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(en) ANARCHISTES SOLIDAIRES DU ROJAVA*: "WE HAVE ESSENTIALLY DEVELOPED A STATELESS DEMOCRACY" Interview with Salih Muslim (fr, pt) [machine translation]

Date Mon, 17 Nov 2014 18:03:12 +0200


This interview with the co-chairman of the PYD, Salih Muslim, is taken from the website of the Libertarian Communist Organisation (OCL). ---- A revolution in Rojava life ---- On Sunday, November 10, Mohamed Saleh Muslim, co-chairman of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) representing independent communities Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan) and its armed wing, the People's Defense Units (YPG) and Units Women's Advocacy (YPJ) visited the Netherlands. Muslim spoke of the struggle against the Islamic state Rojava (ISIS) and the development of democratic autonomy during the revolution Rojava. The artist Jonas Staal was then interviewed. ---- Jonas Staal: In your lecture today, you clearly stated that the battle in the Rojava is not limited solely to the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS), and it is also a fight for an idea specific policy: the model of democratic autonomy. What exactly is this model of democratic autonomy is at the heart of the revolution Rojava?

Saleh Muslim: The reason we are attacked is because the democratic model that we implement in our region. Many local forces and governments do not like these alternative democratic models and do not want them to thrive in the Rojava. They are afraid of our system. We created amid civil war in Syria, three independent districts of the region Rojava functioning within a democratic and autonomous system. Together with ethnic and religious minorities in the region - Arabs, Turkmen, Assyrians, Armenians, Christians, Kurds - we have established a written collective political structure for these autonomous cantons our social contract .
We have set up a People's Council . including 101 people representing all cooperatives, committees and meetings that work in each of our districts
and we have established a model of co-presidency - each political entity always both a woman president and a man president - and a 40% quota representation for women in order to enforce gender equality in all forms of public life and political representation.
We have essentially developed a stateless democracy. This is a unique alternative in a region severely overwhelmed by internal conflict between the Free Syrian Army, the Assad regime and the self-proclaimed Islamic state.

Another way to refer to the notion of democratic confederalism or democratic autonomy is that of radical democracy : mobilizing people to organize themselves and defend themselves by armed people as defense units of the People (YPG) and Defence Units women (YPJ). We apply this model of autonomy [ self-rule within the meaning of self-government] and self-organizing without a state which we speak. Others speak of autonomy in theory, but for us, this search for autonomy is our revolution every day. Women, men, all classes of our society are now organized. Why Kobanà still stands because we built these structures.

JS: In your presentation, the words "democracy", "freedom" and "humanity" very often return. Could you explain what do you make the fundamental difference between capitalist democracy and what you just described as democratic self-government?

MS: Everyone knows how capitalist democracy plays comedy for votes; elections are a game. In many places, the elections are just propaganda, dealing only with the particular direct interest of the voter. Democratic autonomy is placed on the long term. Its purpose is to make people understand and exercise their rights. That society becomes politicized: that is what is at the heart of the construction of democratic autonomy. In Europe, you can find companies that are not politicized. Political parties aim persuasion and individual interests, not the actual emancipation and politicization. A true democracy is based on a politicized society. If you go now to Kobanà and you encounter the fighter-es of YPG and YPJ, you will see they know exactly why they fight and they fight each other. They are not there for the money or interests. They are there for basic values, at the same time they practice. There is no difference between what they do and what they represent.

JS: So how can we politicize a company with this level of political consciousness?

MS: You have to educate twenty-four hours a day, to learn to talk, to learn to decide collectively. You must reject the idea that it takes a certain chief arrives and tell people what is there to do; instead, it must learn to exercise autonomy as a collective practice. By treating the daily issues that concern us all: these should be explained, criticized and shared collectively. Geopolitics of the basic humanitarian values ââarea, all of these issues are addressed jointly. There must be a collective education that we know who we are, why we are faced with some enemies and why we fight.

JS: In a community that is at war and facing a humanitarian crisis, which is the educator?

SM: The people themselves educating each other. When you put ten people together and ask them a solution to a problem or you offer them a question, they collectively seek an answer. I believe that in this way they will find the right one. This collective discussion politicize them.

JS: What you describe as the heart of democratic autonomy is in essence the model of the assembly.

SM: Yes, we have assemblies, committees; we can all structures to exercise autonomy in all sectors of our society.

JS: That they are your requirements for such democratic experience to be able to put in place?

MS: This is a long term process. I myself have been involved for decades in this movement, in this fight - I was in prison, I was tortured. Also, people in my community also know why I do what I do. I'm not there to collect money or personal benefits. The reason why the Syrian government captured and tortured me was that I was educating people. And I'm not a person; many friends as I have experienced the same thing. Many became martyrs dying from the torture of the regime they have suffered. Democratic autonomy is not an idea to achieve in one day: it is an approach, a process that takes explaining, educating. It is a revolution that takes all of our lives.

JS: Many students, intellectuals and artists look at the Rojava, watch Kobanà and recognize that the promise of a State without internationalism, somehow, found his way back there in our time. What do you say to those people who are not in the Rojava but who see the revolution as a horizon. What can they do?

MS: Well, go to KobanÃ. Meet the people and listen to them, understand how they established their political model. Talk to YPG, to YPJ and learn about what they do; ask them, meet their society. In the near future, the conditions will allow you to go there, and you can learn about the model of democratic autonomy that was defended in the worst conditions imaginable, with threats on their lives, with lack of food and water. Go talk to people and you will understand how and why they did it. And what our society looks after that.

JS: Do you believe that democratic autonomy is a model that can be adopted globally?

MS: I think the Democratic administration that we have in place is what everyone feels able to share, so yes, it is a model for the world. There was a lot of prejudice about our revolution, but when outsiders have visited and have arisen in the middle of our communities, they began to realize that democratic autonomy was the right thing We have people who have joined our revolution, even from Damascus. Anyone can come and see for yourself that our revolution leads and realized every day. It is a revolution of life, and as such, our struggle is a struggle for humanity.

___

Source: http://tenk.cc/2014/11/a-revolution...

Translation: XYZ / OCLibertaire

Notes:

Social Contract Rojava

http://actukurde.fr/actualites/709/...

Jonas Staal

Jonas Staal (born 1981) is a visual artist and studied monumental art in Enschede and Boston. He is currently conducting research for a PhD on "Art and Propaganda in the XXI Century" at the University of Leiden. He is the founder of the artistic organization and New World Summit policy that is committed without state political organizations that are excluded from the established democratic processes. Among them, the Movement of Kurdish women, the Basque independence movement, the National Liberation Movement of Azawad and the National Democratic Movement of the Philippines as well as attorneys, lawyers and activists who fought against the Patriot Act and its consequences.

The New World Summit

The New World Summit (NWS) is in the critical current of social self-determination, radical democracy and the refusal of the State as an institution of this political principle. The NWS uses discussion and argument the notion of democracy, including the abuse of "democratism" in the justification of the targeted "military and colonial expansionist" , including the "so-called war against terrorism. In contrast to Democratism the NWS explores the field of art as a space to re-imagine and act on a fundamental practice of democracy " .

Since 2012, the NWS organized 4 vertices. The last in September 2014 in Brussels, addressed the "United States without", "inviting political organizations fighting for the right to self-determination through a variety of means, whose objective is a form of independence or autonomy, or even waiving all together in the concept of State to release the practice of state democracy. "
"The New World Summit opposes the notion that there would democratist something like a" limit "to democracy, because democracy is either unlimited or it does not exist at all. The existing political order is unable to follow this principle because its interests are largely defined by economic interests and geopolitical policies. The NWS asserts that art can be a space of radical imagination "more political than the policy itself", a space where the promise of a fundamental and emancipatory democracy can take shape. " (excerpts from the presentation of the NWS on its website).

___

Website of New World Summit: http://www.newworldsummit.eu

Jonas Staal: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonas_Staal

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To go further ...

Recent articles on the same subject

KobanÃ, nearly two months of resistance

The sense of solidarity with Kobanà - "Anarchists solidarity of Rojava"

KobanÃ, the struggle of the Kurds and the dangers that lie in wait

A "Revolution" attacked - the Alternative to the middle of the war in Syria

Why the world does not know Kurdish revolutionaries Syria?

Alongside the resistance KobanÃ! - OCL

Taksim to KobanÃ: Turkish anarchists brave the Syrian border

Four things that the left must learn KobanÃ

Feminist and LGBT solidarity with the struggle of the Kurds and Kobanà Rojava

The bataillle of KobanÃ: between jihadist offensive, Turkish and Kurdish resistance complicity

The new PKK triggered a social revolution in Kurdistan

The new war in Iraq: Kurds against jihadists

The events of Sinjar and Iraq in recent days

Kurds, between Islamists and political advances assaults

________
Other articles on the same theme

The "silent revolution" of Syrian Kurds

Alternating Current 233, October 2013. Folder Syria - A breath of life between Assad and the jihadists? - The Kurdish movement at a crossroads

Kurdish / Syria - The final phase Rojava

Confederalism democratic, political proposal liberation of the Kurdish Left

Rebels against binary vision / plan of resistance

What future for Kurds in Syria?

Kurdistan - "We as women to liberate free society"

Syria: The perfect response

PKK: an intervention in Syria will trigger a regional war

Mobilization of the Kurds against the creation of an Islamic state in Syria

A Zapatista Syria?

Kurds: "The greatest people in the world without a state"

The Kurdish question and anarchism

Source: http://oclibertaire.free.fr/spip.php?article1610

======================================

* Who are we? http://rojavasolidarite.noblogs.org/

We are anarchists, anarchist and anti-authoritarian, gathered to lend our support to the social revolution currently underway in Rojava and to assist in the possible Kurdish populations threatened by the reactionary forces, whether Daesh the Border country or coalition forces.
We stand in solidarity with the experience of self-organization that currently takes place Rojava, with the support and under the protection of the PYD and its self-defense structures (YPG / YPJ) which for us are the main progressive forces in the region.

Activists are calling our individual initiative, members of political organizations or participate in squats.
Here the non-exhaustive list of websites with us:

Look of the black group Anarchist Federation
Salvador Segui-federated group Anarchist Federation
Libertarian Communist Organization
Libertarian Alternative
Coordination anarchist groups
The conquest of bread, bakery self-managed
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