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(en) France, Organisation Communiste Libertarie (OCL) - Rojava / Kurdistan, A "Revolution" attacked - the Alternative in the middle of the war in Syria by Ulrike Flader (fr, pt) [machine translation]

Date Mon, 20 Oct 2014 12:04:25 +0300


The fierce resistance Kobanà face jihadists becoming known worldwide. But what is at stake is much less known: the autonomy of the Kurdish areas and unprecedented popular self-organization experience at the municipal level that seeks to redefine the forms of government and administration in respect of combining multiple forms of affiliations, social liberation and women's liberation. ---- The September 30, 2014 ---- The most recent photos showing thousands of refugees fleeing violent attacks ISIS and making their way from Syria to the border of Turkey, just Kobanà area - one of the three townships of the self-proclaimed Rojava Autonomous Region, in northern Syria. ---- This area - which consists of three geographically disconnected enclaves along the Turkish border - used strategically deteriorating situation to declare its independence in July 2012 that has since been celebrated as the "Revolution Rojava" in the Kurdish Movement grouped around the Workers' Party of Kurdistan (PKK). The population of Rojava, which has long been a stronghold of the PKK, is mainly composed of Kurds - both Muslims and Yezidis [1] - as well as Arabs, Christian Assyrians, Armenians, Turkmen and Chechens . The desire for some form of self-determination especially among the Kurds has been determined by decades of denial of their basic rights of citizenship under the Assad regime.

However, this quiet revolution is not intended to independence. This is not to found a new nation-state. This deliberate self-declaration as designating autonomous region and not as a state, stems from two critical, firstly that of existing nation-states with their principles of standardization and exclusion from citizenship, centralist governments and undemocratic structures suffered by the Kurds in Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria, on the other hand, the conventional strategies of national liberation movements. This criticism articulated with another model of "democratic autonomy" was put forward by the imprisoned leader of the PKK, Abdullah Ãcalan, and replaced the previous struggle for independence. The concept of democratic autonomy envisaged by Murray Bookchin libertarian thinker as a radical and decentralized democracy, or in spite of nation-states given that respects the principles of gender equality, religious affiliation and ethnic as well as Ecology [2]. In this sense, the PKK and its affiliate in Syria, the PYD (Democratic Union Party), are promoting this model, whose basic principle is to achieve the unity of all faiths and ethnic groups without assimilate it to the entire Middle East.

Over the past 18 months, the Syrian military outnumbered, were expelled from most areas of the region; the police, the secret services and the public service of the former regime have been dismantled, and the judicial and education systems processed. Furthermore, despite an unfavorable security situation, the central institutions for the most radical changes have been made in three main areas: the introduction of direct self-government by municipalities, ensuring equal participation for all religious and ethnic groups in all areas of decision-making and strengthening the position of women.

To decentralize decision-making and achieve self-reliance, common - village or street - composed of 30 to 150 households have been organized. These common rule on matters concerning the administration, electricity, provision of food, but also discuss and solve other social problems. They have committees for organizing the defense, justice, infrastructure, ecology, youth, and the economy. Some have set up communal cooperatives, for example, bakeries, sewing and agricultural initiatives. [3] They also organize support the poorest in the community for food and fuel base. Delegates joint together form a council of 7-10 villages dz the district of a city, and each city has yet another council. The council is composed of representatives of municipalities, of all political parties, organization of fallen fighters, organizing women and youth organization. All councils and municipalities have a 40% quota for women. Decisions are made ââon the basis of consensus and equal time is imposed. In addition, a co-chair was set up for all organizations, which means that all boards have two presidents, a woman and a man. All members are nominated and elected by the people. However, according to co-president of PYD, Salih Muslim, this radical transformation from dictatorship to this form of autonomy is not an easy process: "People learn to govern" . [4]

This change in decision-making has also meant a radical change in the legal system: the creation of "peace committees and consensus" . [5] These committees, which were originally developed as groundwater institutions left in Kurdish cities in the Kurdish region of Syria in the 1990s and have been severely repressed in the 2000s, resumed their importance with the uprising , and are transformed into basic structure and fundamental principle of the new court system. The purpose of these committees, which deal with all general legal issues and conflicts, but serious crimes such as murder, is to reach a consensus between the parties in conflict and thereby a lasting settlement. In a general meeting of all the inhabitants, each district elects 5-9 members of the peace committee and local consensus (40% must be women) based on their ability to facilitate such consensus in discussions between parts. It is emphasized that these members should not be co-opted by traditional authorities, but democratically elected according to the principle of gender equality. These peace committees and consensus also exist at the district level, whose members are each elected by the people's councils at that level. Committees of parallel single-sex women have been put in place that deal specifically with cases of crimes against women, such as domestic violence, forced marriages and -the multiple marriages. Cases that can not be resolved in this way consensus is transmitted at higher institutions that exist in the city, region and county. Call classes have been set up in each region and a constitutional court is interested in further development of the constitution, the framework has yet been made ââunder the name of "social contract". [6]

The decision to agree on a social contract rather than a constitution is the manifestation of the centrality of the principle of multiconfessionalità / multiethnic found behind the concept of democratic self-government in the Rojava. Ensure security contract, which was developed from meetings between representatives of different ethnic groups and beliefs, aims and autonomy of all groups. All groups must be equally present and active in the political decision-making as well as the economic and social issues Their right to self-determination must be ensured not only by the autonomy at the village level, but also the right to organize independently at other levels. According to the report of a delegation that visited the region in May this year, the participation of Arabs and Assyrians is increasing in all areas. [7] All groups are also encouraged to participate in the armed wing YPG or establish their own self-defense groups such as Assyrians have done recently.

Similarly, empowerment ( empowerment ) of women is not only achieved by the presence of women in all areas of the process of decision making through the quota of 40%, the co-chair, the specific legal fees women, but also by setting up their own military wing YPJ ââ(Women's Advocacy Unit) [8]. In an interview, the co-chair of PYD, Asya Abdullah, argued that the movement in Syria has learned from other revolutions that women's issues could not be ignored until after the revolution. Instead, women in Rojava play a leading role in politics, diplomacy, social issues, in building a new democratic family structure as well as in self-defense. [9] She said the structures of self-government and self-organization of women are just as important as the independent education institutions and existing seminars and projects aimed at strengthening the economic independence of women.

This attempt a peaceful democratic transformation in coexistence with the state, but based on the premise of self-determination of the basis of pluralism and gender equality is, unfortunately, not well received by all in region. Violent attacks on the most recent Township Kobanà by fighters of the ISIS are a sign of growing to destroy the autonomous region which is identified with the growing strength of the PKK in the region interest. The Turkish government has reacted sharply to allegations by the New York Times and other media that supports it, in one way or another, the fighters of the ISIS [10]. Yet for the PKK, the charges are based. This cooperation raises serious doubts about the sincerity of the government toward peace negotiations that began with Ãcalan during the past year. The PKK has warned it could end the truce he had declared to facilitate a possible peace process. [11] For all those who, in all regions of Turkey have joined the Syrian border to protest for all those organizing demonstrations and rallies in many cities across Europe, Rojava is not only a land of experiment for an alternative democracy in the region, but also a bastion against the ISIS.

Ulrike Flader

Notes:

[1] The majority of Yezidi Kurds live in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. The attack ISIS city of Sinjar and the massacre of its inhabitants have triggered intense international attention and decision of the United States to intervene Since then, many Kurds Yazidis were aided in their flight to the Rojava by the Syrian wing guerrillas of the PKK (YPG).
[2] Gunes Cengiz (2012), "The Kurdish National Movement in Turkey. From Protest to Resistance ". New York, Routledge. See also: Biehl, Janet (2012) "Bookchin, Ãcalan, and the Dialectics of Democracy," New Compass, http: ... //new-compass.net/articles/boo ; last accessed on 20.02.2012.
[3] Knapp, Michael (2014) "Die Demokratische Autonomy in Rojava. Ziel ist eine fÃr den gesamten demokratische Solution Mittleren Osten " Kurdistan Report 174, http: ... //www.kurdistan-report.de/inde ; last accessed on 09.25.2014.
[4] Interview with Co-Chair of PYD, Salih Muslim, "Die Menschen lernen, sich selbst zu bestimmen" Kurdistan Report 175, http: //www.kurdistan-report.de/inde ... ; last accessed on 09.25.2014.
5] AyboÄa, Ercan (2014) "Das neue Rechtssystem in Rojava. Der ist Konsens Entscheidend " Kurdistan Report 175, http: ... //www.kurdistan-report.de/inde ; last accessed on 09.25.2014.
[6] See the "Charter of Social Contract" of Rojava ("Charter of the Social Contract") here: http: ... //peaceinkurdistancampaign.com ; last accessed on 09.26.2014 [7] Knapp, 2014.
[8] Interviews Ilham Ehmed, representing the movement of Kurdish women Rojava and member of the Supreme Council Kurdish: Civaka Azad (2014) "Perspektiven der Frauenbewegung in Rojava" http : //civaka-azad.org/perspektiven ... ; last accessed on 09.25.2014.
[9] Interview with Asya Abdullah, Co-Chair of PYD: ÃÄÃnÃ, PÄnar (2014) "KadÄn ÃzgÃr deÄilse Demokrasi Olmaz" Radikal, 22/08/2013, http://www.radikal.com.tr / yazarlar / ... , last accessed on 25.09.2014.
[10] Official Summary of President's speech to the Assembly of ErdoÄan TESK (Confederation of Turkish artisans and retailers): TCCB (2014) "We do not accept and -have never accepted the notion of Islamic terrorism ", http: ... //www.tccb.gov.tr/news/397/910 ; last accessed on 09.25.2014. The speech refers to an article published in the New York Times of 9/15/2014: Yeginsu, Ceylon (2014) "ISIS Draws a Steady Stream of Recruits from Turkey," New York Times , 15/09/2014, http: // www. nytimes.com/2014/09/16/w ... ; last accessed on 09.25.2014.
[11] Statement by Cemil Bayik, Co-Chair of the Executive Council of the Union of Kurdistan Communities (KCK), see Firatnews (2014) "Bayik: We May Cease-fire ends the" Firatnews , 27.09.2014, http: //en.firatajans.com/news/news / ... ; last accessed on 27.09.2014.

Ulrike Flader is a PhD student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Manchester. Her ethnographic research focuses on the practices of everyday resistance of the Kurdish population in Turkey. Based on the notions of power and resistance in the work of Michel Foucault and Judith Butler, it analyzes the forms of everyday resistance against the assimilation policies of the state. Although his research locates the resistance on the micro-level of everyday beyond political parties, mass protests or armed struggle, she is interested in the intersections between everyday resistance and social movements organized.

Source: http: //www.movements.manchester.ac ....

Translation: XYZ / OCLibertaire
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