do not expect anything from the government and authorities, and participate in meetings where decisions are taken independently in the best interests of residents. Then they ask the DSA to implement their decisions. And there are still many other differences between the PKK and the PYD-Tev-Dem.

The question is: how is the compromise? Is the Tev-Dem following the PYD-PKK, which is it them after the Tev-Dem? Who controls whom?

I do not have the answer, I'm still looking, but I think we will soon be fixed.

Fear: the Consecration of ideology and ideologues

Ideology is a point of view. See everything through the prism of ideology can lead to a disaster, because it can provide answers, and disconnected from reality solutions. Most of the time, ideologues seek fair word in old books that are no longer relevant to understanding the current situation.

Ideologues can be dangerous when they want to impose their ideas from these old books. They can be stubborn, rigid, inflexible. They do not respect the different points of view. They have much in common with religious and some Marxists or communists. In short, they believe that ideology or thought creates an insurrection or revolution. For non-ideologues like anything, the opposite is true.

It is unfortunate that I have found many ideologues within the PYD and Tev-Dem, especially when we came to talk about the ideas of Abdullah Ocalan. There are people who bring Öcalan about everything in the discussions. They have total confidence in him, and to a certain extent, they sanctify. Whether of faith or fear to the leader, it's scary, and it does not bode well. For me, nothing should be sacred and everything must be criticized and rejected if necessary.

The worst thing is the house of children and youth centers, where children learn new ideas, revolution and a lot of positive things they need to know to be useful to society. However, in addition, these children learn the ideology and thoughts of Öcalan, and how he is the leader of the Kurdish people. In my opinion, children should not be indoctrinated. We should not teach religion, nationality, race or color. They should have freedom of conscience and to be left alone until they are adults to make their own choices age.

The role of municipalities

I already explained what the Commons. Their mission is to evolve. They can not remain confined to the treatment of local problems. They need to increase their role, prerogatives and powers. While it is true that the Rojava lacks factories, businesses and real industrial infrastructure. But in Cizîrê, which produces mainly wheat, agriculture occupies a lot of people in small towns and villages. And the area is rich in oil, gas and phosphates, although most deposits are out of use because of the war and lack of maintenance even before the uprising.

Public could therefore invest these areas placed under community control and distribute their products to people according to their needs. What would be left after the distribution could be either sold or exchanged against material or stored. If the community does not rise to these tasks and are limited to what they do now, of course, the task will remain unfinished.

In conclusion

There are many things to say about the experience of Rojava, and a host of views, right and left, separatists, Trotskyites, Marxists, communists, socialists, anarchists and libertarians. For my part, as an anarchist, I do not see any white or black, I do not have a ready answer, and I never look in old books. I think the reality and events create ideas and thoughts, not the reverse. I observe with an open mind, and I try to connect them.

Some important words, however, about insurrections and revolutions. The revolution is not limited to the expression of anger, it does not take prescription or order, it does not occur in twenty-four hours is not a military coup, Bolshevik or a stroke conspiracy politician. It does not limit the dismantling of the economic infrastructure and the abolition of social classes. All this is the view of the leftists, Marxists, Communists and their parties. They see the revolution as well because they are dogmatic and mechanistic. For them, the revolution and the abolition of classes means socialism and the end of history.

In my opinion, even if the revolution succeeds, the authority may wish to survive in the family, businesses, factories, schools, universities and other places and institutions. To this can be added the persistence of gender differences and the authority of the former, even under socialism. In addition, it will necessarily remain a residue of selfish and greedy culture, inherited from capitalism. All this can evaporate or disappear in a short time. This can be a threat to the revolution.

The development of economic infrastructure and overcoming class society do not guarantee the sustainability of the revolution. I think a cultural revolution, educational and intellectual needs. People do not like the current system and believe they can change it. The tendency to rebellion, a refusal to be exploited, the spirit of revolt are very important things to keep the flame of the revolution.

From there, what about the experience of Rojava?

This experience lasts for two years and marks generations. Kurds of Syria rebellious spirit, they live in harmony, in an atmosphere of freedom, and become accustomed to a new culture, a culture of living together in peace and liberty, a culture of tolerance, sharing , self-confidence and pride, a culture of commitment and solidarity. At the same time, it is true that life is hard, there is a shortage of basic necessities, and the standard of living is low, but the people are welcoming, friendly, smiling, attentive and simple. The gap between rich and poor is low. All this helps people to overcome difficulties.

Then, events and current environment has changed a lot. They will not support a new dictatorship; they will fight for their achievements; they do not tolerate that decides for them. For all these reasons, they will resist discouragement, will rise again, fight for their rights and resist the return of the old order.

Some say that this experience will be as Abdullah Öcalan, the PKK and the PYD behind her, she runs the risk of expire and be replaced by a dictatorship. It is indeed possible. But even so, I do not think that Syria or Rojava, people can, longer tolerate a dictatorship or a Bolshevik-type government. We no longer live in a time when the government in Damascus could kill 30,000 people in Aleppo a few days. The world has changed.

It remains to say that everything that happened in the Syrian Kurdistan is not only the idea of Ocalan, as many believe. In fact, this idea is very old, and has developed Ocalan in prison, reading hundreds of books, analyzing the experiences and failures of nationalist and communist movements in the region and in the world. The basis of all is that he is convinced that the state, whatever its name and form, remains the state, and can disappear if it is replaced by another State. For that, it deserves to be heard.

Zaher Baher

[ 1 ] Kurdistana Rojava means "Western Kurdistan."

[ 2 ] Cizîrê is the name of the Kurdish region called Jazira in French, Arabic and Al Jazera.

[ 3 ] The Anfal campaign led by Ali Hassan al-Majid ("Chemical Ali") lasted from February to September 1988. About 2,000 villages have been destroyed and 182,000 people killed.

[ 4 ] The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) is the main Kurdish revolutionary party in Turkey. It refers to all the Kurdish left, whether in Syria (PYD) in Iran (PJAK) and Iraq (PCDK).

[ 5 ] In fact, the Tev-Dem is a coalition of organizations including the PYD is the center of gravity.

[ 6 ] The municipalities are neighborhood councils that seek to organize social life (see the passage devoted to them.

[ 7 ] Elected January 21, the Assembly has 101 seats Cizîrê. DSA is actually a kind of self-government, with 22 boards. Township Kobanê elected its own institutions January 22, 2014; that of Efrîn, January 29. Read Read: "The Syrian Kurds form their government" on Actukurdes.fr, July 10, 2013, and "Syria: A city released and 30 'jihadists' captured by the Kurds," February 17, 2014.

[ 8 ] In fact, the "Social Contract" was issued January 6, 2014, so before the election of self-administration.

[ 9 ] The policy of the "green belt" was also called the "Arab belt".

[ 10 ] In Arabic, Al Hasakah; French, Hassaké.

[ 11 ] In Arabic, Al Qamisli; French, Kameshli.

[ 12 ] In particular the Free Syrian Army, Al Nosra forehead or Islamic state.

[ 13 ] A report by Human Rights Watch dated June 19, 2014 was actually reported arbitrary arrests of political opponents in PYD, abuses against detainees and unsolved kidnapping and murder cases.

[ 14 ] From the late 1980s, Abdullah Ocalan has developed the theory of "free woman", referring to a Mesopotamian "golden age" based on matriarchy. It is not a feminist theory, but it has greatly contributed to promoting gender equality in the Kurdish movement. On this subject, read Grojean Olivier, "Theory and construction of gender relations in the Kurdish guerrillas in Turkey," International Review 3/2013 (No. 60), p. 21-35.
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